Highlights of the Social Sciences Ph.D. Program activities
The Program recently hosted three lecturers from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. These visits, which fall under the academic cooperation agreement signed between Jawaharlal Nehru University and Birzeit University, were generously funded by a grant from the Indian government.
The visiting lecturers delivered lectures in ongoing courses in the program this past October and November, in addition to giving public lectures to the BZU community.
These visits come on the heels of a successful study tour in August by a number of the Program’s students, as well as l students from master’s programs at Birzeit, to Jawaharlal Nehru University, which is one of the leading universities in India in the social sciences.
The Program also hosted Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, Samera Esmeir, in one of the Program’s courses. Esmeir delivered four lectures in the course during her stay. Professors Helga Baumgarten and Ali Jarbawi also lectured in the same course and presented different analytical frameworks which helped to enrich the course material.
Ph.D. Dissertation Research Forum:
The Program launched the Ph.D. Dissertation Research Forum, which had its first meeting on December 11, 2017. The Forum brings togher Ph.D. students, their supervisors, and scholars from the University and beyond. The Forum began with discussing dissertation proposals, and will move on to discussing theoretical and methodological issues during the research and writing phases. The meetings will be held once a month; the first of these saw Sana’ Ghazal present her dissertation proposal entitled “The Urbanization of Nablus City: Land Annexation and its Social-Economic Effects.”
The First International Graduate Student Conference in the Social Sciences:
Preparations are underway to hold the First International Graduate Student Conference in the Social Sciences on the University campus on May 9-10, 2018. The conference will be preceded by a workshop in theory and method for Ph.D. students from around the world. The Scientific Committee of the Conference evaluated 74 paper abstracts from Ph.D. students and junior academics from various countries, such as India, Nigeria, Brazil, the UK, and the United States. The papers accepted for the conference revolve around the themeTowards Anti-Hegemonic Knowledge Paradigms: Space, Place, Mobility and Power”. The Program will also cover travel and accommodation for a number of international Ph.D. students.
Students Participate in Summer Schools, Conferences, and Workshops:
Two of the Program’s students, Basil Rayyan and Salim Abu Thaher, participated in academic activities abroad last summer. Rayyan took part in a summer seminar organized by the Surveillance Studies Center at Queen’s University in Canada. Abu Thaher took part in a conference at Al Akhawayn University, in Morocco, as well as a workshop in Beirut on data analysis in the social sciences, held by the Arab Council for the Social Sciences in cooperation with the University of North Carolina.
Five students from the Program are actively participating in regular workshops organized by the “Urban Transformations in the Arab Levant” project, based in the Geography Department at the University as part of a grant from the Norwegian agency (NORHED, in cooperation with a number of academics from Norwegian universities. The last activity that the Ph.D. students partook in during the project was a workshop held last October, which focused on developing dissertation proposals. It should be noted that the project funds the fellowships of five of the Ph.D. students in the program.