Center News

Professor Renata Holod, History of Art, has received this year's Provost's Award for Distinguished Ph.D. Teaching and Mentoring. For more information about Prof. Holod, please visit here.

The Kingdom of Morocco has awarded a Medal of Honor to Roger Allen, professor of Arabic and comparative literature and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations. The medal is one of the highest honors Morocco confers for contributions in the field of arts and sciences. Allen is now Commander of the Moroccan Order of National Merit.

The Middle East Center would like to congratulate Alexandra Leavy, a member of the class of 2010 majoring in Modern Middle East Studies and Political Science, for receiving the Gelfman International Summer Fund award for her project entitled The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Role of Educational and Media Systems in Palestinian Politics.

2010 Persian Startalk Program - The Middle East Center is proud to announce the 2010 Persian Startalk Program run by Coordinator for Persian Language Pardis Minuchehr.  For information on how to apply please click here to see the flier.

At the annual CollegePalooza on April 13, the Middle East Center hosted Hamdi Attia for a calligraphy demonstration.

One of our graduate students in Middle Eastern history, Noor Zaidi (HIST), has been selected to receive a School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students for the 2010-2011 academic year.  A faculty committee has selected her along with nine other recipients.  These awards are presented annually to graduate students in the arts and sciences to recognize their contributions to teaching at the undergraduate level.  The awards seek to recognize teaching that is intellectually rigorous, exceptionally coherent, and has had considerable impact on students.

Announcing the MEC-SSRC 2010 Grant Project: "New Voices, New Media: Artists and Academics on Islam

The Middle East Center is proud to announce a new project funded by the Social Science Research Council's "Academia and the Public Sphere" Grants program.  The project "New Voices, New Media: Artists and Academics on Islam" will establish an Artist in Residency program at Penn through the MEC over the next year.  The Artists in Residents will work closely with Middle East specialists at Penn to enhance their work and create a new work of art inspired by the work of faculty here at Penn.  See below for an overview of the program, more information and application materials are forthcoming.

“New Voices, New Media: Artists and Academics on Islam.” As noted in our proposal:

            "This program recognizes the important role that artists play in shaping the debate on Islam in the United States. In an effort to encourage collaboration between our academics (social scientists, literary theorists, historians, anthropologists) and area artists, the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania proposes to initiate an Artist-in-Residence Program. We plan to select and invite three artists to spend a three-month residency at Penn’s Middle East Center. The Artist-in-Residence Program will build on the exemplary outreach activities of the Middle East Center (MEC) in the past two years that have successfully bridged the worlds of academia and the arts."

Persian Teachers' Workshop - The Middle East Center, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the National Middle East Language Resource Center at Brigham Young University are hosting a workshop for post-secondary teachers of Persian from Friday, February 5th to Sunday, February 7th. The workshop will focus on new pedagogical techniques and the development of new curricula for the Persian language. This event is by invitation only.

The Penn Libraries announced the appointment of Waleed el-Shobaki to the position of Middle East Studies Librarian. Mr. el-Shobaki comes to Penn from The John Rylands University Library of the University of Manchester.

Middle East Center staff and graduate students are assisting the Middle East Studies course at Moorestown Friends School this semester.  Mr. Joel Hager's 12th grade class will be treated to four guest lectures sponsored by the Center on topics such as "The Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Nationalism in the Middle East", "Modern History of Israel", "Modern Arabic Literature" and "20th Century US Foreign Policy in the Middle East".