NELC Research Workshops

There are several active research workshops associated with our department. The aim of the GSAS workshops program is to encourage the establishment of ongoing collegial settings for graduate students who are learning to conceive and write scholarly articles, thesis prospectuses, and dissertations.  Workshops also offer faculty members an opportunity to share drafts of scholarly work in progress.

Workshop on Arabic & Islamic Studies

Faculty Director: Ali Asani (NELC)

Graduate Student Coordinators:

Caitlyn Olson, (NELC)
Joe Vignone, (NELC)

This workshop seeks to provide a collaborative environment for the discussion of ongoing research in Arabic and Islamic Studies. Meetings will bring together graduate students and faculty primarily from Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Study of Religion, and the Divinity School. The majority of these meetings will be devoted to student presentations, but we will reserve two sessions for outside speakers who have done innovative work in Islamic Studies. Graduate students with interests in the study of Islam broadly conceived are invited to participate.

WAIS aims to serve as a collegial forum for graduate students to share their work and exchange ideas. Any graduate student with interests in pre-colonial Middle East history, whatever their department or method, is welcome to participate. We meet every other Wednesday, and discussion centers on a paper circulated several days in advance.

History and Archaeology of Ancient Near Eastern Societies


Gojko Barjamovic, (NELC);

The main purpose of the workshop is to offer a forum for graduate students to present their work and receive constructive feedback on their research on ancient Central and Western Asia and Egypt. Students are therefore particularly encouraged to attend, and their professors are encouraged to let them know about this workshop. About half of the meetings will be dedicated to student presentations. We also arrange lectures by scholars whose work in recent years has been formative in their field. Finally, the workshop promotes the intellectual and social cohesion of the diverse community of students and scholars (archaeologists, epigraphers, historians, art historians, curators, etc) divided across many departments, divisions, and schools in the region.

The Jewish Studies Reading Group

Coordinator: Tal Grebel (NELC):

We generally meet on a biweekly basis. The overarching goal of the meetings is to see how Jewish Studies can relate to different fields, uniting topics separated by time and space through common/comparable questions.

Middle East Beyond Borders

Faculty organizer: Malika Zeghal, NELC and the Committee on the Study of Religion

Student coordinators:

Ari Schriber (NELC)

Youssef Ben Ismail (History/NELC)

The Middle East Beyond Borders (MEBB) graduate student workshop aims to foster an interdisciplinary community of scholars engaging with the past and present of the region and its many global interconnections. We meet bimonthly to discuss student and faculty works in progress. Papers are circulated in advance and dinner is served.

Semitic Philology Workshop


Jae-Hwan Kim (NELC) 
Andrew Pottorf (NELC)

The Study of the Hebrew Bible


Eric Jarrard (Harvard Divinity School)


Workshop on Humanity & the Humanities.

Faculty advisors: Ahmed Ragab (Divinity School) and Cemal Kafadar (History)

We're Nora Lessersohn (CMES) and Joe Vignone (NELC), founders and co-coordinators of the Harvard GSAS Workshop on Humanity & the Humanities.



This brand new peer-led workshop aspires to bring together students from all the disciplines of the humanities at Harvard to discuss the ways in which we as students and scholars define, describe and conceptualize the category “human” in our work.

We're pleased to announce the workshop schedule for the fall semester!