Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University
Established in 1954, Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies supports research and teaching on a broad range of topics related to the region. At the core of the Center’s mandate is the pursuit of firsthand knowledge about the Middle East based on literacy in its languages and understanding of its diverse politics, cultures, and histories.
Our broad, interdisciplinary approach encompasses the humanities and social sciences as well as the arts and natural sciences, and CMES engages with faculty from Harvard University’s many departments, professional schools, and other regional studies centers.
From 1958 through 2009, the Center worked with Harvard University Press to produce the Harvard Middle Eastern Monograph Series. The publications program covered a wide geographic and disciplinary range and reflected the latest scholarship in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.
The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia, Second Edition
Ranging from medieval times to the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1992, this volume concentrates on the internal development of the Muslim community in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its relations with various suzerains.
Book of Gifts and Rarities (Kitāb al-Hadāyā wa al-Tuḥaf): Selections Compiled in the Fifteenth Century from an Eleventh-Century Manuscript on Gifts and Treasures
This work is a translation and study of a ninth- through fifteenth-century manuscript, Kitāb al-Hadāyā wa al-Tuḥaf. The manuscript furnishes a wealth of varied information offering insights into the period immediately preceding Islam and extending through the first four centuries of Islamic rule.
The Second Umayyad Caliphate: The Articulation of Caliphal Legitimacy in al-Andalus
The Second Umayyad Caliphate recovers the Andalusi Umayyad argument for caliphal legitimacy through an analysis of caliphal rhetoric—based on proclamations, correspondence, and panegyric poetry—and caliphal ideology, as shown through monuments, ceremony, and historiography.
New Perspectives on Property and Land in the Middle East
Land was the major economic resource in the pre-modern Middle East. Questions of ownership, of access, of management and of control occupied a central role in administration, in law, and in rural practice over many centuries. Nevertheless, the subject of land and property relations is still not well understood.
Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran
Focusing on idealists and visionaries who believed that Justice could reign in our world, this book explores the desire to experience utopia on earth. Reluctant to await another existence, individuals with ghuluww, or exaggeration, emerged at the advent of Islam, expecting to attain the apocalyptic horizon of Truth.
Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs
This book studies the Arabic-Islamic view of Byzantium, tracing the Byzantine image as it evolved through centuries of warfare, contact, and exchanges. Including previously inaccessible material on the Arabic textual tradition on Byzantium, this investigation shows the significance of Byzantium to the Arab Muslim establishment.
The Palestinian Peasant Economy under the Mandate: A Story of Colonial Bungling
Challenging the claim that Palestine’s peasant economy progressed during the 1920s and 1930s, Amos Nadan skillfully integrates a wide variety of sources to demonstrate that the period was actually one of deterioration on both the macro (per capita) and micro levels.
The Moral Resonance of Arab Media: Audiocassette Poetry and Culture in Yemen
This book studies contemporary Arab political poetry, providing insights into how modern Arab media forms are shaped by language and culture. By examining lives and works of individual poets, singers, and audiences, it shows how tribalism is a resource for critical reform when expressed in tropes of community, place, person, and history.
Islamicate Sexualities: Translations across Temporal Geographies of Desire
This anthology explores different genealogies of sexuality and questions some of the theoretical emphases and epistemic assumptions affecting current histories of sexuality.
Spiritual Wayfarers, Leaders in Piety: Sufis and the Dissemination of Islam in Medieval Palestine
This book represents the first continuous history of Sufism in Palestine. Covering the period between the rise of Islam and the spread of Ottoman rule and drawing on vast biographical material and complementary evidence, the book describes the social trajectory that Sufism followed.
Forgotten Saints: History, Power, and Politics in the Making of Modern Morocco
In 1894 a Muslim mystic named Muḥammad al-Kattānī abandoned his life of asceticism to preach Islamic revival and jihad against the French. Ten years later, he mobilized a Moroccan resistance against French colonization. This book narrates the story of al-Kattānī and his virtual disappearance from accounts of modern Moroccan history.
Violent Modernity: France in Algeria
Hannoum examines the advent of political modernity in Algeria and shows how colonial modernity was not only a project imposed by violence but also a violent project in and of itself, involving massive destruction and significant transformation of the population of Algeria.
Pan-Arabism and Labor
Ottoman Egypt in the Age of the French Revolution
Huseyn Efendi, a scribe in the Treasury of Ottoman Egypt who put his service at the disposal of Napoleon Bonaparte during the French expedition to Egypt (1798–1801), wrote his account of Ottoman Egypt in the form of answers to questions posed by the French administrative and financial experts.