2019-20

Derek Penslar

Herzl Re-imagined: Derek Penslar Weighs the Impact of Theodor Herzl's Personal Power

April 14, 2020
Derek Penslar, William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University, has long studied modern Jewish history from a global perspective. In his new biography of Theodor Herzl, Penslar examines how the founder of modern Zionism’s personal life influenced his political impact. He discussed Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader with the... Read more about Herzl Re-imagined: Derek Penslar Weighs the Impact of Theodor Herzl's Personal Power
Mediterranean Cousins poster

Mediterranean Cousins: Tunisia and Italy on Opposite Shores

February 21, 2020

In October 2019, CMES Director William Granara spent part of his sabbatical year convening the first international symposium organized by the Tunisia Office of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies: Mediterranean Cousins: Tunisia and Italy on Opposite Shores, designed to examine kinship, exchanges, and divides between Tunisia and Italy across time.... Read more about Mediterranean Cousins: Tunisia and Italy on Opposite Shores

Cemal Kafadar

Year in Review: A Message from 2019-20 CMES Acting Director Cemal Kafadar

September 1, 2020

The original script made it look easy. I was going to be Acting Director for a year, while Bill Granara would enjoy his hard-earned sabbatical leave. The first eight months were indeed smooth, thanks above all to our administrative staff, working with great professionalism and efficiency under (to me) Lady Lauren Montague. Speaking of our staff colleagues, the Fall opened with the felicitous news that Carol Ann Young had given birth to Olive, whose visits to the center were the most cheerful moments of the semester—no contest.... Read more about Year in Review: A Message from 2019-20 CMES Acting Director Cemal Kafadar

Aga of the Janissaries. Colored engraving by Jacques Charles Bar, 1789. Harvard Fine Arts Library

Late Ottomania in the Fine Arts Library’s Binney Collection

August 11, 2020

During spring 2020, Gavin Moulton '20 worked in Harvard's Fine Arts Library with the newly acquired Binney Collection of Orientalist Prints, a group of prints, drawings, lithographs, and other ephemera related to perceptions of the Ottomans in Western and Central Europe. Moulton, who has studied Turkish with Precepter Meryym Demir and Senior Preceptor...

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CMES building north elevation

A Letter to the CMES and Harvard Community

July 10, 2020

It should not have taken a string of tragic and highly visible incidents of police brutality in the middle of a suffocating pandemic to sharpen the need to recognize and reckon with anti-Black racism and the legacy of slavery, but it did. Watching or reading about the horrifying final moments of the murder of George Floyd, some of us were immediately reminded of Radio Raheem—how is that for a name with "Middle Eastern" resonances?—and his tragic end, "fictionalized" more than thirty years ago in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989).*

At least, on this occasion, Floyd...

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MESA logo

MESA Board Statement in Solidarity with the Uprisings against Systemic Racism and Anti-Blackness

July 8, 2020

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies endorses the June 29 statement by the Board of the Middle East Studies Association condemning systemic racism and anti-Blackness: "We stand in solidarity with our Black American members, as well as with Black and Afro-Diasporic members in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and North Africa." Read the full text of the statement on the...

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Tell This in My Memory, Eve Troutt Powell

Readings on Race and Slavery with Specific Relevance for Middle East Studies

July 7, 2020

Rosie Bsheer, Assistant Professor of History, and Cemal Kafadar, Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies, both core faculty members of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, recommend the following books on race and slavery that have special relevance for Middle East studies. For information on locating books at a library near you, visit www.worldcat.org...

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MargaretDene

Rising Tides of Terrorism

July 6, 2020

"COVID-19 has shown that atypical, transnational security issues need to be taken seriously. Man-made threats are not the only forces that can devastate the globe and fundamentally disrupt daily life," writes second-year Center for Middle Eastern Studies AM student Margaret Dene, in an article for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, where she is a summer Research Associate. Read the complete article on the Foreign Policy...

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