The Carthage Seminars: Pluralism in Arab and Muslim Societies
Speaker Bios


Randa Aboubakr is a professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University, and founder and principal coordinator of Forum for the Study of Popular Culture (FSPC). Her research interests include English literature, Egyptian colloquial poetry, sub-Saharan African literature, comparative literature, cultural theory, and translation. Among her publications are The Conflict of Voices in the Poetry of Dennis Brutus and Mahmud Darwish (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004). Among her recent and other work is Spaces of Participation: Dynamics of Social and Political Change in the Arab World, co-edited with Sarah Jurkiewicz, Hicham Ait-Mansour, and Ulrike Freitag, The American University in Cairo Press, 2021, “Translation and the Struggle for Urban Symbolic Capital in Cairo,” in The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City, edited by Tong King Lee, Routledge, 2021, and “The Egyptian Colloquial Poet as Popular Intellectual: A Differentiated Manifestation of Commitment,” in Commitment and Beyond: Reflections on/of the Political in Arabic Literature Since the 1940’s, edited by Friederike Pannewick and Georges Khalil, Reichert Verlag, 2015. She has numerous published translations from and into Arabic and English, including a book of poetry from Arabic into English, Laila: The Honey of Solitude (an English translation from Arabic of a book by Egyptian poet Ahmad Bakhit), published by Zaweil Publishers, 1999, an Arabic translation of American novelist Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, published by Azminah Publishing House, 2006, an Arabic translation of Men in Charge: Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition, edited by Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Mulki al-Sharmani, and Jana Rumminger, published by The Women and Memory Forum, 2015, and Arabic translation of Tariq Ali’s Protocols of the Elders of Sodom, published by the Egyptian National Center for Translation, 2017.

She has been a visiting researcher at University of Texas, Austin, USA, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, University of Florence, Italy, and Zentrum Moderner Orient- Berlin, Germany. She has been a research fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin, Germany, and the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She has been guest professor at Freie Universitaet Berlin and the Jagiellonian University of Krakow. She has received the German Alexander von Humboldt’s Prize for Innovative Network Initiatives in 2013, and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and the Arab Fund for Art and Culture’s joint “Research on the Arts” award (with Mounira Soliman and Magda Hasabelnaby).



Sudanese designer Mayada Adil El-Sayed is a physician by profession, multidisciplinary artist and worked as a cultural diplomat and consultant, when she was responsible for cultural research on fashion of the red sea countries, preparing cultural workshops and representing Sudan in high profile meetings with Saudi Princes. Currently based in Paris, Adil is also a master candidate at SciencesPo Paris, Paris School of International Affairs, focusing on diplomacy and African studies. Adil founded her eponymous fashion label, Mayada Adil, to tell stories of her Nubian heritage and Sudanese culture. She is a self-proclaimed feminist, and participates in economic empowerment programmes for women living in vulnerable communities, and internationally displaced or refugee women in Africa and Europe. Her fashion brand is set up to run as a social enterprise and creates employment opportunities and vocational training for women in rural communities. Was recently chosen by the French Foreign ministry to represent the sudanese youth to present the role of art, creative economy and diaspora in supporting the sudanese revolution in Paris Conference for Sudan May 17th 2021, where she met with French President Emmanuel Macron and emphasis the important role of the youth in bringing democratic transition and uplifting the political and economic situation Sudan is facing. Adil represented Sudan in UNESCO Paris Africa Fashion Reception and was chosen to be the face of the European Film Festival, leading the movement to encourage the Sudanese women to celebrate their African beauty.



Mustafa Akyol is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, where he focuses on the intersection of public policy, Islam, and modernity. Since 2013, he has also been a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, covering politics and religion in the Muslim world. He is the author of Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance (2021), The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims (2017), and Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty (2011).



Atef Alshaer is a Senior lecturer in Arabic and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster. He was educated at Birzeit University in Palestine and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he obtained his PhD and taught for a number of years. He is the author of several publications in the fields of language, literature and politics, including Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World, 2016; The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (with Dina Matar and Lina Khatib), 2014; A Map of Absence: An Anthology of Palestinian Writing on the Nakba, 2019; and Love and Poetry in the Middle East: Literature from Antiquity to the Present (Forthcoming). Alshaer regularly contributes to academic and media outlets, including the BBC, Independent, Radio Monocle, al-Arabi al-Jadid and Aljazeera. He also writes and translates poetry.



Lisa Anderson is Special Lecturer and James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations Emerita at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Dr. Anderson served as President of the American University in Cairo for five years, from 2011-2016. Prior to her appointment as President, she was the University’s provost, a position she had assumed in 2008. She is Dean Emerita of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, where she led the school from 1997-2007. She was on the faculty of Columbia since 1986; prior to her appointment as Dean, she served as Chair of the Political Science Department and Director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute; she held the Shotwell Chair in the Political Science Department.  She has also taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and in the Government and Social Studies departments at Harvard University.

Dr. Anderson’s scholarly research has included work on state formation in the Middle East and North Africa; on regime change and democratization in developing countries; and on social science, academic research and public policy both in the United States and around the world. Among her books are The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (1986) and Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (2003); she has also published numerous scholarly articles.

Dr. Anderson is a trustee of the Aga Khan University, Tufts University and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is a member emerita of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, served as elected President of the Middle East Studies Association, and as Chair of the Board of the Social Science Research Council.  A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, she has received honorary degrees from Monmouth University and the American University in Paris.



Giancarlo Bosetti is the Executive Chair and one of the founders of Reset DOC and Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993. He was vice-editor-in-chief of the Italian daily L’Unità. He is the editor-in-chief of the web-magazine of He is currently contributing to the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching sociology of communication at University La Sapienza and University Roma Tre. He published La lezione di questo secolo, a book-interview with Karl Popper; Cattiva maestra televisione (ed.), writings by Karl Popper and others. Among his other books: Spin. Trucchi e Tele-imbrogli della Politica, Marsilio, 2007; Il fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009); La verità degli altri. La scoperta del pluralismo in dieci storie, Bollati Boringhieri, 2020.



Amel Boubekeur is the co-director and co-founder of ISSRA. She is a sociologist at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Her research focuses on the political scenes of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Euro-Arab relations and Islam in Europe.

She worked as a researcher at the European Council for Foreign Relations, the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the Brookings Doha Center and the Carnegie Middle East Center and the Center for European Policy Studies. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago and the Center for Maghreb Studies in Tunis.

Amel Boubekeur is the author of three books and around forty articles (including in peer-reviewed journals Contemporary Islam, Mediterranean Politics, The Journal of North African Studies, The Year of the Maghreb, Archives en Sciences Sociales des Religions, History of Religions, etc). She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Journal of Law, Society and Power (in Arabic) and she was previously a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Politics, Religion & Ideology.

She has been teaching at the Ecole Normale Superieure and the Stanford Center in Paris.

She has consulted for several international organizations including the UN and the IDRC. Her contributions are regularly published by the written press (Le Monde, Foreign Policy, etc.) and featured in international media (CNN, BBC, France 24, Al Jazeera, etc.).



Josh Carney is Assistant Professor the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut, where he teaches on media. His research focuses on media from Turkey, with recent projects on popular television, cinematic censorship, and the role of media screens in public demonstrations. He is currently working on a book exploring the cultural and political stakes that emerge when the national past is made subject of popular dramatic television. He received his PhD in Communication and Culture and an MA in Turkish Studies from Indiana University in 2015. His personal website (with links to some publications) is



Jocelyne Cesari holds the Chair of Religion and Politics and is director of research at the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; at Georgetown University she is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs teaches religion in the Department of Government. Since 2018 she has the T. J. Dermot Dunphy Visiting Professor of Religion, Violence, and Peacebuilding at Harvard Divinity School. President elect of the European Academy of Religion (2018-19), her work on religion and politics has garnered recognition and awards: 2020 Distinguished Scholar of the religion section of the International Studies Association, Distinguished Fellow of the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs and the Royal Society for Arts in the United Kingdom. She is a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University Institute for Religion, Politics and Society. Her new book, We God’s Nations: Political Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in the World of Nations” is forthcoming at Cambridge University Press. Her most recent publications are: What is Political Islam? (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2018 special mention of the religion section of the International Studies Association); Islam, Gender and Democracy in a Comparative Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2017), co-authored with Jose Casanova; The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity and the State (Cambridge University Press, 2014); and Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Islam in Western Liberal Democracies (2013). Her book When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (2006) is a reference in the study of European Islam and integration of Muslim minorities in secular democracies. She edited the 2015 Oxford Handbook of European Islam. She coordinates a major web resource on Islam in Europe:



Francesca Maria Corrao, Full Professor of Arabic Language and Culture at the Department of Political Sciences of the Luiss University of Rome.

She graduated and obtained her doctorate from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and a Masters in Arabic Studies at the American University in Cairo.

She has taught at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”.

She is President of the Orestiadi Foundation of Gibellina.

She is a member of the Union of European Arabist and Islamist, of the European professor of Modern Arabic Literature, and of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy of Soka University in Tokyo.

She has been visiting professor in Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Damascus, Paris, and Cambridge, and has numerous international publications.

Her research focuses on the themes of literature, history, and culture of Arab countries.

Her publications include: Arabian Poets of Sicily (1987 Mondadori) Messina, Mesogea 2001; Giufà the smart, the fool, the wise (1991 Mondadori) Palermo, Sellerio 2006; Laughter the comedian and the party in Cairo in the XIII century – The shadow theater by Ibn Dâniyâl, Rome, Istituto per l’Oriente C. A. Nallino 1996; Adonis.

In the stone and in the wind, Messina, Mesogea ed. 1999; Opinions and information in Arab-Islamic countries after 11 September, “Giano” n. 40, 2002; Anthology of Arab Poetry, La Biblioteca di Repubblica 2004; Adonis, In honor of light and dark, Milan, 1900s Archives, 2005; Mahmud Darwish My wound is an oil lamp, Avellino, De Angelis ed. 2006; In a world without sky. Anthology of Palestinian poetry, Florence, Giunti 2007; Adonis. Here is my name, Rome, Donzelli 2009; Muhammad Bannìs, The Mediterranean and the word, Rome, Donzelli 2009; The Arab revolutions. The Mediterranean transition, Milan, Mondadori 2011; the Landing of Ulysses. The Mediterranean of poets. XXX years of poetry at the Orestiadi Foundation in Gibellina, Ernesto di Lorenzo print publisher.



Sofia de Benedictis is Events Manager at Reset DOC. Her responsibilities include the organization of Reset’s Venice Seminars and Summer School as well as all other conferences hosted by the association. Previously she worked as Liaison Consultant at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization organizing meetings and fostering relations between the Organization and Member States. Sofia obtained her B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University and her M.A. in International Affairs from SciencesPo Paris.



Simone Disegni is the editorial coordinator at Reset DOC. A journalist and EU affairs political analyst, he has worked for a number of Italian and international media, including La Stampa, Corriere della Sera, Reuters and Cnbc. The winner of the R. Landucci award (2018) as most promising under-35 political journalist, he has previously served in a number of civil society endeavors, including Think Young in Brussels and Biennale Democrazia in Turin, as well as working as a consultant for EU CORE. He graduated from the University of Turin, SciencesPo Paris and the ULB’s Institute for European Studies.



Letizia Durante has been Reset DOC’s administrator since the organization was founded in 2005. She manages all financial accounting admin, HR, General services, purchasing, legal aspects of the association, ensuring compliance with all rules and regulations. She also manages relationships with banks.



Tarek El-Ariss is Professor and Chair of Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College and Guggenheim fellow 2021-22. Trained in philosophy, comparative literature, and visual and cultural studies, he works across disciplines and languages to examine notions of the subject, community, and modernity. His research interests include Arabic and comparative literature; visual and digital culture; gender and sexuality studies; and psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and affect theory. He is the author of Trials of Arab Modernity: Literary Affects and the New Political (Fordham, 2013) and Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals: Arab Culture in the Digital Age (Princeton, 2019), and editor of The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda (MLA, 2018).



Omar Fassatoui is an Associate researcher at SciencesPo – Aix en Provence (Aix Marseille University). Holder of a PhD in law and Political science obtained at Sciences Po Aix en Provence, His research focus is on interaction of positive and religious laws in the field of bioethics in Muslim and Jewish contexts. He also worked on bio politics with special focus on impact of new reproductive techniques on women’s bodies and social roles. He wrote several article on women’s rights and Muslim law versus international family law.  After an experience at the Tunis Bar association as a lawyer, a lecturing experience at the faculty of law of Aix en Provence and a Postdoc at the University of Geneva, he is presently working as a Human Rights Officer at the office of the High Commissioner for Human rights in Tunisia focusing on Human Rights and Nondiscrimination.



Abdel Aziz Hali is 40 years old and the Executive Editor of the geopolitics & international news desk at La Presse de Tunisie since 2010 (French-language newspaper, founded in 1936).

He is also the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of since December 16, 2016, the first Tunisian Webzine dedicated to Food & Drinks culture, gastronomy and dietetics with a very attentive look at local products, wines, oils and cuisines of the world.
Before joining the editorial staff of La Presse de Tunisie, he also worked as a reporter with other media houses such as the weekly magazine “L’EXPRESSION” (2008-2009), the weekly newspaper “Tunis Hebdo” (2009-2010), and as a freelancer on the websites (2009-2011) and (2014-2017).
On October 6, 2011, he won the Prize “Democracy and social change” for his report “Once upon a time two revolutions: Facebook my Republic, Twitter my Arab League”, published in the newspaper La Presse de Tunisie. The prize was awarded during the Anna Lindh Journalist Awards ceremony (Euro-Mediterranean Journalist Award) with the presence of SAS Albert II at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. It was the first time that a Tunisian journalist had been nominated and awarded since the creation of the Prize in 2006.
In April 2014, he was selected by the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists along with three other journalists (Pham Anh Tuan from Vietnam, Ana Maria (Yee) Macaraig from the Philippines and Olufemi Akande from Nigeria) to work as a permanent correspondent for the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In December 2014, the Tunisian Minister of Energy and Mines, Kamel Bennaceur, awarded him the prize of the National Energy Management Agency (ANME) for the best journalistic work on “energy rationalisation and promotion of renewable energy”.
In January 2015, he was named Journalist of the Month by the International Journalists’ Network (IJNET).
In November 2015, he received the “Photojournalism: Journalist in Action” prize awarded by the Alternative Media Association for my photos published in “Tunisia Live” showing the pollution that damages the old port of Tunis.

With his website, he won:

1.The Travel d’Or 2017 of the Best Website of Gastronomy & Catering in Tunisia.

2.The Travel d’Or 2018 of the Best Website of gastronomy & catering in Tunisia.

3.The Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2020 in the category “Website” (the only African website winner).

4.The first Prize of the Labour Migration Reporting Awards 2020 (Category: Economic Impact of Migration).

And in November 2020, he won the first Prize of the “Stay at Home” Media Recognition Awards for the journalists from French-speaking countries in Africa.



Shady Hamadi (1988) is a writer. He was born in Milan from an Italian mother and a Syrian father. He gained a degree in Political Science from Università Statale di Milano and wrote three books about Syria and the history of his family. The last volume was edited together with his father, who was jailed during the sixties because was a member of an opposition party.



Mohammed Hashas [pronounced as “hass-hass”, transliterated as “ḥaṣḥāṣ”] is currently a Research Fellow affiliate to Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin, and is a Faculty Member (adjunct) at the Department of Political Science of Luiss University of Rome, from which he holds PhD in Political Theory (2013, with a thesis on European Islam). Hashas is also a member of the advisory board of Reset DOC seminars in North Africa. His research areas are: Modern and contemporary Arab-Islamic thought (philosophy and theology), Islam in Europe, European Islam,Modern and Contemporary Moroccan Thought.

Hashas was previously a Research Fellow in Palermo, Berlin, Oxford, Copenhagen and Tilburg.

Besides various journal articles and book chapters, Hashas has published six books so far. He has authored: The Idea of European Islam (2019), and Intercultural Geopoetics (2017). And he led the edition of: Islam, State and Modernity (2018), Imams in Western Europe (2018), Islamic Ethics and the Trusteeship Paradigm (2020), and Pluralism in Islamic Contexts (2021, which is one of the products in collaboration with Reset DOC and Casablanca Seminars). Hashas is currently editing the first comprehensive volume on Contemporary Moroccan Thought: Philosophy, Theology, Society and Culture, for 2022-2023.



Ismail Khalidi is playwright, screenwriter and theater director whose work tackles the history of Palestine and the modern Middle East, as well as wider themes of race, colonialism and war. His plays include Truth Serum Blues (Pangea World Theater ‘05), Tennis in Nablus (Alliance Theatre ‘10), Foot (Teatro Amal ‘16), Sabra Falling (Pangea ‘17) and Dead Are My People (Noor Theatre ’18). He has co-adapted two novels for the stage with Naomi Wallace; Ghassan Kanafani’s Returning to Haifa (Finborough Theatre ‘18) and Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer (Actors Theatre of Louisville ‘19). Khalidi’s work has been included in numerous anthologies and he co-edited,  also with Ms. Wallace,  Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora (TCG ‘15). His writing has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, Mizna, Guernica, Al Jazeera and The Dramatist. Khalidi holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently a Directing Fellow at Pangea World Theater.



Zyed Krichen has been a professional journalist since 1982 and is currently editor-in-chief of the Maghreb newspaper, a Tunisian newspaper born in June 2011, and political analyst of Radio Mosaique since September 2015 within the most popular daily broadcast hour in the Tunisian Republic, Midi Show. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the French-speaking Tunisian magazine Haqqaq from January 2003 to May 2011. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences in Tunis in June 1994. He also obtained a diploma in journalistic training from the Training School for Journalists of Lille (France) in December 2005. He specialized in Civilization Studies and is interested in the political movements of Islam. Krichen was born on February 26, 1957 in the Tunisian city of Sfax, he is married and father of two children.



Jonathan Laurence is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and the director of Reset Dialogues US. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard. He is author of assorted articles and three books: Coping with Defeat: Islam, Catholicism and the State (2021), The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims (2012) and Integrating Islam: Religious and Political Challenges in Contemporary France (2006). He was a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution from 2003-2018.



Peter Limbrick is Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of two books: Arab Modernism as World Cinema: The Films of Moumen Smihi (University of California Press, 2020) and Making Settler Cinemas: Film and Colonial Encounters in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand (Palgrave, 2010). In addition, he has published articles on Arab cinema, postcolonial and transnational film and video, and queer theory. He has also curated several film and video programs, including a retrospective of the work of Moroccan filmmaker Moumen Smihi, which traveled to the Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA, USA), the Block Cinema (Chicago, USA) and Tate Modern (London, UK).



Azzurra Meringolo is a journalist at the foreign desk of the Giornale Radio Rai, where she mainly deals with Middle Eastern issues. She is a member of the editorial board of the IAI’s webzine AffarInternazionali. She holds a PhD in International Relations and is Adjunct Professor at the Università Roma Tre and at the Journalistic Master organized by Bologna University. Contributing to national and international newspapers, she was scientific coordinator of the Arab Media Report and presenter of Radio 3 Mondo (Rai3). In 2012 she won the Ivan Bonfanti journalism award and her doctoral thesis on Egyptian anti-Americanism was awarded the Maria Grazia Cutuli prize. In 2013 she won the Indro Montanelli writing prize with her book “I ragazzi di piazza Tahrir” and in 2014 the Franco Cuomo International Award (nonfiction section). She is founder and member of the Scientific Committee of WIIS Italy and member of the German Marshall Fund Leadership Council. Follow her on her blog and on twitter at @ragazzitahrir.



Moez Mrabet is a member of The Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts – Beit Al Hikma, Teacher and University-researcher, actor, director, and cultural actor, Moez Mrabet holds a PhD in Theater and Performing Arts from Paris III University, Sorbonne Nouvelle (2007). Graduated from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art in Tunis, he also holds a Diploma of Advanced Studies from the University of Paris X – Nanterre. In addition to his academic career as a teacher and director of studies at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art in Tunis, Moez Mrabet has continued to multiply artistic experiences in theater, film and television, and to invest in cultural action at the national and international levels. Actor in various creations of the Tunisian director Fadhel Jaibi – Lovers of the desert cafe -1996 / Khamsoun- Corps otages 2005 and Amnesia -Yahya Yaich – 2010 -, and in the film Trente de Fadel Jaziri (2010), The last mirage of Nidhal Chatta (2012) and Samir Seif’s Son of her Tears (2017), Mjdi Smiri’s Affair 460 (2019), he also directed and produced Striptease – the Rat Feast, premiered in the 16th edition of Carthage Theatrical Days (2013), L’Escale 32, a Tunisian-Italian co-production (2015), and more recently, Blood Moon, a production of the El Hamra theater (2019). Moez Mrabet was General Director of the International Cultural Center of Hammamet, and Director of the 52nd and 53rd editions of the International Hammamet Festival, in addition to his many experiences as initiator, artistic director, expert, consultant, or jury for cultural programs, projects and institutions in Tunisia and abroad, he is also co-founder and former president of the Tunisian Association of Graduates of Dramatic Arts Institutes, founding member and artistic director of the Association Living Art and former member of the Board of Dramatic Arts Trades Union. Many contributions of Moez Mrabet’s research have been published in Tunisia and abroad.



Teresa Pepe is Associate Professor in Arabic Studies at the University of Oslo.

Her research interests span across Arabic literature, media, popular culture, sociolinguistics, and the relation between aesthetics and politics. Her current research focuses on Arab Futurism and its connection to social, political, and environmental changes in the region.

Teresa Pepe obtained her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and Literature from the University of Oslo in 2014 with a thesis entitled “Fictionalized Identities in the Egyptian Blogosphere” (2014).  She completed her M.A in Comparative Literature and Culture (with a focus on Arabic and English Literature) at the University “L’Orientale” in Napoli in 2008.

She is the author of the book Blogging From Egypt: Digital Literature (2005-2016) (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). The book explores blogs as a new form of literature emerging in Egypt during the rise of political protest of the Arab Spring.  Such blogs are explored as forms of digital literature, combining literary analysis and interviews with the authors. She is the co-editor of the volume Arabic Literature in a  Posthuman World (with S. Guth, Harassowitz Verlag 2019), that examines the use of dystopia, necropolitics, monsters and satire in Arabic literature today.



Bahia Shehab is Professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and streets around the world. Through investigating Islamic art history she reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse and social issues. She has received a number of international recognitions and awards, which include the BBC 100 Women list, a TED Senior fellowship, and a Prince Claus Award. She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Shehab holds a PhD from Leiden University in The Netherlands and is the founding director of TypeLab@AUC. Her publications include A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif, At The Corner of a Dream and the co-authored book A History of Arab Graphic Design. Her latest book You Can Crush the Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution will be published in 2021 to mark the ten-year anniversary of the Egyptian uprising.



Zeineb Toujani is the co-founder of the research network Arab Media Transitions (with Barbara Winckler, University of Muenster) which analyses the impact of media on Arabic literature and culture from a historical perspective.

She has published several articles in Oriente Moderno, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies and LEA- Lingue e Letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente. She occasionally writes for Jadaliyya, the Egyptian online newspaper Mada Masr, and the magazine Strange Horizon.

In 2021, she received a MECAM  Fellowship (Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb) to join the Research Project “Imagining the Future: Dealing with Disparities” (IFG: Aesthetics and Politics) with a research project on “Environmental Imaginaries in Egyptian and Tunisian Dystopian Fiction”.

Between 2015-2017 she worked as a Post-Doc fellow at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo, with a research project entitled “The adīb and adab —Demise, or metamorphosis, the project: of a key figure and of a key concept of the Arab modernist project?” . The project has explored how concepts of “intellectuals”, “author” and ” literature” have evolved during the 20th century in Arabic/Egyptian society. She has been affiliated as a guest researcher to the American University in Beirut, the Orient Institute in Beirut, the Dutch Institute in Cairo (NVIC) and the American University in Cairo.

She is an expert in Arabic language and literature and a graduate from ENS Tunis(دار المعلمين العليا). Since her first university research, she has been interested in religious discourse and its impact on society and the individual. She has scientific articles and research in this, including the book Reward and Punishment in the books of interpretation of the Qur’an published about believers in 2019, and research in religious, jurisprudential, political, anthropology and thought Religion old and new.


Posted under her supervision:

  • Reding in Tunisian feminist movement, adar etounssia lelkiteb, 2020,( collective, Edited and introduced to by zeineb toujani)
  • Freedoms and Equality in Tunisia between Atonement and Enlightenment (collective, Edited and introduced to by zeineb toujani) 2021

She supervised and coordinated several scientific symposiums and study days, the most important of which was the symposium of the Tunisian feminist movement, whose works were published under her supervision in November 2020, as well as the sparring symposium in Tunisia on the report on individual freedoms and equality, whose works will be jointly published by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Mohamed Ali El-Hami. In addition, she has an interest in working within civil society and the cultural and social movement after the January 14 revolution, as she contributed within the Tunisian Association for the Defense of University Values ​​in introducing the values ​​of academic freedoms in Tunisian universities.

She contributed to the establishment of the National Observatory for the Defense of the Civil State and for the activity within the forces defending freedoms, equality and human rights. She is an advocate for all the feminist and progressive movements in order to perpetuate a cultural revolution with a human and cosmic dimension and based on a human rights and citizenship reference.



Hala Wertani holds a Doctorate in Arabic Language, Literature and Civilization. She is a researcher in Arabic and Islamic civilization. She is in charge of the Tunisian Open Encyclopedia in the Tunisian academy of sciences letters and arts Beit al hikma. She is Assistant Professor Faculty of letters and humanities Manouba. She is also a member of Tunisian research laboratory and Search unit in reading the religious discourse. (She has published many pieces of research (books and articles in scientific journals).



Federica Zoja is Scientific Coordinator at Reset DOC. As a journalist, she began her career in Milan in the national economic press, and then moved to Brussels in the early 2000s, where she reported on European institutions for Italian and European newspapers and agencies (ItaliaOggi, ApCom, Le Soir). In 2005, she left Belgium for Egypt, where she worked as a reporter on North Africa and the Middle East for the most popular Italian outlets until 2009. She has continued to follow the regional economy and politics, including as a war reporter, for Avvenire, Il Sole24Ore, Radio24 and Swiss Italian Radio (RSI). She currently covers the MENA region for Reset DOC and Avvenire; her analyses of geo-politics have been published by ISTUD, ISPI, La Civiltà Cattolica and Travaux et Jours (Université Saint-Joseph of Beyrouth).



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