CMES News

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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Karagoz puppets

Video: 'Trauma, Magic, Love': a tribute to Osman Kavala on his birthday

October 2, 2019

On September 16, CMES welcomed Syrian-Armenian-American stage and film actress Sona Tatoyan and artist and puppet master Ayhan Hülagü to speak about finding her Armenian grandfather's Karagöz puppets in the abandoned family home in Aleppo, Syria. Ayhan then presented some of Sona's family's puppets in a short puppet show to close the event. For more on Sona and Ayhan and the event: https://bit.ly/2potIVR.

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Rosie Bsheer Mecca keynote

Reflecting on the Many Faces of Mecca, the Lived City

June 28, 2019

“Mecca is lived, experienced, and documented differently by different people,” began Rosie Bsheer, Assistant Professor of History at Harvard and author of the forthcoming “Archive Wars: Spectacle, Speculation, and the Politics of History in Saudi Arabia,” in her keynote address to the colloquium Mecca: The Lived City, hosted by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies in May.

Mecca is characterized by plurality. In two days of lectures, speakers drew on academic, professional, and personal experiences to explore disparate visions of Mecca. The city’s social,...

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Jocelyne Dakhlia

Practices of Mobility, Regimes of Visibility: Jocelyne Dakhlia on Women in the Early Modern Maghrib

May 6, 2019

Jocelyne Dakhlia, Director of Studies, Center for Historical Research, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, was the distinguished speaker this year for the H.A.R. Gibb Arabic and Islamic Studies Lecture Series, established in 1964 in honor of Sir Hamilton A.R. Gibb, who was a director of CMES as well as University Professor and James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic at Harvard. Youssef Ben Ismail, PhD candidate in Muslim Societies and Cultures in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, covered the lectures for CMES.

In the summer of 1535...

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Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad: The Making of an Activist

April 5, 2019

Nadia Murad came to Harvard as a survivor of genocide under ISIS, an advocate for victims of sexual violence, and the first Iraqi citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Her talk at the Memorial Church, as part of the Weatherhead Center’s Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture Series, co-sponsored this year by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, focused on her personal journey and how her ordeal turned her into an activist. Read more about her talk in the...

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sultan's harem

Video: Undesired Bodies: Figures of Continuity and Discontinuity in the Mediterranean of Lady Montagu

April 4, 2019

Jocelyne Dakhlia, Director of Studies, Center for Historical Research, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, delivers the second lecture of the 2019 H.A.R. Gibb Arabic and Islamic Studies Lecture Series. Also see a video of Dakhlia's first lecture in the series, and read Youssef Ben Ismail's coverage of both talks.... Read more about Video: Undesired Bodies: Figures of Continuity and Discontinuity in the Mediterranean of Lady Montagu

Nadia Murad

Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture with Nadia Murad

April 3, 2019

The 2019 Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture, "Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad in Conversation with Jennifer Leaning," took place on April 3 at the Memorial Church at Harvard. Nadia Murad is the corecipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, and is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Murad’s peaceful life was savagely interrupted in 2014 when Daesh attacked her homeland in Sinjar, with the intention of ethnically cleansing Iraq of all Yazidis. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women in particular...

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Frau in Morocco

Video: The Sultanic Harem in Movement: State Logic and Feminine Mobility in Morocco (1500-1800)

April 2, 2019

Jocelyne Dakhlia, Director of Studies, Center for Historical Research, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, delivers the first lecture of the 2019 H.A.R. Gibb Arabic and Islamic Studies Lecture Series. Also see a video of Dakhlia's second lecture in the series, and read Youssef Ben Ismail's coverage of both talks.... Read more about Video: The Sultanic Harem in Movement: State Logic and Feminine Mobility in Morocco (1500-1800)

Iranian Oral History update

Iranian Oral History Project Gets an Update

February 11, 2019

The Iranian Oral History Project, launched in 1981 at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and directed by Habib Ladjevardi, recorded the personal accounts of 134 individuals who played major roles in or were eyewitnesses to important political events in Iran from the 1920s to the 1980s. This unique resource, available through Harvard Library, provides scholars and practitioners the opportunity to listen to and read the personal accounts of many of Iran’s former political leaders as they recall the times and events that shaped their lives and the life of their country.... Read more about Iranian Oral History Project Gets an Update