Launched in Spring 2015, the Hagop Kevorkian Center's Practitioner-in-Residence
program aims to augment our students' academic and professional training in
Near Eastern Studies. Each semester, the Hagop Kevorkian Center hosts a
practitioner-in-residence whose expertise and experience in journalism,
writing, human rights, arts and other fields contribute to our intellectual
community as well as enhance student learning by offering a special workshop,
which culminates in a public event or exhibition.
Our current Practitioner-in-Residence is Sultan Al Qassemi, a United Arab Emirates-based columnist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications and a prominent commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. Rising in prominence during the Arab Spring, his tweets became a major news source, rivaling the major news networks at the time, until TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.” He is offering a special workshop “The Politics of Arab Modern Art, which will discuss the political undertones of iconic artworks of the 20th century in the Arab world.
Our past Practitioners-in-Residence include figures from various fields, including the performing arts, film, human rights, writing, and journalism. Our Fall 2016 Artists-in-Residence were Suhel Nafar and Jackie Salloum, New York/Paestine based filmmakers and artists whose most notable works include the feature length documentary “Slingshot Hip Hop (Sundance 2008). The offered a special workshop “Memory Metamorphosis,” which explored, executed and preserved Palestinian diasporic memory through various art forms (e.g. painting, photography, music, video, collage). The workshop culminated in an art exhibition of pieces inspired by interviews conducted by our students with U.S.-based Palestinians about their memories of home. Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the MENA Division of Human Rights Watch, served as our Spring 2016 Human Rights Activist-in-Residence, and offered a special workshop titled “Dissecting the Democratic Moment in Egypt,” which attempted to examine the Morsi administration’s year in power by gathering testimony and information directly from those involved. Our Fall 2015 Writer-in-Residence was Nancy Kricorian, the author of the novels Zabelle, Dreams of Bread and Fire, and most recently All The Light There Was. She offered a special workshop titled “Life Stories: Transforming Family and Oral Histories into Narrative Non-Fiction and Fiction,” which culminated in an art exhibition “Art & Memory: Looking Back & Moving Forward on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.” Our Spring 2015 Journalist-in-Residence was Adam Shatz who offered a special workshop titled “Writing for a Non-Academic Audience,” which culminated in a panel on the Syrian crisis.