Coordinator: Dr. Tal Shenhav
The Middle East Unit is the largest of the research units at the Truman Institute, reflecting both the Institute's regional location and the significance that the Institute has given to the region's past and contemporary history. The Middle East Unit comprises a diverse group of researchers who are studying the political, economic, social, ideological, and cultural trends in various parts of the Middle East from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The unit’s members include Jewish and Arab scholars, both Israeli and visiting. While some of the scholars are engaged in their own individual projects, some are also affiliated with various research groups that address the Middle East.
The Middle East Unit is currently promoting at least three different kinds of lectures. One set of lectures are devoted to diplomacy and current politics, in particularly to address changes and events within the region. The second set of lectures are giving "New Scholars and Their Research,” a chance to discuss their work, with the Unit trying to reach out to doctoral and postdoctoral students active at the Truman Institute, as well as new scholars from other universities. The third series of lectures seeks to address the topic of "Jews and Muslims Living Together, Living Apart,” in order to examine relations, both historical and contemporary, between Jews and Muslims throughout the Middle East as well as North Africa. In addition, the Middle East Unit is cosponsoring along with the History Department a film series of feature films made in the Middle East, and also is eager to screen documentary films, particularly as they relate to promoting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.