Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Graduate Student Organized Activities

Brown Bag Lecture Series

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.

Jil Jadid Graduate Student Conference

Jil Jadid is a graduate student conference that aims to provide a forum for young scholars spread across a variety of disciplines to come together, share ideas and research, and discuss the future of their respective fields as they move forward in their careers and come to represent the eponymous new generation of scholars engaging with the Middle Eastern languages and its cultures. Since 2010, graduate students from a wide range of universities, both domestic and international, have assembled in Austin to set the tone for Middle Eastern studies in the twenty-first century. The ongoing positive feedback we have received from these past conferences prompts us to once again assemble with the same goal, uniting students from area studies, linguistics, comparative literature, and other departments in order to facilitate a productive and interdisciplinary exchange of new ideas. Learn more about this year's conference here


Middle East Organized Writing Group (MEOW)

The Middle East Organized Writing group (MEOW) is a weekly session during which the MA and Ph.D. students can gather to focus on their individual writing-based projects. The group setting encourages students to benefit from one another's company and to dedicate a few hours per week specifically to their writing. MEOW gives students a communal space for students to concentrate on the vital components of their education, namely, writing.


Refugee Mentor Program 

Middle Eastern Studies collaborates with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) for our Refugee Mentor Program. Graduate student volunteers serve as mentors to refugee students in AISD schools. The program seeks to help refugee children adapt to their new lives in America and acclimate to their roles as students. The Refugee Student Mentor Program not only fills a need within the local community, but it allows our students to learn about the cultures and experiences of refugees who are starting their new lives in America.


Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Student Association (MESGSA)

The Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Student Association (MESGSA) is a graduate student-run organization open to all students from the C/DMES. Currently, members are involved in various programs at UT with some studying Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew and others on a dual-degree track with LBJ. The organization is supported in many of its efforts by CMES, and is both a social and academic organization, undertaking the planning of activities such as film screening, career fairs, discussion panels, professionalization workshops, and community outreach. 

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