The (sad) state of Middle Eastern studies

Last month in Washington, I delivered the keynote address to the fifteenth annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA). This is the scholarly organization founded by two of my teachers, both departed: Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami. In offering these remarks, I honored my mentors, and hopefully enlightened my colleagues.

I spoke about the state of Middle Eastern studies, a subject dear to me. Among other topics, I covered (double) standards, politicization, boycotts, and foreign money. Above all, I explained why ASMEA is now the only scholarly society in America for the study of the Middle East. Its competitor, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), has run off the rails into the abyss of political advocacy. I prove it with examples.

Watch the entire address at this link or below. (34 minutes.)

Photo: Yours truly (right) with Mark T. Clark, president of ASMEA.