About the Speakers
Professor Ussama Makdisi
Chancellor’s Chair & Professor of History, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Ussama Makdisi is Professor of History and Chancellor’s Chair at the University of California Berkeley. He was previously Professor of History and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University in Houston. During AY 2019-2020, Professor Makdisi was a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of History. In 2012-2013, Makdisi was an invited Resident Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin). In April 2009, the Carnegie Corporation named Makdisi a 2009 Carnegie Scholar as part of its effort to promote original scholarship regarding Muslim societies and communities, both in the United States and abroad. Makdisi was awarded the Berlin Prize and spent the Spring 2018 semester as a Fellow at the American Academy of Berlin.
Professor Makdisi’s most recent book Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World was published in 2019 by the University of California Press. He is also the author of Faith Misplaced: the Broken Promise of U.S.-Arab Relations, 1820-2001 (Public Affairs, 2010). His previous books include Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2008), which was the winner of the 2008 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association, the 2009 John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, and a co-winner of the 2009 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize given by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies.
Makdisi is also the author of The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon (University of California Press, 2000) and co-editor of Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana University Press, 2006). He has published widely on Ottoman and Arab history as well as on U.S.-Arab relations and U.S. missionary work in the Middle East. Among his major articles are “Anti-Americanism in the Arab World: An Interpretation of Brief History” which appeared in the Journal of American History and “Ottoman Orientalism” and “Reclaiming the Land of the Bible: Missionaries, Secularism, and Evangelical Modernity” both of which appeared in the American Historical Review. Professor Makdisi has also published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in Society and History, and in the Middle East Report.
Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb
Professor of Media Studies and Graduate Coordinator, California State University, San Bernardino
Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb is a professor of media studies and the graduate coordinator of the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). She is the recipient of the 2020 CSUSB Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities Award and the 2019-20 Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Faculty Mentor Awardees. She also won the 2019 Rebuilding Alliance “Story Teller” Award. She has an M.A. in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Memphis, Tennessee. Her research interests include digital communication, digital resistance & decolonization, social justice, and diasporic communities. Her research has appeared in national and international publications, such as the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and Arab Studies Quarterly, and has been presented at national and international conferences.
Her documentary 1948: Creation & Catastrophe (http://www.1948movie.com/) was screened at over 20 film festivals and at universities and community organizations throughout the world. The film, co-produced and co-directed with Andy Trimlett, focuses on the year 1948 and its catastrophic consequences for the Palestinian nation which has originated from her field work in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. The film won the Jerusalem International Film Festival’s 2019 Special Jury Award in the Feature Documentary category (https://inside.csusb.edu/node/28706).
She is working currently on a study of Palestinian digital resistance and decolonizing digital spaces. She was the producer and lead researcher of the documentary 36 Seconds: Portrait of a Hate Crime (https://www.36secondsfilm.com/) which centered the three young Muslims murdered in Chapel Hill in 2015 in its discussion of the state of hate crimes, Islamophobia and racism in the United States. The film had its global premier at the Doc NYC Film Festival (https://www.docnyc.net/film/36-seconds-portrait-of-a-hate-crime/) in November of 2023 and won the Subject Matter Grant for Audience Outreach and Impact Efforts (https://www.subjectmatter.org/).
Professor Hatem Bazian
Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, University of California, Berkeley. President, International Islamophobia Studies and Research Association
Hatem Bazian is a co-founder and Professor of Islamic Law and Theology at Zaytuna College, the 1st Accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in the United States. In addition, Prof. Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bazian between 2002-2007, also served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He teaches courses on Islamic Law and Society, Islam in America: Communities and Institutions, De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to Berkeley, Prof. Bazian served as a visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California 2001-2007 and adviser to the Religion, Politics and Globalization Center at UC Berkeley.
In Spring 2009, Prof. Bazian founded at Berkeley the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender, a research unit dedicated to the systematic study of Othering Islam and Muslims. Prof. Bazian in Spring 2012 launched the Islamophobia Studies Journal, which is published bi-annually through a collaborative effort between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California at Berkeley, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative for the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, and Zaytuna College.
In addition to academic work, Dr, Bazian is a weekly columnist for the Turkish Daily Sabah Newspaper and Turkey Agenda online magazine. Dr. Bazian is founder and national Chair of American Muslims for Palestine, board member of the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Muslim Legal Fund of America, President of Dollar for Deen Charity, and Chair of Northern California Islamic Council.