IMES is recognised internationally as a leading institution for research on the languages, history, culture, religion and politics of the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.
Members of the department of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies participate in the activities of a number of Edinburgh Research and Outreach Centres, including:
CASAW is the result of a UK government initiative to build crucial expertise on the Arab World based on a knowledge of the Arabic language coupled with advanced research methods skills in the social and political sciences, arts and humanities.
The Centre is one of the largest communities of medieval and renaissance specialists internationally, with over 70 members of staff actively pursuing research in this field. Our interests are global, including European, Islamic, American and Asian studies.
The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World is committed to encouraging a better understanding of Islam and Islamic Culture through ground-breaking research and innovative outreach projects.
Research projects in which members of the department of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies are involved include:
Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian are editing a collection of case studies based on a CASAW workshop held at Edinburgh, seeking to marry the two disciplines of Diaspora Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
Alain George and Andrew Marsham are editing a volume based on an international conference held in Edinburgh in 2011. The book presents new perspectives on the Umayyad period (644-750 CE) and will be published in 2015.
Andrew Marsham’s new history of the Umayyad Empire (644-750 CE) will present new perspectives on the first Muslim dynasty to rule the early Islamic Empire.
Based on a CASAW workshop held at Edinburgh, and edited by Marilyn Booth and Anthony Gorman, this edited collection challenges existing views of late 19th and early 20th century Egypt, exploring questions of political engagement, social rearrangement, geographical ambiguity, new media, identity formation, and changing artistic formations.
Andreas Goerke, Mattia Guidetti and Alan Walmsley established the Network for the Study of Holy Places in Islam (INSHPI) in September 2013. It focuses on the emergence, development and abandonment of holy places in Islam and on the formation and development of different ideas about such places in Muslim societies.
2014 is the 700th anniversary of the production of a copy of the World History of Rashid al-Din - one of the masterpieces of medieval Islamic manuscripts. From August to October there will be an exhibition of the Rashid al-Din manuscript at the Edinburgh University Library. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World and the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh.
IMES research staff supervise students across a broad spectrum of research subjects relating to the Middle East and the wider Islamic world from classical times to the present day.