Department of Culture and Learning

keynote speakers


Lene Hansen

Lene Hansen is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Copenhagen . Her research interests centre on the history of Security Studies and International Relations theory with a particular emphasis on critical, poststructuralist and feminist approaches. Lene Hansen has written on a series of events and cases, including cyber security, the Bosnian War, Danish debates on the European Union, and wartime rape. The 2005-6 Muhammad Cartoon Crisis led her to focus on the role images play in world politics, among her publication on this issue are ‘Theorizing the Image for Security Studies: Visual Securitization and the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis’ (European Journal of International Relations, 2011) and ‘How Images Make World Politics: International Icons and the Case of Abu Ghraib’ (Review of International Studies, 2015). In 2014 she began a four year research project on “Images and International Security”, funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research ( She is the author of Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (Routledge, 2006) and the co-author with Barry Buzan of The Evolution of International Security Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Lene is a past editor of European Journal of International Relations, a current member of the Danish Council for Independent Research, Social Sciences and the Swedish Foundation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Review Panel 1, Economics, Law, Political Science etc), and on numerous journal editorial committees including International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, and Journal of International Relations and Development. Lene is a 2011 recipient of The Elite Research Prize of The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.


Mark Allen Peterson

Mark Allen Peterson is professor and chair of the Anthropology Department and professor of international studies at Miami University. He is the author of Connected in Cairo: Transnational Popular Culture and the Making of the Cosmopolitan Class (Indiana, 2011). He co-edited and co-authored the textbook International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues (Westview 2008). His first book was Anthropology and Mass Communication: Media and Myth in the New Millennium (Berghahn 2003).

He has published articles in Anthropology Today, Alif, Arab Media and Society, Childhood, Contemporary Islam, Teaching Anthropology, New Reviews in Hypermedia and Multimedia, Research in Economic Anthropology, Journal of Consumer Culture and Anthropological Quarterly. He is the author of several chapters in edited books, such as Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality (Berghahn 2015), Three Years Since the Spring: A Collection of Essays on the State of Arab Media (Kamal Adham Center 2014), Sage Handbook of Political Communication (Sage 2012), Media Anthropology (Sage 2005), At War with Words (Walter De Gruyter 2003), The Encyclopedia of Anthropology (Sage 2005), and Folklore/Cinema (Utah State 2008).

Peterson was educated at the University of California-Los Angeles (BA-History of Religion, 1984), the Catholic University of America (MA-Anthropology, 1989) and Brown University (PhD-Anthropology, 1996). Before Miami, he taught for five years at the American University in Cairo. He has also taught courses in anthropology, language, media and Middle East at Brown University, George Mason University, Goucher College, the University of Hamburg, Gettysburg College and Georgetown University.

He blogs at

2007. “Making Global News: ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Muslim Rage’ in U.S. Journalism” Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life 1(3): 247-264. Link.


Deepa Kumar

Deepa Kumar is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Rutgers University. She is affiliated faculty with Middle Eastern Studies and graduate faculty in the Sociology department.

Her work is driven by an active engagement with the key issues that characterize our era–neoliberalism and imperialism. Her first book, Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization and the UPS Strike (University of Illinois Press, 2007), is about the power of collective struggle in effectively challenging the priorities of neoliberalism.

If neoliberal globalization characterizes the economic logic of our age, the “war on terror” has come to define its political logic. Kumar began her research into the politics of empire shortly after the tumultuous events of 9/11.

Her second book titled Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (Haymarket Books, 2012), looks at how the “Muslim enemy” has historically been mobilized to suit the goals of empire.

She is currently working on a third book on the cultural politics of the War on Terror.

She has been active in various social movements for peace and justice and has written numerous articles in both scholarly journals and alternative media. You can read her blog by clicking the Empirebytes button in the menu.

She is a much sought after public speaker and has spoken at dozens of university and community forums on a range of topics: Islamophobia, Political Islam, US foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia, the Arab Spring, women and Islam etc. She has shared her expertise in numerous media outlets such as BBC, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Hurriyat Daily News (Turkey), Al Jazeera and other national and international news media outlets.


Peter Hervik


Peter Hervik is a Professor of Migration studies at the Department of Culture and Global Studies, at Aalborg University, Denmark. Hervik is trained in social anthropology and has conducted research among the Yucatec Maya of Mexico and later on the representation in the news media of religious and ethnic minorities in Denmark, particularly themes of neonationalism, neoracism, ethnicitzation, Islamophobia and related issues. His books include Mayan Lives Within and Beyond Boundaries. Social Categories and Lived Identity in Yucatan, (Harwood Academic Publishers, 1999, Routledge, 2001); The Annoying Difference. The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, and The Danish Muhammad Cartoon Conflict. Current Themes in IMER Research 13, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM), Malmö University (2012). Recent articles include “Erostratus Unbound: Norway’s 22/7 Converging Frames of War.” (with Susi Meret) and “Danish Media Coverage of 22/7” (with Sophie Boisen), both in the Nordic Journal for Migration Research Vol 3, Issue 4, and “Ending Tolerance as a Solution to Incompatibility: The Danish ‘Crisis of Multiculturalism.’” European Journal of Cultural Studies 15(2):211-225. “Cultural War of Values: The Proliferation of Moral Identities in the Danish Public Sphere.” In Becoming Minority: How Discourses and Policies Produce Minorities in Europe and India, Tripathy, Jyotirmaya and Sudarsan Padmanabhan (eds.), pp. 154-173. New Delhi: Sage Publications, India. ”Xenophobia and Nativism.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Wright, James D. (editor-in-chief), vol 25:796-801. Oxford: Elsevier. 2nd edition. (org. 2001) and forthcoming in the fall of 2015, “The Perils of Public Anthropology? Debating the Muhammad Cartoon Issue in Neo-Nationalist Scandinavia.” In Media, Engagement and Anthropological Practice: Contemporary Public Scholarship. Abram, Simone and Sarah Pink (ed.), EASA series, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books. (October 2015).

He is currently working on a book with Mette Toft Nielsen about and with Egyptian women and the post 25 January revolution and a book on Racialization in the Nordic Countries.



Conference coordinator Peter Hervik

Conference secretary Ulla Langballe

Further conference information