The Dean’s Global Forum at Northwestern University in Qatar is a series of lectures that features eminent leaders from academe, the media, the arts, and public affairs. In conversations with Dean and CEO Marwan M. Kraidy, distinguished speakers address enduring issues and pressing global matters and share insights from their career trajectory and life experiences.

Past Speakers

Seteney Shami

Seteney Shami is founding Director-General of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences since 2012. She is an anthropologist from Jordan and obtained her BA from the American University of Beirut and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. After establishing the first graduate department of anthropology at Yarmouk University, Jordan, she moved in 1996 to the regional office of the Population Council in Cairo as director of the Middle East Awards in Population and the Social Sciences (MEAwards). In July 1999, she joined the Social Science Research Council in New York as program director for the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia (until 2010) and InterAsia. She has been a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Chicago, Stockholm University, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (Uppsala). Her fieldwork has focused on Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and the North Caucasus. Her research interests center on issues of ethnicity and nationalism in the context of globalization, urban politics and state- building strategies, and population displacement and transnational mobility. Recent publications include “South and North, East and West: Knowledge Circulations and Connections in a Disordered World” In Thinking the Rethinking of the World (eds: Kai Kresse and Abdoulaye Sounaye, De Gruyter 2022); the co-authored book (with Mitchell Stevens and Cynthia Miller- Idriss Seeing the World: How U.S. Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era (Princeton University Press 2018) and the edited volumes Middle East Studies for the New Millennium: Infrastructures of Knowledge (co-edited with Cynthia Miller-Idriss, NYU Press 2016); Publics, Politics and Participation: Locating the Public Sphere in the Middle East and North Africa (SSRC Books, 2009).

Christoph Lindner

Christoph Lindner is Professor of Urban Studies and Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London, where he writes about cities, visual culture, and social-spatial inequality. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including Imagining New York City (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the edited volumes Aesthetics of Gentrification (Amsterdam University Press, 2021), Deconstructing the High Line (Rutgers University Press, 2017), Global Garbage (Routledge, 2016), and Cities Interrupted (Bloomsbury, 2016).

 Gita Manaktala

Gita Manaktala is editorial director of the MIT Press, a publisher of scholarship at the intersection of the arts, sciences, and technology. Known for their intellectual daring and distinctive design, MIT Press books push the boundaries of knowledge in fields from architecture and contemporary art to the physical and life sciences, computing, economics, environmental studies, engineering, mathematics, linguistics, media studies, and STS. Gita’s own acquisitions are in the areas of information science and communication. Until 2009, she served as the press’s marketing director with responsibility for worldwide promotion and sales. She has served on the board of directors of the Association of American University Presses and co-chaired its first Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which led to a standing committee dedicated to Equity, Justice, and Inclusion, which she also co-chaired. She is a member of Beacon Press’s advisory board and is a regular speaker on topics in scholarly communication and publishing.

Ayman Mohyeldin

Ayman Mohyeldin is the host of the MSNBC prime time show “AYMAN.” He has become one of the most distinct and unique voices on cable news with his show’s clippings and social media posts generating millions of impressions, views, and interactions on all platforms. His weekly news program features global leaders, US politicians and officials, journalists and analysts on the most pressing US and international political, social, and cultural news items of the day. Most recently, he was involved in the network’s special coverage of the 2020 elections, the insurrection at the US Capitol, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In addition, Mohyeldin has field anchored during some of the networks biggest domestic and international news stories over the past decade including the coverage of massive social justice and racial equality protests across the United States, the immigration crisis in Central America, the wave of terrorist attacks in Europe, and the rise of global extremism.

Previously, Mohyeldin spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent covering the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. He has reported from dozens of countries during times of war, revolution, political turmoil, and natural disasters. His coverage of the Arab Spring was recognized and praised for its distinction around the world. As a foreign-based correspondent, Mohyeldin covered major conflicts including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iraq war, the Syrian Civil War, the Libyan war, sectarian strife in Lebanon, revolutionary protests in Ukraine, nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, and more. In the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq invasion, Mohyeldin was based in Baghdad where he reported on the daily struggles of ordinary Iraqis caught up in sectarian war and an anti-American insurgency. He was among the few journalists allowed to observe and report on the U.S. handover of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to an Iraqi judge during his very first court appearance. He also produced Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi’s exclusive interview on abandoning his country’s WMD program.

In addition to his broadcast experiences, Ayman has contributed to Vanity Fair where his yearlong investigation into Saudi Arabia’s secret operations to silence critics and dissidents received worldwide attention. He has also contributed to TIME magazine. Mohyeldin also developed and hosted the award-winning, chart-topping podcast ‘American Radical,’ which won the Deadline Club Award and the Society of Professional Journalism Award.

TIME Magazine named Mohyeldin as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011. He has received multiple international awards including a Peabody, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, Argentina’s Perfil International Press Freedom Award, the UK’s Cutting Edge Media Award, and the European Union’s Anna Lindh Foundation Award. He has been named as Journalist of the Year by both GQ and Esquire magazines.

In addition, Mohyeldin has lectured at universities and organizations around the world. He holds a BA and MA from American University in Washington, DC.

Prathama Banerjee

Prathama Banerjee is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. She works at the cusp of political philosophy, philosophies of time, conceptual history and aesthetic theory. Her books include The Politics of Time: 'primitives' and history-writing in a colonial society (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Elementary Aspects of the Political: histories from the Global South (Duke University Press, 2020).  She is currently interested in a longue duree history of political concepts in South Asia and in the futures of democracy in the contemporary digital cum viral age.

Amal Al Malki

Amal Mohammed Al-Malki is the founding dean of the College of Humanities and SocialSciences at Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Translation and Interpreting Institute, which she founded in 2011. She has taught courses in writing composition, postcolonial literature, theories of translation and Islamic feminism. She holds a Master’s Degree in English-Arabic applied linguistics and translation, and a PhD in comparative literature from the University of London-SOAS.

Al-Malki was recognized as QF Achiever in Qatar Foundation’s global campaign in 2011 and was the first Muslim to be invited as a keynote speaker at City University in New York after 9/11. She has lectured at Durham University, SOAS, and Maryland University among others. In 2018, Al-Malki was selected by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris as “Future personality for Gender Equality” from Qatar. Focusing on women’s rights and Arab identity, Al-Malki strives to help deepen international understanding of Qatar and its evolving place in the world.

Eve Troutt Powell

The inaugural speaker for the Dean’s Global Forum is Professor Eve Troutt Powell, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the United States.

An authority on colonialism and slavery in the Ottoman Empire and the Nile Valley, she teaches these topics and the history of the modern Middle East. As a cultural historian, she emphasizes the exploration of literature and film in her courses. She is the author of A Different Shade of Colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain and the Mastery of the Sudan (University of California, 2003) and the co-editor, with John Hunwick, of The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam (Princeton Series on the Middle East, Markus Wiener Press, 2002). Her most recent book is Tell This in My Memory: Stories of Enslavement in Egypt, Sudan and the Late Ottoman Empire (Stanford University Press, 2012). 

Troutt Powell received her B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, she taught at the University of Georgia. She has received fellowships from the American Research Center in Egypt and the Social Science Research Council and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 2003 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. 

Professor Troutt Powell is working on a book about the visual culture of slavery in the Middle East, which will explore the painting and photography about African and Circassian slavery in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Africana Studies and the president-elect of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).