Courtesy of Laura Rostad

NEWS & EVENTS

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.

Apr
20
In order to promote and strengthen the study of Middle Eastern Languages at Penn, the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the Translation Contest, for a first place prize of $500 awarded by the Center. The award competition will accept submissions for a different modern Middle Eastern language each year including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. The Middle East Center Translation Contest for 2015 will consider contemporary Persian texts from twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Translations must be at least one full page of text (double-spaced) of either prose or poetry. The submissions will be judged on the following criteria: accuracy, style and grammar. All entries should be the student’s original work and previously not published elsewhere.  By submitting an entry, contestants agree that the translation is their original work.  Along with their translations, entrants should also truthfully indicate their level of Persian (one year, two years, heritage speaker, native speaker, etc.) This competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students. Please submit entries to mec-info@sas.upenn.edu with the subject “Middle East Center Translation Contest: Persian” no later than April 20th, 2015 by 5 p.m.
5:00pm
Apr
22
Dr. Larry P. Goodson, Professor of Middle East Studies U.S. Policy and Strategy Toward Afghanistan and Pakistan Larry Goodson, Professor of Middle East Studies, Department of National Security and Strategy, will discuss how as the Afghan War enters its 13th year with no end in sight, Afghanistan’s neighbors continue to display divergent interests and a willingness to meddle in Afghanistan. In particular, Pakistan still sees its interests served by supporting the Taliban that stand in opposition to the Afghanistan government, despite the connection between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan’s domestic terrorist groups that threaten its internal stability. Meanwhile, the United States and its NATO partners want to conclude the Afghanistan mission, but cannot quite do so with the region still so unsettled. What should U.S. policy and strategy be going forward? Apart from the ongoing academic lectures and programs at the Middle East Center, this six-part lecture series at the Camden County College is part of Center’s community college outreach initiatives. Our past programs with the Camden County College included topics such as arts, history, culture, and religion in the Middle East. It is free and open to public. NJ Professional Development Credits (CEU) are available for educators. Please click on the flyer for the full listings of events and details for how to register for them.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Connector Building, Blackwood Campus, Camden County College
Apr
23
Dr. Deirdre Martinez and Autumn K. Patterson Are you interested in pursuing a career in government, international affairs, cultural foundations or public policy?  Join us for an Internship/Career Workshop on April 23rd, 1pm, Arch Building, Room 108. The Penn Middle East Center is hosting a workshop designed to provide advice and strategies to students to help them land the jobs they want.  Students will learn about internship and job searching, networking and careers in Washington D.C. and beyond.  Participating in the workshop will be Dr. Deirdre Martinez (Penn’s Fels Institute of Government and Penn in Washington Program), an expert in education and career placement.  She is the author of Washington Internships: How to Get Them and Use Them to Launch Your Public Policy Career (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).  Additionally, Autumn K. Patterson, a Penn Graduate who studied Political Science and Modern Middle East Studies, will be present to discuss her experiences with finding a job with the State Department. Ms. Patterson is currently a graduate student at Princeton and a recipient of the prestigious Pickering Foriegn Affairs Fellowship.   The Modern Middle East Studies (MMES) major is interdisciplinary in nature and it provides an education that can be converted into many different career paths. MMES alumni have gone on to positions in the U.S. State Department, the United States Mission to the United Nations, the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, the White House, and the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.  Presenters: Dr. Deirdre Martinez (Author of, Washington Internships: How to Get Them and Use Them to Launch Your Public Policy Career) Autumn K. Patterson (Penn Graduate, Princeton Graduate Student, State Department) We invite all Penn students to this workshop. Students in Modern Middle East Studies, Political Science and International Affairs are especially welcome. (Free to attend.  A complimentary light lunch will be served, and there will be time for informal mingling and networking.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to mec-info@sas.upenn.edu)
1:00pm
Arch Building, Room 108
Apr
29
Dr. Michael Boyle, Assistant Professor Political Science, LaSalle University The Iraq Wars: American Policy from Saddam Hussein to ISIS Michael Boyle, PH.D, Assistant Professor Political Science, LaSalle University, will discuss, why is President Obama the fourth consecutive American president to use military force in Iraq? Why does the U.S. never seem to be able to extricate itself from a conflict that began twenty years ago? This lecture will examine the factors – geopolitical, economic and moral - that have drawn successive Presidents into the Iraq’s conflicts over the last twenty years. It argues that American policy in Iraq has been beset by a recurring series of misconceptions – about the nature of the Iraqi state, about the political, sectarian and class-based divisions that animate the society, and ultimately about their ability to produce social change in that country – and by a mismatch between goals and resources, both of which have deepened Iraq’s crisis rather than alleviate it. As a result, the U.S. is now a protagonist in another war against ISIS in Iraq which may lead to the disintegration of the state and the emergence of a new order in the Middle East. Apart from the ongoing academic lectures and programs at the Middle East Center, this six-part lecture series at the Camden County College is part of Center’s community college outreach initiatives. Our past programs with the Camden County College included topics such as arts, history, culture, and religion in the Middle East. It is free and open to public. NJ Professional Development Credits (CEU) are available for educators. Please click on the flyer for the full listings of events and details for how to register for them.  
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Connector Building, Blackwood Campus, Camden County College
May
4
Middle East Center The Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania cordially invites you to a full-day symposium exploring the history of World War I in the broader Middle East. This is open to the public and will convene in the morning with keynote remarks by Dr. M. Şükrü Hanioğlu (Princeton University). Please click on the flyer for details.    Symposium Program (9 – 10 am) – Breakfast (10am – 12 pm) – Session I: The Ottoman Empire Dr. Mustafa Aksakal (Georgetown University): “World War I in the Middle East: New Scholarship” Dr. M. Şükrü Hanioğlu (Princeton University): “Ottoman Shiite Jihad during the Great War” Dr. Yücel Yanıkdağ (University of Richmond): “Fear, Anxiety and Manliness in the Ottoman Great War”   (12 – 1:30 pm) – Lunch (1:30 – 3:30 pm) – Session II: Russia and the Caucasus Dr. Peter Holquist (University of Pennsylvania): “The Policy and Practice of Russian Occupation in Eastern Anatolia and Northern Persia, 1915-1917” Dr. Eileen Kane (Connecticut College): "Imperial Collapse and Migrations in the East" Dr. Michael A. Reynolds (Princeton University): “The East’s Eastern Front: the Ottoman-Russian War and Its Legacies”   (3:30 – 4 pm) – Break (4 – 6 pm) – Session III: Iran and Syria Dr. Oliver Bast (University of Manchester): "Sideshow of a sideshow? - Iran and the First World War in the Middle East” Dr. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (University of Pennsylvania): “Post World War I Settlements: the Rise of Arab Middle East” Dr. Eve M. Troutt Powell (University of Pennsylvania): “The Empire’s Soldiers: Senegalese Tirailleurs in Syria during WWI”
9:00am
108/109 Arch Building, 3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104