The Majlis at the ANU


The Majlis at the ANU

A cross-disciplinary roundtable on historical and contemporary issues across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia

An Overview

In both Arabic and Persian, the term majlis can describe a regular gathering of like-minded individuals. It is regularly used in the Arabian Peninsula as a forum for friends and colleagues to meet and discuss political and social developments, to engage in debate, to share views and research, and to network. The Majlis at ANU provides a space for scholars and the public to meet and share their thoughts on contemporary events across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. It also provides an opportunity for individuals to present their original research and receive feedback from their peers.

The Majlis will be virtual on zoom until further notice. We have enjoyed the participation of graduate students across the Australian National University and other Canberra-based research institutions, but all are welcome. Each event will publicise its zoom login details

The Detail

Most weeks will focus on either a topic that is central to media coverage at that time or more enduring thematic issues. For example, we have previously discussed Russian involvement in Syria’s civil war and have considered the theoretical approaches to the study of Islam. Prior to each Friday meeting, we will share several short articles (of newspaper or journalistic depth) with participants to get the conversation started.

Any participant in the Majlis is welcome to recommend a topic that is of interest to them, and we will do our best to accommodate it. The preference is for subjects that can be linked to contemporary events, but the only requirement is that they be useful to members, and interesting! One of the purposes of the Majlis is to build connections and awareness of research across the ANU, so we look forward to hearing what you’ve been working on, and what you’d like to learn more about.

We also arrange expert speakers where possible, including those based in the region who will speak via Skype or video chat. If you have a recommendation for an expert speaker, please let us know and we will work them into the schedule.

How to join

The Majlis is free and open to the public, but we welcome any prior indication of attendance for logistical purposes. Please email us to receive information and updates about the Majlis meetings.

Past events

MAJLIS @ANU | Virtual Excursions into Turkmen National Identity Through Women's Attires

26 Apr 2024

Turkmenistan, a country steeped in history and cultural richness, offers a fascinating lens through which one may explore national identity. During this brief...

» read more

MAJLIS @ANU | Women on Boards in the UAE: Factors That Affect Their Contribution to Board Roles

17 Nov 2023

A well-functioning inclusive board, with an effective culture, structure and composition is a key determinant of the successful contribution of women to board...

» read more

MAJLIS @ANU | Yemen’s path forward – assessing the country’s fragmentation crisis

25 Aug 2023

Months following the Saudi-Houthi peace talks, any real progress towards Yemeni interests is yet to be seen. Yemen has suffered an eight-year civil war, often...

» read more

MAJLIS @ANU | Kindness in Higher Education

4 Aug 2023

This concept of kindness in pedagogical design is not a new one, but it is one that has been often overlooked. Through this project, by actively listening to...

» read more

MAJLIS @ANU | Talking Art in Conflict Spaces

14 Apr 2023

Presented by Dr Bilquis Ghani (Hunar Symposia) and Mr Kabir Mokamel (ArtLords), this session will explore the role of arts in society building and identity...

» read more

MAJLIS @ANU | Constructing the Axial Age in Kazakhstan:The Twists and Turns in the Official Story of Ethnogenesis

17 Feb 2023

The past provides modern governments with a large supply of ideas and images to support the claims of national identity. Since independence, the authorities in...

» read more

October Majlis - Of Non-native Cultivation: The Indigenization of the Arabic language in the Nigerian Arabic Novels

21 Oct 2022

Abstract: Language as a living phenomenon, reflects its local environment. Arabic language, a non-native tongue in Nigeria, is infiltrated with several...

» read more

September Majlis - An Overview of Cryptocurrencies in the Middle East and North Africa

23 Sep 2022

Abstract  Since Bitcoin was introduced in 2009, different uses have been created for blockchain technology including the rise of thousands of blockchain...

» read more

August Majlis - The Changing Security Dynamics of the Arab Gulf States

5 Aug 2022

Abstract: World politics is going through a significant transformation at present – the most significant since 1991, and perhaps even since 1945 – as Russia...

» read more

May Majlis - Rejected Georgian? Citizens of Georgia with Armenian Names in Search of their National Selves

19 May 2022

For the “Ugly Duckling”, the mere fact of being born in the nest of a duck, growing up amongst duckling-siblings and possessing impressive swimming skills is...

» read more


Updated:  26 May 2021/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications