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)

Summer Language Workshop at Indiana University

New & Upcoming Courses

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Funding Opportunities

New Scholarship for Intensive Arabic Study

I'm writing to let you know about a new scholarship to support advanced, immersive Arabic studies. Details below:


About the Scholarship

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017. For more details and how to apply, visit:


The UC Critical Refugee Studies Collective (CRSC) announces three funding initiatives for AY 2017-2018. We invite applications from ladder-rank faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from any campus in the University of California system, as well as community organizations and artists working in the field of Critical Refugee Studies for projects connected to refugee populations in California to be undertaken in the academic year of 2017-18.

Grants for UC graduate students and faculty:

The Afaf Kanafani Prize

The Afaf Kanafani Prize is awarded to UC Berkeley students whose academic work focuses on women in the Arab World. One prize of $500 will be awarded to the best paper dealing with any topic related to the subject of women in the Arab world. The paper must have been produced in a UC Berkeley class.

The Kanafani Prize is made possible through a generous donation by Fay Afaf Kanafani from the proceeds of her autobiography, Nadia, Captive of Hope: Memoir of an Arab Woman.

UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students registered for the academic year in which they are applying.

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Results will be announced in early summer.

Applications must include a cover letter introducing the applicant and three copies of the applicant’s submission paper. Applicants must include his or her name, UC Berkeley identification number, email address, phone number, year in school, major, and the class in which he or she produced the paper. The applicant’s name should appear on every page of the application.

Please email applications as a single PDF to with “Afaf Kanafani Prize” in the subject line.


2017 Research Grant Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference

Due to newly available funds, ASMEA is pleased to offer a second round of Research Grants of up to $2500. In conjunction with the Tenth Annual ASMEA Conference, second round applications must comport with existing Program rules and restrictions. Applicants for these funds may submit completed applications from April 3-14, 2017 only.

Qualifying research topics can be found here.

Applications made during the first round of the Research Grant program are now being reviewed. Winners will be announced by April 28, 2017. New applications for the second round of the Research Grant program will be announced by May 5, 2017.

Download the GRANT OPPORTUNITIES flyer!

Become an ASMEA MEMBER or REGISTER for the Tenth Annual Conference.

Questions? See our FAQ or contact ASMEA at 202.429.8860

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Fellowship & Job Opportunities

2018-19 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program


The 2018-19 Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program competition is now open and accepting applications for awards in the Middle East and North Africa. We invite you to consider applying for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award, and also invite you to encourage your colleagues to be a part of this important international experience. Below you’ll find some ways you can get involved.

·        Consider applying to teach or research – Explore the Catalog of Awards ( and contact us with any questions regarding specific opportunities. Highlights to the region include:

o   Oman: All Disciplines (8367-MU)

o   Jordan: All Disciplines (8358-JO)

o   Tunisia: All Disciplines (8372-TS)

o   Israel: Postdoctoral Fellowship (8357-IS)


·        Refer your U.S. colleagues to receive information about the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. IIE/CIES will contact all referrals, providing valuable information about the award offerings and application process. You can also list your colleagues’ primary discipline or preferred country, which will allow us to tailor our guidance.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the deadline for the 2018-19 competition is August 1, 2017. Please reach out with any questions or concerns; we’ll be glad to assist.

Seeking TA/Activity Coordinator: Summer Intensive Language Program at the Middlebury Institute

JOB TITLE: SILP Tutor/Activity Guide - Russian
DEPARTMENT: Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP)
LOCATION: MIIS at Monterey Main Campus
DATES: June 11 – August 9, 2017

Under the direct supervision of Language Program Coordinators, Tutors/Activity Guides assist Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP) students in their academic coursework outside of class (10+ hours/week) and facilitate co-curricular activities (5-10 hours/week). We are looking for qualified candidates to perform the combined role of Tutor/Activity Guide in all five SILP languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

B.A. with a foreign language major or equivalent; M.A. in foreign language teaching or equivalent (in progress or completed) preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Advanced-level fluency in the target language

• One to three years experience tutoring and/or working with foreign language learners
• Experience organizing and facilitating group events

Physical Demands
The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey maintains a smoke-free workplace and complies with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and Drug-Free Workplace Act.

Essential job functions require ability to sit for extended periods of time, walk, bend, climb, push/pull, lift and carry up to 25 pounds occasionally. Also requires fine dexterity and ability to grasp, i.e. for writing and word processing/data entry.

Submit CV and cover letter:

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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

Narratives of Progress: Global and Local Perspectives

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute is calling for proposals.

We invite interested participants to send proposals that deal with these or related questions. We also encourage approaching these questions by examining specific case studies, or by examining specific figures relevant to either of these dimensions (e.g., Hegel, Franz Fanon, Muhammad Abduh, to name but a few).
We suggest three formats of proposals:
Round-table discussions of an article or book chapter related to one of the above topics
Panel discussions
20-minute papers

More information can be found here.

Deadline: April 30,2017

Volume VI, Issue 2 of LIGHTS: The MESSA Journal (From the University of Chicago)

We invite graduate students from all departments to submit academic papers related to Middle Eastern Studies. Submissions from all relevant disciplinary approaches and subject areas are encouraged. Book reviews, critical and analytic pieces, and photography submissions related to the Middle East are welcome.

Submissions must be in Microsoft word .doc(x) format or PDF form for photographs.We also request that submissions be limited to 6,000 words or 17 pages double spaced.

The extended submission deadline is 5pm on Friday, April 7, 2017.

Please send submissions to:

American Institute for Maghrib Studies

The Maghrebi/North African Cultural Studies Reader aspires to bring together some of the top researchers in the North African/Maghrebi area studies, and aims to introduce the international student to


  1. engage with and debate the evolution of cultural studies,
  2. assess the different strands within the subject, and
  3. project on new directions. 

Covering different historical periods, geo-strategic grounds and pluri-disciplinary fields, contributors to the book will provide an assessment of North African/Maghrebi cultural studies, advance an account of the field’s historical formation, and suggest an outline of its significant ideological trends and theoretical controversies. With a special edition appearing in English for the first time, the collection offers a comprehensive view of the specific challenges, multi-disciplinary philosophies and appropriate methodologies that characterize ME-di-NA cultural studies.

For the full call, go to: 

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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.


Announcing the 2017 AIMS Graduate Student Writing Workshop September 29th and 30th, 2017 at Boston University

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS) invites doctoral and masters candidates to its 17th Dissertation Workshop scheduled for September 29th and 30th hosted by the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations at the Pardee School for Global Studies, Boston University.

The workshop provides the opportunity for current doctoral or master candidates to present, discuss, and receive valuable feedback on work related to North Africa.  Accepted applicants will submit a piece of writing from their dissertations or theses at any stage (prospectus, dissertation chapter, or article draft).  Participants will read and prepare discussion of one or more other submissions in addition to presenting their own.  Scholars who have worked on North Africa in a variety of disciplines will offer feedback, as well as perspectives on publishing, job market conditions, and other topics germane to professional academic development.  The workshop further affords the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with colleagues in the field.

All disciplines are welcome.  In the past they have included: history, political science, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, comparative literature, psychology, public health and more.  There will be some funding for travel expenses and per diem allowances.  Space and funding are limited.

·        This workshop is open only to AIMS members. To become a student member (only $50) or renew your membership, please visit the AIMS website at or contact the AIMS U.S. office at


·        Applicants must send a current C.V. and short (300-word) topic proposal to AIMS Graduate Student Association President Jessica Lambert at   


·        Selected participants will be notified by email and asked to submit a chapter/prospectus/ article for review.


·        The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2017.

Please share this announcement with interested colleagues and friends!

This event is sponsored by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations at Boston University with additional support from the Department of Anthropology and the African Studies Center at Boston University.

 Summer Language Workshop at Indiana University

The Indiana University Summer Language Workshop continues to accept applications for intensive study of Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Chinese, Estonian, Haitian Creole, Hungarian, Japanese, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mongolian, Pashto (online), Persian, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

The proficiency-based Workshop curriculum features 20-25 contact hours weekly and a rich co-curricular program, including language tables, films, clubs, cooking demonstrations, and lectures with area studies specialists.

All participants pay in-state tuition rates for Summer Language Workshop courses. Program participants earn 4-10 transferable IU credits and have access to university libraries, recreational facilities, and public transit. On-campus housing is available.

Program Dates: June 5 - July 28, 2017

Application Deadline: May 1, 2017

To apply to the Summer Language Workshop, visit

For more information on the funding opportunities described above and to apply for one or more of them, visit

Questions? Contact or 812-855-2889.

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Please email to suggest an opportunity for inclusion here.