About Us

Mission Statement

As a designated comprehensive National Resource Center, the University of Michigan Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies (CMENAS) is dedicated to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of the region – its histories, cultures, languages, and peoples – through research, education, and outreach programs.

More on CMENAS

The center provides a venue for faculty, students, and the community to learn and share knowledge through an active lecture series and various educational and research programs, and by partnering with a host of units across campus on projects of mutual interest.

CMENAS works to:

  • Support dialogue between U-M faculty, students, and the broader community by organizing and supporting conferences, lectures, and performances
  • Produce outstanding scholars in a supportive environment where students have the opportunity to study current and historical events  related to the Middle East
  • Invite scholars from the region and elsewhere in the world to U-M to teach, collaborate, and take advantage of our outstanding libraries and research facilities


Study of the MENA region began at U-M in 1889. Since the inception of the program in 1961, U-M has been committed to area studies and language training.  In 1993, CMENAS became a member of the new U-M International Institute, which seeks to stimulate research and teaching on critical areas of the world and to foster cooperation among the university’s departments, schools, and colleges.


CMENAS brings together over 70 faculty affiliates who are distinguished scholars and experts of the MENA region in fields such as anthropology, political science, history, classical studies, language and literature.


CMENAS offers an interdisciplinary bachelor’s and master’s degree in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, with the opportunity to enroll in courses taught by center affiliated faculty in area studies and disciplinary departments, as well as professional schools.