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Research objectives & activities

ACMES connects Amsterdam-based scholars of Middle Eastern studies, in order to stimulate collaboration in the execution of research and the development of interdisciplinary research agendas. The University’s research priority areas are key to the centre’s efforts to stimulate new research. ACMES furthermore offers a stage for the presentation of the latest research in the field.

Public Lecture Series

Both in the fall and in the spring semesters, ACMES offers publicly accessible lecture series with a range of international speakers.

ACMES lectures

Lectures of a more incidental nature are offered infrequently throughout the academic year. These may be of a more exclusive nature than the lectures in the Public Lecture Series.


Held on an annual or biannual basis, ACMES conferences deal with topics bridging the humanities and the social sciences. These conferences are usually organized in collaboration with additional partners.

ACMES Lunch Seminars

In order to strengthen research collaboration among ACMES associates, ACMES launched the ACMES Lunch Seminars in which ACMES associates can present their ongoing research. During each seminar, one associate presents their work in progress, such as a draft paper, a PhD chapter, or a research proposal. In order to guarantee a fruitful discussion, we will circulate the writings to those interested in joining. The lunch seminars take place on Fridays at 11:00. They will last one hour and will initially take place on zoom. We aim at one seminar per month.

Research workshops for MA students and early-career scholars

ACMES organises a research workshop for MA students and early-career scholars on a yearly basis. Workshops combine presentations by advanced scholars and break-out rooms with group discussions among participants. Participation is generally on an application-basis. 

Our last workshop,  the TSN-ACMES PhD Day, was presided by Houssine Alloul, Uğur Üngör and Isa Blumi, and took place on April 13th 2022. Previous workshops were:

The ACMES thesis workshop on digital skills in the study of the Middle East and North Africa, with presentations by Uğur Üngör and Marthe de Roos, MSc (December 2nd, 2021).

The ACMES Research Workshop Fieldwork and Data Collection in Middle Eastern Studies during a pandemic, with presentations from Kotoz Abdelhafiz Ahmed (digital archives), Astrid Bodini (online interviews), Nermin Elsherif (big data), and Judith Naeff (observation/ethnography of online data) (29th January 2021).

The ACMES Research Workshop Act 2: Fieldwork and Data Collection in Middle Eastern Studies. Ethics, methodologies, challenges, with presentations by Beste Isleyen (political science), Sakina Loukili (religious studies), Wiebe Ruijtenberg (anthropology), and Benjamin Baars (history) (7th February 2020)

ACMES Research Workshop: Fieldwork and Data Collection in Middle Eastern Studies. Ethics, methodologies, challenges, with presentations from Erella Grassiani (anthropology), Tasniem Anwar (political science), Lucia Admiraal (history) and Maaike Voorhoeve (law) (14th June 2019)

Nadwa literaire discussieavond (in Dutch)

Ter gelegenheid van de bekendmaking van de winnaar van de International Prize for Arabic Fiction organiseert ACMES elk jaar een literaire discussieavond (nadwa) in het Goethe Institut in Amsterdam.