Past Events

CMES regularly organizes lectures, conferences, symposia, workshops, book talks, film series, and other academic and co-curricular activities. We invite you to browse past events we've hosted over the years below.

New Directions in the Study of Early Islam: A Conference in Honor of Fred Donner
April 15, 2023 | 9am - 5pm | Swift Hall Common Room

"The Changing Face of Early Islamic History"
Fred Donner, Peter B Ritzma Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern History, University of Chicago

Featured Speakers:

"Pilgrimage and Animal Sacrifice: Continuity and Rapture from pre-Islamic Arabia to the Qur'an"
Suleyman Dost, Assistant Professor of Late Antiquity and Early Islam, University of Toronto

"The Religious Landscape of the Late Pre-Islamic Hijaz: A view from the Epigraphy"
Ahmad Al-Jallad, Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies, Ohio State University

"How Unfree People Can Teach Us About Early Islamic History"
Elizabeth Urban, Associate Professor of History, West Chester University

"Revisiting the Early Syrian Historiographical Tradition on the Islamic Conquests of Syria"
Mehmetcan Akpinar, Assistant Instructional Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago 

"The Eschatological Muhammad: Post-Qur'anic Prophetology in Arabic Inscriptions from the Marwanid Period"
Sean Anthony, Professor, Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, Ohio State University

"The Believers' Administration and Multilingual Papyri"
Cecilia Palombo, Assistant Professor of Early Islamic History, University of Chicago

The Rule of Recognition and the Consolidation of the Maliki Madhhab in the 8th/14th Century
March 2, 2023 | 5:30pm | Social Science Tea Room

Mohammad Fadel, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Trauma and Hope
January 30, 2023 | 4:30pm | Stuart Hall 105

Dr. Yasser Abu-Jamei, Director General of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Gaza Mental Health

Persian and Iranian Studies in Honor of Heshmat Moayyad
March 8-9, 2019 | Franke Institute, Regenstein Library

Learn more about this event here.

UChicago Shi'i Studies Group Symposium: Sectarian Identity and Community Formation in Islam
October 26-27, 2018 | Franke Institute for the Humanities

Learn more about this event here.

Industry & Industrialism in the Late Antique and Early Islamic Near East
October 18, 2018 | International House

Learn more about this event here.

Great Lakes Ottoman Workshop
March 30-31, 2018


Friday, March 30

12:00-2:15pm | Panel 1 - Conquest, Negotiation, and Anxieties of "Coexistence"

3:00pm | Keynote Lecture - Life and Death in Early Modern Istanbul
Prof Nuknet Varlik, Dept of History, Rutgers University-Newark

4:30pm | Reception,

Saturday, March 31
8:30am | Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:30am | Panel 2 - The State, Modernity, and Knowledge

11:30am-12:30pm | Panel 3 - War, Occupation(s) and the End of Empire

12:30-2:00pm | Lunch

2:00-3:30pm | Panel 4 - Religious Identity and the Politics of Inclusion & Exclusion

4:00-5:30pm | Panel 5 - Early Modern Islamic Law and Spirituality in the Ottoman Empire

Participating Panelists:
Betul Basaran
Samet Budak
Paris Papamichos Chronakis 
Ipek Huner
York Norman
Timur Saitov
Amir Toft
Alp Topal
Berke Torunoglu
Gulsah Torunoglu
Ahmet Yusuf Yuksek

Scripts and Scripture: Writing and Religion in Arabia, 500-700 C.E.
May 18-19, 2017 | Swift Hall Common Room

How did Islam's sacred scripture, the Arabic Qur'an, emerge from western Arabia at a time when the region was religiously fragmented and lacked an established tradition of writing to render the Arabic language? An international group of leading scholars will tackle this problem by examining relevant evidence from North and South Arabian epigraphy, pre-Islamic Arabian religion, and the early Qur'an. 

Ahmad Al-Jallad
Francois Deroche
Fred M. Donner
Suleyman Dost
Adam Flowers
Sidney Griffin
Robert Hoyland
Ikka Lindstedt
M.C.A. Macdonald
Laila Nehme
Gordon Newby
Julian Christian Robin
Jeremy Vecchi
Hamza Zafar

It's not just a game! Soccer Culture in the Middle East and Beyond
Pick Hall | Screenings at 5pm

January 13 | Pelada (2010), 90 mins
Directors: L. Boughen, R. Fergusson, G. Oxenham, R. White

January 20 | Football Under Cover (2008), 86 mins
Directors: D. Assmann, A. Najafi

January 27
Beitar Jerusalem (2012), 15 mins
Director: J. Schaap

Underdogs: A Sports (War) Movie (1998), 85 mins
Directors: D. Tsabari, R. Zror

February 3
Sakhnin, My Life (2006), 44 mins
Director: R. Loevy

After the Cup: Sons of Sakhnin United (2009), 84 mins
Directors: A. Browne, Ch. Browne

February 10 | Super Jews (2013), 66 mins
Director: N. Peled

February 17
Egypt, Football and Revolution (2011), 12 mins
The Guardian Documentary

We Must Go (2014), 94 mins
Directors: D. LaMattina, Ch. Walker

February 24 | Ofsayt (2010), 50 mins
Director: R. Tuvi

March 2
Istanbul United (2014), 85 mins
Directors: F. Eslam, O. Waldhauer

Panel Discussion with: 
Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University
Tamir Sorek, University of Florida 
Moderated by: Hakan Karateke, University of Chicago

Exploring the Gulf Cooperation Council
April 11, 2015 | Swift Hall

9:00am | Panel 1 - Ethnicity, Identity, and the Development of Nationalism
Allen J. Fromherz, Georgia State University
Ahmed Kanna, University of the Pacific
Sean Foley, Middle Tennessee State University

1:15pm | Panel 2 - Political Economy, Energy, and the Question of Hydrocarbons
Kristian Ulrichsen, Rice University 
Jean-Francois Seznec, Georgetown University
Rachel Bronson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

4:00pm | Panel 3 - Contemporary Politics and Society
Noora Lori, Boston University
Kristin Diwan, American University
Miriam Cooke, Duke University

Elections and Democracy in the Middle East
January 25 | 10:30am-4:30pm | International House Home Room

Three panel discussions on recent and upcoming elections in the Middle East

Opening Remarks - Dr. Orit Bashkin, University of Chicago

Panel 1 - Algeria | April 2014
Prof. Azzedine Layachi, Professor of Government and Politics, Saint John's University
Prof. John Entelis, Chair of Political Science Dept; Head of Middle East Studies, Fordham University

Panel 2 - Turkey | March, August 2014
Mr. Barin Kayaoglu, PhD Candidate, University of Virginia 
Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies, Georgetown University

Panel 3 - Iran | June 2013
Ms. Gissou Nia, Executive Director, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
Mr. Shahir ShahidSaless, Political Analysis; Freelance Journalist

AL-AIDS: Confronting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in the Middle East
January 18, 2014 | 10am - 5pm | Ida Noyes Hall Library

Moderated by: Noha Forster

Featured Speakers:

"Rights of HIV Case: A Case Study from Iran and It's Border Countries"
Kamiar Alaei, MD, DRPH & Arash Alaei, MD

"HIV and Queer Activism in Palestine"
Hytham Rashid & Haneen Maikey

"The Emerging Face of the HIV Epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa"
Laith J. Abu-Raddad, PhD

"Sex Work and the HIV Epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa"
Ali Mirzazadeh, MD, MPH, PhD

"Culture and Religious Debates Surrounding HIV/AIDS in the Muslim World"
Dominic Bocci, MA 

"The Future of HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and North Africa"
Noha Forster, MA