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Upcoming events

Repressing Kurds by Turkey and Iran Against the Backdrop of War in Gaza
August 5, 2024
A/Prof Costas Laoutides, Dr Allan Hassaniyan, Dr William Gourlay
This workshop will explore how these states leverage the global attention on the Israel-Hamas conflict to intensify their repression of Kurds.
October 7, 2024
The conference will tackle a diverse range of topics, including the socio-economic impact of the conflict, the humanitarian crisis, the role of regional and global powers, prospects for governance and democratization, and the complexities of cultural heritage and identity.
MESF Conference 2024: The Middle East After the War on Gaza

Past events

Why Peace Education Fails: Problematising Peace Curricula in the Middle East
May 27, 2024
Maliheh Rezaei
This study focuses on the role of peace education, as one of the most frequently disregarded tools available to us, in promoting enduring peace in the Middle East – a region beset by ongoing geopolitical, religious, and cultural conflicts.
April 22, 2024
Azadeh Zamirirad, Hamidreza Azizi, Mehran Kamrava, Shahram Akbarzadeh (Moderator)
The Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council), in partnership with the Middle East Studies Forum (MESF), will host a webinar convening a panel of experts
Iran in the Middle East: Building Bridges or Expanding Influence?
Iran and the West | A Non-Western Approach to Foreign Policy
April 5, 2024
Dr. Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas is a lecturer in Middle East studies and International Relations at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Join us at the official launch of his book “Iran and the West: A Non-Western Approach to Foreign Policy.”
March 14, 2024
Nathan Thrall
Join Thrall in a conversation led by Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh to discuss the latest book "A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy"
A Day in the Life of Abed Salama; Nathan Thrall in conversation with Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh
Strategic Digital Information Operations, Democracy and Social Cohesion
November 16, 2023
Professor Ihsan Yilmaz, Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh
Please join us on for a two day hybrid event on November 16-17. In an era marked by the strategic manipulation of digital media by state and non-state actors, this workshop aims to shed light on the multifaceted tactics, implications, and consequences of these operations on democratic processes, social cohesion, and the complex interplay between digital technologies, information operations, sharp power, and democracy.
October 25, 2023
Dr. Hadeel Abdelhameed, Dr. Ghyath Manhal Alkinani
Please join us on Wednesday 25 October for a seminar with Dr. Hadeel Abdelhameed. This seminar will be based on feminist security theory, politics of grief, and communication theory to analyse a case study of an Iraqi bereaved mother, Um Muhanned who lost her son during Tishreen 2020.
Politics of Grief: Mothers and Protesters
MESF & AIIA Panel Discussion: Australia’s Relations with the Middle East
September 7, 2023
Mr Alastair Roff, Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh, Professor Sally Totman, Mr Roland Jabbour OAM, Dr Rodger Shanahan, Mr James Bryan
Please join us on Thursday 7 September, as part of Social Sciences Week, for a co-hosted MESF and AIIA panel discussion on Australia’s Relations with the Middle East.
August 28, 2023
Dr. Mariam Farida
Please join us on Monday 28 August for a MESF seminar by Dr Mariam Farida: “The Weaponization of Religious Myths: An Ethnography Shi’ite Gendered Narratives”.
The Weaponization of Religious Myths: An Ethnography Shi’ite Gendered Narratives
Digital Activism in Authoritarian Contexts
May 30, 2023
Digital Activism in Authoritarian Contexts
December 5, 2022
With the rapid global changes that have occurred since the start of the COVID pandemic, are established understandings of Middle East politics and society still relevant?
The Middle East in Transition
Satire and the State in Saudi Arabia
June 2, 2022
Dr Jessie Moritz (Australian National University)
Please click Read More and Register via the ‘Register Now’ link at the bottom of the page by 30th May 2022
The implications of the war in Ukraine for the Middle East
May 2, 2022
Prof. Sadegh Zibakalam (University of Tehran), A/Prof Nikolay Kozhanov (the Gulf Studies Center of Qatar University), A/Prof Anicée Van Engeland (Cranfield University) in conversation with Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh
Please click Read More and Register via the ‘Register Now’ link at the bottom of the page by 30th April 2022
November 10, 2021
Dr Ali Fathollah-Nejad (Free University of Berlin)
MESF invites you to this webinar with Dr Ali Fathollah-Nejad who will discuss his ideas built upon in his book, 'Iran in an Emerging New World Order: From Ahmadinejad to Rouhani'.
Iran in an Emerging New World Order
Iraqi Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding Across Local, National and Global Contexts
October 28, 2021
Dr Yasmin Chilmeran (Swedish Institute of International Affairs)
MESF invites you to this webinar with guest speaker Dr Yasmin Chilmeran of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
October 20, 2021
A/Prof Ahmed Hashim (Deakin University)
MESF invites you to this webinar with A/Prof Ahmed Hashim about his forthcoming book, Iranian Ways of War.
Iranian Ways of War: From Cyrus the Great to Qassem Soleimani and Beyond
Iran’s Thirteenth Presidential Elections: Regional and International Implications
June 28, 2021
Professor Mehran Kamrava (Georgetown University), Dr Sanam Vakil (Chatham House),, Dr Nikolay Kozhanov (Qatar University) and Dr Luciano Zaccara (Qatar University)
The Gulf Studies Center at the College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University and The Middle East Studies forum at Deakin University are pleased to invite you to attend a joint webinar
June 17, 2021
Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch
The widely held assumption that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is a temporary situation and that the “peace process” will soon bring an end to Israeli abuses has obscured the reality of Israel’s entrenched discriminatory rule over Palestinians. A single authority, the Israeli government, rules primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size. It systematically privileges Jewish Israelis and represses Palestinians. This discrimination is more severe in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), made-up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Human Rights Watch’s New Report on Israel:  A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution
US and NATO Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Implications for the Future
May 27, 2021
Farkhondeh Akbari (The Australian National University), Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi (La Trobe University), Prof William Maley (The Australian National University) and moderated by Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh (Deakin University)
May 18, 2021
Prof John Keane (University of Sydney) Dr Sanam Vakil (Chatham House) Dr Mahmoud Pargoo (Deakin University) and moderated by Prof Shahram Akbarzadeh (Deakin University)
Iran’s 2021 Presidential election and book launch Presidential Elections in Iran: Islamic Idealism Since the Revolution
Theocratic Secularism: Political modus operandi of traditional Shīʿism
May 12, 2021
Dr Naser Ghobadzadeh, Australian Catholic University
The first few decades of Islamic history witnessed the convergence of religious and political authority in one person. This convergence only lasted for a short period for the majority of Muslims, the Sunnīs, but was conceptualised as an integral component of the Twelver Shīʿī belief system.
April 15, 2021
Dr Andreas Krieg (King’s College London), A/Prof Anicée Van Engeland (Cranfield University) and A/Prof Mahjoob Zweiri (Qatar University)
JCPoA revival: implications for regional dynamics in the Persian Gulf
Negotiating Securitised Aid in the Fragile State of Afghanistan
March 11, 2021
Safiullah Taye, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University
From 2002 to 2018, nearly USD 90 billion of aid had been pledged by over three scores of countries and international organisations for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Despite the noticeable progresses achieved during this time, Afghanistan’s security and economic indexes remain amongst the lowest in the world. Whilst foreign assistance continues to flow into the country, donors and the Afghan government have also been loggerheaded over disbursement modalities, conditionalities, and transparency issues.
February 4, 2021
Alia Ibrahim (Daraj Media), Asma Khalifa(Tamazight Women’s Movement) and Lama Fakih (Human Rights Watch – TBC)
Between Rebellion and Revolution: 10 years after the Middle East Uprisings
Governmental Violence and the Formation of Political Subjectivities in Syria
November 26, 2020
Professor Salwa Ismail (SOAS)
Drawing on Professor Ismail’s book The Rule of Violence (CUP 2018), this talk will focus on violence as a modality of government under the Asad regime in Syria (1970 to present). Long before the 2011 Uprising, governing through violence in Syria took spectacular forms as exemplified by the detention camp and the massacre.
November 4, 2020
Dareen Khalifa (International Crisis Group), Jasmine Gani (University of St Andrews), Christopher Phillips (Queen Mary University of London) and Rime Allaf (Middle East Institute)
Policy Dialogue IV: Proxy dynamics and peace in Syria
Policy Dialogue III: Proxy dynamics and peace in Syria
October 15, 2020
Noha Alkamcha (Syrian development consultant), Nick Grinstead (Middle East Institute), Malik al-Abdeh (conflict resolution practitioner) and Bente Scheller (Heinrich Boell Foundation)
September 30, 2020
Mr Rahmatullah Nabil (Afghan politician), Mr Shoaib Rahim (Senior advisor to the Minister of Peace in Afghanistan), Mr. Shakti Sinha (MS University) and Ambassador Rakesh Sood (Observer Research Foundation)
Policy Dialogue II: Proxy dynamics and peace in Afghanistan
Proxy War Research: Progress, Pitfalls and Promises
September 17, 2020
Dr Vladimir Rauta (University of Reading)
Proxy wars research has been growing exponentially over the last decade in reference to the phenomenon’s empirical spread. From the Middle East to the Horn of Africa, and overlapping with a range of conflict scenarios such as great power competition and the ‘by-with-through’ COIN paradigm, proxy wars are ‘all the rage’.
September 10, 2020
Professor Rifaat Hussain (National University of Sciences and Technology), Senator Sehar Kamran (Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies), General (retired) Naeem Khalid Lodhi and Dimitri Trenin (Carnegie Moscow Centre)
Policy Dialogue I: Proxy dynamics and peace in Afghanistan
The Proxy Wars For and Against ISIS
September 3, 2020
Professor Andrew Mumford (University of Nottingham)
The mantra of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ is the cornerstone of strategic planning for the proxy war against both the regime of Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. In this webinar, Andrew will offer a conceptual explanation of proxy warfare, evaluate the rise of ISIS and the opportunities for proxy war that it created, and then assess the ways in which proxy war has manifest itself on top of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq between 2011 and 2016.
August 19, 2020
Professor Michelle Pace (Roskilde Universit) and Professor Haim Yacobi (UCL)
The Middle East Studies Forum invites you to the webinar ‘Settler Colonialism (without Settlers) & Slow Violence in the Gaza Strip’ presented by Professor Michelle Pace from Roskilde University, Denmark and Professor Haim Yacobi from University College, London.
Settler Colonialism (without Settlers) & Slow Violence in the Gaza Strip
Polarized & Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine
July 16, 2020
Assistant Professor Dana el-Kurd (Doha Institute of Graduate Studies)
The Middle East Studies Forum invites you to the webinar ‘Polarized & Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine’ presented by Assistant Professor Dana El Kurd from the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies.
June 18, 2020
Dr Jonathan Fulton (Zayed University)
The Middle East Studies Forum invite you to the webinar ‘China between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies’ presented by Dr. Jonathan Fulton from Zayed University, UAE.
China between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies
Mobilizing Salafism against Jihadism
May 13, 2020
Dr Raihan Ismail (Australian National University)
The Middle East Studies Forum invite you to the upcoming webinar ‘Mobilizing Salafism against Jihadism‘ presented by Dr Raihan Ismail (Australian National University).
April 23, 2020
Professor Abdullah Baabood (National University of Singapore)
The Middle East Studies Forum invite you to the webinar ‘COVID-19 and Regional Relations’ presented by Professor Abdullah Baabood from the National University of Singapore.
COVID-19 & Regional Relations
The voice of women is a revolution: Women in the Middle East’s uprisings
March 11, 2020
Dr Yasmin Chilmeran, Dr Hadeel Abdelhameed, Dr Aslihan McCarthy, Scheherazade Bloul and Azadeh Davachi
February 24, 2020
Dr Kamilia Al-Eriani (University of Melbourne)
What drives the Saudi intervention in Yemen?
Prospects of a Peace Process in Afghanistan & Book Launch
February 3, 2020
Professor William Maley (ANU), Dr Timor Sharan (ANU) and Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi (Deakin University)

Events in previous years

28 November 2019
Book launch: Armenian Christians in Iran

Dr James Barry (Deakin University)

01 November 2019
The Islamic Republic of Iran at 40


31 October 2019
Book launch: The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria

Dr Dara Conduit (Deakin University)

16 October 2019
Not Dead but Sleeping, the Diverse Ramifications of Ceasefires in Civil Wars: Evidence from Syria

Marika Sosnowski (University of Melbourne)

09 September 2019
The Hobbesian Social Contract and the Middle East

Maher Mughrabi (The Age)

25 June 2019
Political Leaders and Turkey's failure to consolidate democracy

Dr Tezcan Gümüş (University of Melbourne)

17 April 2019
Foreign States and Civil War

Mohsen Solhdoost (University of Queensland)

06 April 2019
Regional impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Dr Zahid Ahmed (Deakin), Muhammad Amir Rana (PIPS), Moeen Cheema (ANU), Hamza Orakzai (ANU) and Sonia Qadir (UNSW)

29 October 2018
Trump and the Middle East

Biennial conference

12 July 2018
Christians in the Middle East and Beyond: Identity, Representation and Security

Dr Fiona McCallum (University of St Andrews)

14 June 2018
The Cost of the Syrian Conflict: The economics of war and reconstruction

Zaki Mehchy (Syrian Centre for Policy Research)

01 June 2018
Accountability for Syria? The Role of International Criminal Justice During and After the Conflict

Dr Michelle Burgis-Kasthala (ANU)

23 May 2018
The Demise of the Iran Nuclear Deal?

Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr James Barry and Dr Dara Conduit

27 November 2017
Palestine and the West


14 November 2017
Responsibility sharing and large refugee movements: Impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis

Associate Professor Ben Macqueen (Monash University)

27 September 2017
Picturing Pasargadae: Visual Representation and Ambiguities of Heritage in Iran

Dr Ali Mozaffari (Deakin University)

16 August 2017
Pakistan’s relations with the Arab states and Iran

Dr M. Zafar Iqbal Cheema (Strategic Vision Institute)

11 July 2017
Turkey: Research in a precarious political environment

Iain MacGillivray (University of Melbourne) and Tezcan Gumus (Deakin University)

21 June 2017
After ISIS: What Future for Iraq?

Dr Farah Al-Siraj, MP

23 May 2017
Iran votes 2017

Dr Rebecca Barlow (Deakin University), Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh, Dr James Barry and Ms Azadeh Davachi

15 May 2017
Can President Rouhani Win Re-election?

Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh (Deakin University)

03 May 2017
Turkish referendum 2017: Where to now?

Dr David Tittensor (Deakin University), Professor Ihsan Yilmaz (Deakin University), Dr Ozlem Susler (La Trobe University) and Tezcan Gumus (Deakin University)

04 April 2017
States, Violence and the West: What al-Qa’ida means for Yemen

Dr Sarah Phillips (University of Sydney)

30 January 2017
The Securitisation of ‘non-traditional religious movements’ in Azerbaijan

Galib Bashirov (Florida International University)

02 November 2016
Future of the Middle East

Biennial conference

22 August 2016
What went wrong with the Arab Revolutions?

Dr Ibrahim Fraihat (Brookings Institution)

23 May 2016
Gulf Security and Regional Dynamics

Professor Abdullah Baabood (Qatar University)

02 May 2016
Is Winter Coming? The Future of Democracy in Turkey

Dr David Tittensor (Deakin University), William Gourlay (Deakin University) and Erdem Koç (La Trobe University)

12 March 2016
Human Rights Watch: Democracy in Tunisia

Dr Amna Guellali (Human Rights Watch)

22 February 2016
Overcoming sectarian faultlines after the Arab Uprisings: Sources, Symptoms and Solutions

Dr Mark Farha (Georgetown University)