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2014-2016 CATALOGUE

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2014-2016 COURSE CATALOGUE: Middle Eastern Studies

The Middle Eastern 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 prepare students for work or graduate study, with the ability to think critically and constructively about the region’s internal dynamics and relationship(s) to other regional and global communities. Courses counted toward the minor must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

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 of the available regional language courses (Arabic, Hebrew, or French) 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. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the minor.

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
ASN 202 Ottoman World: Islam and the West
ECON 233 Comparative Economics
ENG 209 Contemporary Israeli Literature
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)
POL 289 Political Economy of Development in Egypt
POL 312 Political Reform in the Middle East
POL 401 Yemen: Politics on/of the Periphery
POL 401 Islamic Political Thought
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 levels are taught under the MES 101 and MES 102 designations, and the intermediate levels are offered via HWS’s Less Commonly Taught Languages program (LCTL). For students entering the sequence above MES 101 and/or transferring credits from outside of HWS, the following is a guide to the material covered each semester.

ARAB 101 Introductory Arabic I (every fall): By the end of the first semester, students will be able to recognize and pronounce the letters of the Arabic alphabet; they will be able to read basic sentences in the present tense and to engage in very simple conversations involving descriptions of people, places, and activities. 

ARAB 102 Introductory Arabic II (every spring): By the end of the second semester, students will be able to speak and to write about basic daily activities. They should be able to read simple authentic texts and to comprehend and produce accurately the basic sentence structures common to formal and spoken Modern Standard Arabic. Students should have a general knowledge of features of daily life and culture in the Middle East and North Africa.

ARAB 201 Intermediate Arabic I (every fall): By the end of the third semester, students should be able to talk about daily life and family and should be able to write and speak in the present, in the past and in the future. This level will introduce more advanced structures of the language common to media and literary forms of expression, and use authentic texts to explore some of the variation across Arabic-speaking cultures.

ARAB 222 Intermediate Arabic II (every spring): By the end of the fourth semester, students should be able to translate increasingly complex sentences from Arabic to English. They will also analyze and study a wider range of literary and cultural forms of expression through the use of short primary sources, and will have expanded their vocabulary beyond everyday life.  A wide range of media and textual sources will also expand students’ knowledge of the Arab world and its cultures.


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