Contours of the Middle East and North Africa

MENA mash upNew for the 2018-2019 academic year!

Contours of the Middle East and North Africa is a distinctive collaboration between practitioners and scholars that seeks to expose students to a broad and balanced range of the socio-economic, political, and cultural developments that are transforming the region today.  Change is vibrant, but uneven across the region.  Issues that framed the debate in the past such as the Arab-Israeli Dispute, while no less important, are frequently being replaced on the agenda by issues more important to the new power centers that have emerged in the Gulf of Arabia.  As well, the growing role of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, and the disengagement by the U.S. in the broader region will be explored. 

Contours will present a series of topical discussions, most of which will feature a presentation by at least one practitioner with expertise in his or her field. Students will be asked to read background articles and studies for each discussion session, as well as volunteer to help organize and shape the debate. A culminating project will consist of writing a background paper/briefing meant to inform and advise a new U.S. President and his/her team on opportunities and risks the new Administration faces in dealing with this region.

The program will be jointly led by practitioners and Gettysburg College faculty members from the Middle East and Islamic Studies program. The first session will be co-facilitated by Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and Aisha Mershani, Derrick Gondwe Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Gettysburg College. Additional information on the topics and facilitators of future sessions can be found on the schedule. 

2018-2019 Program Schedule

Please visit our Application Center to apply by September 19, 2018.