Middle East Studies

Spring 2015 Course Listing

MES Faculty Courses

MES 1994Islamic EconomicsSarah TobinT R 2:30 – 3:50 p.m.

Despite the fact that the scriptural and early historical legacy of Islam is widely considered to be market-friendly, debates about the relationships between Islam and capitalism abound. This course moves beyond simplistic concerns of compatibility or conflict, and delves into the diverse ways by which Muslims from around the globe have devised a range of social, cultural, religious, legal and fiscal strategies that enable them to both remain true to their faith and live in today’s swiftly-evolving economic context.

MES 1995Critics of Zionism: Political, Philosophical, and Theological PerspectivesAdi OphirM 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.

“Zionism is an idea, an ideology, a national movement that sought to solve “”the Jewish question”” in Europe, a political project that morphed into a political regime, a mighty colonial force, a form of Jewish secularization and an engine for religious revival. As such Zionism has always been accompanied with criticism. The seminar studies four critics, three Jews and one Palestinian, who questioned Zionism as a practice, not only an ideology. It examines the theoretical arguments and presuppositions of Marin Buber, Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, and Judith Butler, with special attention to the philosophical and theological framing of their critique.”

MES 1997CEthnographic Perspectives of Islam: Tradition, Religiosity and ModernityAmal SachedinaT R 9:00 – 10:20 a.m.

Media coverage presents two ways of thinking and approaching modern Islam. One assumes Islam to be an entire way of life and single set of religious beliefs with compulsive adherence to the Quran and the Prophetic Sunna. The other reduces Islam to a set of essentialist principles, rules and spiritual values that even many Muslims have trouble grasping. Recent anthropological scholarship makes every-day practical interpretations, practices and living social relationships central towards understanding Islam. This class will explore socio-historical and cultural specificities by which Muslims grapple with their faith, and how they shape these resources into every-day beliefs and practices.

MES 1997DThe Politics of Heritage, Tradition and Culture in the Middle East Amal SachedinaT R 1:00 – 2:20 p.m.

Western media has pervasively portrayed the Middle East as “a-historical”, “timeless”, an “Other” that is beyond the logic of modern time. Simultaneously, it is also considered the cradle of “Western Civilization” where vital elements of “world” patrimony may be traced. But how do those who inhabit the region relate to their past and what are the various ways by which its discourses are drawn upon to embody different socio-political and ethical life-worlds? This course explores recent texts on heritage and memory while offering insights of ways in which modalities of history and memory have shaped the postcolonial dynamics of this region.

MES 1999DAnthropology/Sociology of Development in the Arab WorldMayssun SuccarieT 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.

After the Second World War, questions of economic growth, poverty, and inequality were internationalized, leading to the rise of national and international agencies which aimed to promote development in the “Third World.” This course examines the anthropological study of development. Touching on development theory (and the political context of each model), we examine connections to anthropological models of socio-cultural change, and consider the relationship between anthropology and the development industry. How can cultural relativist and applied anthropology approaches be reconciled? Can anthropologists and anthropological knowledge contribute to improving development interventions and outcomes, or are they merely critical of such interventions?

MES XLIST: Courses of Interest to Students Concentrating in Middle East Studies

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 0200 First-Year Arabic
ARAB 0210 Egyptian Arabic
ARAB 0400 Second-Year Arabic
ARAB 0600 Third-Year Arabic
ARAB 0800 Advanced Arabic Language + Culture

Archaeology and the Ancient World
ARCH 0370 Before the Islamic State: The Archaeologies of Ancient Mesopotamia
ARCH 1635 The Great Heresy: Egypt in the Amarna Period

AWAS 1100 Imagining the Gods: Myths and Myth-making in Ancient Mesopotamia

Comparative Literature
COLT 0510K The 1001 Nights
COLT 0710Y After The War: Arendt, Duras, Kahanoff and Anonymous from Berlin

EGYT 1320 Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian Writing and Language (Middle Egyptian II)
EGYT 1420 Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic

HIST 0150D Refugees: A Twentieth-Century History
HIST 0971J Athens, Jerusalem and Baghdad: Three Civilizations, One Tradition
HIST 1455 The Making of the Modern Middle East, 1750 to the Present
HIST 1970R Colonial Modernities: Europe and the Middle East
HIST 1971M America and the Middle East: Social and Cultural Histories (1492-Present)

Judaic Studies
JUDS 0200 Elementary Hebrew
JUDS 0400 Intermediate Hebrew
JUDS 0600 Issues in Contemporary Israeli Society, Politics and Culture in Hebrew
JUDS 1612 Adam and Eve in Early Jewish and Christian Interpretation
JUDS 1615 The Archaeology of Palestine
JUDS 1752 Zionists, Anti-Zionists and Post-Zionists: Jewish Controversies in the 20th Centuries

Modern Culture and Media
MCM1504R Iranian Cinema
MCM1504F Photo-Lab: The Visual Performance of Rights

PRSN 0200 Basic Persian
PRSN 0400 Intermediate Persian Language and Culture
PRSN 0600 Advanced Persian Language and Culture II

Political Science
POLS 1822 Geopolitics of Oil and Energy

Religious Studies
RELS 0640 Dying to be with God: Jihad, Past and Present
RELS 2400H Christians and Muslim in the Early Middle Ages

SOC 1871L  Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Other Disruptors:  The Case of Modern Turkey

TKSH 0200 Elementary Turkish

University Courses
UNIV 1001 The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Contested Narratives