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Center for Middle East Studies

Center for Middle East Studies


Welcome to the Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. 

We seek to engage the University of Denver community and the broader Denver community in informed discussion on topics of regional importance in an effort to deepen understanding of this critical region of the world. We host numerous events, films, and panel discussions throughout the year; almost all are completely free and open to the public. 

We also hope to add to discussions by staying engaged with current events through our timely news & journal publications, as well as our frequent appearances on local and national news networks.

 Introducing our latest occasional paper!

Occasional Paper 7

Todd Green, associate professor of religion at Luther College, offers an informed and nuanced critique of calls for an "Islamic Reformation" by several prominent figures, with a focus on the writings of author Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

In "Seeking the Muslim Martin Luther: Against Calls for an 'Islamic Reformation'", Green identifies several errors in Hirsi Ali's argument on the need for Islamic reform. Equally important, Green asks the question: what functions do calls for an Islamic reformation really serve?

We hope you benefit from reading Green's arguments on a religious debate that is unlikely to subside any time soon.

You can access all of our occasional papers here.



Sectarianization is now available!

Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East is now available through Amazon, and Hurst Publishers. Sectarianization is a co-edited volume intended to disentangle the conventional argument that long-standing sectarian strife is responsible for much of the instability in the Middle East. This breakthrough publication features in-depth case studies from the region, written by some of the most notable names in Middle East studies, to push back against this conventional argument.

For a list of reviews and interviews about the book, click here.

Watch the co-editors, CMES Director Nader Hashemi and former CMES Associate Director Danny Postel discuss the book in the University of Denver's Bookchat series:


New NYT Op-Ed
CreditEvan Vucci/Associated Press

CMES Director Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, Assistant Director of the MENA Studies Program at Northwestern University, have an article in the New York Times on the Trump administration's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, and how the the new conventional wisdom in media and policy debates mystifies the causes of the conflict in the region.

CSID Conference

CMES was honored to co-sponsor The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy's 19th Annual Conference on April 26. We will provide a link to videos of the panels when they are available.

Meydan Film Series
Meydan Film Series Logo

CMES would like to thank our audience and curators for another successful season of the Meydan Film Series! Stay tuned for this fall's film lineup.