The mission of the Center for Middle East Studies is to enrich Middle East programming at the University of Oklahoma.
The Center for Middle East Studies brings distinguished speakers to the University each semester, sponsors informal Brown Bag Lunches, and supports Middle East events on campus. In the past years, CMES has brought Reza Aslan, Stephanie Saldana, Adeed Dawisha, Mona Eltahawy, Eugene Rogan, Graham Fuller, Hooman Majd, Juan Cole, among others, to speak at OU.
The Farzaneh family generously endowed a lecture series on Iran and a professorship in Iranian studies. The Department of International and Area Studies welcomed Dr. Afshin Marashi to fill this new position. Dr. Marashi has established the Iranian Studies Program at OU and currently teachs Iranian Studies courses such as Modern Iran: 1500-Present.
CMES faculty in the News
For the latest appearances of CMES Director Joshua Landis in the news, visit
December 24, 2019 – CMES Director Joshua Landis was interviewed for a PBS Newshour segment, "Intensified Syrian Offensive Puts Civilians in the Crossfire."
Samer S. Shehata, Colin Mackey and Patricia Molina de Mackey Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in the Department of International and Area Studies, was featured in a roundtable discussion for the Islamic Studies publication Maydan, entitled "Future of Political Islam in the MENA under the Changing Regional Order."
CMES Director and Sandra Mackey Chair in Middle East Studies Joshua Landis was interviewed for an article in Newsweek, "U.S. Dispute with Turkey Helps Russia and Iran in Syria, Where Washington Is Losing Allies."
November 26, 2018 – CMES Director Joshua Landis was featured in an American Conservative panel discussion in Washington, D.C. entitled, "Middle East (In)Stability: Telling the Difference between Friends and Frenemies in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Israel."