Skip navigation

Center for Middle East Studies


Center for Middle East Studies

Middle East Dialogues

Welcome to Middle East Dialogues! Here, you can find recorded interviews our staff conduct with guest speakers. Unlike our event videos, these conversations are meant to be bite-sized, and allow for a more free flowing back-and-forth between the discussants. We hope you enjoy!

You'll find our most recent season of Middle East Dialogue interviews on this page, for older videos, please explore our


In this edition of Middle East Dialogues taped in front of a live audience, CMES Director Nader Hashemi talks with Ali Kadivar, postdoctoral fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute, about the future of Iran following recent popular protests. 


The Islamic Enlightenment - Middle East Dialogue with Christopher de Bellaigue

The Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School had the pleasure of hosting renowned journalist and author, Christopher de Bellaigue. In this edition of the Middle East Dialogues, CMES Director Nader Hashemi chats with Christopher about his latest book: The Islamic Enlightenment: Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason.

U.N. Intervention in the Arab World - Middle East Dialogue with Karim Makdisi

CMES Affiliate Faculty member Andrea Stanton interviews Professor Makdisi on his work with the United Nations, their history of intervention in the Arab world, and his thoughts on the current Syrian war.

The Struggle Over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia - A Conversation with Madawi Al-Rasheed

Saudi scholar Madawi Al-Rasheed sat down with Center for Middle East Studies Director Nader Hashemi for a conversation on the topic of her latest book, "Muted Modernists: The Struggle Over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia."

Struggle for the Soul of Iran - A Conversation with Laura Secor

Journalist and author Laura Secor visited the Center for Middle East Studies in February, 2017 for several events related to her new book, Children of Paradise: Struggle for the Soul of Iran. In this Middle East Dialogue, she talks with CMES Director Nader Hashemi about the changing internal culture of Iran, how that's shaping their political agenda, and how the culture is often misconstrued by the West.

"Social change and upheaval in the arab world: A Conversation with Marc lynch"

Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver interviews Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, Director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, and author of The New Arab Wars (2016) discuss the social progress achieved in the Middle East, and the problems that the region faces today.


CMES Director Nader Hashemi interviews Dan Brumberg, Associate Professor at Georgetown University and former special adviser for Iran and North Africa for the United States Institute of Peace's Muslim World Initiative.  Brumberg discusses his latest book, "Power and Change in Iran: Politics of Contention and Conciliation" which he co-edited with Farideh Farhi.

"Turkey after the 2016 Attempted Coup: Conversation with Henri Barkey"

CMES Director Nader Hashemi interviews Dr. Henri Barkey, Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the state of Turkey after the attempted coup in the summer of 2016. 

"Revolution, Reform or Restoration? Nadia Marzouki on Tunisia Today"
May 17, 2016

CMES Associate Director Danny Postel interviews Nadia Marzouki, a Tunisian scholar and Research Fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, author of 'L'Islam, une religion américaine?' (Islam, An American Religion?) and co-editor of 'Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World'
and 'Saving the People: How Populists Hijack Religion' (forthcoming in October 2016).

Marzouki was at the University of Denver in May. Her visit was supported by the Marsico Visiting Scholars Program, which brings world-class scholars to DU to engage undergraduate students and faculty via class visits, lectures, and seminars, contributing to the intellectual life of the university and the Denver community.


"Dr. Zaher Sahloul—Syria's Medical & Humanitarian Nightmare"
April 26, 2016

CMES Associate Director Danny Postel interviews Dr. Zaher Sahloul, founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria, senior advisor to and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a practicing physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine




"Yemen's War & the Geopolitics of Sectarianism—Jeff Colgan"
March 2, 2016

Danny Postel, Associate Director of the University of Denver's Center for Middle East Studies, talks with Jeff Colgan, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and the author of Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War (2013).

This interview revolves principally around Colgan's April 13, 2015 article "How sectarianism shapes Yemen's war" on the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog 



"Roger Cohen on ISIS, the Middle East & the West"
December 8, 2015

A conversation with Roger Cohen, who has worked for the New York Times for 25 years—as a foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and now columnist. Cohen's books include 'The Girl from Human Street: A Jewish Family Odyssey' (2015) and 'Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo' (1998). He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Britain's Next Century Foundation and the Eric and Amy Burger Human Rights Award from the Overseas Press Club.

He is interviewed by Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the University of Denver, the author of Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies (2009) and co-editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future (2011) and The Syria Dilemma (2013).



"Eqbal Ahmad's Legacy - A Conversation with Stuart Schaar"
December 1, 2015

In this installment of Middle East Dialogues, Danny Postel interviews Stuart Schaar about his book Eqbal Ahmad: Critical Outsider in a Turbulent Age, an intellectual biography of the late Middle East scholar, editor, columnist and organizer Eqbal Ahmad.

Stuart Schaar is Professor Emeritus of Middle East and North African History at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY). He currently lives in Rabat, Morocco. His other books include The Middle East and Islamic World Reader: An Historical Reader for the 21st Century and The Birth of the Arab Citizen and the Changing of the Middle East.


"A People's History of the Syrian Uprising—An Interview with Wendy Pearlman"
September 22, 2015

Danny Postel, Associate Director, interviews Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and the author of 'Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada' and 'Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement'. For her new book-in-progress, Pearlman has interviewed more than 150 Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey with the aim of writing something like A People's History of the Syrian Uprising.

For more interviews, visit our YouTube channel!