2015 lawyer posterThe Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies is excited to announce our 2015 Black History Month event, “The U.S. Civil Rights Movement in Music, Film, Literature, and in the Streets.”

For more information, please see:

As the event draws near we will continue to provide more information about the speakers, performers, and research being presented.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

2014 Final Event Schedule

National University’s Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies

Department of Social Sciences Colloquium

Event:     “Oil Poor, Oil Rich: Problems of Social Transformations in Middle East”
Date:       Saturday, March 15, 2014
Time:      9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Place:     Spectrum Campus
9388 Lightwave Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123-1426

  • Talks will take place in room 150 (The Leadership Room).
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments as well as lunch will be provided.
  • Lunch will be in Room 114.
  • The book signing will be in the lobby.

Thank you all in advance for your support for the Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies at National University.

Event Schedule

Morning Session Gender in the Middle East
9:30 a.m. Coffee
10:00 a.m. Welcome: Dr. Carol Richardson, Dean of the College of Letters and SciencesIntroductions: Dr. Lorna Zukas, Professor, Sociology and Global Studies, National University
10:15-11:00 a.m. Dr. Valentine Moghadam, Director of the International Affairs Program and Professor of Sociology, Northeastern University: “Feminisms and Democratic Transitions: the Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective”


11:00-11:45 a.m. Dr. Rae Blumberg, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia: “Patriarchy, Petroleum, and the Middle East vs. the ‘Islamic Surprise’”
11:45 a.m.-

12:15 p.m.

Comments and Questions: Dr. Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Professor and Chair, Department of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University
12:15 -1:30 p.m. Lunch
Afternoon Session Journalistic Perspectives of the Everyday – Work, War, and Living
1:30 p.m. Introductions: Dr. Duncan Campbell, Assistant Professor, History, National University
1:45-2:30 p.m. Mr. Raymond Barnett, Journalist and author of Dubai Dreams: Inside the Kingdom of Bling
2:30-3:15 p.m. Mr. Zuhair al-Jezairy, Journalist and author of The Devil You Don’t Know: Going Back to Iraq
3:15-3:45 p.m. Comments and Questions: Dr. Shak Hanish, Associate Professor, Political Science, National University
3:45-4:30 p.m. Refreshments and Book Signing

This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation, Department of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University, Groundwork Books, and Trader Joe’s.

Feminisms and Democratic Transitions: The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective

Valentine M. Moghadam
Professor of Sociology and Director, International Affairs Program
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115 USA

Is democracy always and everywhere good for women? Where is the Arab Spring headed, and what are the prospects for a women-friendly democratic consolidation?

Women in the Middle East and North Africa have long experienced gender inequalities in the domains of family, employment, and political participation, and women’s rights groups have focused their energies on ending such inequalities.  The collapse of authoritarian governments in the wake of the Arab Spring initially raised hopes of the emergence of new democracies premised on robust conceptions of citizen rights, including those of women. The new Islamic parties, it was argued by many scholars, had shed their old militancy and dogmatism and would participate constructively in the forging of new polities.  Others were more skeptical of the willingness of Islamist parties to share power and adhere to norms and practices of social inclusion, to address pressing economic issues, and to accede to women’s demands for participation and rights.  In addition, questions could be raised not only about the capacity of Arab countries to consolidate democracy but about the kind of democracy that would emerge.  Three years on, developments have been rocky and uneven. As of January 2014, Egypt remains polarized and suffers from violent clashes, while Tunisia has overcome the difficulties of 2012-13 to finalize a secular constitution that codifies women’s rights.

The presentation will survey experiences of “third wave” pro-democracy movements and democratic transitions in terms of their alignment with feminist values and goals. It will then focus on Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco – countries that initially had relatively nonviolent protests for democracy and change – to examine similarities and differences across the three cases and offer a framework for a model of democracy inclusive of women’s full citizenship and gender equality.

Dr. Rae Lesser Blumberg William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology University of Virginia, Department of Sociology to speak at National University

Dr. Rae Lesser Blumberg, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia.
She carried out development-related work in 44 countries worldwide, in virtually every sector of development (e.g., research on microfinance in 16 countries; on conflict/post-conflict in 12 countries). She links research on a wide array of development topics to her two gender theories, one a general theory of gender stratification and the other a gender and development theory. Her key areas of research are gender theory, gender and stratification, and women’s empowerment. Her publications include Stratification: Socioeconomic and Sexual Inequality (Wm. C. Brown, 1978); “A General Theory of Gender Stratification” (Sociological Theory 1984); and Gender, Family, and Economy: The Triple Overlap (Sage 1991). “Making the Case for the Gender Variable: Women and the Wealth and Well-being of Nations” (U.S.A.I.D. 1989), EnGENDERing Wealth and Well-being: Empowerment for Global Change, edited by Blumberg, Cathy Rakowski, Irene Tinker and Michael Monteon, (Westview, 1995), Complex Ethnic Households in America, edited by Blumberg, Laurel Schwede and Anna Y. Chan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), and two forthcoming books, The Queen Midas Chronicles, by Blumberg (Paradigm), and Development in Crisis, edited by Blumberg and Sam Cohn (Routledge). She is the author of over 100 publications.