News & Events
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The Middle East Center at Penn sponsors and supports programs and initiatives across the disciplines and professional schools, and runs a dynamic outreach program in the Delaware Valley. Faculty and students at Penn are also active and prominent in the field of Middle East studies, making significant and highly regarded contributions to scholarly output in their areas of interest. We will continue to update news of the Center's activities and highlight the achievements of our faculty and students here.

Jul
11
Al-Bustan K-12 Educators Are you Interested in learning how to integrate some elements of Arab culture into your global education curriculum?  There's a great opportunity to take a 5-day course FREE of charge, offered by Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture at UPenn campus (Greenfield Intercultural Center at 3708 Chestnut St.) -- including dinner each evening.  The free tuition is offered to the first 12 School Philadelphia teachers that submit their registration form (see attached). The Arab Arts & Culture Course is open to educators of all skill levels.  The thematic focus this summer is on Andalusian poetry and music. The course can be taken for ACT-48 credit and 3-grad credits through the University of the Arts (UArts does charge a fee for this). More info here. To get an idea of how the last course was run, check out this page that contains videos, photos, and comments: http://www.albustanseeds.org/news/learning-from-passionate-and-masterful-musicians-and-teachers/. Any questions and all forms should be emailed to max@albustanseeds.org.  The limited offer of free admission for the first 12 applicants is available for pubic, charter and private school teachers although public school teachers will be prioritized. The deadline for this offer ends on Monday June 27, 2016 at 11:59AM.
9:00am
Greenfield Intercultural Center at 3708 Chestnut St.
Jul
11
K-12 Educators The Philadelphia World Heritage Lesson Plan Project is looking for 10 qualified educators who have a passion for this city's history and global studies to assist with curriculum development. Selected applicants will meet one full day (9:00AM to 3:00PM) and five half-days (9:00AM-12:00PM) for a total of 6 times in a 2 week period. Educators will work collaboratively to write a minimum of 15 new lesson plans for use in the School District of Philadelphia's social studies high school curriculum. The lesson plans will also be featured on an online resource center focused on Philadelphia's heritage and world heritage studies. Building a Philadelphia World Heritage Curriculum- As Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the United States, we want every Philadelphian to understand that our city exists because of the contributions of many people from many lands, including the First people. We want to build on our heritage to create a citizenry that is aware of its history and is looking out into the whole world. As part of the World Heritage Philadelphia Initiative led by the Global Philadelphia Association and the City of Philadelphia, the Education Taskforce has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to develop lesson plans focused on Philadelphia's heritage and the connections that Philadelphia has with the rest of the world. ELIGIBILTY- Educator with a minimum of 5 years classroom teaching experience- Experience teaching social studies in grades 7-12- Must be available to meet in person the week of July 11th and 18th - Experience with curriculum development or lesson plan writing BENEFITS- An opportunity to hone your global education lesson planning skills - Network with skilled and passionate local educators - Have direct input on the School District of Philadelphia's social studies curriculum - Act 48 credits- $500 stipend upon completion of all deliverables APPLY DEADLINESunday May 22, 11:59 PM All applicants will be notified by May 31 and receive more details about the project This project is supported by the Global Philadelphia Association, City of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania's Middle East Center and South Asia Center, and the Historical Society of Philadelphia. Workshops will be held at various partner locations and will be announced in future program materials.
9:00am
University of Pennsylvania
Jul
13
Anastasia Shown (UPENN), Dr. Grace L. Sanders Johnson (UPENN) and Dr. Carine Allaf (Qatar Foundation International) K-12 Educators This one-day teacher training is geared towards K-16 educators in the New Jersey area. The main objective is to help educators better integrate gendered perspectives into their global education curriculum. Through this training teachers will learn more about gender based topics relating to the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, and will be better equipped to engage a more intersectional framework for global education.  Guest Speakers and Topics Include  Teaching Concepts and Histories of Gender in the Caribbean and Latin America  The Caribbean and Latin America are among the most traveled yet least understood regions in the Americas. Concepts and histories of gender in this region are even further marginalized. Using four major themes including: Food, Entertainment, Migration, and Family, this talk will introduce K-12 educators to the region of the Caribbean and Latin America through topics that are likely familiar to the group, while encouraging participants to engage in new narratives about the region. The workshop is interdisciplinary and is designed to engage educators who teach a range of subjects including, Social Studies, Environmental Science, Art, History, Economics, and English/Literature.  About the Speaker: Dr. Grace L. Sanders Johnson is a historian of gender and sexuality in the Caribbean and Latin America. Her current book project traces women’s intellectual thought and gender politics in early twentieth century Haiti. Dr. Sanders Johnson is currently a Vice Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Africana Studies.   Best Practices & New Strategies for Teaching Africa: Sample Lessons from Women's Perspectives This presentation will walk teachers through 1.) Why it is important to teach about Africa, 2.) Pedagogy for best practices on teaching Africa, 3.) Criteria for evaluating literature, materials and lesson plans for use in the classroom, and 4.) Sample lesson planning ideas representing African women's perspectives- Bunmi Fatoye-Matory, Wangari Maathai, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie About the Speaker: Anastasia Shown is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice and Community Outreach Consultant in the School of Arts & Sciences working most recently with the South Asia Center, Middle East Center and Center for Africana Studies. Prior to this she worked as the Assistant Director of the Africa Center. By working with these Centers over the last 9 years, she has strengthened global education efforts in the region and nationally by providing professional development opportunities for teachers, curriculum support and in-school programming. She fulfilled her B.A. at Indiana University and the University of Ghana, majoring in Women Studies and Sociology. She earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice.  Curriculum Development and Women in the Middle East This hands-on workshop will discuss how to view women in the Middle East and their lives, in addition to presenting specific ways to teach about women in your classroom. Beginning with a discussion on gender and the Middle East, this workshop will debunk major stereotypes and then translate that knowledge into curricular suggestions. Teachers will leave with tangible ways of addressing gender and the Arab world in their lessons. About the Speaker: Dr. Carine Allaf has fifteen years of experience in education and the Arab world, working as a teacher, scholar, and practitioner in the United States and in multiple countries across the Arab world. Currently she is the Senior Programs Advisor at Qatar Foundation International whose mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education. Dr. Allaf obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Teachers will receive a stipend of $100 per day along with instructional materials and a professional development certificate. They will be expected to submit a lesson plan based upon the material presented in the workshop within a week of its conclusion. The workshop is in the Forum in the Connector Building.     PLEASE SEND THE ATTACHED APPLICATION TO: Valerie Concordia at vconcordia@camdencc.edu.
8:00am
Camden County College, Blackwood Campus
Jul
18
K-12 Educators The Summer Institute is a five-day professional development program at the University of Pennsylvania to support educators in: * Understanding the increasing importance of our world regions in the K-12 classroom * Learning new information and tools to connect Greater Philadelphia classrooms to the world. This year’s Summer Institute, “Using the Arts to Teach Global History, Happenings and Heritage,” will showcase how instructors can utilize visual, oral, written and performance art as a tool to reach global education objectives. Participating educators will receive Act 48 credits. Space is limited so apply today! Application Deadline is: May 31st, 2016 Help us spread the word by sharing this with your networks! Learn more about this teacher training here.
1:30pm
Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Aug
26
Dr. Erika Gilson Turkish Language Educators The Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania is planning to bring together faculty teaching Turkish at institutions of higher learning to discuss best practices in Turkish teaching. There will be some presentations but the main objective is to have a pedagogical conversation among the participants. Lunch will be provided. RSVP by emailing mec-info@sas.upenn.edu. About the Facilitator: Dr. Erika Gilson taught Turkish and Ottoman Turkish for the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University for 26 years before retiring in 2014. Committed to teaching Middle Eastern languages, she was a founding member of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages. Dr. Gilson is currently working on a database to study the effectiveness of writing as an enabling activity for language learning and on the Turkic Notations in Afanasii Nikitin's Voyage Beyond the Three Seas. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
12:00pm
Fisher - Bennett Hall Room 222, 3340 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
Sep
26
Join the Middle East Center for a lunch workshop on internship and career opportunities in Washington, D.C that utilize a major or minor in Modern Middle East studies (MMES).  Guest Speakers Include: Abigail Denburg, Penn Alum, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Abigail Denburg currently serves as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, handling a variety of portfolios, including political-military affairs, the Middle East and Africa.  Prior to this position, Abigail served as Staff Assistant to the Under Secretary.  Abigail graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, where she double majored in Diplomatic History and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. Abigail will talk how she utilized her MMES major to get the most out of her time at Penn and how she used it to further a political career. Dr. Martinez, Director of Penn in Washington Dr. Martinez is the executive director of the Penn in Washington program, which offers a semester and a summer program in Washington DC. PIW also hosts events on campus during the academic year that introduce students to alumni working in Washington, and Dr. Martinez is a year-round resource to students interested in internships and careers in Washington. Dr. Martinez teaches the core course in the PIW Semester program. More information can be found at https://piw.sas.upenn.edu/.  Lunch will be provided. 
12:00pm
311 Griski Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St.