Middle East Studies

MES-CODED COURSES

MES 0825 From Blind Owls to Mute Dreams: An Introduction to Modern Iranian Literature (in translation)
W 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Professor: Amir Moosavi
This is a survey of the modern Persian literature of Iran (in translation) for students who have little to no background in the topic. Starting in the early twentieth century and continuing until the present day, we will examine the major themes and aesthetic techniques of some of the most important writers who have shaped modern Persian literature throughout the twentieth century, with attention to the socio-political context and formal characteristics of texts. Prose-fiction (novels and short stories) will be the focus, as well as a number of poems, essays and memoirs. All readings will be available in English translation. DPLL

MES 1235 Policing and Imprisonment in the Modern Middle East
M 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Professor: Alex Winder
Policing figure prominently in recent events, from the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi to the rise of the Islamic State. Repressive regimes rely heavily on police, prisons, and criminal law to maintain power and authority. This course examines recent uprisings and ongoing conflicts, and questions of state and non-state violence. Major topics are: the role of Islam in law and criminal justice; the imposition of European colonial rule; the rise of police states; the production and maintenance of a gendered social order; non-state and informal mechanisms of maintaining “law and order”; and the role of law and security. DPLL
Course flyer

MES 1265 Culture and Conflict in the Modern Middle East
W 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Professors: Hanan Toukan and Amir Moosavi
This seminar examines modern cultural manifestations of protest, violence and war in the “Middle East.” Taking as its starting point the fact that much of the literature on politics, culture and society in the MENA emphasizes the region’s various hierarchies of power, dogged ideologies and the ways in which violent regimes order personal identities and experiences, this interdisciplinary seminar studies the ways in which these dominant forms are produced and countered in various forms of cultural production. It analyzes how artists, writers and filmmakers have grappled with conflicts by harnessing collective and personal memories to protest social and political hegemonies.

MES 1550 Non-Jews in the Jewish State: A Study in the Constitution of Otherness
F 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Professor: Adi Ophir
This course approaches multiple aspects of otherness by examining major sites where the work of “othering” takes place: debates relating to the “Jewishness” of the Jewish State; the legal and theological debates over the question who is a Jew; immigration and naturalization law; the regulation of marriage, burial, and religious conversion, and the recent racialization of non-Jewish aliens. The course materials are drawn from Zionist thinkers, legal documents, news items and analyses, academic studies, as well as from literary and cinematic works. Students have the option to concentrate on the more theoretical texts, the legal documents, or the literary and cinematic works.

MES 1993: Middle East Politics
M 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
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 how and why 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.


FOUNDATIONAL COURSES


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 antique 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.

HIST 1969C: Debates in Modern Middle East History. Professor Sreemati Mitter
This seminar investigates some of the major problems and debates that have dominated contemporary discussions on the political, economic, and social history of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries – including debates on colonialism and its legacies; problems associated with the postcolonial Middle Eastern states (authoritarianism and the role of the army; the position of minorities; directions of economic development; political Islam); and debates as to the causes and consequences of major events in modern Middle Eastern history, such as the Israel-Palestinian conflict; the Iranian revolution; 9/11 and the Iraq invasion; and the Arab Spring.

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.


X-LIST


Arabic
ARAB 0200 First-Year Arabic (Mirena Christoff, Alla Hassan)
ARAB 0400 Second-Year Arabic (Mirena Christoff, Miled Faiza)
ARAB 0600 Third-Year Arabic (Miled Faiza)
ARAB 0800 Advanced Arabic Language & Culture (Miled Faiza)

Assyriology
ASYR 1100 Imagining the Gods: Myths and Myth-making in Ancient Mesopotamia (Matthew Rutz)
ASYR 1600 Astronomy Before the Telescope (John Steele)

Classics
CLAS 0660 The World of Byzantium (Efstratios Papioannou)

Comparative Literature
COLT 0312B What is Colonialism? - Archives, Texts, and Images (Ariella Azoulay) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
COLT 0711H the Arabic Novel, from Realism to Fantasy (Emily Drumsta) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
COLT 1431B Modern Arabic Poetry, Between Tradition and Innovation (Emily Drumsta) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement

Judaic Studies
BHBR 0200 Readings in Biblical Hebrew
HEBR 0200 Elementary Hebrew
HEBR 0400 Intermediate Hebrew
HEBR 0600 Issues in Contemporary Israeli Society, Politics, and Culture in Hebrew
JUDS 1711 History of the State of Israel: 1948 to the Present (Rachel Rojanski) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement

History
HIST 0203 Modern Africa: From Empire to Nation-State (Jennifer Johnson)
HIST 1440 The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire (Faiz Ahmed) 
HIST 1960S North African History: 1800 to Present (Jennifer Johnson)
HIST 1969B Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples II (Omer Bartov) 
HIST 1969C Debates in Middle Eastern History (Sreemati Mitter)  *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
HIST 1969D Palestine versus the Palestinians (Beshara Doumani)  *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
HIST 1969F Nothing Pleases Me: Understanding Modern Middle Eastern History Through Literature (Sreemati Mitter) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
HIST 1974A The Silk Roads, Past and Present (Cynthia Brokaw) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
HIST 1974L A Global History of an Idea: Civilization (Meltem Toksoz)

International Relations
INTL 1803K Media Wars: The Middle East (Narges Bajoghli) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement

Persian
PRSN 0200 Basic Persian (Iraj Anvar)
PRSN 0400 Intermediate Persian Language and Culture (Iraj Anvar)
PRSN 0600 Advanced Persian Language and Culture (Iraj Anvar)

Religious Studies
RELS 0015 Sacred Stories (Susan Harvey) 
RELS 0096 the Imaginary Lives of Muslims (Shahzad Bashir) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement
RELS 0835 Edward Said and Cornel West (Nancy Khalek, Andre Willis)
RELS 1325D Desire and the Sacred (Susan Harvey) 
RELS 1510 Islam in South Asia (Shahzad Bashir)
RELS 1530D Medieval Islamic Sectarianism (Nancy Khalek) *Fulfills Capstone Requirement

Turkish
TKSH 0200 Introduction to Turkish Language and Culture I (Ercan Balci)
TKSH 0400 Intermediate Turkish (Ercan Balci)