Middle East Studies


MES 0100 The Middle East: Cultures & Societies
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:00-10:50 a.m., S01 Salomon Center 202 (C01 Sayles Hall 205/C02 Page-Robinson Hall 402)
Professor: Alex Winder

This course highlights major cultural, social, and political developments in the amorphous region known, since the 20th century, as the Middle East. Covering expanses of space and time, this course attends to a diversity of peoples and polities, and considers different regional concepts that include some or all of the territories normally included in the Middle East (including the Fertile Crescent, the Mediterranean world, the Indian Ocean world, the Arab world, and the Muslim world) and addresses the region's coherence in terms of shared historical and political experiences, religious and cultural references or practices, and/or socialities and ways of being.

MES 1150 Labor and the Long Downturn in the Middle East
Tuesday, Thursday, 2:30 p.m.-3:50 p.m., Sayles Hall 306
Professor: Paul Kohlbry

This course examines the question of labor in the contemporary Middle East. The 1970s saw a global economy defined increasingly by deindustrialization, intensified competition, financialization, and squeezes on profitably. For workers, these changes meant that technological development, agrarian change, debt, and increasing precarity have transformed who works, where they work, and the sorts of politics that work (or its absence) gives rise to. This course examines these wider concerns within the context of the Middle East. Through a focus on social history and ethnographic accounts, it illuminates the ways different groups of workers experience and grapple with these broader transformations.

MES 1170 Iranian Art: Sites and Sights 
Tuesday, 4:00-6:30 p.m., Page-Robinson Hall 201
Professor: Samine Tabatabaei

This course introduces students to the modern and contemporary history of art in Iran, including architecture, visual art, cinema, theatre, and politics. It starts with the transition from the Qajar period (1781-1925) and its visual culture to the modern 20th-century nation-state, addressing; processes of urbanization; spread of modern technologies; revolutionary sentiment of 1979; displacement and formation of diasporic communities after the Islamic revolution; and the emergence of Internet technology in the 21st century. This historical backdrop informs investigation into artistic milieus, platforms, and the ever-changing notion of creativity. Course readings consist of excerpts from primary sources in addition to textbook assignments.

MES 1250 Palestinians and Kurds: The Condition of Statelessness
Wednesday, 3:00-5:30 p.m., Salomon Center 203
Professors: Adi Ophir & Meltem Toksoz

This seminar seeks to achieve three interrelated goals: to introduce students to the condition of statelessness experienced by two ethnic groups in the Middle East, the Kurdish and Palestinian peoples; to examine the contours and potency of, and the problematics associated with, the concept of statelessness; and to offer the production and management of statelessness as a viable perspective for the study of the modern Middle East. We look for analogies and distinctions between the two cases, and qualify and multiply the condition of statelessness for each, guided by categories of Nation, State, Nationalism, Colonization, Settler Colonialism, Citizenship, and Precariousness.

MES 1270 Histories of Watching and Surveying
Monday, 3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Sayles Hall 205
Professor: Samine Tabatabaei

How are surveillance practices historically embedded in social fabric? How have surveillance technologies altered social life throughout history? This course explores these questions by mapping the complex ways that technologies and societies interact to produce security, fear, control, and vulnerability. Some of the areas covered include close-circuit television (CCTV) in public and quasi-public spaces, biometric technologies on the border, and a host of monitoring technologies in cyberspaces, workplaces, and the home. Readings are drawn from the critical theories in visual culture, science-fiction, and popular media.



ARAB 0200 First-Year Arabic (Mohamed Bayoumi)
ARAB 0400 Second-Year Arabic (Elsa Belmont Flores, Mirena Christoff)
ARAB 0600 Third-Year Arabic (Miled Faiza)
ARAB 0800 Advanced Arabic: Language & Culture through Cinema (Elsa Belmont Flores)
ARAB 0950 Advanced Reading and Composition: Arabic Fiction in the West (Miled Faiza)


HEBR 0200 Elementary Hebrew (Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda)
HEBR 0400 Intermediate Hebrew (Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda)


PRSN 0200 Basic Persian (Iraj Anvar)
PRSN 0400 Intermediate Persian Language and Culture (Iraj Anvar)
PRSN 0500 Advanced Persian Language and Culture II (Iraj Anvar)


TKSH 0200 Introduction to Turkish Language and Culture I (Esra Ozdemir)
TKSH 0400 Intermediate Turkish II (Esra Ozdemir) 


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

Archaeology and the Ancient World

ARCH 1425 Archaeology, Materiality, and National Imagination in Israel and Greece: A Comparative Approach (Yannis Hamilakis, Raphael Greenberg)
ARCH 2740 Social Life in Ancient Egypt (Laurel Bestock) Graduate seminar


ASYR 1010 Intermediate Akkadian (Matthew Rutz)
ASYR 1725 Scientific Thought in Ancient Iraq (John Steele) WRIT
ASYR 2420 Akkadian Divinatory Texts (Matthew Rutz) Graduate seminar
ASYR 2700 Special Topics in Ancient Sciences (John Steele)


CLASS 0660 The World of Byzantium (Byron Macdougall)  WRIT | DIAP

Comparative Literature

COLT 0711H The Arabic Novel (Emily Drumsta) WRIT | DIAP
COLT 1310M The Literature of Muslim Spain (Elias Muhanna) WRIT
COLT 0810I Tales and Talemakers of the Non-Western World (Dore Levy) DIAP
COLT 1440P Nationalism and Transnationalism in Film and Fiction (Vangelis Calotychos)
COLT 1440W Patterns of Migrations / People and Objects (Ariella Azoulay, Vazira F-Y Zamindar) WRIT | DIAP
COLT 1440X Shéhérazades: Depicting the “Orientale” in Modern French Culture (Edwige Crucifix) WRIT | DIAP
COLT 1815J 1492 – Unlearning Single World Order and Single World History (Ariella Azoulay) DIAP


EGYT 0500 The Pyramids in Context: Archaeology of Life and Religion of Death in Old Kingdom Egypt (Maria Almansa Villatoro)
EGYT 1100 Ancient Voices: The Literature of Ancient Egypt (Margaret Geoga) WRIT
EGYT 1320 Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian Writing and Language (Middle Egyptian II) (James Allen)
EGYT 1465 Life on the Nile: Ancient Egypt beyond the Pharaohs (Silvia Stubnova, Christopher Cox)
EGYT 2210 Introduction to Coptic (Leo Depuydt)
EGYT 2300 Readings in Ancient Egyptian (Aurore Motte)


BHBR 0200 Readings in Biblical Hebrew (Tanner Walker)


HIST 0150D Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History (Vazira F-Y Zamindar) course poster
HIST 0150I The Making of the Modern World (Beshara Doumani)
HIST 1960S North African History: 1800 to Present (Jennifer Johnson)
HIST 1963Q Sex, Power, and God: A Medieval Perspective (Amy Remensnyder) WRIT
HIST 1969C Debates in Middle Eastern History (Sreemati Mitter) WRIT | DIAP
HIST 1969D Palestine versus the Palestinians (Beshara Doumani) WRIT | DIAP
HIST 1969F Nothing Pleases Me: Understanding Modern Middle Eastern History Through Literature (Sreemati Mitter) WRIT | DIAP

Judaic Studies

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

Political Science

POLS 1822I Geopolitics of Oil and Energy (Jeffrey Colgan) WRIT

Religious Studies

RELS 0095A Islam from the Ground Up (Nancy Khalek, Muntazir Ali) course poster
RELS 1500 From Moses to Muhammad: Prophets of the Ancient World (Jae Hee Han) WRIT
RELS 1530F The History of Emotions and Medieval Islamic Tradition (Nancy Khalek)
RELS 2100E Literature of the Early Second Temple Period (Saul Olyan)


SOC 1128 Migrants, Refugees and the Mediterranean (Lisa DiCarlo)


TKSH 1100B Istanbul, Global Metropolis Seminar in English (Esra Ozdemir) course poster

Urban Studies

URBN 1870K Jerusalem Since 1850: Religion, Politics, Cultural Heritage (Katharina Galor) WRIT