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MEIS

Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies


Picture of Mosque in the desert

MEIS Student Learning Outcomes:

Please click here for student learning outcomes

Description of Existing MEIS Courses

Language Requirements

ARABIC101. Elementary Arabic I (4)

In development

ARABIC102. Elementary Arabic II (4)

In development

PERSIAN101. Elementary Persian I (4)

Study of the fundamentals of Persian: grammatical structure, alphabet, writing, and practice of the spoken language. May not be challenged.{What does this mean?} (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies)

PERSIAN102. Elementary Persian II (4)

Prerequisite: Completion of Persian 101 or instructor consent. Continuation of the fundamentals of Persian: grammatical structure, reading, writing, and practice of the spoken language. Discussion of Persian history and culture is integrated into the lessons. May not be challenged. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies)

HEBR101. Elementary Hebrew I and Lab (4)

First semester of a beginning level Hebrew course focusing on basic vocabulary, grammar, reading and practice in the spoken language.

HEBR 102 Elementary Hebrew II (4)

Second semester of a beginning level Hebrew course focusing on basic vocabulary, grammar, reading and practice in the spoken language.

History Requirement:

HIST 185. Civilization of the Middle East (3)

Introduction to the history and culture of the Middle East from the rise of Islam in the 7th century to the present. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies)

HIST 424. A History of the Medieval Middle East, 600-1258 (3)

This course will trace the development of religion, government, culture, and society in the Middle East in the Early Islamic period (600-1258CE). This course will first focus on Islamic conceptions of religion, law, and government. It will then examine the effect that these conceptions had on the Muslim community and on the communities of conquered peoples in the Middle East during this period. Available for Graduate Credit.

HIST 425. History of the Early Modern Middle East (3)

This course will trace the history of the Early Modern Middle East from the Mongol destruction of Baghdad in 1258 to the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt in 1798. It will focus on political events, but there will be substantial discussions of cultural, economic, and social history as well. The aftermath of the Mongol invasions and the rise and development of the Gunpowder Empires including the Mamluks, Ottomans, il-Khans and Safavids will be emphasized. Special attention will be paid to the interaction of these empires and the cultures that developed under their control with each other and with non-Middle Eastern states and cultures. Recommended Preparatory Course: History 185. Available for Graduate Credit.

HIST 426. History of the Modern Middle East 1798-1979 (3)

This course will trace the development of religion, government, culture and society in the Middle East in the modern period (1798-1979CE). This course is designed to be an investigation of different perspectives on the history of the Middle East from 1789, the date of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, until roughly the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The focus of this class will be on individual and collective reactions to the dramatic changes happening during this period. Available for Graduate Credit.

HIST/JS 496IH. Israel's History and Peoples (this is a cross-listed experimental topics course)

A history of the modern State of Israel, from the emergence of modern Jewish nationalism to the present time.  The conflicts between Jews, Palestinians, and imperial and regional powers, as well as the relations between the diverse peoples that constitute Israel’s multicultural, multi-religious, and multinational society will be explored.

Politics Requirement

POLS420A-H. International Relations of Selected Areas (3)

Intensive study of the international relations and impact on the world of nations or areas of special interest which are not included in other courses: (D) Middle East

POLS438. Government and Politics in the Middle East (3)

Study of contemporary social and political movements, governmental institutions, and politics of the Arab states, Israel, and Iran.

Religion Requirement:

RS365. Islam (3)

Study of the varieties of Islamic civilization in their social contexts. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies)

RS384. Approaching the Qur’an (3)

A historical, thematic, and analytical study of the Qur’an both in its content and form with substantial focus on the Qur’an as a source of information in various disciplines in the light of traditional and contemporary methods of interpretation.

RS363. Islam in the Modern World (3)

Introduction to the contemporary Islamic religious tradition. Focus on contemporary Muslim religiosity and activity both within the United States and in an international setting.

RS 346: Sufism (3)

A historical and critical study of emergence and development of the mystical tradition of Islam, Sufism, with particular attention to literary and artistic works that are informed by Sufism as well as the relevance of Sufism to the modern world.

Culture Requirement:

GWS420. Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (3)

This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural course explores how the religious authorities, scriptural and legal sources have contributed to the status and rights of women and to the construction of theories, laws, and practices concerning gender roles and sexuality in the Islamic tradition. We will study how these constructed gender roles, sexual norms and attitudes have reflected, resisted or changed in response to modernity, modernization, colonialism, nationalism, and globalization, especially modern feminist discourse in cultural, social, economic and political domains.

GWS315. Gender, Sexuality and Islam in the US (3)

This interdisciplinary course examines the gender dimension of social contours of Islamic communities in North America with an emphasis on the United States. After a brief review of the geopolitics and historical background, immigration trends, and acculturation process of communities, the course will explore what it means to be a Muslim person in the United States today. Special attention will be paid to social activism and feminist discourse among the diaspora Muslims and their cross-pollination or transnational impacts on the processes of globalization, reformation, and democratization in the Muslim-majority countries.

JOUR495MAM. Muslims and the Media (3)

In this course we will create multimedia news content, which can include audio, video, photographs, text and social media content about Muslims. In creating this content, students will learn how Muslims and Islam have been traditionally covered in the news media and what the challenges with this coverage have been. The goal is to overcome the common stereotypes and problems with such coverage while learning online journalism skills.

ART416. History of Ancient Near Eastern Art (3)

Study of the architecture, sculpture, and related art forms of the ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Iran from prehistoric times to the beginning of the Sassanian Empire.

ANTH356. Peoples and Cultures of the Mediterranean (3)

This course examines people and cultures of the Mediterranean region, including Spain, southern France, Italy, Greece, the Middle East and North Africa, through contemporary ethnography and film.

ANTH338. Peoples of Africa (3)

This course introduces students to the diversity of African culture in North Africa, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa. Students will learn about the history and ethnography of colonial and postcolonial African societies and develop a more balanced understanding of Africa's diversity, complexity, and relationship to contemporary globalization.