Middle East Studies

In light of covid-19, course offerings and schedules may change depending on the University's decision about the 2020-21 academic year and if we go to a three-semester year. We will update the listings as soon as we are made aware of the changes. In the meantime, the course listings below are a good sampling of offerings that count towards a concentration in Middle East studies.


MES 1120 Art, Culture, and Society in Tehran
Tuesday, Thursday, 1:00 – 2:20 p.m.
Professor: Samine Tabatabaei

This course explores the city as physical and metaphorical space and aggregator of possibilities. It focuses on Tehran, in its historical, geographical, artistic and virtual specificity, and artists who have lived there, including: Kamal-al-molk and his followers in the early twentieth century; artists associated with Saqqakhaneh (modern school of art) at mid-twentieth-century, artists of the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and 1990s, and contemporary urban and transnational artists. By examining urban participation, aesthetics, and politics in Tehran across more than a century, the course provokes critical reflection on experience and representations of urban space, citizenry and creativity.

MES 1968 Approaches to the Middle East
Wednesday, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Professor: Beshara Doumani

This seminar introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Middle East Studies in the broader context of the history of area studies in the humanities and social sciences. Why and when did the Middle East become an area of study? What are the approaches and topics that have shaped the development of this field? And what are the political implications of contending visions for its future? The readings sample canonical and alternative works and the classes feature visits by leading scholars who research and write on this pivotal and amorphous region.



ARAB 0100 First-Year Arabic (Elsa Belmont Flores, Alla Hassan)
ARAB 0300 Second-Year Arabic (Mirena Christoff, Alla Hassan)
ARAB 0500 Third-Year Arabic (Miled Faiza)
ARAB 0700 Advanced Arabic: Tales of the City (Elsa Belmont Flores)
ARAB 0850 Advanced Reading and Composition: Kalila wa-Dimna (Miled Faiza)


HEBR 0100 Elementary Hebrew (Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda)
HEBR 0300 Intermediate Hebrew (Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda)
HEBR 0500 Writing and Speaking Hebrew (Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda)


TKSH 0100 Introduction to Turkish Language and Culture I (Esra Ozdemir)
TKSH 0300 Intermediate Turkish II (Esra Ozdemir) 


Courses that may count towards electives, meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss


ANTH 1911 Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East (Nadje Al-Ali) DIAP

Archaeology and the Ancient World

ARCH 0150 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art (Laurel Bestock)


ASYR 0310 Thunder-gods and Dragon-slayers: Mythology + Cultural Contact - Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (Felipe Rojas Silva) First Year Seminar (FYS) | WRIT
ASYR 2400 Akkadian Literary and Religious Texts (Matthew Rutz)

Comparative Literature

COLT 0812P Banned Books of the Middle East (Emily Drumsta) DIAP | WRIT
COLT 1710C Literary Translation Workshop (Emily Drumsta) 
COLT 1814S The Balkans, Europe's Other?: Literature, Film, History (Vangelis Calotychos)


EGYT 1330 Selections from Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts (James Allen)
EGYT 2410 Late Egyptian (Leo Depuydt)
EGYT 2610 Introduction to Demotic (Leo Depuydt)


FREN 1410T L'expérience des réfugiés: déplacements, migrations (Virginia Krause) WRIT


HIST 0245 Middle Earth: A History of the Modern Middle East (Faiz Ahmed)
HIST 1202 Formation of the Classical Heritage: Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Kenneth Sacks) DIAP | WRIT
HIST 1456 Bankrupt: An Economic and Financial History of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Sreemati Mitter)
HIST 1969A Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples I (Omer Bartov) WRIT


HMAN 1974P Theo-Politics: Political Readings of the Hebrew Bible (Adi Ophir) 

Judaic Studies

JUDS 0050H Israel's Wars (Rachel Rojanski) First Year Seminar (FYS)
JUDS 0065 Ancient Israelite and Jewish Narrative and Artistic Image (Larry Wills) WRIT
JUDS 1635 Problems in Israelite History (Saul Olyan)

Modern Culture and Media

MCM 1504R Iranian Cinema (Joan Copjec) DIAP

Religious Studies

RELS 0015 Sacred Stories (Susan Harvey) DIAP | WRIT 
RELS 0290H Defense Against the Dark Arts in the Ancient World (Jae Hee Han) WRIT
RELS 1330A The Life and Afterlives of the Apostle Paul (Jae Hee Han)
RELS 2101 The Court Narrative in Ancient Israel (Larry Wills) Graduate seminar
RELS 2400K New Directions in the Study of Islamic Worlds (Nancy Khalek) Graduate seminar


MES 1120 Art, Culture, and Society in Tehran (Samine Tabatabaei)
MES 1300 Intellectual Change: From Ottoman Modernization to the Turkish Republic (Meltem Toksoz)
COLT 0812P Banned Books of the Middle East (Emily Drumsta)
HIST 1202 Formation of the Classical Heritage: Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Kenneth Sacks)
MCM 1504R Iranian Cinema (Joan Copjec)
RELS 0015 Sacred Stories (Susan Harvey)