Courtesy of Laura Rostad


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.

Dr. Beth Baron, Dr. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, Dr. Leslie Peirce, Dr. Elizabeth F. Thompson Please join us for a roundtable discussion on Gender Studies in the field of Middle East Studies.  This event brings together four leading scholars whose research covers issues pertaining to gender within Middle East Studies.  Discussants will include Beth Baron (City University of New York- Graduate Center), Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (University of Pennsylvania), Leslie Peirce (New York University) and Elizabeth F. Thompson (University of Virginia).  Beth Baron is Professor in the Department of History, Director of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, and Director, MA in Middle Eastern Studies at the City University of New York- Graduate Center.  She is the author of Egypt as a Woman: Nationalism, Gender, and Politics (University of California Press, 2005).  Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is the Robert I. Williams Term Professor of History and Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the author of Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran (Oxford University Press, 2011).  Leslie Peirce is Professor of History, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Silver Professor at New York University.  She is the author of Morality Tales: Law and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab (University of California Press, 2003).  Elizabeth F. Thompson is a Professor in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia.  She is the author of Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000).
Claudia Cohen Hall- 402
National Resources Center at UPENN For those thinking about studying abroad this summer. Come to the FLAS (Foregin Language & Area Studies) fellowship information session on Jan. 23, at 12 noon - Claudia Cohen Hall, Room 402. Representatives from each National Resource Center (Middle East Center, Africa Center, and South Asia Center) will be on hand to answer questions you may have. For information on this program and how to apply go to: Applications for Summer 2015 fellowships are due on February 27, 2015.  Applications for Academic Year 2015-16 fellowships are due on February 27, 2015. 
Claudia Cohen Hall, Room 402
Dr. Sahar Khamis (University of Maryland) Social media played a crucial role in the instigation and orchestration of the wave of political change that has been sweeping the Arab world since 2011. In this presentation, Dr. Sahar Khamis focuses on a particular type of social media, namely political blogs, which played a valuable role in paving the road for socio-political transformation in the Arab world, through providing important venues for the exchange of ideas and the formulation of collective public opinion, as well as the documentation of significant events. Thus, encouraging civic engagement and public participation, on one hand, while providing platforms for citizen journalism, on the other hand. Focusing on the case of Egypt, in particular, Dr. Khamis presents the findings of a textual analysis of the dominant discourses in five of the most popular Egyptian political blogs, and how they paved the way for the eruption of the 2011 revolution by widely sharing an anti-governmental discourse which exposed corruption and violations of human rights, on the political front, while tackling taboo issues, such as sexual harassment, on the social front. In doing so, she sheds light on why and how the role of cyberactivists, in general, and political bloggers, in particular, has been changing and how this is related to the ongoing political developments in Egypt. Space is limited, please RSVP here.    Co-Sponsored by the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania
Annenberg School for Communication | Room 300
Omar Al-Ghazzi   This paper interrogates the contentious Arab-Muslim collective memory of Al-Andalus, the name of Muslim-ruled Spain from the 8th to the 15th centuries. Omar Al-Ghazzi is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. His research interests include global communication, journalism, and digital media and collective action. His work has appeared in Communication Theory, Media, Culture and Society, Popular Communication, and International Journal of Communication. A former Fulbright fellow, Omar holds a Master’s degree in International Communication from American University in Washington DC and a BA in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Omar comes from a journalism and media analysis professional background and has previously worked for the BBC and Al-Hayat Arabic daily. Please click to view the flyer for more details.
Room 222 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Ciruce Movahadi-Lankarani Ciruce Movahadi-Lankarani is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Ciruce is interested in Iranian understandings of the modern world and how those notions were shaped by encounters with scientific knowledge and technological objects. Toward that end he not only studies the society and culture of modern Iran but also the global contexts of modernizations, development, and the production of scientific knowledge. 
Fisher-Bennett 016