Organized Research Unit and National Resource Center of Excellence
The Gustav E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA encourages, coordinates and integrates instruction and research in the humanities and the social sciences, business, law, medicine and the media, and in all languages essential to an understanding of the Near East. The Center pioneered study and research on the large and diverse Middle Eastern American communities in the United States. As one of the largest National Resource Centers in the US, CNES fosters public education programs and research projects of interest to the academic and professional communities and to the broader public in metropolitan Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.
The Center serves as a conduit for contacts among scholars of the Middle East and the Islamic world through its resident scholar program. Visitors appointed as Center Fellows can make use of UCLA's extensive research facilities, including a rare manuscript collection and library holdings that are the second largest in North America. The Near East Center is an intellectual home for scholars from various academic institutions in California and for independent scholars who contribute to the regular program of colloquia, workshops, lectures, conferences and a variety of outreach activities sponsored year-round by the Center.
A critical mass of some 1500 individuals are involved at UCLA in teaching, learning and transmitting critical knowledge and perspectives on the Middle East. These include more than 60 faculty members, a dozen professional staff, some 200 graduate students and over 1000 undergraduates, as well as a host of fellows, scholars and researchers who visit the University to participate in conferences and workshops or to use the extensive Middle East resources housed in its libraries.
Interest in the Middle East and the Islamic world is at an all time high, generating a corresponding increase in demand for specialized knowledge, command of the languages, and interaction with Middle Easterners from diverse walks of life, such as the overseas delegations that regularly visit UCLA.
The Middle East studies community extends to include over 100 Southern California scholars connected via the information and communication networks, as well as a multitude of individuals from local ethnic communities and the general public who take part in the many Middle East events and activities sponsored by the Center and the University, including the popular musical performances and film series held on campus.
The synergy generated by these individuals and groups and their nexus in CNES is amplified by their interaction and collaboration with members, affiliates and constituencies of other area studies centers housed at the UCLA International Institute focusing on Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and Eurasia, and International Relations.
The talents, dedication and combined interest of all these individuals affirm the role of CNES as an Organized Research Unit of the University of California and a federally-designated National Resource Center of Excellence.