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Middle East and North African Studies

Academic Programs


Program Highlights



Interested in taking MENA courses? Whether your a major, minor, grad student, have a general interest, or are satisfying distros, check out what courses are being offered!

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MENA faculty members produce cutting-edge research and public scholarship on the contemporary Middle East and North Africa, publishing articles in leading academic journals and books that are widely taught and make an impact both in the scholarly world and in the wider cultural conversation.


Studying a language of the Middle East and North Africa allows you to have a more intimate perspective on the cultures, histories, and societies of the region. Whether you choose to major in MENA or not, you may enroll in courses in any of the four major languages of the region: Arabic, Hebrew, PersianTurkish.


We host a range of events over the course of the academic year, including a quarterly New Directions in Middle East & North African Studies lecture; our new MENA Conversations series; the MENA Graduate Student Colloquium; an annual Research Symposium; and events organized by our Working Groups.
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Working Groups

MENA Interdisciplinary Working Groups are designed to encourage active and emergent research agendas shared by faculty and graduate students, and to facilitate collaboration in Middle East and North African Studies across home departments, colleges, and campuses. 2021-2022 Working Groups:

  • Story-telling and Violence: Narratives of Insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Institutional Histories of Aesthetic Forms
  • Arabic Literature Reading Group

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News and Events


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Upcoming Events

Zeina Hashem Beck: Reading and Conversation

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Evanston

Join MENA and Creative Writing for an evening with acclaimed poet Zeina Hashem Beck! Reception followed by poetry reading. Zeina Hashem...

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Latest MENA News

Jessica Winegar named Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair in Middle East Studies
Celebrating the legacy of renowned Iranian film scholar Hamid Naficy
Graduate student Lauren Baker publishes paper on the “sanitization of garbage politics” in the MENA
Kyle Craig named a 2022-2023 Franke Graduate Fellow of the Kaplan Humanities Institute
Shirin Vossoughi honored with 2022 University Teaching Award

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