Middle East Studies


RELS 0096: The Imaginary Lives of Muslims  Professor Shahzad Bashir
How have Muslims understood the natural and social world that forms the backdrop for human lives? Rather than presuming that Islam is a unified entity that can be mapped or charted, its point of departure is that Muslims have understood their lives as religious subjects in a variety of fundamentally contested ways over the centuries. We will use this question to chart a variety of Islamic perspectives pertaining to thought and action. Topics include: worldviews contained in the Quran and other early Islamic materials; formal cosmologies that reflect continuity with late antiquity ideas; mystical thought pertaining to Sufis and Shi’is; reflection on politics and ethics; impact of modern science; and contemporary perspectives concerning the environment, gender, race, and class.

HIST 1440: the Ottomans: Faith, Law Empire  Professor Faiz Ahmed
This is a wide-ranging survey course which explores the rise and fall of the longest-lived Islamicate dynasty in history and the principal regional power in the making of the modern Middle East: the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). This course covers six centuries of Ottoman rule from a diversity of perspectives and topics, including: social, economic, and political history; religion, culture, and law; majority-minority relations, nationalism and modern state formation; migration and competition with neighboring and European powers –  concluding with the long-term legacies of the Ottomans in the Balkans, Anatolia and the Levant, and North Africa. Students will be provided with a broad and robust background for understanding the transformations and continuities shaping the modern Middle East in the present day.

MES 1993: Middle East Politics Professor Shamiran Mako
This course offers an introduction to the historic and contemporary dynamics that have shaped domestic, regional, and international politics of the MENA region. Students will develop a deeper understanding of issues relating to colonialism and state formation, institutional configuration, authoritarianism and regime typologies, the politics of oil, social and economic development, external intervention, ethnic and sectarian strife, gender and women’s mobilization, political Islam, civic activism, and social movements such as the Arab uprisings have drastically altered governance trajectories across the region since 2011. Students are expected to engage critically with weekly readings while also staying informed about current developments in the region.

fullfills capstone requirement

ASYR 1100 Imagining the Gods: Myths and Myth-making in Ancient Mesopotamia (Matthew Rutz)

CLAS 0660 The World of Byzantium (Efstratios Papioannou)

COLT 0812B What is Colonialism? - Archives, Texts, and Images (Ariella Azoulay)

COLT 0711H the Arabic Novel, from Realism to Fantasy (Emily Drumsta)

COLT 1431B Modern Arabic Poetry, Between Tradition and Innovation (Emily Drumsta)

COLT 1815A Apocalypse (Abed Azzam)

HIST 1969B Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples II (Omer Bartov)

HIST 1974A The Silk Roads, Past and Present (Cynthia Brokaw)

INTL 1803K Media Wars: The Middle East (Narges Bajoghli)

JUDS 1711 History of the State of Israel: 1948 to the Present (Rachel Rojanski) 

RELS 0015 Sacred Stories (Susan Harvey)