Year of Morocco Conference

Youth in Morocco

Purchase your Innov Gnawa tickets now!

Gender, Identity and Youth Empowerment in Morocco

Dates: March 15 - 16, 2019 
Location: KSU Center, Room 400

As part of KSU’s award-winning Annual Country Study Program, the goal of this international conference is to examine ever-changing Moroccan identities with a special focus on the cultural, economic, political and social agency of young women and men. The conference features over 30 presentations from leading scholars, policy-makers, and community leaders from six different countries.


Registration costs $150 and will include:

• All plenary sessions, concurrent sessions and presentations
• All refreshment breaks and meals throughout the conference. These include:
• Lunch (Friday March 15, Saturday March 16)
• Dinner (Saturday March 16)
• Concert by Innov Gnawa: Saturday, March 16, 8:00 PM, Bailey Performance Hall

Early registration is due by March 8, 2019. After March 8, 2019, the registration fee will increase to $200.

*Students are welcome to attend individual sessions for free. However, students wishing to attend the entire conference (w/meals and concert) must pay the registration fee.

Register Here

Hotel Information:

We have reserved rooms at the Residence Inn in Kennesaw, Ga for conference attendees. To take advantage of the special group rate, please book your room by February 15, 2019 to get this rate. See link below.

Reservation Details:

  • This rate will apply to hotel reservations for any dates/nights between March 11, 2019 and March 18, 2019.
  • Last day to book at special group rate: 2/15/19
  • Special group rate: 119 USD per night

If you experience any difficulties registering, please contact:

Cailin A. Riddell
General Manager 
T: 770.218.1018 | F: 770.218.2107

Book Now

Conference Schedule 

Day 1 - March 15, 2019

  • Time
  • 8:15 am

    Residence Inn

    Shuttle Bus to KSU Center

  • 8:30 - 9:00 am

    KSU Center Atrium

    Conference Registration

  • 9:00 – 9:30 am

    KSU Center Room 400

    Opening Remarks:

    Dr. Lance Askildson, Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief International Officer, Kennesaw State University

    Dr. Abdelkader Gonegai, Dean, School of Letters and Humanities, Ben Msik Campus, Hassan II University Casablanca


  • 9:30 – 10:30 am

    KSU Center Room 400

    Opening Keynote:

    Gender, Youth, Media, Globalization and Identity in Morocco

    Dr. Loubna Skalli Hanna, University of California, Washington Center Introduction by Dr. Debarati Sen, Kennesaw State University

  • 10:30 – 11:30 am

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session I: Education and Agency in Morocco

    The Challenge of Urban-Rural Accessibility to Education across Morocco

    Asmaa Benbaba, Ph.D. Candidate, Auburn University

    The Civic Agency of Moroccan Educators: Teaching for Critically Engaged Denizenship through Public Speaking Competitions

    Dr. Jennice McCafferty-Wright, Missouri State University

    Transforming Mindsets through Capacity Building for a More Sustainable World, Estrella Merlos, Associate Director of the CIFAL Global Network at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

    Session Chair: Dr. Amanda Richey, Kennesaw State University


  • 11:30 - 1:00 pm

    KSU Center

    Buffet Lunch

  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session II: Language and Language Use in Morocco

    The Linguistic Evolution in Morocco after February 20th Movement

    Dr. Mariya Chakir, Valdosta State University

    Moroccan Arabic Segmental Variation

    Dr. Samira Rguibi, Hassan II University Casablanca

    The Language Debate and the Future of Education in Morocco
    Dr. Taoufik Jaafari, Hassan II University Casablanca

    Session Chair: Dr. Amanda Richey, Kennesaw State University

  • 2:00 - 2:15 pm

    KSU Center

    Break and Poster Session

    As part of a YoM College Spotlight Award, KSU French faculty consisting of Mr. Ouali Ferrani, Ms. Marni Manning, Ms. Sita Swami, and Dr. Viakinnou- Brinson presented various aspects of Moroccan culture in their classes and led their students to conduct their own research on Morocco. To demonstrate their understanding of Moroccan culture, their students wrote and illustrated children’s books in French that integrated knowledge of Moroccan culture in their stories. 90 French students participated in the project. Their books are showcased in this poster session, on the online KSU Global Library, and will also be used to conduct reading hours and promote literacy in selected schools abroad.

  • 2:15 – 3:30 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session III: Activism and the Media

    The Role of the Media and Youth in the Moroccan Arab Spring

    Dr. Khalid Lahlou, Hassan II University Casablanca

    Storytellers in the “Youth Bulge”: Economic Precarity of Youth Performers in Marrakech

    Erin Gould, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Riverside

    Mobility and the Aesthetics of Violence in Leila Marrakshi’s Film Rock the Casbah

    Dr. Touria Khannous, Louisiana State University

    Session Chair: Dr. Maia Hallward, Kennesaw State University

  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session IV: Morocco on the Move

    Morocco on the Move: Myth or Reality

    Dr. Zakaria Fatih, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    The Politics of Extraction in Moroccan Heritage Pop

    Gwyneth Talley, Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA

    Session Chair: Dr. Gail Scott, Kennesaw State University

  • 4:30 pm


    Shuttle Bus to Residence Inn – Dinner on Own


Day 2 - March 16, 2019

  • Time
  • 9:15 am

    9:15 AM

    Shuttle Bus Departs

  • 9:30 – 10:00 am

    KSU Center Atrium

    Conference Registration

  • 10:00 –11:00 am

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session V: Opening Panel on the Arts
    Moroccan Artistic Presence at the Centre Pompidou Collections

    Ms. Sirine Abdelhedi, Paris 8 University

    Human Rights in Morocco: Incorporating Comics into the Classroom

    Dr. Jennifer Howell, Illinois State University

    Colonialism, Immigration, Moroccan Art-Culture-Identity

    Dr. Samia Touati, Arab Heritage Learning, Raleigh, NC

    Session Chair: Dr. Sandra Bird, Kennesaw State University

  • 11:00 –12:30 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session VI: Views on Moroccan Women’s Leadership

    Moroccan Women from Tradition to Modernity in Fictional Accounts

    Dr. Mohamed Benzidan, Hassan II University Casablanca

    Comparing Feminist Views from the Global North and South: The Gap between Discourse and Political Practice

    Dr. Abdelkader Sabil, Hassan II University Casablanca

    Two Moroccan Women Leaders

    Dr. Said Zaidoune, Hassan II University Casablanca

    Challenges and Opportunities Facing Successful Women in Morocco

    Dr. Maia Hallward, Kennesaw State University
    Session Chair: Dr. Nina Morgan, Kennesaw State University

  • 12:30-2:00 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Buffet Lunch

  • 2:00 - 3:00 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session VII: Transcultural Identities

    What (is) Moroccan Identity? A Cultural Analysis

    Dr. Yahya Laayouni, Bloomsburg University

    Return to the Judeo-Islamic Cultural Concept: Jewish Racial Identity and Whiteness in the Histories of and relations between Morocco and Israel

    Dr. Jesse Benjamin, Kennesaw State University

    A Space to Express Yourself: Akaliyat Magazine and the Creation of Queer Community in Morocco

    Benjamin Ale-Ebrahim, Ph.D. Candidate, Indiana University

    Session Chair: Dr. Nina Morgan, Kennesaw State University

  • 3:00 – 3:15 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Break and Poster Session

    Display of KSU French students children’s books.

  • 3:15 – 4:15 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session VIII: Development and Activism

    What is the State in Morocco Doing for the Youth? Unpacking Neoliberal Discourse on Education, Employment, and Political Participation

    Nada Berrada, Ph.D. Candidate, Virginia Tech

    Moroccan Female Artists: One thousand and One paintings

    Samir El Azhar, Hassan II University Casablanca (Presented by Samira Rguibi)

    Modes of Feminine Resistance and Testimony in the Wake of the Mudawana reform and the Arab Uprisings

    Naima Hachad, American University (Presented by Zakaria Fatih)

    Session Chair: Dr. Christie Emerson, Kennesaw State University

  • 4:15 – 5:30 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Session IX: Undergraduate Student Perspectives

    Multiple Literacies Student Competition Award Winners

    Investigating the Effects of Morocco’s Multi-lingual Society on Cultural Literacy in North Africa, Nic Franco-Roldan

    Investigating the Generation Gap in Attitudes toward Language Use in Morocco, Jennifer Cox, Jooeun Kim, and Lindsey Dietz

    Colonialism’s Impact on Identities, KSU Model African Union Team members: Damie Omole, Vanessa Godinez, and Lisa Smith

    Session Chair: Dr. Dan Paracka, Kennesaw State University

  • 5:30 – 7:15 pm

    KSU Center Room 400

    Dinner Reception

    Remarks from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco

    Larbi R’Miki, Head of Public Diplomacy

    Introduction by Dr. Christie Emerson, Kennesaw State University

  • 7:15 pm


    Shuttle Bus Departs for Zuckerman Museum

  • 7:30 – 8:00 pm

    Zuckerman Museum

    Hicham Berrada Exhibit and Gallery Talk

    Joe Thomas, Zuckerman Museum

  • 8:00 – 9:30 pm

    Performance Hall

    Innov Gnawa Performance

  • 9:30 pm


    Shuttle Bus Departs for Residence Inn