Contours of the Middle East

Investigate a dynamic region.

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Contours of the Middle East 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, which will feature presentations by practitioners with expertise in their fields. Students will be asked to read background articles and studies for each session, as well as volunteer to help organize and shape the debate.In addition, students will be required to write short, one-page reviews of key issues discussed as part of the seminar. Finally, some travel to meet with experts in Washington, D.C. and New York City will be involved. 

Students with existing study experience and background in the broad geopolitical, historic, and economic trends that have shaped the Middle East region are especially encouraged to apply.  Priority will be given to students who can make prior commitment to attend all program components. 

The program is led by Danny Sebright, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs who has served for decades in the public and private sectors.

2019-2020 Program Schedule