Dear Colleagues and Friends, Launched in 2012, the Middle East Studies (MES) initiative continues its rapid transition from an undergraduate concentration into one of the top ten MES centers in the United States. The 2015-2016 academic year was yet another milestone in this exciting journey.
We have grown significantly on all fronts. Two successful searches completed this year, the Aga Khan Chair in Islamic Humanities and the assistant professorship in Modern Arabic Literature, deepen our strength in the humanities. The Stephen Robert Chair for a senior social scientist of the Middle East, once filled, will significantly expand the footprint of the MES program at Brown. The number of concentrators currently stands at 26. MES and crosslisted course enrollments were at around 1,200 students. MES was fortunate to receive funds to endow this country’s first postdoctoral fellowship in Palestinian Studies. We also received a Mellon Sawyer Seminar award that funds a postdoctoral fellow and two graduate students, who work on the theme of “displacement.” This coming academic year, Hanan Toukan will be the Adrienne Minassian Visiting Professor in Islamic Art.
Our research initiatives and our programming are as strong and collaborative as ever. Highlights include the fourth annual conference on Engaged Scholarship, titled “Brains in Crisis: Stress and Resilience in Syrian Refugee Children;” and a Critical Conversations panel which featured a keynote by a member of the Israeli Knesset, Haneen Zoabi. This is in addition to the Peter Green Lectures, the Luncheon Seminar, the film series and other events generated by members of the MES family.
All this is made possible by our small but superb staff and by our faculty and students. We are committed to making MES at Brown one of the best centers for the study of this vitally important region, and we thank you for your participation and your support.
Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle East History
Director, Middle East Studies