The Middle East Center hosts a wide range of public events, including lectures, cultural events, film festivals, panel discussions, and interactive workshops. All of our events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. 

Please note: in accordance with the University of Pennsylvania's current COVID-19 guidelines, the Middle East Center is planning to begin holding events again in person. It is MANDATORY for all attendees to wear masks. Physical distancing will be observed. All attendees must sign a special event sign-in sheet, attesting that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or are a Penn community member enrolled in the Penn Cares testing program. We will continue to monitor CDC, city, and university guidelines and will move our events online if it is deemed necessary for the protection and safety of our community. 

Science and the Middle East

Harun Küçük, Director of the Middle East Center and Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science
Oct 19, 2021 at

Join us for a very special evening, featuring the new director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Harun Küçük. Dr. Küçük will be discussing the role and importance of science in Middle Eastern…

From Khurasan to Baghdad via Maragheh: Elite Scholarly and Administrative Circles in Mongol Iran

Hadi Jorati, Assistant Professor of History & Near Eastern Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst
Oct 21, 2021 at

In this talk, Professor Jorati will put the narratives of the Mongol Campaigns in the West and the establishment of the Ilkhanate under scrutiny, with a focus on the career of the thirteenth century mathematician, Nasir…

Social Change and Contentious Politics: Joel Beinin and Rashid Khalidi

"Social Change and the Global Middle East" Series with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy
Joel Beinin, Rashid Khalidi, and moderator Sean Yom
Oct 21, 2021 at -

The Middle East has a longstanding reputation as a place of contention, where ethnic groups and global powers alike have struggled over land, trade routes and, more recently, valuable resources such as oil. The Arab…

Communities and Conflict in Mandate Palestine

Mapping New Archival Sources to Village-Level Data
Daniel Arnon, Richard McAlexander, and Michael Rubin
Oct 26, 2021 at

The historical literature on political conflict in Mandate Palestine richly emphasizes the Israeli and Palestinian narratives of the origins of the conflict and analyzes the lived experiences in specific localities,…

China & the Middle East: Changes and Continuity in Contemporary Policy

Bill Figueroa
Nov 2, 2021 at

The last decade has seen a great deal of attention on the relationship between China and the Middle East. New economic and trade initiatives, a flurry of Chinese goods and construction services throughout the region,…

Global Jihad and Movements of Rage

Glenn Robinson, Associate Professor in Defense Analysis at the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences in the Naval Postgraduate School
Nov 3, 2021 at

Most violent jihadi movements in the twentieth century focused on removing corrupt or repressive secular regimes throughout the Muslim world. But following the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a new form of jihadism…

The Ottoman Empire and Its Afterlives

Aimee Genell, Hasan Kayalı with Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano, Harun Küçük (moderators)
Nov 17, 2021 at

Is it possible to think about the modern Middle East without thinking about the Ottoman Empire? Were the end of the World War I and the formal dissolution of the Ottoman Empire as significant as most Middle East…

Citizenship: Sinan Antoon and Sima Shakhsari

"Social Change and the Global Middle East" Series with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy
Sinan Antoon, Sima Shakhsari, and moderator Zainab Saleh
Nov 18, 2021 at -

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, debates on citizenship and belonging in Iran and Iraq have shaped government practices and popular struggles alike. They have become embedded in national discourses and practices…