Middle East Studies

Research

As an agenda-driven center with a multi-disciplinary faculty, Middle East Studies organizes several signature initiatives, spearheaded by annual conferences, that sustain ongoing research, programming, and teaching initiatives.

Arts and Social Change

The arts have played a pivotal role in shaping and transforming Middle Eastern and Muslim societies, past and present. Through annual workshops, curated exhibits and performances, as well visiting professorships and lectures, this research initiative cultivates a network of scholars passionate about the relationship between the arts and social agency. The aim is to support innovate work and shape research agendas in the fields of Islamic art and architecture, Middle Eastern cinema and photography, fine arts and visual culture, and music and dance.  

Displacement

Displacement is formative of power relations of inclusion and exclusion. This research initiative pushes at the seams of the humanities, social sciences, and the natural and physical sciences by exploring long-term drivers of displacement. The wager here is that focused interdisciplinary conversation about historical, ecological, and subjective dimensions of displacement as an enduring and global phenomenon, can lay the seeds for imagining alternative futures.

Palestinian Studies

There is now a critical mass of innovative scholars in the US, Europe, and the Middle East who work on Palestine and the Palestinians. The field has grown quantitatively and qualitatively, with new lines of inquiry pushing in several new directions simultaneously. New Directions in Palestinian Studies aims to shape scholarly works in this field through an annual workshop, an endowed post-doctoral fellowship, and a book series with the University of California Press. The thematically organized workshops bring together emerging and established scholars to take stock of research trends, identify promising new questions and sources, and encourage networking across academic and research institutions.

Digital Islamic Humanities

The Digital Islamic Humanities Project is a research initiative devoted to supporting data-driven scholarship on the history, literature, and cultures of the Islamic world. Over the past few decades, humanistic inquiry has been problematized and invigorated by technological advances and the emergence of what is referred to as the digital humanities. Across multiple disciplines, from history to literature, religious studies to philosophy, archaeology to music, scholars are tapping the extraordinary power of digital technologies to preserve, curate, analyze, visualize, and reconstruct their research objects. Through the sponsorship of annual gatherings, workshops, symposia, and other kinds of research projects, this initiative aims to support the state of the art in digital scholarship pertaining to Islamic & Middle East Studies. 

Digital Islamic Humanities Website

Islam and the Humanities

Through an annual conference, lectures, and a book series, Islam and the Humanities explores the relationship between Islamic studies and larger debates in the disciplines of history, religious studies, comparative literature, philosophy, contemporary art, the humanistic dimensions of anthropology and sociology. 

Engaged Scholarship

Engaged Scholarship explores the politics and ethics of Knowledge Production in zones of conflict. The aim is to generate critical conversation among scholars from across the disciplines and area studies around the question of what it means to put intellectual work in the service of the social good, broadly defined. 

Engaged Scholarship Website