CMES News

William Granara, Tunis

Fall 2020 Welcome from CMES Director William Granara

September 25, 2020

Dear Members of Harvard’s CMES Family:

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to a new academic year! Although we continue to practice safe distancing, we are off to a warm, smooth, and enthusiastic semester start. For me, it is most enjoyable to be back at the Center’s helm, having spent the past year on sabbatical leave, part of which was spent in Tunisia and the rest of the time here in Cambridge. Apart from the tragedy and disruption of the pandemic which all of us continue to experience equally, my year was a time of scholarly production and personal reflection....

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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.... Read more about Year in Review: A Message from 2019-20 CMES Acting Director Cemal Kafadar

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 ...

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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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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

Harvard CMES building

Federal Funding and the Question of Academic Freedom

October 17, 2019

After many organizations decried the First Amendment violations in the letter, last month, the Department of Education voted to renew funding for the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies for the 2019-2020 academic year. Still, members of Harvard’s CMES are worried the letter will affect its own Middle East Studies programming under the Trump administration. Read Paul G. Sullivan's article in the Harvard Crimson Magazine...

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