WELCOME TO THE MIDDLE EAST STUDIES CENTER AT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY

The Middle East Studies Center (MESC) is an area studies center housed within the Office of International Affairs. Established in 1959, we promote the scholarly and cultural understanding of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia via outreach and campus events. 

MESC is an integral part of Middle East Studies at PSU. We organize lectures and public events to bring faculty and students from numerous departments and disciplines together with the community to focus on the cultural, economic, political, and societal aspects of this region. 

We engage PSU departments, centers, and academic units, as well as community organizations, businesses, and local government in collaborative activities that reflect the diversity of this region. We offer a wide range of tools, resources, and programs to support prospective and current students, public educators, and the general public. 

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Middle East Studies Center is to serve our students, city, and world through the creation of a diverse, inclusive community and the promotion and sharing of scholarship on the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia.

Upcoming events

Egyptology Lecture: Examples of Use-wear on Predynastic Palettes

Please join the Middle East Studies Center for an egyptology lecture by…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-01 10:00:00 2021-05-01 11:30:00 Egyptology Lecture: Examples of Use-wear on Predynastic Palettes Please join the Middle East Studies Center for an egyptology lecture by Matt Szafran, an independent scholar! Discussions on Predynastic palette use-wear are often based in the 19th and early 20th Century assertions made upon their initial rediscovery. This presentation will instead study possible use-wear using experimental archaeology, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI), statistical data captured as a part of the Predynastic Palette Database (PPDB) project, and investigate the possibility of previously unstudied surface pitting as a new form of use-wear. This investigation will demonstrate how misunderstood the use of Predynastic palettes has been, and how much more complicated their usage actually appears to be – implying that their role in society is likely not something as simple as a cosmetic receptacle and that they are much more likely to be a high status object owned by the elites of the Predynastic civilizations with deep ritual and symbolic meaning. Matt Szafran is an independent researcher, specializing in the study of ancient tools and technologies. His current research focuses on the manufacture and use of stone palettes in Predynastic Egypt, using experimental archaeology and advanced imaging technologies, such as microscopy and Reflectance Transmission Imaging (RTI) to compliment textual studies. Matt has lectured on Predynastic palettes and assisted in teaching RTI workshops. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and magazines and is currently writing a book discussing the possible uses of Predynastic palettes. Zoom Registration Page Lecture Presented by the American Research Center in Egypt – Northwest Chapter and Co-sponsored by: American Research Center in Egypt – Oregon Chapter Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, Univ. of Washington Middle East Studies Center – Portland State University Zoom (link to register below) MESC Outreach and Program Coordinator Corinne Hughes at cohughes@pdx.edu MESC Outreach and Program Coordinator Corinne Hughes at cohughes@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Postrevolutionary Iran: The Leader, The People, and the Three…

Please join us for the final scholarly lecture of the academic year and in…
Add to my Calendar 2021-06-03 13:00:00 2021-06-03 14:00:00 Postrevolutionary Iran: The Leader, The People, and the Three Powers Please join us for the final scholarly lecture of the academic year and in celebration of Robert Asaadi's new book! Date: Thursday, June 3, 2021 Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm (PT) About the lecture: How is Iran governed? Is the state accountable to its society? How have Iran’s political institutions evolved since the 1979 revolution? Answers to these critical questions are neither as certain nor as fixed as much of the existing literature on this topic would lead one to believe. In this lecture, Robert Asaadi will be discussing his new book publication. To learn more about the text, visit the publication's webpage. About the speaker: Professor Asaadi is an Instructor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Political Science and International & Global Studies at Portland State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. His teaching and scholarship has been recognized with multiple accolades, including three consecutive Outstanding Teacher Awards in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at PSU, and the Best Faculty Paper Award for the 2019 International Studies Association - West Conference.  Zoom Registration Page Can't wait for Robert Asaadi's lecture on June 3, 2021? Check out his Ted Talk video! What people are saying about Robert Asaadi's new book: Asaadi’s book is a must-read for all who aspire to see contemporary Iran as far more complex and nuanced than mere Rogue state in the international system. — Raymond Duvall, University of Minnesota Asaadi’s study is firmly grounded in Iran’s past and present and thus does not fall victim to wishful thinking but rather offers hope gained by application of the art of the possible. — Amentahru Wahlrab, University of Texas--Tyler It is essential reading for scholars of Iranian and Middle Eastern politics, authoritarian rule and democratization. — Henry Thomson, Arizona State University His nuanced and comprehensive study also tries to look at the future prospects of the Islamic Republic and avoids the simplistic binary that the Islamic Republican system will either collapse or remain unchanged in terms of its structure and policies. — Jubin Goodarzi, Webster University, Geneva In this compelling analysis of the Iranian state, Asaadi uncovers the prevailing tendencies of the country's religio-political governance since the 1979 revolution and argues for both the inevitability and limits of reform. At the same time, Postrevolutionary Iran boldly challenges the reductive notion that Iran is an outlier in comparison with other postrevolutionary states of the twentieth century. — Arzoo Osanloo, University of Washington A study with bravado and acumen on a pivotal country that is too often misrepresented. — Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, University of London   Online via Zoom (registration link below) Outreach and Program Coordinator Corinne Hughes cohughes@pdx.edu Outreach and Program Coordinator Corinne Hughes cohughes@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

History Department Internship Event with Marisa Miller

Kick start your professional career! Come learn about internship and…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-05 17:00:00 2021-05-05 18:00:00 History Department Internship Event with Marisa Miller Kick start your professional career! Come learn about internship and employment opportunities available through PSU's Career Center. This one-hour Zoom meeting will offer PSU History majors, minors, graduate students, and other interested undergraduates an opportunity to meet with Marisa Miller, Internship Coordinator, to learn about the opportunities available through PSU's Career Center. It's never too early to start planning for the future! History majors and graduate students pursuing unpaid internships may also qualify for tuition support. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Marisa Miller is the Internships Coordinator at the Portland State University Career Center. She helps students to find resources and create opportunities that will further their learning and create pathways from the classroom to a career.    REGISTER NOW Zoom Meeting (RSVP to attend below) hist@pdx.edu hist@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Student Research Symposium Kickoff

The Student Research Symposium (SRS) is Portland State University's…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-04 11:00:00 2021-05-04 12:00:00 Student Research Symposium Kickoff The Student Research Symposium (SRS) is Portland State University's premier showcase of student research, scholarship, and artistry. The SRS provides students an opportunity to present their work through poster and oral presentation formats. This year the SRS is going virtual and will be hosted by the PSU Library and the campus repository, PDX Scholar. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to visit PDXScholar between May 4, 2021, and May 19, 2021, to review and comment on student work. The SRS kicks off on Tuesday, May 4 with opening remarks by the Interim Vice President of Research & Graduate Studies. To participate in the virtual kick-off, join us via Zoom. View student posters View student presentations Student Research Symposium Kickoff Event Tuesday, May 4, 2021 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Register to attend Virtual Event - Register to attend: https://bit.ly/3v3juXv Cathy Knight - knightct@pdx.edu Cathy Knight - knightct@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public