Thursday, May 28, 2009

The State of the Arts in the Middle East

Keffieh, Mona Hatoum (1993-1999), human hair on cotton



Contact: Stephanie Swierczek Richardson, Communications Department 202-785-5336

"WASHINGTON, DC – May 27, 2009 – The Middle East Institute announces a special edition of Viewpoints entitled “The State of the Arts in the Middle East.” This collection of 17 original essays complements the volume published last September on “Architecture and Urbanism.”

The Middle East and North Africa is bursting with artistic production in literature and the visual and performing arts. At a time when so much of the news about the region is focused on instability and violence, this special edition of Viewpoints surveys the landscape of creative artistic endeavors. The essays comprising this volume are a sampling of the rich, diverse menu of artists and artistic products of the contemporary Middle East.

The arts of the Middle East are “alive” ― with new artists, genres, and themes continuously being grafted onto old, adding shades and texture. While some of these are represented in this volume, many more are not. In the interest of providing a fuller picture of the state of the arts in the region, the MEI welcomes additional essays from young and established scholars. These essays (1,000-1,200 words) must be accessible to non-specialists and aim to shed light on the importance of a specific artist, body of work, theme, or genre. Topic proposals will be accepted on a rolling or ongoing basis. Essays accepted for publication will be added to the current collection and published in electronic format. Please submit topic proposals in the form of a 100-word abstract (including full name, title, and affiliation) to Dr. John Calabrese at

This collection is available at:

Since 1946, the Middle East Institute has been dedicated to increasing Americans’ knowledge and understanding of the region. MEI offers program activities, media outreach, language courses, scholars and an academic journal to help achieve its goals. Please visit for more information."

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