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The Spring 2016 MES course list is now available!


Turkish Culture Night
Tuesday, February 2nd / 8:00pm / SRB MultiPurpose Room



Beyond Hebrew: Zionism and the Politics of Multilingualism in Palestine, 1920-1948

Liora Halperin
(University of Colorado, Boulder)

Wednesday, February 17th / 5:00 PM / HSSB 3041

The promotion of modern Hebrew as a spoken vernacular is often viewed as a central accomplishment of the Zionist movement in Palestine before Israeli statehood. But by viewing twentieth-century history through the lens of language, author Liora Halperin questions the common narrative of a Zionist move away from multilingualism during the years following World War I. She demonstrates how Jews in Palestine remained connected by both preference and necessity to a world of languages outside the boundaries of the pro-Hebrew community even as many of them promoted Hebrew and achieved that language’s dominance.

The story of language encounters in the Jewish community of Palestine is a fascinating tale of shifting power relationships, both locally and globally. Halperin’s absorbing study explores how a young national community was compelled to modify demands for Hebrew exclusivity as it negotiated its relationships with its diverse Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs, the British, and others outside the margins of the national project and ultimately came to terms with the limitations of its influence and power in an interconnected world.

hLiora R. Halperin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Program in Jewish Studies and the holder of the Endowed Professorship in Israel/Palestine Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she has taught since 2013. Her research focuses on Jewish cultural history, Jewish-Arab relations in Ottoman and Mandate Palestine, language ideology and policy, and the politics surrounding nation formation in Palestine in the years leading up to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. She is also a member of the advisory board for CU’s Archive of Post-Holocaust American Judaism, and affiliated faculty in Middle Eastern Studies at the CU Center for Asian Studies.

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies and Jewish Studies at UCSB


Conversation on Contemporary Middle Eastern Cultures
with Members of the Silk Road Ensemble

Open to the public
Wednesday, February 17, 4:00 – 5:15 pm
UCSB MultiCultural Center Theater

This conversation will explore contemporary Middle Eastern issues and identities through the personal stories of Silk Road Ensemble members. Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, from Syria, and kamanchech player Kayhan Kalhor, born in Iran, along with violist Nicholas Cords, will use the Silk Road Ensemble and their own narratives to frame a conversation about cultural and international identity, as well as how their work as musicians impacts their work and place in the world. UCSB Assistant Professor of History Sherene Seikaly, and scholars from the UCSB Ethnomusicology program will moderate the conversation.

Co-presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, the MultiCultural Center, and the Center for Middle East Studies


February 18th and 19th
Santa Barbara Harbor Room University Center


What forms does the teaching of Islamic law take in different teaching environments? Teaching graduate or undergraduate students? Teaching law school or humanities students? And does the subject differ considerably based on whether the focus is Sunni or Shi‘i law? Medieval or modern law? Join the discussion by Professors Sherman Jackson of the University of Southern California, Clark Lombardi of the University of Washington Law School, and Haider Hamoudi of Pittsburgh Law School, hosted by UCSB’s Kathleen Moore and Ahmad Atif Ahmad.

Thursday 2/18
3:00 pm EVC David Marshall Opening Remarks
3:30 pm Session I: Jackson & responses
5:30 pm Session II: Lombardi & responses

Friday 2/19
10:00 am Session III: Hamoudi & responses
2:00 pm Session III: Moore & responses
4:00 pm Session III: Ahmad & responses Santa Barbara Harbor Room University Center

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies



New at CMES


Spring 2016 course list available now!

Congratulations to Janet Afary for this wonderful write-up in The Current on her work with the Iranian Studies Institute's internship program!

Fall 2015 alumni newsletter available now!

Our Favorite Links


UCSB Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference

Summer Intensive Arabic

Updates from Former FLTAs

Middle East & Islamic Studies Subject Guide
(Meryle Gaston, UCSB Research Librarian)

The Iranian Studies Initiative, UC Santa Barbara

Middle East Studies Major

Global Studies Majors & Minor

Global & International Studies

The Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research

University of California, Santa Barbara

Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo

Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo


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