Our Mission: Bringing the Middle East to the Midwest
The Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies, funded by a Social Science Research Council Academia in the Public Sphere grant, is comprised of leading area schools and colleges and partners with various community organizations. NOCMES seeks to bring an engaging and relevant speaker series on the Middle East to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
Themes and Issues
Entitled "Scholarship on the Contemporary Muslim World: Presenting New Perspectives to Middle America," the series revolves around three main themes:
- Muslim Voices and Publics
- Women in the Muslim World
- Muslim Societies in Transition
A National Stage for Middle America
The City Club of Cleveland, the oldest free speech venue in the country, and The Civic Commons, an innovative non-profit dedicated to extending conversations to the community as a whole and fostering public engagement around various issues, have both pledged to work with NOCMES to provide a prominent, national-level venue for speakers and an electronic forum for continued public discussion, respectively.
Per the grant, the Consortium will bring six speakers Cleveland, for a total of twelve events. Three have already spoken under the aegis of NOCMES: Rami Khouri in October 2011, Prof. Sherine Hafez in November 2011, and Prof. Toby C. Jones in December 2011. For the spring series, Prof. Amaney A. Jamal of Princeton spoke in Cleveland on February 9 and 10, 2012; Dr. Naif al-Mutawa, creater of the sensational comic series THE 99, is slated to speak on May 1 at the Cleveland Museum of Art and at Baldwin-Wallace College the following day.
Partnerships and Community Involvement
NOCMES is committed to partnering with Cleveland's active and diverse community of public-interest organizations to achieve our goals. The venues, logistical assistance, strategic planning, and outreach support these organizations provide are invaluable in helping NOCMES deliver new perspectives and new scholarship on the Middle East to different communities across Northeast Ohio.