The Arab Spring in a Global Context

Provost's Global Forum 2015 (April 30-May 1)

Registration is now open!

Submit papers and abstracts here

The wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring may have changed or at least challenged the relationship between the governed and governing actors not only in Arab countries but in other societies with Muslim people around the world. New legal regimes may now navigate sectarian, gender, and religious fault lines in differing ways. Emerging issues and changing circumstances are providing scholars from all academic disciplines with opportunities to apply and/or revise old theories and produce a body of new knowledge about issues of social change, social justice, racial/ethnic and gender relations, the law, public policy, economic development, and international politics in a global context.

In addition to this conference, the UI will host several other events related to the Arab Spring in 2015. Read more in Ahmed Souaiaia's commentary for the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

The conference is an opportunity for the exchange and sharing of ideas for scholars from all disciplines including: area studies (international studies, Middle Eastern studies, Asian studies, African studies, and Eurasian studies), business, health sciences, journalism and mass communication, social sciences (anthropology, political science, psychology, and sociology), humanities (arts, cultural studies, history, gender and race, linguistics and literature, philosophy, religious studies, and rhetoric), education, and law.

The conference is also open to representatives of NGOs, governments, and think tanks. The aim is to facilitate the sharing of ideas and to contribute to building a body of knowledge on this topic representing the broadest range of perspectives possible.

The conference will feature presentations of research papers and reports, roundtable conversations, and panel discussions. Although all abstracts will be initially reviewed by the conference organizing committees (consisting of faculty and graduate students), presenters who wish to publish their papers in the Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Multidisciplinary Studies must submit fully revised and edited manuscripts for a separate double-blind peer review before acceptance.

The conference will also feature musical performances, book exhibits, film and documentary screenings, the taping of an interview-format television show, and art and document displays.

Below is an outline of just a few of the activities planned for the forum:

  • February 17 - May 15 2015: "Unfinished Business: The Arts of the New Arab Revolutions," University Libraries Exhibit
  • Tuesday, April 28: Televised WorldCanvass program, and community and high school outreach programs and events
  • Wednesday, April 29: Art and Book display, Barkan Memorial Lecture
  • Thursday, April 30: Presentations, talks, panels, roundtables
  • Friday, May 1: Presentations, panels, roundtable, music, dinner

Submit abstracts for papers here. Competitive prizes will be awarded to exceptional undergraduate and graduate student papers. Submissions will be considered by a review committee.

To attend the forum, please fill out the public registration form.


This conference is made possible through the support of International Programs; the Stanley UI-Foundation Support Organization; the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures; the Department of Communication Studies; the School of Journalism and Mass Communication; the Department of Political Science; the Department of Religious Studies; UI Libraries; and the UI Center for Human Rights


Sarolta Petersen
Events and Project Specialist
International Programs

Ahmed E. Souaiaia
Associate Professor, Islamic Studies
University of Iowa