The Yale Council on Middle East Studies (CMES) serves as a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) on Middle East and North African Studies in 2010-14. Yale CMES is in the midst of an unprecedented period of growth and productivity, based on its relatively recent designation as an NRC and an institutional commitment to the Middle East (ME) as part of Yale's Framework for Internationalization.Yale CMES serves as the campus hub for contemporary ME research, language and non-language curricula, programming and public engagement, K-12 outreach activities, and cross-collaboration within Yale and with other ME NRCs. Yale CMES also fosters a wide range of international ME collaborations.
Since 2006, Yale has hired 12 core CMES faculty members, with 3 more joining in Fall 2010, bringing the total to 56. In addition, CMES has more than 60 faculty affiliates, and dynamic ME Visiting Scholar and Post-doctoral Fellow programs. Yale now offers more than 160 non-language ME-related courses in 15 departments and 4 professional schools. Yale also offers 15 ME-related languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish, which are also taught in a variety of non-language courses. A new MMES Graduate Certificate was introduced in 2007 and an undergraduate major in 2008, accommodating ME concentrators across campus. CMES collaborates closely with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC), which offers its own undergraduate major and doctoral program. CMES thus draws upon the University's traditional strengths in the study of ancient and pre-modern ME, and its strong institutional commitment to the ME through cross-regional and interdisciplinary research.
One of the largest research libraries in the world supports Yale CMES. Sterling Memorial Library holds more than 280,000 volumes in ME languages and more than 500,000 volumes on the ME in European languages. Its 250,000-volume Judaica Collection includes manuscripts, rare books, and periodicals on all periods of Jewish literature and history. Large holdings of ME manuscripts and documents are also found at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Yale's Government Documents and Information Center. The library also houses the OACIS and AMEEL projects, which bring together ME curators to provide unique access to sources.
Yale CMES extends its resources to the outside community through a wide variety of outreach and teacher training programs and collaborations, both national and international. These include an Arabic program for High School students; Summer Institutes for teachers with optional ME study tours; community college fellowships; many programs for the New Haven Public Schools and Free Public Library; and numerous public events, including a CMES Cinema series, colloquia, workshops, conferences, and performances of music, dance, and the visual arts. Yale CMES was the first North American university to host the stunning exhibit, “Breaking the Veils: Women Artists from the Islamic World,” which was accompanied by free guided tours.
The major objective of Yale CMES is to continue its growth through a wide range of activities and programming, all carefully planned by CMES faculty. These include strengthening language curricula; promoting MMES through new courses and professional school collaborations; strengthening ME regional programming through international collaborations and visiting scholars; introducing a new ME gender journal and activities; strengthening public outreach through the ME arts; expanding K-12 and teacher education programs; and strengthening links to other ME NRCs. Yale CMES is also committed to an enhanced evaluation plan in order to better quantify and ensure high-quality programs. This proposal summarizes Yale's increasing momentum in MMES, and Yale CMES's objectives to develop new, unique, important, and timely additions to the Title VI program for 2010-14.