Professors Beth Baron and Mandana Limbert Awarded Mellon Grant for Race and Middle East/North Africa Seminar

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Distinguished Professor Beth Baron (GC/City College, History) and Professor Mandana Limbert (GC/Queens College, Anthropology) of The Graduate Center’s Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) a grant of $225,000 to convene a Sawyer Seminar on “Race and the Middle East/North Africa.”
This interdisciplinary seminar will facilitate a conversation among scholars familiar with the U.S. experience or who have long been engaged in theories about race, and those who have studied the Middle East and North Africa.  
“We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to bring together scholars and students engaged with the critical work of considering how race has been configured and experienced in the Middle East as well as how Middle Easterners have experienced the politics of race in the U.S.,” says Limbert. “This Sawyer Seminar extends our earlier workshops on race and gender in the Middle East.”   
In addition to biweekly meetings, the Sawyer Seminar will sponsor occasional book conversations, films, lectures, and workshops, as well as develop curriculum and resources for teaching and conducting research on race and racialization in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Sawyer Seminar will be awarding a postdoctoral fellowship and two dissertation fellowships. 
“We are enormously grateful to the Mellon Foundation for its support of this timely initiative,” says Baron, who is the director of MEMEAC. “Building on the momentum of conversations begun by students and colleagues, we are eager to assist in expanding and sustaining the conversation and pushing for fundamental change within the field. We want to ensure that race is no longer seen as a taboo topic or frivolous concern in the field, but as a lens for analysis that lies at the heart of scholarship.”

Submitted on: OCT 14, 2020

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