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.

Announcement and Call for Applications: Iran Graduate Student Workshop To build bridges across Persian and Iranian Studies programs, scholars from New York University’s Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department and the Gallatin School (ISI-NYU), Princeton University’s Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center announce the Iran Graduate Student Workshop (IGSW). The workshop will provide a valuable venue for academic exchange and production, giving distinguished young scholars of the field an unrivalled opportunity to present and promote their research. On May 4-5, 2018, the University of Pennsylvania will host the second gathering of this joint workshop, to be followed by similar meetings at the other campuses every two years. This second workshop in 2018 will consist of PhD students that are near ABD status and preparing their dissertation proposals (i.e., typically in their 2nd or 3rd year of graduate work). In addition, the first cohort will participate again, as discussants, in the 2018 workshop, as they approach the end of their graduate work. Applicants for the second round, in 2018, must focus on modern Iran (roughly 18th-20th centuries), other countries of the Persianate world, or diasporas, or conduct relational histories and comparative work; and will be drawn from disciplines and programs in the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, art history, economics, history, literature, politics, sociology, and related fields.   IGSW Purpose: To provide graduate students with intellectual feedback on their research, encompassing both area studies and disciplinary critiques, twice in their graduate student careers. To ensure that graduate students of Iran are aware of, and make their work accessible to, scholars from other parts of “their” area (i.e., the Middle East broadly defined) as well as from 
their own discipline, whether it be history, literature, or the social sciences. To use the above points to make sure that graduating scholars who focus on modern Iran will continue to be placed, if not more frequently placed, in both area studies and disciplinary departments. To help doctoral students improve skills in scholarship and teaching.   To apply, please email the application materials to by August 15, 2017:  One letter of recommendation from an advisor or committee member supporting the research project and attesting to the student's good standing in their program of study. Curriculum vitae Research proposal of 1,000 words on argument, methods, and evidence to be used in 
Decisions on applications will be sent out by September 30, 2017. If selected by the IGSW committee, participants will be expected to attend workshops in years 2018 and 2020. Travel and accommodation for accepted applicants will be provided by the IGSW. This event is co-organized by New York University’s Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Department and the Gallatin School (ISI-NYU), Princeton University’s Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center.
Dr. Lauren Ristvet (University of Pennsylvania) Please join us for the K-12 Teacher Professional Development workshop titled Middle East: Crossroads of Culture, which will take place at Penn Museum on August 24, 8:30-12:30pm. The workshop features a lecture titled The Making of an Exhibit: Cultures in the Crossfire  by Dr. Lauren Ristvet, Dyson Associate Curator in the Near East Section and Associate Professor in Penn's Department of Archeology. The lecture will be followed by a tour of the exhibit Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq, and a hands-on workshop that focuses on ancient Middle Eastern adornment. To register, please send your name and your grade level to The deadline for registration is August 10.      
Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA