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COURSE CATALOGUE: Middle Eastern Studies

The Middle East Studies minor offers students an interdisciplinary and historically grounded understanding of the societies, polities, economies, and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. It can be fruitfully combined with a wide range of disciplinary majors to provide students with the ability to think critically and constructively about the region’s internal dynamics and relationship(s) to other regional and global communities.

interdisciplinary, 6 courses
The minor consists of three core courses and three electives. No more than three courses from one division may be counted toward the minor. Students may choose to take the fourth core course as one of their electives, and may count one regional language courses at or above the equivalent of the fourth semester. Courses taken abroad on non-HWS programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Other relevant courses offered less frequently may be counted toward the minor in consultation with the minor adviser and with approval of the program coordinator. All courses must be passed with a letter grade of C- or higher.

POL 258 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POL 285 International Politics of the Middle East
REL 219 Introduction to the Islamic Religious Tradition
REL 274 Zionism, Israel and the Middle East Conflict

ARTH 249 Islamic Art and Architecture
ARTH 254 Islamic Art at the Crossroads
ECON 476 Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
FRNE 219 Beyond Colonialism: North African Cinema & Literature
JORD 400 Modernization and Social Change in Jordan
JORD 402 Independent Field Study in Jordan (division dependent on focus)
MES 200 Ottoman Worlds
POL 208 Gender and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa
POL 366 Islamic Political Thought
POL 401 Yemen: Politics on/of the Periphery
REL 236 Gender and Islam
REL 242 Islamic Mysticism
REL 248 Islamic Ethics and Politics
REL 280 Negotiating Islam
REL 335 Jihad
REL 347 Gender and Globalization in the Muslim World
REL 370 Jewish Messianism
One independent study course may also be counted toward the minor with permission of the minor adviser.

MES 200 Ottoman Worlds The modern Middle East as it is configured today is the byproduct of the particular circumstances and set of governing practices that characterized the Ottoman Empire. Far from a medieval monolith, this was an adaptive, modernizing empire that switched together peoples of different languages, religions, ethnicities, and political commitments. Yet well before it was formally dissolved in the defeat of the First World War, the coherence of Ottoman rule was disintegrating along its periphery. This course maps both the construction and disintegration of the empire, showing how both jointly made the network of states that replaced it. As an interdisciplinary course drawing from the humanities and social sciences, the course asks students to map and critically understand a variety of cultures of resistance through which Ottoman subjects worked to fashion their lives and their empire.

HWS currently offers a four-semester Arabic language sequence. The introductory sequence includes ARAB 101 (offered every fall) and ARAB 102 (offered every spring), and intermediate courses include ARAB 201 (offered every fall) and ARAB 202 (offered every spring); Arabic courses are administered via HWS’s Less Commonly Taught Languages program (LCTL). For students entering the sequence above ARAB 101 and/or transferring credits from outside of HWS or while abroad, appropriate placement will need to be determined before students will be permitted to enroll.


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