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Center for Middle East Studies


The Center hosts frequent events, many co-sponsored by academic departments, research centers, and student groups across the University of Denver. Our aim is twofold: to promote spirited discussion and research on the Middle East at DU, and to make the best and brightest scholars, policymakers, and intellectuals from around the world available and accessible to the university community.

To accomplish these goals, the Center hosts an annual thematic conference, lecture series, panel discussions, and cultural events. You can find out more about all of these here.

Upcoming Events

Rovner Poster In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel

A Lecture by Adam Rovner

Wednesday January 21 @ 12:00 PM
Room SIÉ 150 | Ben M. Cherrington Hall | Josef Korbel School

Adam Rovner is Associate Professor of English and Jewish Literature at the University of Denver, where he teaches transnational Holocaust literature, modern Hebrew literature and narrative theory. His new book, In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands before Israel, an intellectual history of alternative Jewish homelands, has been called a “path breaking study [that] takes us on a riveting journey [through a] little known chapter in modern Jewish history” and “a masterpiece…a must read for anyone interested in global Jewish history or in the history of Israel.”

Copies of Professor Rovner's book will be available for sale.

The event is free of charge. Lunch will be provided.


Returning to Palestine:  Personal Reflections on Exile, Memory and Reconciliation

A Presentation by Shafeeq Ghabra

Shafeeq Ghabra

Wednesday January 21 @ 7:00 PM
Reiman Theater | Margery Reed Hall | University of Denver

Shafeeq Ghabra, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University and a Visiting Scholar with DU’s Center for Middle East Studies, was born in Kuwait in 1953 to a Palestinian family displaced in 1948 during the creation of Israel. In 2012, he voyaged to Palestine for the first time in his life. In this presentation, he will share images from that haunting visit and reflect on this magical land and its traumatized people.

The event is free and open to the public.



The Charlie Hebdo Debate:
Islam, Europe, Freedom of Expression, and the Antinomies of Liberalism


A Korbel Faculty Panel

Thursday January 22 @ 12:00 PM
Special Events Room | Anderson Academic Commons | University of Denver

The horrific attacks on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market in Paris have sent shock waves across Europe and the West more generally. An anti-Muslim backlash is growing, with right-wing populist parties mobilizing across Europe and acts of violence and vandalism against Muslims on the rise. These events have reignited smoldering cultural tensions and re-opened talk of a civilizational war between Islam and the West.

Is there an unbridgeable chasm between Islamic and liberal values? Are there limits to tolerance? Have European states failed to integrate Muslim migrants (and their European-born children and grandchildren)? Is it hypocritical for France to champion freedom of expression while arresting dozens on the vague charge of “defending terrorism”? Does liberalism offer a useful framework for making sense of these issues, or is it collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions?

In this forum co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies and the Center for the Study of Europe and the World, five professors from DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies—Micheline Ishay, Martin Rhodes, Nader Hashemi, Tom Farer, and Alan Gilbert—will offer contending perspectives on these and other questions in an open, conversational format. 

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Lunch will be provided.