Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Current MES Event Series

  • The Ancient Near East Lecture Series

    Organized by Dr. Na'ama Pat-el , Dr. Jonathan Kaplanand Dr. Bruce Wells
    Each year, we bring 2 or more speakers to deliver a seminar with graduate students and a public talk. The idea is to expose our graduate students to cutting edge research in Ancient Near East and Hebrew Bible and to form professional bonds with leading scholars, as well as provide more opportunities for the general public to learn about the Ancient Near East.
  • The Beyond Borders: Middle Eastern Literatures and Cultures Lecture Series

    Organized by Dr. Karen Grumberg and the Plan II Honors Program
    Beyond Borders: Middle Eastern Literatures and Cultures is a lecture series housed in UT’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. It actively seeks to situate the study of modern and pre-modern Middle East cultures both within their regional contexts and beyond, from transnational and transregional perspectives. Each semester, the series invites scholars of Middle Eastern literatures, cinema, music, or art to speak about cutting-edge research in these fields; or a Middle Eastern author, translator, artist, filmmaker, or musician to read, discuss, perform, or exhibit recent works. The series encourages interdisciplinary and comparative inquiry, with the aim of promoting the defining paradigm of our department’s literature/culture section: highlighting the diversity and dynamism of cultural and theoretical cross-currents, influences, and new developments in Middle Eastern cultures and related scholarship.
  • The Brown Bag Lecture Series

    Organized by Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Students
    Each semester the Department of Middle Eastern Studies hosts multiple lectures through which Ph.D. students can present their latest research. Brown Bag Lectures serve to bring our MES and UT communities together around emerging scholarship. Presenters have the opportunity to engage as an active audience and workshop their ideas in a supportive environment. Speakers have given talks on a wide range of topics, including gothic Hebrew literature, pre-Islamic Yemen, Iranian video distribution, and language use in Arabic and Turkish literature. We welcome participation across disciplines related to Middle Eastern Studies.
  • The Historical Linguistics Roundtable

    Organized by Dr. Na'ama Pat-el and the Department of Linguistics
    The Historical Linguistics Roundtable offers scholars and students across campus an opportunity to present their research, discuss others’ work and exchange ideas with linguists with similar interests. The group will meet several times each semester and everyone is welcome.
  • The Iran Lecture Series

    Organized by Dr. Kamran Aghaie, Dr. Mikiya Koyagi, and PhD student David Rahimi
    The Iran Lecture Series seeks to foster an academic and intellectual environment at UT Austin to deepen our understanding of Iran from various disciplinary perspectives. Every year, the series invites two scholars of Iran to share their ongoing research in a public lecture.
  • The Middle Eastern Studies & Islamic Studies Colloquium (on hold)

    Organized by Dr. Hina Azam
    The Islamic Studies Colloquium is an opportunity for graduate students and faculty from across the University to present research on the study of Islam and the Muslim world. Colloquium meetings aim to provide presentation experience and constructive feedback on work in progress, as well as to foster discussion and a sense of cohort among the Islamic studies community on campus. Meetings are open to all UT community, and light refreshments may be served.
  • The Islamic Studies Reading Group (on hold)

    Organized by Dr. Hina Azam
    The Islamic Studies Reading Group meets to discuss readings that focus on a centralized topic chosen for the semester. All meetings are open to the UT community.
  • The Jews in the World of Islam Lecture Series

    Organized by Dr. Karen Grumberg (CMES), Dr. Hina Azam (Islamic Studies)Dr. Jonathan Kaplan (Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies), and Isabelle Headrick (History)
    Since ancient times, Jews have lived in what we call the Islamic world. Some Middle Eastern Jewish communities, such as those centered in Iran and Iraq, pre-date Islam by centuries, and thrived well after the Muslim conquest of the eighth century, with Jews and Muslims living relatively peacefully side-by-side. The medieval period saw an especially fruitful collaboration between Arabs and Jews on the Iberian Peninsula, during what has come to be known as the Golden Age of Spain; the Hebrew poetry of the era is to this day considered among the finest ever composed. In the early modern period, Jews established flourishing new communities in the Ottoman Empire (including in what they knew as Eretz Yisrael) and North Africa, in the wake of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Modernity brought nationalist sentiments to the Middle East, which eventually contributed to the disintegration of the symbiotic dynamic that characterized the relationship among the Jews and non-Jews of the Middle East. Until the early twentieth century, though, Jews continued to participate in the culture, society, and politics of the lands they considered home for generations. This series examines various dimensions of the Jewish presence in the Islamic world.
  • The Turkish Literature in Translation Reading Group

    Organized by Dr. Jeannette Okur
    The Turkish Literature in Translation Reading Group aims to gather those who are interested in Turkish literature at UT together. It meets every month throughout the semester and the discussions are held in English. This semester, due to COVID-19 circumstances, all of our discussions will be held virtually, through Zoom. The meetings are open to the entire UT community, as well as interested individuals outside UT.
  • The Turkish Ottoman Lecture Series (on hold)

    Organized by Dr. Jeannette Okur
    The Turkish & Ottoman Studies Lecture Series is an interdisciplinary lecture series that carries out the Center for/Department of Middle Eastern Studies’ mission of actively encouraging students, faculty and community members to work comparatively across and beyond national boundaries. The series fosters interdisciplinary outreach across campus and into the community through cross-listed and co-funded events that have curricular, scholarly, or performance content advertised in at least two departments, and that is attended by a wide variety of students, faculty, and Austin community members.  Since 2013, the series has featured guest speakers in the fields of literature, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, ethnomusicology, cinema studies, migration studies, and international relations/public policy studies.
  • The Workshop on Late Antiquity

    Organized by Dr. Jonathan Kaplan and the Department of Religious Studies
    The Workshop on Late Antiquity is a series of lectures from leading faculty in the study of late antiquity, whose work touches upon the broader Middle East and the ancient Mediterranean as well as the religions and civilizations that developed in the region. These lectures draw a diverse range of people from the UT and broader Austin community, including undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff. Primarily this lecture series works to gather scholars and students interested in the study of late antiquity from across the university, who are scattered in a diverse number of program units.

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