Roger Owen honored by the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

August 31, 2010
Professor Owen at a CMES event


CMES faculty member and noted historian E. Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History, was honored with the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) “Award for Outstanding Contributions to Middle Eastern Studies, 2010” in Barcelona on July 20, 2010. This summer marked the first time the award was given jointly to two recipients: Professor Owen and Josef Van Ess, Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies and Semitic Languages at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

In giving the award to Professor Owen, the nominating committee of WOCMES noted, “His work on the early modern and modern Middle East is a reference in the field. Its pathbreaking works on social, economic and political histories of the Arab World in general, and in Egypt in particular have positioned him as the leading historian of our time. But Roger Owen is also engaged in contemporary issues of the Middle East, and his position on crucial questions is highly appreciated.”

CMES Director Baber Johansen commented, “We are delighted to see the importance of Professor Owen's work for the understanding of the modern Middle East, long recognized by all who work in this field, formally acknowledged by the international community of scholars. We hope to be able soon to give the Harvard community the occasion to listen to Professor Owen's outlook on the past and the future of Middle East Studies.”

Books authored by Professor Owen include State, Power, and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (2004), The Middle East in the World Economy, 1800-1914 (1981), Studies in the Economic and Social History of Palestine in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1982), and Lord Cromer: Victorian Imperialist, Edwardian Proconsul (2004). 

WOCMES was founded by the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and is held jointly by the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES), the Association Francaise pour l'Etude du Monde Arabe et Musulman (AFEMAM), the British Society for Middle East Studies (BRISMES), the German Middle East Studies Association (DAVO) and the Italian Società por gli Studi sul Medio Oriente (SeSaMO). The Congress brings together over 2000 experts in the humanities, social sciences, and other areas.  For more on the WOCMES, visit

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