Northfield, Minn.––Carleton College has received a major federal grant to advance the study of the Middle East on campus from the U.S. Department of Education. The College earned the $172,206 grant through the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Program for a two-year project, “Consolidating Middle East Studies at Carleton College.”
The project will be directed by Adeeb Khalid, the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor of Asian Studies and History, and Stacy Beckwith, Associate Professor of Hebrew, Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, and Director of the Program in Judaic Studies. In keeping with UISFL’s mandate that awardees share the costs of funded projects, the grant will cover 42 percent of the total cost of the project, with $242,438 in College resources making up the remaining 58 percent.
Interest in the Middle East is of long standing at Carleton, and the College has offered instruction in Hebrew since 1999 and Arabic since 2007. The grant will allow the College to create new language courses in Arabic above the basic language sequence, and to develop new audio-lingual teaching and learning tools for the elementary and intermediate levels. Carleton will be in a position to offer a new Certificate of Advanced Study in Arabic.
The grant will also allow the creation of new courses on the Middle East and of modules, or course sections, that bring a focus on the region into existing or new classes. In this way the College will raise the profile of the Middle East even higher by infusing regional content across the curriculum. A series of faculty workshops, reading groups, and funded curricular development opportunities will enable the College to start building an interdisciplinary community of faculty interested in adding Middle East content to their teaching.
Finally, the College will also use grant funds to strengthen its already strong commitment to off-campus study by identifying and confirming two off-campus study sites or partner programs in the Middle East, where students will be able to
enhance their study of the region and improve their language skills through immersion.