Since its inception in 1975, the Middle East Seminar has focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the politics of the Middle East. Topics have included the Middle East peace process, state formation, the role of religion in politics, the international relations of the region, social and economic developments in particular countries in the Middle East, and the Middle East policies of the United States, the European Union, and other governments and international organizations. The seminar meets every other week for a presentation by an invited speaker, followed by discussion. Speakers include scholars, diplomats, writers, political figures, journalists, and leaders of organizations in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere, representing a variety of disciplines and political viewpoints. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Open to the public and off the record, it has become widely known as an arena for the civilized discussion of controversial issues. Professor Herbert C. Kelman has chaired the seminar since 1978, and, since 1996, Professor Lenore Martin and Dr. Sara Roy have co-chaired it with him.