Category Archives: Past Programs

Open Classroom Lecture Series: America, Islam and the Middle East

Course Website

In fall 2011, the Northeastern Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development; and The School of Journalism will present a semester-long Open Classroom titled American, Islam and the Middle East . The main focus of the course will be on America’s Engagement with the Muslim World, and course instructors and lecturers will investigate the traditions, cultures and contemporary politics of the countries in the Middle East. Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt will receive significant attention in this course.

The Open Classroom series will feature presentations by Stephen Burgard, director of the School of Journalism; Governor Michael Dukakis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science; Denis Sullivan, Director of the Middle East Center; Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut; Melani Cammett, Associate Professor and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at Brown University; and Valentine Moghadam, incoming director of International Affairs Program at Northeastern University; amongst others.

The seminars, which will be open to the general public, will take place on Tuesday evenings during the fall semester.

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Iran-US Dialogue Initiative

The Middle East Center has launched an initiative to engage Iranian and American students, scholars, and professionals in a dialogue. The elements of this initiative include:

  • Iran Seminar: an independent research project, led by Visiting Fellow Ali Mohammad Pedram (Ph.D., Durham University, UK) and Prof. Denis Sullivan, allowing NU students to learn about Iran’s history, culture, and political structure, with a special focus on the dynamics of the historic Iran-US relationship;
  • Video-conference: a series of discussions between Iranian students and scholars and Northeastern University students, faculty, and staff;
  • The ultimate objective of this initiative is to have face-to-face meetings, via Northeastern University visits to Iran and Iranian visits to Northeastern.


Prof. Sullivan and Dr. Pedram with Dr. M. Javad Zarif, Iranian Ambassador to United Nations

The Iran Understanding Group is an initiative by Northeastern University’s Middle East Center. The goal of the initiative is to establish a new approach to design and expand academic and professional ties equally between Iran and the US (student-to-student, faculty-to-faculty, and professional-to-professional).

Our Objectives are divided into 3 phases, initially:

Phase I: Strengthening academic capacity: Appointing a visiting Scholar at Northeastern (Middle East Studies and International Affairs, and Middle East Center) who will:

  • Teach specifically designed modules on Iran, US-Iran relations, and Islamic thought and jurisprudence;
  • Conduct dialogues and workshops between American and Iranian Universities through video-conferencing; and
  • Lead a “Dialogue of Civilizations” programs to Iran, for students, scholars, civic organizations and professionals, and establish a reciprocal exchange program between Iran and the US.

Phase 2: To establish the Persian Language and Culture Support program offering academic and professional services for interested colleges and universities, in the US and abroad.

Phase 3: To Establish Iran-US Economic Cooperation Network through workshops among private, non-governmental entities.

The Cairo Seminar

What is the Seminar?

Experience Egypt - the cradle of ancient civilization and the center of the contemporary Arab world. Spend five weeks studying the language (Egyptian dialect), as well as the history, economy, politics, and culture of Egypt and the Arab and Muslim world.

Focus of program: Contemporary Egypt and Middle East, U.S.-Egypt relations and U.S. policy in the Middle East (foreign policy, trade, business relations, foreign assistance and development), and the political-economy of a “developing” nation.

NU students earn 8 Semester Hours of Arabic language and International Affairs/Middle East Studies credit.

Program Leader:

Denis J. Sullivan, Ph.D. Dr. Sullivan is the Director of the Middle East Center, Director of International Affairs, and Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University.