CMES is a research and outreach center, housed within the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (ISBER) at UC Santa Barbara. We develop and support programs that enhance public understanding of the Middle East and the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East. CMES affiliates have expertise in Middle Eastern history, politics, economics, religions, cultures and languages. 

Our mission is to encourage critical and informed knowledge of the Middle East, and support critical Middle Eastern scholarship. We achieve this through lectures, workshops and seminars, providing grants, and a public education and a cultural outreach program for K-12 educators and students, among other means.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

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May 2021
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NEWS

  • Event Highlight | Central Asian Pilgrims and the Late Ottoman Hajj

    Event Highlight | Central Asian Pilgrims and the Late Ottoman Hajj

    On Thursday, March 4th, Historian Lale Can gave a talk on her masterful new book Spiritual Subjects which looks at Central Asian pilgrims and the Hajj during the late Ottoman period and the entangled trajectories, negotiations, and contestations that mediated how this group of hajjis interacted with and shaped Ottoman governance. Spiritual Subjects follows these pilgrims as they navigated shifting legal, social, and political regimes through different imperial realms—from Russian and Chinese empires to Central and South Asian emirates and khanates—as they sought to perform a sacred journey during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when material transformations also...
  • Event Highlight | The Transnational Impact of the Syrian Mahjar

    Event Highlight | The Transnational Impact of the Syrian Mahjar

    Inaugurating the 2020-21 CMES speaker series, Dr. Stacy Farenthold virtually visited UC Santa Barbara in October to discuss her award-winning book Between the Ottomans and Entente: The First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925. The lecture focused on the transnational nodes and micro historical accounts of Syrian migration to the western hemisphere during the early twentieth century. Farenthold opened by describing how the mahjar (diaspora) participated or defied the seminal events and intellectual environment of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution in Latin America to underscore the broad reach of these revolutionary ideas and its diverse iterations across...
  • Professor Dwight Reynolds sheds light on the evolution of Andalusian music in the Iberian Peninsula

    Professor Dwight Reynolds sheds light on the evolution of Andalusian music in the Iberian Peninsula

    UCSB Religious Studies Professor Dwight Reynolds book The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus is now published with Rutledge! Exploring the history of first and second millennia Andalusian music in Islamic Iberia, Reynolds illuminates the incredible fusion of various musical traditions that occurred throughout cultural evolutions during the period. Often neglected in analysis by scholars of Muslim Spain, the diverse musical heritage of this region is fully expounded upon as Reylnolds explores a wide-range of musical practices, ranging from Syria to Morocco. Professor Reynolds discussed his newest book with UCSB History Professor Debra Blumenthal at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center on February 18,...
  • Prof. Daniel Masterson has articles in the Washington Post and The Economist

    Prof. Daniel Masterson has articles in the Washington Post and The Economist

    Masterson makes a straightforward case for a compassionate response to Syrian refugees. UCSB Political Science Professor Daniel Masterson received significant buzz this past month after publishing articles in both the Washington Post and The Economist. Associated with the Center for Middle East Studies, Masterson studies migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy. An expert on the refugee crisis in the Levant, Masterson takes on the difficult subject of domestic turmoil in relation to Syrian migration. Discussing the abject conditions facing refugees following the departure from their home country, Masterson rejects the policy of many governments accepting migrants and presents a compelling case...
  • Event Highlight | Refugee Regime in the Ottoman Middle East with Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky (Global Studies, UCSB)

    Event Highlight | Refugee Regime in the Ottoman Middle East with Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky (Global Studies, UCSB)

    Refugee Regime in the Ottoman Middle East January 14, 2021 Dr. Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky’s (Global Studies, UCSB) talk examined the making of the Ottoman refugee regime between the 1860s and World War I. The presentation challenged the conventional wisdom that refugee regimes are the products of the contemporary nation-state order, which go back to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention or, at the earliest, the interwar League of Nations. In contrast, Dr. Hamed-Troyansky argued that the Ottoman Empire constructed its own refugee regime, which functioned in many ways similar to the ones we have today. In order to illustrate this argument,...
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