Middle East Studies

Research Projects

Engaged Scholarship

Engaged Scholarship logo

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


Displacement logo

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.

Digital Islamic Humanities

Digital Islamic Humanities logo

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

Arts and Social Change

Arts and Social Change logo

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.  

Arts and Social Change Events Series

Kurdish Project

Kurdish Studies have historically been side-lined within Middle East Studies or reduced to the study of Kurdish nationalism. While there has been a proliferation of Kurdish studies across the US and Europe in recent years, there has been only limited engagement with Kurdish society in its complexity. The aim of this project is to support and contribute to critical and original Kurdish Studies that combine theoretically cutting edge and empirically grounded work as well as highlight creative approaches (films, art, literature) to the study of Kurds and Kurdish societies. 

Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has given rise to a plethora of unanswered questions, often associated with disputed narratives and ever-changing environment and geography. This multi-year project, led by Omer Bartov, seeks to provide a forum for a deeper understanding of the region and its peoples.