MERGe (Middle East Research Group) brings together an interdisciplinary group of humanities and social-science scholars whose work focuses on the Middle East. The goal of MERGe is to stimulate faculty and graduate student research at UT by facilitating engagement with current scholarly trends. It currently meets several times a semester to discuss recent research in Middle-East related fields and supports lectures by visiting scholars. In the future, we hope to incorporate presentations of faculty member and graduate student research into MERGe. Through these activities, MERGe promotes cross-disciplinary engagement and scholarly community, and it contributes to the larger TIMES objective of building a robust presence for Middle-East related research and teaching at UT.