Middle East Studies Minor

Middle East Studies

Through the Middle East Studies Minor students can develop an inter-connected understanding of diverse Middle Eastern cultures and societies, past and present, in regional and global contexts. We define the Middle East broadly to include the majority-Arabic-speaking states and territories from Morocco to the Persian Gulf, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia. Our inter-disciplinary approach will also help students to explore linguistic, literary, religious, and other sociocultural ties with Middle Eastern diasporas in Europe and the Americas, and with those regions in Sub-Saharan Africa where Arabic serves as language of literature and culture.

Requirements for the Middle East Studies Minor

The Middle East Studies Minor requires a total of 45 credits. No more than 24 credits may be from any one department. Outside of these 45 credits, students must also complete either Hebrew 204 or Arabic 205, or equivalent. Students interested in a possible minor in Middle East Studies are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one of their two core courses early in their Carleton career.

45 credits completed as follows:

  • Core Courses: 12 credits from the following list, no credits from OCS programs may substitute. Once you have fulfilled the core requirement, further courses from among these five may serve as electives.
    • ARBC 185 The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature
    • HIST 165 From Young Turks to Arab Revolutions: A Cultural History of the Modern Middle East
    • MELA 121 Middle East Perspectives in Israeli and Palestinian Literature and Film
    • POSC 245 Politics of the Middle East I (1918-67) (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 122 Introduction to Islam
  • Supporting Courses: 30 credits from among the following two groups, with a minimum of 12 in each. Up to 12 credits from approved OCS programs may count toward this total (with MES director approval), but these must be from OCS courses with a content focus (not just language instruction). The following courses are expected to be taught at least once over the next four years. New electives will appear each year, depending on staffing, please check an updated list on our website (https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/mest/requirements/) each spring for new courses).
    Group 1, History, Social Sciences, Religion, and Archaeology (12 credit minimum)
    • CLAS 122 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory: From the Beginning to the Classical Age (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 131 Saints, Sinners, and Philosophers in Late Antiquity (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 133 Crisis, Creativity, and Transformation in Late Antiquity
    • HIST 203 Icons for All: A Public Humanities Practicum
    • HIST 204 Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Medieval Mediterranean (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 233 Cultures of Empire: Byzantium, 843-1453 (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 260 The Making of the Modern Middle East
    • HIST 265 Central Asia in the Modern Age (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 280 African in the Arab World (not offered in 2017-18)
    • LING 130 Sociolinguistics of Semitic Languages
    • MELA 230 Jewish Collective Memory (not offered in 2017-18)
    • POSC 234 Israeli Politics
    • POSC 242 Political Economy of the Middle East
    • POSC 246 Politics of the Middle East II (1967-2011) (not offered in 2017-18)
    • POSC 282 Terrorism and Violence in World Politics (not offered in 2017-18)
    • POSC 320 Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Middle East*
    • RELG 161 Making Meaning of the Hebrew Bible (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 162 Jesus, Paul, and Christian Origins (New Testament) (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 215 Muslim Misfits: Islam and the Question of Orthodoxy
    • RELG 221 Judaism and Gender (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 228 Martyrdom (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 262 Islamic Africa
    • RELG 263 Sufism (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 264 Islamic Politics (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 265 Religion and Violence: Hindus, Muslims, Jews (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 268 The Perfumed Life: Islamic Sources of the Self
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State
    • SOAN 161 Designing for Diversity: Anthropology and New Technologies (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 253 Oil, Sand, Water: Environmental Anthropology of the Middle East (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism

    Group 2,
    Literature, Culture, and the Arts. (12 credits minimum)
    • ARBC 144 Arabic Literature at War
    • ARBC 185 The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature
    • ARBC 206 Arabic in Cultural Context
    • ARBC 222 Music in the Middle East (not offered in 2017-18)
    • ARBC 310 Advanced Media Arabic (not offered in 2017-18)
    • ARBC 387 The One Thousand and One Nights
    • ARTH 155 Islamic Art and Architecture (not offered in 2017-18)
    • ARTH 255 Islam in the Eyes of the West (not offered in 2017-18)
    • ARTH 256 Age of Empire: Ottomans of Turkey, Safavids of Iran and Mughals of India
    • CAMS 236 Israeli Society in Israeli Cinema (not offered in 2017-18)
    • CCST 100 Cross Cultural Perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian Identity
    • ENGL 228 Encountering the Other: The Crusades (not offered in 2017-18)
    • FREN 350 Middle East and French Connection
    • FREN 360 The Algerian War of Liberation and Its Representations (not offered in 2017-18)
  • Capstone MEST 395, Senior Colloquium, 3 credits

Middle East Studies Courses

MEST 395 Middle East Studies Capstone The Middle East Studies capstone will situate students within the major debates in the field.  Students will spend each week with a different professor affiliated with Middle East Studies, exploring a key text that characterizes the field or a key theme within it. At the end of the course, students will write and present a "Middle East Studies portfolio" that puts the totality of their experiences in Middle East Studies while at Carleton into conversation with the texts they encountered in this course. Prerequisite: Middle East Studies concentrator. 3 credits; NE; Spring; Noah Salomon