It’s in my DNA

Hello Folks!

As a Palestinian, I always imagined that my ancestral history was coloured with the many territorial conquests of what is often defined as the Middle East. I’ve always wanted to do one of those DNA tests that tell you where you’re “really from.” But those things can be quite pricey and anyone who knows me knows that I’m living on a pinch these days. Now, somehow, don’t ask me how because I don’t remember, I found out about this free study called Genes for Good that is being done through the University of Michigan. I filled out a couple of surveys and questionnaires about myself and they sent me a spit kit. It was kind of icky, but I got through the spit kit experience and mailed my sample in. Being a free test and all, they did warn me that it would take months to get my results back. There are tons of participants, so it only makes sense. You can’t argue with free, am I right? This week, I finally got my results. The results are a tad general and I’d be interested to get some more specific results, but I’m satisfied and intrigued to learn more about my history.

Here I am. This is me:

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I did have the option to request the raw data, which I did. I received it, and while they did give me some instructions on how to read it, I can’t seem to make sense of it. Maybe I can learn more about myself through this raw data, but I could use some help trying to break it down. Any suggestion? Drop me a line at heba@dartmouth.edu if you have any grand ideas or some user-friendly data software suggestions.

Or just get in touch because now that you know a little about me, it’d be cool to learn a little about you too.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

 

Because apparently, you can’t have too many versions of a CV

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Messing About with the Many #Canva #Resume #Template

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PhD Proposal Summary #cliffnotes #overview #nothappeninganytimesoon

Below is a summary of one of the many PhD proposals I submitted to various universities internationally. While I was able to get into more than 15 very competitive unis, I couldn’t secure even the slightest amount of funding from any of them. It’s been three years now and I don’t seem to be any closer to getting that funding. I have contemplated switching my topic and applying again, but I may have to hold off on it since my topic being accepted hasn’t been of issue, rather funding has been my main issue. However, enough time has passed that parts of my research are irrelevant and other parts are no longer original since it has been encompassed in other researcher’s findings. The more time that goes by, the less my specific lens in regards to the topic is original or new. And therein lies the dilemma.

Anyways, here is a snapshot of one of my proposals. My other proposals are variations of the same topic. As you may know, every university has different proposal requirements. Some want a 15 page proposal, some want a 5 page proposal. Others want a full literature review, while others look down on what they deem “name dropping.” Here is just one of the many variations of proposals I have saved.

Enjoy…

Project Overview

Research Title: Transnational Contemporary Palestinian Music: Transnational Palestinian Identity Formation, Palestinian Experience and its Role in Israeli Affairs

Palestinian contemporary music, particularly Palestinian hip-hop, which is very popular amongst Palestinian youth, acts as a medium for the Palestinian experience. Palestinian musicians voice their experiences and identity through their lyrics and this music acts as a medium to explore transnational Palestinian identity formation in the US and UK, seeing as this music is consumed globally by the Palestinian diaspora. [1] This research intends to study the role of Palestinian contemporary music in formulating a transnational Palestinian identity, how this transnational identity creates a new vision of Palestinian citizenship or activism and how this transnational identity and Palestinian citizenship influences Israel’s international relations.

Project Scope

The case study for this research is contemporary Palestinian music and its role in identity expression and formation, drawing a parallel between Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities concept that print capitalism brought the rise of the nationalism,[2] in turn globalisation’s role in transnational music distribution brought the rise of a transnational Palestinian identity. This research will assess in detail how this identity formed and what role this identity plays in their political activism concerning Israeli domestic and foreign relations. This will be achieved by researching the Palestinian community’s interactions with music and political opportunity structures in their home country’s, as well as Israel.

The members of DAM, a prominent Arab hip-hop group, come from Al-Lid, Israel, although they very strongly identify themselves as Palestinian in their lyrics. DAMs closing lyrics to their song, Stranger in My Country, illustrate their multi-layered identity. And our Arabian roots are still strong. But still our Arabian brothers are calling us renegades. No. We never sold our country. The occupation has written our destiny. Which is, that the whole world till today is treating us as Israelis. And Israel till tomorrow will treat us as Palestinians. I’m a stranger in my own country.” [3]

The lyrics of DAMs, Stranger in my Country, express feelings felt by Palestinian citizens of Israel. DAMs lyrics act as a form of communication to Palestinians living in other regions, serving as a form of news to these regions that otherwise may be unaware of what Palestinians in Israel experience. This leaves the Palestinian listeners with their own experiences that form their identity, in addition to the connection they have formed with other Palestinian experiences that influence their experience hereon in, and take part in shaping their identity. This hybrid identity then influences the state of Palestinian citizenship, affecting actions taken by Palestinians, political affiliations and civic duties, creating a transnational Palestinian citizenship.

Project Empirical and Methodological Overview

This project will assess why and how the Palestinian diaspora interacts with contemporary Palestinian music, embracing Palestinian identity or eschewing the community they live in as a form of political participation by using a postmodernist theory of methodology,[4] linking the use of music with political activism amongst Palestinians in the diaspora.[5] It will focus on organisational development of politically active groups on the macro, meso and micro levels, as well as diaspora Palestinian political inspirations found in Palestinian contemporary music. This project will garner empirical data through interviews with Palestinian music listeners and political activists, in order to build a comprehensive overview of how Palestinian lyrics and music can influence its listeners to form a transnational community that acts in benefit of a nation it does not live in. I also plan to translate and analyze Palestinian song lyrics and compare these lyrics to news reports that report socio-political circumstances of Palestinians. Attending conferences or concerts in which Palestinian musicians perform will give me better access to interview Palestinian contemporary music listeners. These interviews plan to get a better understanding of how Palestinians define their experiences, what constitutes a Palestinian identity, how connected they are to Palestinians in different regions, how they view Palestinian hip-hop and contemporary Palestinian music, as well as get a better idea of their political influences.

From the data collected, I will then seek to build a wider theoretical framework to analyse the Palestinian diaspora’s formulation of identity, how this identity is measured and the influence this identity has on Israeli foreign and domestic decision making. This research will build on the work of Usama Kahf, who researched Palestinian hip-hop and identity in Israel and its relation to the Palestinian political struggle;[6] Andy Bennett’s research that explored youth consumption of music and how this music is used to define the self;[7] Amal Jamal, who researched media’s use in cultural resistance, as well as Israeli media policies towards Palestinians;[8] and Bakari Kitwana’s research on rap music’s role in cultural movement and political power.[9]

A challenge arises as Palestinian hip-hop and other forms of contemporary Palestinian music is male dominatedHow does this dynamic play into identity formation amongst Palestinian women and does it have any impact on the political activism of Palestinian men or women?

Timeline

This research is expected to take up to three years as follows:

  • September 2015 January 2016Preliminary research, survey of literature and interpretive models.
  • February 2016 December 2016 Fieldwork, interviews and data collection.
  • January 2017 March 2017 Collate data and assess an interpretive model.
  • April 2017 September 2017 Development and presentation of preliminary findings and analysis.
  • October 2017 January 2018 First draft.
  • February 2018 October 2018 Final write up.

Project Aims and Objectives

This study will act as a vehicle case study for critiquing current research approaches to identity formation through music and its influence on international relations. It will be designed to challenge the paradigm that views transnational musical identity formation as insignificant in the face of international relations. This research is important because it fills existing empirical and theoretical gaps. Empirically, there is very little research on contemporary music’s role on the formulation of a transnational identity that leads to a politically active community that is capable of enacting change on an international level. There is also limited understanding of the Palestinian diaspora’s political aspirations and even less understanding of Israel’s interaction with Palestinian musical messages. This research looks to conduct thorough empirical research, particularly through interviews, observational data collection, quantitative monitoring of Palestinian music consumption amongst the diaspora. It will also involve an in depth analysis of contemporary Palestinian music’s lyrics, the messages intended in the music, as well as researching the connection between Israeli political relations and music.

Theoretically, this research will explore the limitations set forth by not incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of transnational musical identity’s influence on international relations and political activism. This research will utilise data to create an extended postmodernist framework to assess motivations for political activism in the diaspora and how much of that political activism is due to their Palestinian identity that was formed in part by Palestinian contemporary music.

Reasons for the Research

Recent social-political movements, such as the divestment campaigns led by Palestinian activists in the diaspora, and these movements links to transnational Palestinian identity, demonstrates the needs to understand the influence of transnational Palestinian music on this community. This research serves the purpose of better defining the Palestinian identity and what is means to be Palestinian,[10] as well as how contemporary Palestinian music has influenced this process. Once a better understanding of Palestinian identity is established, a better understanding of their experiences, their needs, desires, hopes and political aspirations as a collective can be recognised. As Palestinian youth become more influential in their societies, their shared transnational experiences and identity will shed insight onto the socio-political future of Palestinians and Israelis.    

Works Cited

1. P. Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, (Columbia University Press, 1996 ).

2. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

3. DAM. Stranger in My Own Country. 2007. MP3.

4. Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy (eds.), Hybrid Identities,  (Haymarket Books 2009), 267.

5. Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber, Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects , (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

6. Kahf, Usama. “Arabic Hip-Hop: Claims of Authenticity and Identity of a New Genre.”That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. By Murray Forman and Mark Anthony. Neal. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

7. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

8. Jamal, Amal. The Arab Public Sphere in Israel: Media Space and Cultural Resistance. P. 23-24, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2009. Print.

9. Kitwana, Bakari. That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. Ed. Mark Anthony. Neal and Murray Forman. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

10. Darcy Zabel, Arabs in the Americas: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Arab Diaspora, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006), 35-39.

What do you know?

List 10 weird facts about yourself and ask your readers to do the same thing.

  1. I like really bad movies. I like to watch super cliche movies- I think they are hilarious.
  2. I’ve had more jobs that I can count. I’m just looking for my place in this world.
  3. I would rather be an animal than a human. Like a cat, an elephant, dolphin, ape, camel, donkey.
  4. I watch more TV and movies than anyone ever should.
  5. I’m a writer, but I fear rejection so much that I’m often afraid to put what I have in my head on paper.
  6. I’m pretty observant. I notice things that I’m told most don’t notice.
  7. I like to wear dresses because I have a hard time finding jeans, pants/trousers that fit my hips, butt and thighs perfectly.
  8. I can never decide whether I want my hair long or short, straight or curly.
  9. I despise injustice, lies,  ignorance, bigots, racists, propaganda and people who believe ignorant and bigoted media.
  10. I have a fear of geese and swans. Ducks- I’m usually okay with, but they make me uneasy.

International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference on Cinema and Identity

CINE CRI ’15: II. International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference on Cinema and Identity

http://www.cinecriconference.org/

CINE CRI ’15: II. International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference will be held in Istanbul on JUNE 10 – 11, 2015 and organized by DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) and hosted by Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center as a part of the Istanbul Art Studies Days Spring 2015.

CINE CRI ’15 on CINEMA and IDENTITY

The CINE CRI ’15 Conference aims to explore the representation of identities in cinema. Artistic and documentary works that make problematic the concept of identity within its political, ideological and historical correlations are in the scope of this year’s conference. Besides, the lived experiences related to cinema and the industry, not necessarily represented in films, may be addressed.

Identity has been one of the most scrutinized concepts in academic circles in recent years. It has been the topic of debates in a variety of fields and disciplines of social sciences, humanities and arts. Cinema has not been opted out of identity matters as film-makers have produced considerable number of works that are relevant to different dimensions of identity. Regarding the concept is constructed within discourse, difference and representation processes, film is a convenient space to be explored as a medium that both reflects and contributes to the construction and reconstruction of multiple identities that constitute an individual, i.e. the spectator.

IASD ’15: Istanbul Art Studies Days:

Istanbul Art Studies Days (IASD ’15) will also include CONTEMPART ’15 / IV. Contemporary Arts Conference (June 8-9) and CONTEMPHOTO ’15 / II. Contemporary Photography Conference (June 9-10) at the same place. Several keynote lectures, artist’s talks and additional events will be organized during Istanbul Art Studies Days and a registration ticket for only one of the conferences will offer free entry to all of the sessions of the three conferences. Each conference focusing on different topics, identity issues has been decided as the common theme of the IASD ’15.

The full papers are going to be available online in DAKAM’s digital library and to be published in the proceedings book with an ISBN number before the conference. The book will be sent to be reviewed for inclusion in the “Thomson and Reuters Web of Science’s Conference”

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Professor David Martin-Jones from University of Glasgow and internationally recognised film director Yesim Ustaoglu (Identity and sense of belonging: Reflections on the cinema of Yesim Ustaoglu (from Journey to the Sun to Araf)) are going to be keynote speakers of the event.

AGENDA:

Deadline for submission of abstracts: March 27, 2015

Deadline for registration: May 1, 2015

Deadline for full papers submission: May 8, 2015

MAIN TRACK:

CINEMA and IDENTITY

– Nation, nation-state and diverse ethnicities

– Migration, transnational and/or accented cinema

– Religion and religious groups

– Gender, women, LGBT identities

– Family, familial bonds

– Class and struggle

– Isolated or neglected identities

– Identity, culture and politics

– Local and global Identity

– Multiculturalism

CINEMA and IDEOLOGY

– Ideology of a Film

– Public Life, society and cinema

– Film, Public Memory and Daily Life

– Art Movements

– Technology and Materials

– Communication Tools, Urban Space and Cinema

– Cinema from Psychological, Sociological and Psychiatrical Perspective

– Literature, screenplay and cinema

– Film Musics

ARTS and SOCIETY

– Director, Actor, screenwriter, art director, costume designer, sound designer: Artist as a Subject

– Characters, People and Identity

– Politics of Body in Space

– Social Stratification in Cinema as Gender, Sexuality, Class, Race, Ethnicity and Age

– Race and Affects of Racism

– Women, Art and Society

OTHER TRACKS:

CINEMA and CITY

CINEMA and POLITICS

NATIONAL CINEMAS, HOLLYWOOD and ART-HOUSE CINEMA

REPETITION, PROGRESS and REFERENCE IN THE HISTORY OF FILM

TECHNIQUE and PRODUCTION

DOCUMENTARIES

VENUE

The conference will be held at Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center (NHKM – www.nazimhikmetkulturmerkezi.org) one of the most popular cultural centers in Istanbul.

Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center hosts several art and academic events in different disciplines every month. NHKM, named after one of the legendary modern Turkish poets – Nazim Hikmet, has been established in 1996 and located in Kadikoy. Kadikoy is a large and cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, facing the historic city centre on the other side of the Bosporus. With its numerous bars, cinemas and bookshops, Kadikoy can be regarded as the cultural centre of the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

The scientific committee consists of significant scholars, Asst. Prof. Dr. Levent Yilmazok – Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Prof. Julian Reid – University of Lapland, Asst. Prof. Ahmet Gurata – Bilkent University, Asst.Prof. Gal Kirn – Berlin Humboldt University, Asst. Prof. Tumay Arslan – Ankara University, Senior Lect. Andreas Treske – Izmir University of Economics, Asst. Prof. Andrea Meuzelaar – University of Utrecht

http://www.contemphotoconference.org/p/committees.html

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION

You can submit your abstract by entering the online registration system EASYCHAIR at

https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=cinecri15

You will receive a reply to your proposal within three weeks following a double-blind review process.