The Power, History, and Society network (PHS) of the Department of Sociology has initiated a “Middle East Working Group (ME Working Group).” Graduate coordinators, Amina Zarrugh and Hyun Jeong Ha, organized the first working group meeting on Friday, November 15th with the support of PHS faculty advisor Dr. Mounira M. Charrad. The ME Working Group promotes networking among faculty members and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin whose research concerns the Middle East and North Africa. The ME Working Group aims to create an intellectually supportive forum among UT scholars and a space for constructive discussions of student work-in-progress, research by faculty guest speakers, and critical conversations about contemporary events in the region.
The first ME Working Group meeting was attended by ten graduate students across disciplines including the departments of sociology, anthropology, government, history, Middle Eastern Studies, and Radio-Television-Film. The graduate students’ areas of specialization lie in politics, social movements, gender, and race/ethnicity issues in the region. At the meeting, graduate students discussed upcoming plans for spring semester. The ME Working Group plans to have two graduate student presentations and one workshop with a professor visiting from the University of Oklahoma in the spring. Faculty members and graduate students who are interested in the ME Working Group are welcome to join the group and mailing list by contacting graduate coordinators: Amina Zarrugh at firstname.lastname@example.org and Hyun Jeong Ha at email@example.com.