CMES Graduate Digest

Aggregated opportunities for graduate students interested in the Middle East and North Africa

CMES Graduate Digest

New & Upcoming Courses

Check back for new and upcoming courses

Funding Opportunities

Townsend Conference & Lecture Grants

Townsend Working Groups

Fellowship & Job Opportunities

One-year post-doctoral research associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies

Full-Time Position in Turkish at Northwestern’s MENA Program

Middle Eastern & Near Eastern Studies Librarian/Research Specialist - Library

Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Art of Teaching Writing Fellowships

Calls for Papers

Fictions of History Conference

Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference :

The Middle East and Africa: Assessing the Regions Ten Years On

“Muslims and the City”, 46th Annual Conference of the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS)


Al-Quds Bard Summer Language Intensive (AQB SLI)

New & Upcoming Courses

Check back for new and upcoming courses

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Funding Opportunities

Townsend Conference & Lecture Grants

The Townsend Center provides small grants for partial funding of public conferences, lectures, and symposia taking place at UC Berkeley. Events that are closed to the public, require an admission fee, take place off of the UC Berkeley campus, or occur before the deadline for application will not be considered for funding. Ongoing/recurring activities and named lecture series are not funded by this program. The Center will fund meetings of professional organizations that take place in Berkeley on a one-time basis only.


Friday, Sep 16, 2016 | 5:00 pm
Friday, Feb 10, 2017 | 5:00 pm
Monday, May 1, 2017 | 5:00 pm

More information can be found at:

Townsend Working Groups

The Townsend Center Working Groups program sponsors research in the humanities and the humanities-related social sciences. The Townsend Center funds nearly 60 groups per year ranging across a wide spectrum of subjects and disciplines. The aim of these working groups is to bring together faculty and graduate students at Berkeley in an effort to create scholarly dialogue and to foster the free exchange of ideas on shared research interests.

Groups that have been in existence for 10 or more continuous years are invited to apply for a multi-year award (three years).

Deadline: Friday, May 5, 2017 | 5:00 pm

More information can be found at:

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Fellowship & Job Opportunities

One-year post-doctoral research associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies

Middle East Studies at Brown University invites applications for a one-year post-doctoral research associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies with a possibility of renewal for a second year. The position is part of the ongoing initiative, New Directions in Palestinian Studies, which seeks to critically explore and facilitate innovative lines of academic inquiry in this field. We especially welcome candidates who thrive in an interdisciplinary environment and whose work is informed by comparative and global perspectives.


The position is open to all the humanities and social science disciplines. Scholars who received PhDs within five years of the application deadline are eligible to apply. Residence in the Providence area is required for most of the one-year appointment, unless approval for research-related travel is obtained in advance. Associates will teach one class a year, take a leadership role in organizing the annual New Directions in Palestinian Studies Symposium, advise students, and participate in research-related programming on campus. The annual stipend is $57,000, plus a health insurance subsidy. Additional funding for conference-related travel and other research expenses is available.

Application Instructions

Review of applications will begin March 1, 2017. The following materials should be submitted via Interfolio ( prior to that date:

1. A brief cover letter stating the applicant's academic field, area of specialization, and a short summary of the proposed work during the appointment period.

2. A Curriculum vitae.

3. A Research statement: Summary of the research questions, goals, and methodological approaches of current and future projects. The statement should not exceed 2,000 words, including all bibliographic references and supplementary material.

4. Teaching statement: experience in and approaches to undergraduate teaching.

5. Three letters of recommendation

6. Writing sample

7. A proposed class syllabus suitable for a Middle East Studies course.

8. An official copy of each graduate transcript

We will conduct Skype interviews with short-listed candidates in mid-March. Awards will be announced thereafter. For further information, please visit the Middle East Studies website ( or contact:

Beshara Doumani

Director, Middle East Studies

Brown University

111 Thayer Street Providence, RI 02912

 +1 401.863.6924


Full-Time Position in Turkish at Northwestern’s MENA Program

The deadline is March 10, 2017

Northwestern’s Program in Middle East and North African Studies (MENA) is expanding its language program with a new full-time position in Modern Turkish Language. We invite applicants for a position at the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor, Lecturer, or Senior Lecturer, depending on qualifications. This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position starting September 1, 2017. Duties include teaching language courses in first- and second-year Turkish, plus additional content courses in the faculty member’s area(s) of scholarly expertise. For full consideration, apply by March 10, 2017.

For more details and to apply: 

Middle Eastern & Near Eastern Studies Librarian/Research Specialist - Library

Final date: April 28th, 2017

The University of California, Berkeley seeks a collaborative and service-oriented librarian and/or research specialist to support world-class research and teaching through the Library’s engagement with faculty and students and development of the Library’s interdisciplinary and multilingual research collections to advance understanding of the Middle East, Near East, North Africa, and religious studies with a focus on Islam.

Additional Information and application can be found at:

Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Art of Teaching Writing Fellowships

The Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Graduate Student Fellowship in the Art of Teaching Writing is a new grant designed to provide graduate students teaching Reading & Composition courses in Fall 2016 the opportunity to improve existing and develop new pedagogical skills and practices. Twelve students will each receive a $2,000 stipend to participate in a seminar led by Joseph Harris, a leading scholar in compositional studies.
The Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Graduate Student Fellowship begins with a week-long intensive seminar, The Art of Teaching Writing. The seminar will be held from at the Townsend Center for the Humanities. In the mornings, students learn about best practices for designing writing courses and working with student writers. In the afternoons, students join in conversations with distinguished scholars in writing studies on such topics as the aims of first-year writing courses, teaching in a global and multilingual culture, the impact of digital literacies, and writing beyond the university. At the end of the week, students will have completed a detailed draft of the materials for their R&C courses.
During the Fall, students are required to attend monthly meetings of the seminar and to post occasional comments to the Art of Teaching Writing blog. In December, students will attend a daylong seminar to discuss their teaching experiences and reflect on ways to improve teaching writing on the Berkeley campus.
The 2016 Seminar on the Art of Teaching Writing is led by Professor Joseph Harris, who directs the Composition Program at the University of Delaware. Harris has written or edited four books on teaching writing, including Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts, and A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966. He has also edited CCC, the leading journal in writing studies, and the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric book series. Before coming to Delaware, he directed the writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University.

Deadline: Friday, Apr 7, 2017 | 5:00 pm

More information can be found at:

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Calls for Papers

Fictions of History Conference

An Interdisciplinary Conference on Critical Theory

May 5th-6th, 2017

The Graduate Center, CUNY and the New York Public Library

Keynote Roundtable: Mark Anderson, Daniel Kehlmann, and Judith Ryan

Keynote Talk: Stephen Greenblatt

The “Fictions of History” conference being given by the Critical Theory Certificate Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY and the New York Public Library is devoting several special sessions to the work of W.G. Sebald.


Sebald situates his work in the gray zone between fiction and history, positioning himself with both proximity and distance to his subject matter, alternating between first-hand victim and third-hand witness. At the center of Sebald’s writing is the taboo of the “wrongful trespass:” a fear that either he will falsely identify with events he himself has not experienced or that his objectivity will dilute the emotional impact of what he describes. In response to this concern, Sebald creates works that straddle the boundary between fact and fiction in order to portray and grapple with historical events.  


These special sessions will examine the relationship between fiction and history in Sebald’s work. Possible topics include: theoretical and philosophical approaches to Sebald; Sebald’s inclusion of documents, pictures, and other media in his novels; the place of the Holocaust in Sebald’s thinking and artistry; Sebald’s use of fictional testimony; Sebald’s style as a way of examining memory and enduring trauma; Sebald’s work and collective memory; techniques of dislocated narration; Sebald’s reimagination/reconstruction of time and space; and Sebald’s engagement with other writers, artists, and thinkers.

Please submit a 300-word abstract for a 15 minute paper by March 1st, 2017 to Proposals should include the title of the paper, the presenter’s name, any technology requests, and a 50-word bio including institutional and departmental affiliation, as well as current position.

Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference :

The Middle East and Africa: Assessing the Regions Ten Years On

October 19 - 21, 2017

Key Bridge Marriott Hotel * Washington, D.C.

ASMEA is currently seeking proposals for paper and panel presentations for its Tenth Annual Conference. Scholars from any discipline, tenured or untenured faculty, or those otherwise affiliated with a recognized research institution, may submit proposals to present at the Conference. Unique proposals from senior graduate students (ABD) will also be considered. Proposals on topics related to the Middle East and Africa should consist of a one-page summary outline of new and unpublished research. A recent C.V. with all contact data also must be included with name, e-mail, phone number, and affiliation. SUBMIT your PAPER and PANEL Proposals. The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2016.  

In conjunction with the Tenth Annual Conference, the following GRANT OPPORTUNITIES are available to ASMEA Members:

ASMEA Research Grants

The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa is pleased to offer research grants up to $2500 to qualified scholars and students engaged in the study of the Middle East and Africa. Application deadline is March 31, 2017. Find out more information, HERE.

Conference Travel Grant

ASMEA is offering travel grants up to $750 to qualified scholars and students to present their research at the Tenth Annual Conference. Application deadline is March 31, 2017. Find out more information, HERE.

 “Muslims and the City”, 46th Annual Conference of the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS)

Friday, September 29, 2017


Abstracts: February 20, 2017

Final Papers: August 25, 2017

The spread of Islam from its advent in the 7th century had an irreversible impact on the

development of the city throughout the Muslim world from the Arabian Peninsula to Asia, Africa and Southern Europe. Since Islam covers religious, social, economic and legal aspects of life, the

logic behind the design of the traditional Islamic city was influenced by Qur’anic principles.

These principles highlighted religious practices, Shari’ah (Islamic law), social principles, and

the science behind natural universal laws.

Since an integral part of the teachings of Islam include the concepts of authority, family structures and community relations, and social organizations, the  traditional Islamic city reflected the socio- economic and religious needs of the Muslim community. During medieval times, the mosque, for example, became the single most important institution in the traditional Islamic city. The schools (madrasas) which provided religious instruction about Islam and the Qur’an were built in the courtyard next to the mosque, and the markets (suqs) which were bustling with trade provided the backdrop to an urban religion. The call to prayer (adhan) and Friday prayers (Juma’a) provided the component parts which further reinforced the development of an Islamic city. Inscriptions of Qur’anic verses became the main motif in architectural design on mosques, fountains, and madrasas in early Islamic towns because Qur’anic calligraphy reflected the living philosophy of Islam.

The design and layout of the city (7th century - 13th centuries) also assumed a functional role for

physical defense during times of unrest, and environmental conditions, not only religious

practices. For example, public fountains were found everywhere due to communal worship for

performing ritual ablutions (wudu), and relieving heat due to weather conditions. Fountains in

gardens, courtyards, town squares and even on the facades of Mosques also exemplified the central role water played in the construction of early Islamic cities in hot climates from the

Arabian Peninsula to the Maghreb (Tunis and Rabat) and southern Europe (Cordoba in Muslim Spain).

How might a “traditional” Islamic city function in today’s digital age and address issues from

natural and social science perspectives? Can it be instrumental in addressing the socio-economic

and cultural identity crises in the modern Muslim world of the 21st century? What role can Islamic

ideals of the in addressing the destruction brought on by wars?

We  invite  a  diverse  range  of  papers  from  professors  and  advanced  Ph.D.

candidates in the humanities and social sciences. Questions the papers might address include, but

are not limited to the following:

•    Art and Architecture

•    Calligraphy and Qur’anic Inscriptions on Buildings

•    Social Hierarchies

•    The Virtuous City

•   Interrelations between Communities

•   Physical Design and Defense

•    The Impact of Political Motives on the Virtuous City

•   The Islamic Golden Age: Contributions to the West

•    Early Islamic City Design Principles vs Modern Islamic Design

•    Modern Urban Development and Social Identity Crisis

•   Early Shura (consultative) Political Power System vs Ottoman Empire: Impact on Traditional

Islamic City Design

•    Modern Urban Development Strategy and the Islamic City

•   Role of Architectural Design in Modern Islamic Cities

•    Environmental Concerns

•   Ethics of Deconstruction and Reconstruction

•    Islamic Support for Green Cities

•    Preservation of Heritage

Abstracts (250 words) Due by February 20, 2017: ONLY Abstracts from Professors and Advanced Ph.D. Candidates will be Considered

•    Abstracts will be evaluated according to following criteria: clear data & methodology used,

relevance & contribution of proposal to conference theme. Abstracts must include a title, author’s

full name, contact information, and university position (Professor or Ph.D. Candidate)

•   Panelists required to pre-register & pay non-refundable fees by May 12, 2017. Online

registration will be available

•   Final papers must be submitted by August 25, 2017

•    Send abstracts & final papers to Layla Sein, NAAIMS Executive Director, and Director of

Academic Affairs at

•   Direct all questions to Layla Sein

Program Chair:

Prof. Kathleen Bailey, Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

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CFP Brecht in the Middle East (Modern Language Association, New York, 4-7 January 2018)

4-7 January 2018

Modern Language Association Convention  * New York City

This panel seeks to examine and discuss the legacy of Bertolt Brecht in the Middle East. What are specificities in the translation, appropriation, and staging of Brecht’s work? How did dramatists introduce, implement, adopt and transform Brechtian dramaturgical concepts in relation to existing theatrical practices and traditions? How did dramatists draw on Brecht to develop new theatrical forms while addressing and responding to national issues, politics, and histories? How did Brecht’s theory and practice of theater translate into the multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, transcontinental, geo-political region referred to as Middle East, defined by never-ending conflict, upheaval and uprisings? What are differences, divergences, and/or intersections in the interpretation of Brecht within the Middle East? How have Brecht’s methods possibly influenced the role of theater in and against oppressive regimes?

Please submit 200-word abstracts by March 10, 2017 to Ela Gezen, egezen[at] and Hatem Akil, hatem[at] Presenters whose papers are chosen for the MLA convention must become members by 7 April 2017.

Call for proposals for International Conference on Gender and Politics in an Age of Uncertainty: The Road to Sustainable Democracy and Democratization

Organized by: Polydisciplinary Faculty of Ouarzazate, IbnZohr University (Morocco); In collaboration with: University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)
Proposals due: April 20, 2017
Venue: Kenzy, Farah Azghor. Ouarzazate

The Conference is hosted and organized by the Polydisciplinary Faculty of Ouarzazate, Ibn Zohr University in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
        The conference venue, which is Kenzy, Farah Azghor in the city of Ouarzazate Morocco, is located in a charming town in southeastern Morocco, 205 kilometers from Marrakech and at the edge of the Sahara. Referred to as the “door of the Desert,” Ouarzazate is known internationally for its historic kasbah fortresses and its studios, where many Hollywood films were made.
This conference is unique in three ways. First, its cutting-edge content deals with the prospects of sustaining women’s rights and empowerment in an age of uncertainty, where more nations in many parts of the world seem to be rolling back hard fought democratic freedoms. It provokes many new challenging research questions which clearly show that the old boundaries of concepts dissolve and that new approaches and fresh thinking are needed. Second, its international scope aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform and a stimulating international academic forum including all sorts of stakeholders, create many opportunities for networking and socializing with the participants. Third, it is being held in a charming location called Ouarzazate; a city in southeastern Morocco, known internationally for its historic kasbah fortresses and its studios, where many Hollywood films have been made.
        Additionally, the conference affords spaces and times for less formal discussions, which are an important factor supporting the transfer of knowledge and the exchange of experiences so needed in one’s academic life. Our esteemed keynote speakers are well-known for their dynamic, informative and thought provoking speeches. ICGP’17proudly presents the following keynote speakers: Professor Fatima Sadiqi from the University of Fez in Morocco, Professor Dahlerup Drude from University of Stockholm in Sweden; Professor miriam cooke from the Duke University in USA and Professor Aili Mari Tripp from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in USA. ICGP’17 welcomes young researchers, the next generation of experts in our field, and invites them to contribute and meet with the seniors.
Please examine our call for papers and consider joining us in Ouarzazate October 24-26, 2017. ICGP’17 is a very promising international meeting place and a stimulating venue for presenting research on the future of women’s rights.


Al-Quds Bard Summer Language Intensive (AQB SLI)

o   daily one-on-one conversation practice with Palestinian students

o   daily interaction with host families

o   frequent group excursions and extra-curricular activities

o   Visits to Ramallah, Jericho, the Dead Sea, Haifa, Akka, the Galilee, and Nazareth

o   Visits to local schools, refugee camps, women’s cooperatives, museums, and cultural centers in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas; attendance of cultural events, musical performances, and film screenings

o   Weekly guest lectures by academics, activists, and artists from a variety of fields


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Please email to suggest an opportunity for inclusion here.