Bill L. Turpen teaches history at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and is an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Oklahoma.
As November approaches, those of us seeking to learn more about the Middle East, who want to take advantage of our own time and inclination, are starting to scramble. Fortunately, despite some funding cuts from various public and private agencies, there still are many opportunities available.
Dar al Islam Teachers' Institute
Having been there, the writer can recommend that teachers at the pre-college level consider applying for the Dar al Islam Teachers' Institute, which will be held in 2003 from July 8 through 20. The Institute is held every year near Abiquiu, New Mexico, in a North African-style adobe building designed by the world famous Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy. About one hour north of Santa Fe, Abiquiu is also known as having been the home of artist Georgia O'Keefe. Nights at Dar al Islam are especially memorable for those who enjoy quiet, a cool breeze and shooting stars.
The curriculum at Dar al Islam addresses everything from Islamic history to science to art. Especially useful are insights into the Islamic worldview, as well as an appreciation of the tremendous diversity found among Muslims today. The faculty includes both traditional and academic scholars on Islam, many of whom fly in from overseas. Participants have the option of receiving graduate credit from New Mexico Highlands University.
There are no stipends offered--but there are no fees, either. Books and supplies are provided, as are room and meals, and there is a small travel allowance. The Institute has a deadline in the spring. For more information, visit the Dar al Islam Web site at
American Center of Oriental Research
Another place known for its quiet, cool breezes and shooting starts is the patio at the congenial American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan. Center Fellows enjoy decent food, non-stop coffee and a most helpful staff. Lodging, dining, meeting, laboratory, library and darkroom facilities all are located in the same building, which overlooks the nearby University of Jordan. The deadline for all the following opportunities is Feb. 1, 2003:
The Kress Fellowship in the Art and Archeology of Jordan: This fellowship of three- to six-months is for pre-doctoral students completing dissertation research in an art historical topic, including art history, archeology, architectural history, and, in some cases, classical studies. Applicants must be Ph.D. candidates, and U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who have matriculated at U.S. institutions. The maximum award for six months is $14,000.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship: This is a four-month fellowship for scholars who have a Ph.D. in hand, or have completed their professional training. Fields of research include: modern and classical languages, linguistics, literature, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, archeology, comparative religion, ethics, and the history, criticism, and theory of the arts. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals living in the U.S. three years immediately preceding the application deadline. The award is $20,000.
Jennifer C. Groot Fellowship: Three awards of $1,500 each to support beginners in archeological fieldwork who have been accepted as staff …