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2019 MESA, New Orleans (November 14-17)

Special Session: Politics and Prospects for Peace and Reconstruction in Yemen.

Organized by Stacey Philbrick Yadav,Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Participants: Jillian Schwedler, Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Salwa Dammaj, Danny Postel, Waleed Mahdi, Adam Hanieh

From al-Hadi ila al-Haqq to Husayn al-Huthi: The Zaydi Phenomenon in Yemen

--- "Making an Imam: The Rebellion of Yahya b. ‘Abd Allah in Zaydi Historiography"
 Najam Haider, Barnard College

--- "Rasulid Sultans and Zaydi Imams: War (Mostly) and Peace (a Little) in Yemen during the 13th-15th centuries"
Daniel Martin Varisco, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

--- "The Ahl al-Bayt’s Return to Power: The Legitimation of Religious Rule in the Speeches of Husayn al-Huthi in the Context of the Current Crisis" in Yemen
Alexander Weissenburger, Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

--- Discussant: Brinkley Messick, Columbia University

2018 MESA, San Antonio (November)

Anthropology in War-Torn Yemen: Challenges, Dilemmas, and Alternative Methodologies.
Organizers: Susanne Dahlgren and Marina de Regt
Chair: Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Hobart & William Smith Colleges.

--- "Finding Ways to Work on Yemen: A Plea for Engaged Scholarship"

Marina de Regt, Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam

--- "Securitized Yemen: Studying a Popular Revolution in the Shadow of War, Drones and Terrorism"

Susanne Dahlgren, U of Tampere/National U of Singapore

--- "Fieldwork in a Yemeni “Village” Displaced and Constituted by War"

Nathalie Peutz, NYU-Abu Dhabi

• The Indian Ocean without Boundaries: A Historical Perspective. Organizer: Daniel Martin Varisco
Chair: Roxani Margariti, MESAS Department, Emory
--- "The Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean before 1500: Evidence and Interpretive Challenges"

Craig Perry, U of Cincinnati

--- "Local Knowledge in Pre-Colonial Maritime Interactions"

Andre Gingrich, Austrian Academy of Sciences

--- "Managing Monsoons: Mamluk-Era Voyaging East"

Marina Tolmacheva, Washington State U

--- "Sailing with and against the Winds: Navigation in the Red Sea Indian Ocean Network in the Ayyubid, Rasulid and Mamluk Eras"

Daniel Martin Varisco, American Institute for Yemeni Studies

2017 MESA, Washington D.C. (November)

• Updating the Yemen Crisis.

Participants include:

--- Nadwa Aldawsari  ((Project on Middle East Democracy)

--- H.E. Amat al-Alim Alsoswa  (Former Minister of Human Rights, Yemen)

--- Sheila Carapico  (University of Richmond)

--- Walid Mahdi (University of Oklahoma)

--- Daniel Martin Varisco (President, AIYS)

• The South in the Yemeni Conflict

Organizer: Charles Schmitz

--- “Regionalism and Nationalism in South Yemen”
Elisabeth Kendall, Oxford University

“What Does Eastern Yemen Want and What Is It Doing About It? The Voice of al-Mahra”
Thanos Petouris, Independent Scholar)

---“Southern Yemen after the Saudi Intervention: Political and Social Change”
Charles P. Schmitz, Towson University)

--- “Salafism in the South”

--- Noel Brehony,  Menas Associates

2016 MESA, Boston (November 14-17)

The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Yemen and Current Preservation Efforts

Organizer: Daniel Mahoney
Participants: McGuire Gibson, David B. Hollenberg, Krista Lewis, Lamya Khalidi

• Yemen: From Zaydi Revivalism to Huthi Expansionism
Organizer: Marieke Brandt
Chair: Daniel Martin Varisco
--- "The Curriculum and Channels of Knowledge for Contemporary Zaydi ‘Ulama’ in the Yemeni Highlands."

David B. Hollenberg

--- "Itineraries of expansion: The Sa‘dah Wars"

Marieke Brandt

--- "Antiauthoritarianism, Outreach and Misdirection: Unpacking the Houthis’ March to Sana’a"

Peter Salisbury

--- "Strategic Implications of Huthi Expansionism, Perpetual Insecurity and Internal War in Yemen"

Adam Seitz

2015 MESA, Denver (November)

• Turmoil and Tolerance: Unpacking the Current Crisis in Yemen

--- "Yemen and the Culture of Tolerance"

Mohammed Sharafuddin

--- "Mediating Social Hierarchies in Yemen’s Highlands" Najwa Adra

--- "Huthis and Tribes: Prospects for Tribalism in Huthi-Controlled Areas"

Marieke Brandt

--- "U.S. Drones–Houthi Responses: A Critical Reading of Ansarullah’s Resistance Politics in Yemen"

Waleed Mahdi


--- "A New Era for Language Diversity in Yemen: Mahri and Socotri in the new Yemeni Constitution"

Sam Liebhaber

• What’s Happening In Yemen

Talk by H.E. Ambassador Amat al-Alim Alsoswa on the current situation in Yemen and discussion by Dan Varisco and Sheila Carapico.


Lamya Khalidi, Krista Lewis and Dan Mahoney at MESA 2016


Najam Haider speaking about his research on Zaydis in Yemen. To the right is David Hollenberg and Marieke Brandt (MESA, 2016).


David Hollenberg speaking about a recent collection of Zaydi biographical texts at MESA 2016.


AIYS Panel Members 2015 in Denver:
left to right: Mohammed Sharafuddin, Sam Liebhaber, Marieke Brandt, Najwa Adra, Daniel Martin Varisco, Waleed F. Mahdi


H. E. Ambassador Amat al-Alim Alsoswa, Sheila Carapico and Dan Varisco at MESA 2015 in Denver.


H.E. Ambassador Amat al-Alim Alsoswa at MESA Denver in 2015.

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