Campus Watch commissioned Franck Salameh, an assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies and Coordinator of the Arabic Studies and Hebrew Program at Boston College, to write an essay examining why the founding of the new organization, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), can offer much-needed intellectual diversity to the field of Middle East studies.
His essay, "Seeking True Diversity in Middle East Studies," appears today at FrontPage Magazine.
It's an insider's look at the Arabist prejudices of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the result of which is a distorted, homogeneous presentation of a region that is, in fact, ethnically, linguistically, culturally, and religiously diverse.
The Middle East Studies Association has finally met its match. In a move long overdue, the doyen of Middle East Studies—Bernard Lewis—and its laureate poet—Fouad Ajami—have just joined forces to launch the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa.
One hopes that this new professional association will rejuvenate and mop clean a field that has long since shirked its obligation to academic objectivity to transform Middle Eastern studies into platforms for agitprop and partisanship. The complex and richly textured Middle East deserves far more than the bromides and reductionist commentary that have of late become the hallmark of some of our day's most influential scholars in the field. ASMEA promises to provide such critically needed diversity of perspective.
To continue reading this essay, click here.