Middle East Studies

2015-16 Foundational Courses: 

MES0155: Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East – Fall 2015
HIST0247: Civilization, Empire, Nation: Competing Histories of the Middle East – Spring 2016

MES Faculty Courses

MES 0155 Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East Sarah Tobin T 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.

In our exploration of Middle Eastern social movements, this course addresses the role of culture and art in social change; the relationship between faith and politics; as well as the impact of national, regional, and transnational discourses on identity, ethics, and citizenship. The study of social movements in the region will address the impact of technology, media, women’s rights and LGBT movements, as well as economic liberalization, entrepreneurship, and the politics of oil. Finally, we will trace the emergence and consequences of the “Arab Spring.”


Visual Expressions of Social Change in the Contemporary Middle East

This course explores the relationship between the visual arts and social change in the contemporary Middle East. With a specific focus on visual art, architecture and cinema we examine how visual creativity expresses the desires of social and political groupings and, existing within historic traditions, give form and shape to larger social-political movements across the area. From the 20th century, we see the intertwining religious, political, and social movements, large and small, nationalist and separatist, embodied in visual expressions. This interdisciplinary course will uncover the iconographic origins of contemporary art to understand how visual expressions convey meanings in shaping our world.

MES 1350 Israel/Palestine: The One-State Condition Adi Ophir W 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

This course follows the formation and transformation of the Israeli Regime, since its inception in the last years of the British Mandate in Palestine. At the theoretical level, we shall explore the difference between State and regime, ask what is a political regime, how to classify types of regimes and how to determine the regime of any given state. At the historical level we shall reconstruct and question the structural transformations and continuities of the Israeli regime, giving special attention to the impact of Palestinians’ civic status and almost half a century of “occupation” of Palestinian territories.

MES 1999 Colonialism and Human Rights Nicola Perugini 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Are anti-colonial struggles human rights struggles? Is emancipation the objective of these struggles? Where and when do anti-colonial and human rights discourses converge and diverge? What is the role of violence in the moral, political and discursive trajectories of anti-colonialism and human rights? This course takes up these questions, starting with the reconstruction of the historical relationship between colonialism, anti-colonial struggles and the post-World War II formation of the international human rights regime. We then turn to discuss different authors who developed their anti-colonial thought and dealt with, appropriated or ignored human rights in their different conceptions of anti-colonial justice.


Courses of Interest to Students Concentrating in Middle East Studies
Fall 2015

*FCR denotes Fulfills Capstone Requirement. 
The following related courses, offered in other departments, may be of interest to students concentrating in Middle East Studies. Please see the course listing of the sponsoring department for times and locations.

ARAB 0100 First-Year Arabic
ARAB 0300 Second-Year Arabic
ARAB 0500 Third-Year Arabic
ARAB 0700 Advanced Arabic: Tales of the City
ARAB 1100: Love, Revolution and Nostalgia in Modern Arabic Poetry

ARCH 0775 Farm to Table: Foodways and Gastro-Politics in the Ancient *FCR
ARCH 0100 Field Archeology in the Ancient World
ARCH 0152 Egyptomania: Mystery of the Sphinx and Other Secrets of Ancient Egypt *FCR
ARCH 1525 Struggle and Domination in the Prehistoric Mediterranean: Sex Power God(s) *FCR

ASYR 1000 Introduction to Akkadian
ASYR 1700 Astronomy, Divination and Politics in the Ancient World *FCR

Comparative Literature
COLT1814D The Invention of Orientalism:  Politics and Fictions of the Orient *FCR
COLT 0812G The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in History, Literature, Film *FCR
COLT 1814G Arabic Literature *FCR

CLAS 1120Q Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
CLAS 0660 The World of Byzantium

EGYT 1310 Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian Writing and Language (Middle Egyptian I)
EGYT 1330 Selections from Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts
EGYT 1430 History of Egypt I *FCR
EGYT 1525 Living, Creating, Believing and Dying in the Village of the Royal Tomb Builders

HIST 0540F Women in the Middle East, 7th-20th C: Patriarchal Visions, Revolutionary Voices *FCR
HIST 1460 Modern Turkey: Empire, Nation, Republic
HIST 1968 Approaches to the Middle East *Required course for MES Concentrators
HIST 1969A Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples I

History of Art and Architecture
HIAA 1302 Women and Families in the Ancient Mediterranean *FCR

Judaic Studies
JUDS 0050M Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present *FCR
JUDS 0100 Elementary Hebrew
JUDS 0300 Intermediate Hebrew
JUDS 0500 Writing and Speaking Hebrew
JUDS 0820 God and Poetry
JUDS 1701 Jews and Revolutions in the 20th Century *FCR
JUDS 1711 History of the State of Israel: 1948 to the Present *FCR

PRSN 0100 Basic Persian 
PRSN 0300 Intermediate Persian Language and Culture
PRSN 0500 Advanced Persian Language and Culture I

Religious Studies
RELS 0090J Death and Afterlife in the Biblical Tradition *FCR
RELS 0600B Islam in America *FCR
RELS 1530D Islam and Sectarianism

TKSH 0100 Introduction to Turkish Language and Culture I