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.

Jan
27
Penn Museum, Middle East Center Tessa Alarcan Martin, Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau Understand more about how archaeologists use scientific analysis to understand the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Begin with an activity to explore unfamiliar objects, then tour the Artifact Lab with conservator Tessa Alarcan Martin to hear about her preparations for the new Middle East Galleries. Hear from Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), in a talk about her scientific analysis of ancient Middle East ceramics. Then finish with a STEM-focused interactive workshop that examines ceramic slipper coffins from the Mesopotamian city of Nippur. Breakfast provided, ACT 48 Credits provided for PA Educators. Located at: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA  Find out more here: education@pennmuseum.org
8:30am
Penn Museum
Feb
2
Mikiya Konagi This talk will examine how the Trans-Iranian Railway project reorganized the movement of people and commodities in its early years of operation during the 1930s and 1940s. Constructed by the newly-established Pahlavi state between 1927 and 1938, the railway is commonly seen as the symbol of national political, economic, and cultural centralization undertaken by Reza Shah Pahlavi. Yet, once we shift focus from the shah to planners, builders, operators, and users of the railway, we can see a large-scale co-production of mobilities and immobilities on local, national, and transnational levels. Using a wide array of sources, including Iranian and American archival documents, industry publications, memoirs, and travelogues, this talk focuses on railway workers and travelers, especially in the context of the Allied occupation and its immediate aftermath.
5:00pm
Fisher Bennett Hall, Room 244
Feb
8
Emily Feldman Emily Feldman, journalist with the Pulitzer Center, will give a discussion titled, "Trauma and Radicalization after ISIS".  Emily Feldman is an Istanbul-based journalist, who writes about the humanitarian crises resulting from conflicts in Iraq and Syria, with a special focus on women. For the last two years she has reported on everything from ISIS recruitment to the mass movement of refugees from the region, filing stories from Iraq, Turkey, the Balkans and Western Europe for Mashable and Al-Jazeera America, among others. Previously she covered national and international news for NBC in New York. She is a graduate of City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and a New York native. 
5:00pm
Golkin Hall, Room HH223
Feb
28
Cole Bunzel, PhD student at Princeton University Cole Bunzel is a Ph.D. student at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies, where his research focuses on the history of Wahhabism, the puritan Islamic reform-movement in Saudi Arabia. It is the ideological movement to which al-Qaeda and ISIS belong. He will analyze the place of Wahhabism in modern jihadi ideology. Bunzel, who studied and researched in Egypt and Saudi Arabia is the author of From Paper State to Caliphate: The Ideology of the Islamic State.   This lecture is part of a lecture series titled, "Terror in the Twenty First Century- al Qaeda and Their Affiliates. The lecture series is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Camden Community College Blackwood Campus
Mar
7
Barack Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at Haverford College Barack Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at Haverford College, will analyze the currect state of the Al-Qaeda threat and demonstrate how its power is overstated. He will argue that the diminution of Al-Qaeda's power requires a more nuanced response on the part of the United States. This lecture is part of a lecture series titled, "Terror in the Twenty First Century- al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their Affilates. The lecture series is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Camden County College Blackwood Campus
Mar
12
Mohammed Alyahya (moderator) Bernard Haykel, Peter Mandaville, Karen E. Young This panel will discuss the current state of affairs in Saudi Arabia and runs from 5:30-7:00. Panelists include: Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University,  Peter Mandaville, Professor of International Affairs at George Mason University Karen E. Young, Senior resident Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.  The panel will be moderated by Mohammed Alyahya, Non-resident Fellow at Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council 
5:30pm
Fisher Bennett Hall 201
Mar
17
8:30AM- 3:00PM Cost- $95 before January 15th, $145 per person after January 15th: Price includes two curriculum units, lunch, certificate of attendance, and all workshop materials. Partial scholarships are available for pre-service teachers and schools sending multiple participants.  The Middle East Center and the South Asia Center are sponsoring 12 seats for the workshop.  Who should attend: History, geography, government, current issues, AP, IB, civics, and other social studies educators are the main audience. Materials are appropriate for grades 7-12. Humanities teachers often use our materials and are encouraged to attend.   Workshop includes: An introduction to the Choice's Program award-winning resources and approach to teaching about contested international issues; An immersion in two Choices units: The Middle East in Transition; Questions for U.S. Policy and Confronting Genocide: Never Again? (both are included); Experiences in two Penn Museum exhibitions; Six Act 48 Credits (please bring your ID #)
8:30am
Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
Mar
19
Screening of the film, The Traveller as part of the Middle East Film Festival. The film is about a travel agent who has never travelled and is sent on a business trip to Paris, only to find himself confronted by temptations he cannot handle.
6:00pm
3340 Walnut St, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 401
Mar
20
This is part of the Middle East Film Festival.
6:00pm
3340 Walnut St, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 401
Mar
21
This is part of the Middle East Film Festival. The film, Clash is set entirely in a police truck, a number of detainees from different political and social backgrounds are brought together by fate, during the turmoil that followed the ousting of former president Morsi from power.
6:00pm
3340 Walnut St, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 401
Mar
22
This is part of the Middle East Film Festival. The film A Man of Integrity, is a drama about the corruption and injustice in the Iranian society.
6:00pm
3340 Walnut St, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 401
Mar
23
This is part of the Middle East Film Festival. The film, Personal Affairs takes place in Nazareth where an old couple lives wearily to the rhythm of the daily routine. On the other side of the borderm in Ramallah, their son Tarek wishes to remain an eternal bachelor.
6:00pm
3340 Walnut St, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 401
Mar
28
Lorenzo Vidino, the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University Lorenzo Vidino, the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, is an expert on Islamism in Europe and North America. He will discuss the curent state of the terrorist threat in Europe, from the mobilization of thousands of European foreign fighters who have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq to the many attacks that have bloodied the streets of the Continent. He will also discuss terrorist attacks in the US and compare them with European events.In addition, this talk will also address the response from European and American authorities and their impact on political debates on both continents.   This lecture is part of a lecture series titled, "Terror in the Twenty First Century- al Qaeda and Their Affiliates. The lecture series is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Camden County College Blackwood Campus
Mar
29
Marie Grace Brown   How do bodies mark and make meaning of our place in the world? From 1898 to 1956, amidst the upheaval of imperial rule, a generation of young Sudanese women performed a careful choreography of body movements to adapt to imperial morals and affirm a new standard of modern Sudanese womanhood. Marie Grace Brown traces these gestures, intimacies, and adornment to demonstrate how the imperial experience was inscribed on women’s bodies. The result is a highly participatory tale of empire that honors the ways in which Sudanese women told their own stories in the swing of their hips and the tucks and folds of their clothes.
12:00am
ARCH 108, 3601 Locust Walk
Apr
11
Joby Warrick Joby Warrick, the author of the Pulitzer-prize winning book, Black Flags, will separate fact from fiction about the world's most notorious terrorist organization. He will discuss the profiles of past and present leaders of ISIS and explain how it built its global army as well as whether the impact of the defeat of ISIS's caliphate in the Middle East will usher in a dangerous new phase against terrorism. Warrick will offer insights, stories, and images based upon his many years of reporting in the Middle East. This lecture is part of a lecture series titled, "Terror in the Twenty First Century- al Qaeda and Their Affiliates. The lecture series is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Camden County College Blackwood Campus
Apr
25
Daniel Byman, a professor in the Security Studies Program at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Research Director of the Center for the Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution Daniel Byman, a professor in the Security Studies Program at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Research Director of the Center for the Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, will drawn upon his work with the (-11 Commission and as an analyst for the US intelligence community, to explain how al Qaeda is distinct from the Islamic State and the broader jihadist movement. This lecture is part of a lecture series titled, "Terror in the Twenty First Century- al Qaeda and Their Affiliates. The lecture series is free and open to the public, however registration is required.
7:00pm
Civic Hall, Camden County College Blackwood Campus