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, or fulfill their Carleton language requirement with another language relevant to the Middle East (with director's approval).

45 credits completed as follows:

  • Foundations 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 100 Arabs Encountering the West
    • ARBC 144 Arabic Literature at War (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARBC 185 The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature
    • ARTH 155 Islamic Art and Architecture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 165 From Young Turks to Arab Revolutions: A Cultural History of the Modern Middle East
    • MELA 121 East-West in Israeli and Palestinian Fiction and Film (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MEST 395 Middle East Studies Capstone
    • POSC 242 Middle East Politics
    • RELG 122 Introduction to Islam
    • RELG 161 The Jewish Bible
    • RELG 162 Jesus, the Bible, and Christian Beginnings (not offered in 2019-20)
    and any new 100-level classes being taught by tenured, tenure-track or continuing faculty at the committee's discretion.
  • 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).
    Group 1, History, Social Sciences, Religion (12 credit minimum)
    • CLAS 122 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory: From the Beginning to the Classical Age (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 131 Saints, Sinners, and Philosophers in Late Antiquity (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 133 Crisis, Creativity, and Transformation in Late Antiquity (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 138 Crusades, Mission, and the Expansion of Europe
    • HIST 204 Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Medieval Mediterranean (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 233 Cultures of Empire: Byzantium, 843-1453
    • HIST 260 The Making of the Modern Middle East
    • HIST 265 Central Asia in the Modern Age (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 280 African in the Arab World (not offered in 2019-20)
    • HIST 284 History, Culture and Commerce Program: Heritage in Africa and Arabia
    • HIST 360 Muslims and Modernity (not offered in 2019-20)
    • LING 130 Sociolinguistics of Semitic Languages (not offered in 2019-20)
    • LING 231 Structure of Semitic Languages (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 282 Terrorism and Counterterrorism (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 320 Authoritarianism and Democratization in the Middle East* (not offered in 2019-20)
    • POSC 324 Rebels and Risk Takers: Women and War in the Middle East*
    • RELG 122 Introduction to Islam
    • RELG 161 The Jewish Bible
    • RELG 162 Jesus, the Bible, and Christian Beginnings (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 215 Muslim Misfits: Islam and the Question of Orthodoxy (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 221 Judaism and Gender (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 228 Martyrdom (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 229 Monks and Mystics (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 235 Power, Resistance, and Sacred Texts (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 236 History of Antisemitism
    • RELG 247 The Islamic Republic: Explorations in Religion and Nationalism (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 262 Islamic Africa (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 263 Sufism (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 264 Islam, Politics, and the Secular
    • RELG 265 Religion and Violence: Hindus, Muslims, Jews (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 268 The Perfumed Life: Islamic Sources of the Self (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 151 Global Minnesota: An Anthropology of Our State (not offered in 2019-20)
    • SOAN 263 Terrorism
    • WGST 180 Power and Desire: Gender Relations in the Middle East (not offered in 2019-20)

    Group 2,
    Literature, Culture, and the Arts (12 credits minimum)
    • ARBC 100 Arabs Encountering the West
    • ARBC 144 Arabic Literature at War (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARBC 185 The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature
    • ARBC 206 Arabic in Cultural Context
    • ARBC 222 Music in the Middle East (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARBC 310 Advanced Media Arabic (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARBC 315 Readings in Premodern Arabic Anthologies (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARBC 387 The One Thousand and One Nights
    • ARTH 155 Islamic Art and Architecture (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ARTH 255 Islam in the Eyes of the West (not offered in 2019-20)
    • CAMS 236 Israeli Society in Israeli Cinema (not offered in 2019-20)
    • ENGL 228 Encountering the Other: The Crusades (not offered in 2019-20)
    • FREN 350 Middle East and French Connection (not offered in 2019-20)
    • FREN 360 The Algerian War of Liberation and Its Representations
    • MELA 121 East-West in Israeli and Palestinian Fiction and Film (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MELA 125 Love in Persian Literature (not offered in 2019-20)
    • MELA 230 Jewish Collective Memory (not offered in 2019-20)
    • RELG 210 The Arts of Islam
  • Capstone MEST 395, Senior Colloquium, 3 credits

Middle East Studies Courses

MEST 395 Middle East Studies Capstone The Middle East Studies capstone will allow students to reflect upon their experiences with Middle East studies, including on-campus and off-campus classwork, internships, and cross-cultural experiences, and to synthesize their work in the minor. The course will involve selected readings from a number of disciplinary perspectives and it will culminate in a final oral presentation on a project that brings together each student’s work in Middle East Studies at Carleton. Prerequisite: Middle East Studies minor. 3 credits; NE; Spring; Zaki A Haidar