Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) program awarded to the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) for the 2020-2022 academic years.  The funding amount is $99,042 with cost-share contributions totaling $133,559 in Year 1 and $99,932 with matching funds of $128,494 in Year 2.


Through CSAMES’ administration, the UISFL grant will broaden and deepen undergraduate study of the languages and cultures of the Middle East, allowing Illinois to build on its historic strengths in area and language studies, which have been recognized by the Department of Education for four decades. In addition to offering competitive grants for Arabic, Persian and Turkish to students, the grant will support a variety of outreach activities in area and language studies, including a conference on military interventions in the Middle East, a documentary film series on daily life in the region, events on Turkish culture and a workshop on careers in Middle East studies.  The grant will also support a long-time need of a permanent Director of Persian, supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as an assistantships for Arabic and Turkish to serve both language programs.  Furthermore, the grant will fund enhancements in curriculum on Middle East studies through funding a new online course on Introduction to Middle East Studies, a Persian Gulf Studies course, and a Digital Humanities course, and provide for exploratory trips for new faculty-led study abroad programs to Turkey and Jordan, where the focus will be learning about refugee voices. CSAMES will also purposefully seek to engage with pre-service teachers and ROTC students through a lecture series and events serving these students.

For more information, contact CSAMES Associate Director Angela Williams (, like CSAMES on Facebook, or email to request to be placed on the email list for announcements.