Kristen Canavan

Kristen Canavan

Kristen Canavan is a Master's student in the University of Michigan's Middle Eastern and North African Studies program. Her interests include Tunisian politics, institutionalized secularism, and France - Maghreb relations both historically and today.

19 September 2016

As students headed back to school on Thursday the 15th, a looming question hung over the heads of many: what will become of the proposed education reforms this academic year? So far one major project, “The School Regains Her Children,” appears to be making progress. On September 8th, an initiative subsidized by UNICEF Tunisia and The Italian cooperation was signed by Minister of Education, Néji Jaloul. The donation of six million Tunisian dinars is designed to “strengthen the national campaign aimed at combatting school drop-out rates.” However, re-cooperating lost students is only one of the several, major issues that the Tunisian education system faces today.

09 August 2016

For its 52nd annual production, the Carthage International Festival diverged from its regular programming and held an “Urban Session” at L’Agora in La Marsa. In a country where the freedom of speech and self-expression was suppressed for so long, Urban Session’s performances were not lacking subversive undertones. However, the social acceptability of hip hop and urban art by the general public is far from being considered “mainstream”. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

25 June 2016

On June 3rd, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (Euro-Med) hosted a conference entitled “Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls” to discuss the Tunisian Personal Status Code and Penal Code – both of which are long overdue for reform. Critical yet optimistic, the proposed goals for legal reform are found in a study entitled “Violences à L’égard des femmes: Les lois du genre” written by Sana Ben Achour, a law professor and former president of ATFD.

07 June 2016

Ennahda’s 10th Congress took place between May 20th and May 25th, bringing reforms which sparked conversations about where the party is headed next. Media coverage highlighted Ennahda’s separation of “mosque and state” as a step towards better governance in Tunisia. The portrayals of what this “separation” truly means varies in Western and Tunisian news coverage, with some reports being more skeptical than others.

24 May 2016

On May 10, Tunisian polling institution SIGMA Conseil and German foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) presented the results of their survey “Religion and Politics in North Africa.” How accurately do study findings reflect society’s views on issues as elusive and multifaceted as religious and national identity?