Middle Eastern Studies Program Courses

ANTH 265: Middle Eastern Cultures and Societies (3)

The Middle East is built on a magnificent legacy of civilizations dating back to ancient times. Today, the Middle East continues to offer the world a rich cultural contribution. This course explores the peoples' and cultures of the Middle East, covering a region stretching from the North African shores of the Atlantic to the Anatolian shores of the Black Sea and from the southern tip of the Red Sea to the eastern highland of Persia. It offers an anthropological understanding of the diversity in the Middle East by examining societal differences in cultural practices, male-female relations, music, literature, kinship systems, religions and traditions, history and heritage, ethnic minorities, social identity and social change. This course will also analyze the impact of historical relationships, including colonialism and imperialism, on the contemporary political conflicts and cultural adaptations occurring among the various peoples of the Middle East.

ARAB 101: Elementary Arabic I (3)

This course is an introduction placing equal emphasis upon aural comprehension, oral expression, the reading and writing of Arabic. In class recitation, written exercises and reading of simple texts.

ARAB 102: Elementary Arabic II (3)

*Prerequisite: ARAB 101 or placement
This course is a continuation of aural comprehension, oral expression, the reading and writing of Arabic. More in class recitation, written exercises and reading of texts.

ARAB 103: Intermediate Arabic I (3)

*Prerequisite: ARAB 102 or placement
This course focuses on continued development of vocabulary and idiom. Equal emphasis on both passive comprehension and active use of Arabic in its spoken and written forms.

ARAB 104: Intermediate Arabic II (3)

*Prerequisite: ARAB 103 or placement
This course focuses on continued development of vocabulary and idiom. Equal emphasis on both passive comprehension and active use of Arabic in its spoken and written forms.

ARAB 201-202: Advanced Composition and Conversation I and II

*Prerequisite: ARAB 104 or placement
This is an advanced course in Arabic that will focus on conversational practice and in-depth study of Arabic grammar and syntax. Emphasis will be put on intensive practice of writing in Arabic, acquisition of advanced vocabulary and pronunciation. Students will develop their conversational and writing skills by focusing on one particular aspect of the Arabic culture per semester.

ART 326: Art of the Islamic World (3)

An introduction to the arts of architecture, book illumination, ceramics, metalwork and carpets from Spain, North Africa, Middle East and South Asia. Stress is placed on the Islamic world's strategic role in the cultural exchange between East and West.

ENGL 233: Middle Eastern Literature (3)

This is an introduction course to the literature of the Middle East from earliest times to present within their historical, religious, social and cultural contexts.

HIST 243: History of the Middle East (3)                                                                                                      

This course is a survey of the Middle East, its people, geography, cultures and history. Primary emphasis will be upon the Islamic period (seventh century to the present) and upon the interrelated development of religious beliefs, political and social ideologies, and cultural practices.

MES 150: Middle Eastern-American Issues (3)

This is an an introductory research course with service-learning requirements on a variety of issues related to Middle Eastern-Americans, such as immigration, cultural diversity and civil rights.

MES 260: Special Topics (3)

This course focuses on special topics in Middle Eastern studies.
This course may be repeated when a new topic is offered.

MES 360: Topics in Middle Eastern Studies (3)

This course may be repeated when a new topic is offered.

MES 390: Independent Study (1-3)

*Prerequisite: consent of the program director and faculty sponsor
Students who have done exceptionally well may take this course to pursue a topic of their own choosing. The instructor and students set up individualized plans and methods of procedure and evaluation.

POLSC 230: Regional Politics: Middle East (3)

*Offered alternate years
This course treats politics within a world region. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.

RELST 220: Bible I - Old Testament Religion (3)

This course is a study of the religion, history and culture of ancient Israel based upon a critical examination of the Hebrew scriptures within the context of ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Attention is given to the contemporary relevance of Israel's faith to the Christian church.

RELST 247: The Jewish Tradition (3)

This course is a survey of the history and characteristic religious beliefs and practices of Judaism from its beginning to modern times. Emphasis on major themes (God, Torah, Chosen People, Messianism) and movements.

RELST 249: The Islamic Tradition (3)

This course is an introduction to the religion of Islam, its mythology, ritual practice, sacred texts and society. The course will focus on the origins of the Islamic tradition in Arabia, examine its spread through various regions and culminate in an examination of more recent developments.

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