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Middle East Studies

Middle East Studies at Brown University promotes knowledge, understanding, and informed discussion about the Middle East, Islam, and Muslim societies through research, teaching, and public engagement.

Housed in the Watson Institute and supported by the Dean of Faculty, Middle East Studies (MES) has, since 2012, grown from an undergraduate concentration into one of the top programs in the country. Eschewing the hothouse legacy structures of the conventional Oriental and Area Studies models, MES is driven by thematic research initiatives that tap into Brown’s tradition of interdisciplinary, critical, and engaged scholarship. Organized through partnerships, MES seeks to integrate Middle East and Islamic Studies into the larger streams of intellectual life at Brown University by building a cutting-edge research community, producing innovative programming, and offering an exciting array of courses and opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.  ​

Middle East Studies is organized around niche research initiatives that seek to shape fields of knowledge through annual workshops, publications, pedagogy, and public outreach.

  • Displacement and the Making of the Modern World
  • Islamic Humanities
  • New Directions in Palestinian Studies
  • Engaged Scholarship in Zones of Conflict
  • Arts and Social Change

For more information please visit: http://middleeastbrown.org

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MES 0155. Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East.

In our exploration of Middle Eastern social movements, this course addresses the role of culture and art in social change; the relationship between faith and politics; as well as the impact of national, regional, and transnational discourses on identity, ethics, and citizenship. The study of social movements in the region will address the impact of technology, media, women’s rights and LGBT movements, as well as economic liberalization, entrepreneurship, and the politics of oil. Finally, we will trace the emergence and consequences of the “Arab Spring.” DPLL

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MES 0165. How Did We Get Here: Middle East City from Antiquity to the Present.

This course examines the origins, evolutions, and radical transformations of Middle Eastern cities. By combining essential and original texts in religion, law, and politics with studies of architectural form and urban morphology we explore the cultural significance and ethical claims from historically situated cities. From the ancient Levantine household to the contemporary Gulf megalopolis, analysis of the relationships between subtle and articulated cultural meanings and corresponding concrete architectural embodiments reveals rich depth in each case. While we might see ancient hierarchies long buried by modernity’s desire for a capitalist city, our analysis shows they are very much alive and struggling. DPLL

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MES 0170. Visual Expressions of Social Change in the Contemporary Middle East.

This course explores the relationship between the visual arts and social change in the contemporary Middle East. With a specific focus on visual art, architecture and cinema we examine how visual creativity expresses the desires of social and political groupings and, existing within historic traditions, give form and shape to larger social-political movements across the area. From the 20th century, we see the intertwining religious, political, and social movements, large and small, nationalist and separatist, embodied in visual expressions. This interdisciplinary course will uncover the iconographic origins of contemporary art to understand how visual expressions convey meanings in shaping our world. DPLL

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MES 0750. Forced Displacement: History, Ecologies and Impacts.

Course covers the basis, processes and consequences of forced displacement in an interdisciplinary and historical perspective. Forced displacement is unintended mobility of humans in large groups who move out of their place of origin for extended periods or often permanently. It has played a vital role in shaping our modern world. Drivers of forced displacement have persisted while others subsided. Wars, religious persecution and targeting of specific ethnic groups displace millions annually. Forced displacement is implicated in the creation of nation states, altering group identities and organizing people, and the responses of the host community, the state and wider world. DPLL

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MES 0825. From Blind Owls to Mute Dreams: A Introduction to Modern Iranian Literature (in translation).

This is a survey of the modern Persian literature of Iran (in translation) for students who have little to no background in the topic. Starting in the early twentieth century and continuing until the present day, we will examine the major themes and aesthetic techniques of some of the most important writers who have shaped modern Persian literature throughout the twentieth century, paying significant attention to the socio-political context and formal characteristics of texts. Prose-fiction (novels and short stories) will be the focus, also read a number of poems, essays and memoirs. All readings will be available in English translation. DPLL

Spr MES0825 S01 26190 TTh 9:00-10:20(01) (A. Moosavi)
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MES 0850. The Wall, the Drone and the Tunnel-Theaters of Sovereignty and Resistance.

Israel/Palestine is a site for experimenting with technologies of security and warfare, including those serving resistance and insurgency. The seminar examines three technologies: drones used for collecting intelligence and “targeted killings;” heavily surveilled separation walls used to enforce a strict regime of movement; tunnels used by insurgency forces for undercover movement. We will study these technologies’ modes of operation; the discourse that represent and justifies their actual deployment; the local and global economy of violence in which they are embedded; the system of state sovereignty which they enable or undermine; and the political regime which they help reproduce or destabilize. DPLL

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MES 0950. Cultures, Societies and Resistance in the Arab World.

This course examines the manifestations of counter-hegemony, resistance and dissent in the Middle East and North Africa. It studies the ways in which dominant forms are countered in cultural production and every day cultural practices, analyzing how subcultures, social movements and individuals have negotiated with, subverted and resisted these forms of social and political hegemonies through the use of art forms such as writing, poetry, music, political film, political posters and pamphlets, performance art and public art and the mixed outcomes of many of these struggles. The readings cover major issues in cultural theory, cultural sociology, cultural studies. DPLL

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MES 1000. Tradition and Protest: Persian and Iranian Music.

Examines Persian and Iranian musical approaches to tradition and protest. First half focuses on traditional Iranian music. Students will learn the basic cultural and musical traditions underpinning Persian/Iranian musical styles. Through directed reading and listening, and occasional in-class performance by the instructor, students will learn the primary characteristics of Iran’s classical music traditions and instruments; relevant musical concepts and terminology, and develop critical listening skills. Second half examines how modern Iranian musicians are disrupting these traditional concepts as a form of protest, making the music relevant to modern listeners while fundamentally changing conceptions of classical poetry in the process.

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MES 1001. Revolution and Poets: Content and Form in Iranian Poetry.

Explains classical rules of Persian poetry and development of poetic content by several different modern Iranian poets. Examines how modern poets such as Shamlou, Akhavan, and Forough have been influenced by Nima Yooshij, the father of modern poetry in Iran. We will explore different formalistic approaches to poetry in Iran from the 1960's to present, and examine various literary movements and their relation to the Islamic Revolution and post revolutionary context. We will examine the new postmodern poets from the 1990's to present and the ways in which classical form is repurposed to achieve social commentary in subversive ways. DPLL

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MES 1050. Israel/Palestine: A Critical Lexicon.

This is an introductory course to the question of Israel/Palestine. The course uses a series of alphabetically ordered and carefully selected concepts as a way to cut through the dense history of the region and the conflicting forces that shape its present. From "Colonialism" to "Zionism”, each concept will be surveyed with respect to its history, the pattern of its present usages, the discursive formations to which it belongs, and its political impact, taking into account the inevitable, conflicting ideological biases and discursive constraints of the many kinds of knowledge about Israel/Palestine. DPLL WRIT

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MES 1055. Zionism and some of its Jewish Critics: Political, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives.

Zionism is an idea, an ideology, a national movement that sought to solve "the Jewish question" in Europe, a political project that morphed into a political regime, a mighty colonial force, a form of Jewish secularization and an engine for religious revival. As such Zionism has been accompanied with criticism from its inception. The first part of the seminar will study of Zionism through the eyes of some of the major thinkers who shaped its ideology and practices. The second part will look at Zionism through the eyes of some of its (more and less sympathetic) Jewish critics. DPLL

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MES 1200. Ways of Seeing: The Arab World in Global Perspective.

The course examines visual politics in contemporary MiddleEastern society and grapples with fundamental debates in the study of cultural politics and visual cultures of the Arab region in a global context. We will contextualise the region’s contemporary visual cultures within wider debates and scholarship on the construction of subjectivities, the distribution of power, the formation of identity and belonging, and culture and representation. Emphasis is on translation and reception in a global context and transnational frame by focusing on how states and security, conflicts and displacements, social movements and revolution, aesthetics, art and global media are linked, characterized, analyzed. DPLL

Fall MES1200 S01 16425 Th 4:00-6:30(04) (H. Toukan)
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MES 1235. Policing and Imprisonment in the Modern Middle East.

Policing figured prominently in recent events, from the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi to the rise of the Islamic State. Repressive regimes relied heavily on police, prisons, and criminal law to maintain power and authority. This course examines recent uprisings and ongoing conflicts, and questions of state and non-state violence. Major topics are: the role of Islam in law and criminal justice; the imposition of European colonial rule; the rise of police states; the production and maintenance of a gendered social order; non-state and informal mechanisms of maintaining “law and order”; and the role of law and security. DPLL

Spr MES1235 S02 26260 M 6:00-8:30PM (A. Winder)
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MES 1265. Violence, Memory and Art in the Middle East.

This seminar examines the various cultural and artistic manifestations of protesting histories of violence in the Middle East. By studying the ways in which dominant understandings are countered in cultural production and everyday cultural practices, it will analyse how collective and personal memories have been appropriated by artists, writers and filmmakers throughout the region to protest social and political hegemonies. The readings cover major issues in cultural theory, cultural sociology, cultural studies and visual cultures. The seminar will theorize themes such as the aesthetics of resistance, memory, dissensus, social movements and global culture through specific case studies.

Spr MES1265 S01 26193 W 3:00-5:30(14) (H. Toukan)
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MES 1290. War and Cultural Representation in the Modern Middle East.

This is an overview of contemporary Arabic and Persian literatures and cinemas through war in literature and film originating from the Eastern Arab World, Iran and Afghanistan. Using contemporary works of prose fiction, poetry and film, we interrogate the various ways in which the people of the region have grappled, through literature and film, with some of the most brutal conflicts that the world has witnessed in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. We will explore the Lebanese Civil War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq since 1991, Afghanistan since 1979 and the current Syrian Civil War. DPLL

Spr MES1290 S01 26192 W 6:00-8:30PM (A. Moosavi)
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MES 1300. Intellectual Change: From Ottoman Modernization to the Turkish Republic.

A critical survey of Ottoman intellectual history in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Modernization, formation of the modern state and issues of nationalism and other ideologies of the time form the main framework, analyzing their political, social and cultural impact on intellectual production in the Ottoman Empire and through the making of Republican Turkey. It is a history of mentalities organized around thematic/chronological modules, each representing a set of concepts, ideas, movements as well as facts and problems, which will be compared to the larger world of modern state formation both in thought and practice. DPLL WRIT

Fall MES1300 S01 16478 T 4:00-6:30(09) (M. Toksoz)
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MES 1350. Israel/Palestine: The One State Condition.

This course follows the formation and transformation of the Israeli Regime, since its inception in the last years of the British Mandate in Palestine. At the theoretical level, we shall explore the difference between State and regime, ask what is a political regime, how to classify types of regimes and how to determine the regime of any given state. At the historical level we shall reconstruct and question the structural transformations and continuities of the Israeli regime, giving special attention to the impact of Palestinians’ civic status and almost half a century of “occupation” of Palestinian territories. DPLL

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MES 1450. The Archival of Gestures.

Often people think about archives as static spaces. How to develop a gestural archive able to translate instances and desires of justice? This course provides students with a theoretical and practical background on the archival of gestures in performance and the role that artists-archivists can play in contributing to change through exploring and problematizing social and political memories. We explore how Arab artists have sought and investigated this role after the “Arab Spring” and of civil disobedience against Arab regimes. We then look closely at a series of performance works, by Arab, Israeli and international artists. No dance experience required. DPLL

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MES 1550. Non-Jews in the Jewish State: A Study in the Constitution of Otherness.

This course approaches multiple aspects of otherness by examining major sites where the work of “othering” takes place: debates relating to the “Jewishness” of the Jewish State; the legal and theological debates over the question who is a Jew; immigration and naturalization law; the regulation of marriage, burial, and religious conversion, and the recent racialization of non-Jewish aliens. The course materials are drawn from Zionist thinkers, legal documents, news items and analyses, and academic studies, as well as from literary and cinematic works. Students may concentrate on the more theoretical texts, the legal documents, or the literary and cinematic works.

Spr MES1550 S01 26189 F 3:00-5:30(15) (A. Ophir)
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MES 1650. The Pen and the Gun: Literature and the Political Body.

This course will examine the sphere and influence of literature and film as vehicles of expression and memory reconstruction during and following periods of dictatorship. We will explore themes such as history and/as fiction, the structuring of truth and national narrative, the intersection of human rights and medicine, and discourse of the nation as a body. Taking a transnational and cross regional approach, we will include prominent writers from Latin America (with a focus on the political ‘disappearances’ of the 1970’s), Africa (post-colonial and civil war texts), and the Middle East (writing of, within, and through the Arab Spring). DPLL

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MES 1970. Individual Research Project.

Limited to juniors and seniors. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section and CRN to use when registering for this course. Required: all proposals for independent study must be approved by the faculty sponsor and the MES program director. Students should not register for any section of MES 1970 without this approval.

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MES 1971. Senior Honors Thesis.

Open only to Senior students accepted into the honors program in MES. Instructor permission required. WRIT

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MES 1985. Understanding Modern Iran.

This course examines the history of modern Iran through primary historical documents, secondary studies and cultural production, beginning with an historical overview and attempts at historical narrative in the modern era, from the latter half of the Qajar dynasty (~1850) until today. Topics include modernist reform in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Iranian identity, attempts at political reform, women’s movement and foreign affairs. The course emphasizes the debates of Iranian intellectuals and artists and how cultural representations of major historical events and socio-political changes contribute to and challenge historical narratives and how contemporary history and politics affects cultural representation.

Fall MES1985 S01 17227 M 3:00-5:30(15) (A. Moosavi)
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MES 1990. Middle East Studies Pro-Seminar.

This course explores the current state of Middle East Studies scholarship with an eye to its current moment of crisis. We will begin by situating MES within its institutional history, then survey classic works from its core disciplines. The second half of the course will trace contemporary debates over the significance and origin of politcal Islam.

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MES 1993. Middle East Politics.

The Middle East and North Africa has consistently dominated global headlines as one of the most penetrated regional state systems in the world. Analyses of the MENA region are often bound by this monolithic rubric that has shaped how we view and understand state-society relations across the region. We examine historic and contemporary dynamics that have shaped domestic, regional, and international politics and analyze issues relating to comparative politics and international relations of the region, issues relating to colonialism and state formation, institutional configuration, authoritarianism and regime typologies, the politics of oil, identity politics, and social and economic development.

Spr MES1993 S02 26195 M 3:00-5:30(13) (S. Mako)
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MES 1994A. Islamic Economics.

Despite the fact that the scriptural and early historical legacy of Islam is widely considered to be market-friendly, debates about the relationships between Islam and capitalism abound. This course moves beyond simplistic concerns of compatibility or conflict, and delves into the diverse ways by which Muslims from around the globe have devised a range of social, cultural, religious, legal and fiscal strategies that enable them to both remain true to their faith and live in today’s swiftly-evolving economic context. DPLL

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MES 1995. Zionism: Political, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives.

Zionism has been an idea, an ideology, a national movement, a political project morphed into a political regime, and a colonial force that transformed the history of the Middle East and the landscape of Palestine. It was a Jewish response to the persecutions of Jews in Europe, a renaissance of the Hebrew language and Jewish culture, and a form of Jewish secularization that has yielded religious revival and transformation. The ideology and practice of Zionism, its politics and political theology will be studied from the perspectives of four great thinkers: Martin Buber, Hannah Arendt, Edward Said and Judith Butler. DPLL

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MES 1995B. Israel/Palestine: Holy Land – Profane Spaces.

Seizing land in Israel/Palestine, colonizing it, shaping its boundaries, and reconstructing it as a governed space have played a major role in the struggles between Jews and Palestinians. Space has been a medium of domination and resistance, a scene of dispossession, construction and destruction, and its governmentalization has become a powerful state apparatus. Using concepts drawn from political theory, human geography, and postcolonial studies we shall examine and contrast the mental geographies and actual government of land and space(s) in Israel/Palestine and use space as a privileged perspective for understanding the history and structure of the Land’s political predicament. DPLL

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MES 1996A. The Anglo-Arab Novel.

This course examines a new development in the contemporary novel: the rise of the Arab-British novel from the late 1980s onwards. The aim is to understand this emerging genre in its historical and aesthetics specificity, and to determine how Arab immigrant writers responded to a time of profound cultural and political change. At the intersection of such processes, and in a literary culture marked by postmodernism and cosmopolitanism, does the Anglo-Arab novel develop a distinctive aesthetic form? Writers studied are: Ahdaf Soueif, Jamal Mahjoub, Leila Aboulela, and Hisham Matar. WRIT

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MES 1997A. Islam and Human Rights.

Are Islam and human rights compatible? Both human rights and Islam raise universal claims that may conflict in some cases. We will consider various attempts by religious and legal theorists to reconcile these claims through reinterpreting Islam or deriving human rights from Islamic sources. We will explore the practical side of these issues by examining legal documents and legal practices in various Muslim countries, paying special attention to the status of women and non-Muslim minorities. We will examine tensions arising from Muslims living in Europe and N.America, such as recent debates over secularism and religion, multiculturalism and the scope of tolerance.

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MES 1997B. Visualizing the Middle East.

How has the capacity to visualize been both an enabling and limiting condition in relation to the post-colonial production of knowledge in the Middle East? The act of seeing is taken up in its practical dimension in the ways that it requires one to pay attention to the cultural and historical specificity of mechanisms of visibility and modes of representation. Through readings and discussions, we will take heed of the following questions: What is allowed to be seen? By whom? Under what circumstances? How is the visible structured? DPLL

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MES 1997C. Ethnographic Perspectives of Islam: Tradition, Religiosity and Modernity.

Media coverage presents two ways of thinking and approaching modern Islam. One assumes Islam to be an entire way of life and single set of religious beliefs with compulsive adherence to the Quran and the Prophetic Sunna. The other reduces Islam to a set of essentialist principles, rules and spiritual values that even many Muslims have trouble grasping.

Recent anthropological scholarship makes every-day practical interpretations, practices and living social relationships central towards understanding Islam. This class will explore socio-historical and cultural specificities by which Muslims grapple with their faith, and how they shape these resources into every-day beliefs and practices. DPLL

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MES 1997D. The Politics of Heritage, Tradition and Culture in the Middle East.

Western media has pervasively portrayed the Middle East as “a-historical”, “timeless”, an “Other” that is beyond the logic of modern time. Simultaneously, it is also considered the cradle of “Western Civilization” where vital elements of “world” patrimony may be traced. But how do those who inhabit the region relate to their past and what are the various ways by which its discourses are drawn upon to embody different socio-political and ethical life-worlds? This course explores recent texts on heritage and memory while offering insights of ways in which modalities of history and memory have shaped the postcolonial dynamics of this region. DPLL

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MES 1998. The Arab Spring.

The Middle East has witnessed significant socio-cultural, political, and economic transformations in recent decades. This seminar will explore the role of both state and non-state actors in these processes. In the face of globalization, liberalization, democratization, conflicts, and regional instability, what social movements have emerged and in what specific contexts? Additionally, how have civil society, mass media, global discourses, and Islamist groups and ideologies shaped the contemporary reality? What are the prospects for security, prosperity, and pluralism in the region? These are central questions we will attempt to address in this course.

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MES 1999. Arab Youth: Movements, Cultures, and Discourses.

"Youth" has become a central social concept in the contemporary global economy. In the wake of 9/11, the discussion of "youth" in the Arab world became a global priority. This course takes an anthropological and sociological approach to studying youth. Why has "youth" become a focus of concern now? How does this shape our thinking about social, economic, political, and historical issues in the Arab world, and what issues does it obscure? The course examines the historical emergence and transformation of categories of "youth," "teen" and "adolescent" in the contexts of capitalist industrialization, nationalism, post/colonialism, state formation and globalization. Enrollment limited to 20.

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MES 1999A. Cultures of Neoliberalism in the Middle East.

The course focuses on debates in the social sciences in the Arab world around contradictions of the cultures of neoliberalization in contemporary Arab culture(s), society (ies) and economy (ies). We will explore the relevance of neoliberalism to the increasing relevance of consumption and consumerism, for citizens and scholars alike, in shaping selfhood, society, identity and even epistemic reality, the concomitant eclipse of such modernist categories as social classes, the burgeoning importance of generation, ethnicity, gender, identity and social movements. Also covered, the relation of political Islam to neoliberalism, and the rise of labour migration in/out of the Arab world.

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MES 1999B. Colonialism and Human Rights.

Are anti-colonial struggles human rights struggles? Is emancipation the objective of these struggles? Where and when do anti-colonial and human rights discourses converge and diverge? What is the role of violence in the moral, political and discursive trajectories of anti-colonialism and human rights? This course takes up these questions, starting with the reconstruction of the historical relationship between colonialism, anti-colonial struggles and the post-World War II formation of the international human rights regime. We then turn to discuss different authors who developed their anti-colonial thought and dealt with, appropriated or ignored human rights in their different conceptions of anti-colonial justice. DPLL

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MES 1999C. Elites in Arab Culture and Society.

Social science studies the marginalized while ignoring elites and their role. This is especially the case with “Arab” Elites. Yet, to understand the conditions of the poor and marginalized, one must study elites. Elites are a lens to historically understand class formation in the Arab World, and influences beyond. We will consider how and why we study elites, different theories and methodologies of studying elites, and focus on elites in Arab societies. The course will deal with elites in the mandate period and early independence. The last part of the course will focus on elites in contemporary Arab society. DPLL WRIT

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MES 1999D. Anthropology /Sociology of Development in the Arab World.

After the Second World War, questions of economic growth, poverty, and inequality were internationalized, leading to the rise of national and international agencies which aimed to promote development in the “Third World.” This course examines the anthropological study of development. Touching on development theory (and the political context of each model), we examine connections to anthropological models of socio-cultural change, and consider the relationship between anthropology and the development industry. How can cultural relativist and applied anthropology approaches be reconciled? Can anthropologists and anthropological knowledge contribute to improving development interventions and outcomes, or are they merely critical of such interventions? DPLL

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MES 1999E. Displacement and Refugees in the Middle East.

Displacement and refugees constitute one of the most significant sources of upheaval, instability, and uncertainty in our time. In 100 years, the Middle East saw waves of displaced persons, with no singular explanation and no end in sight: Armenians, Circassians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Yazidis, Kurds, and Syrians. The impetuses for displacement include wars, fall of empires and nations, crafting of new states, and modernization attempts and environmental disasters. These stories of displacement are distinctive for their multitude of causes and protracted defiance of resolutions. They challenge the narratives of the durability of nation-states, ascendancy of capitalism, and emplaced, “timeless” Arab populations. DPLL

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MES 2000A. Decolonizing the Racialized Female Subject: Black and Indigenous Women’s Self-Making Under Empire.

This study grapples with conceptions of freedom and humanity emergent in Black and Indigenous women’s practices under empire. Colonialism is prefaced on construction of an “other.” Aimé Césaire refers to this as “thingification,” whereby colonial subjects are dehumanized and the colonizer “decivilized”. Totalizing dehumanizing forms are resisted by praxes and epistemologies which challenge the prevailing symbolic order and assert the humanity of those regarded as subhuman. We will examine how epistemological and political contestations of the human inform discourses on freedom and sovereignty and interrogate how various categories of identity refract and re-frame conceptions of humanity, freedom, and sovereignty.

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MES XLIST. Courses of Interest to Students Concentrating in Middle East Studies.

For information on courses which may be of interest to students concentrating in Middle East Studies, please refer to the MES XLIST in the Class Schedule menu.

Fall 2017
The following related courses, offered in other departments, may be of interest to students concentrating in Middle East Studies. Please see the course listing of the sponsoring department for times and locations.

Arabic
ARAB 0100 First-Year Arabic
ARAB 0300 Second-Year Arabic
ARAB 0500 Third-Year Arabic
ARAB 0700 Advanced Arabic: Tales of the City
Assyriology
ASYR 0300 Babylon: Myth and Reality
ASYR 1000 Introduction to Akkadian
ASYR 1160 Color and Culture in the Ancient Near East
Classics
MGRK 1220 Decolonizing Classical Antiquity: White Nationalism, Colonialism, and Ancient Material Heritage
Comparative Literature
COLT 0610Y Women’s Writing in the Arab World
COLT 1310E A Classical Islamic Education: Readings in Arabic Literature
COLT 1440P Nationalism and Transnationalism in Film and Fiction
COLT 1813K The Problem of the Vernacular
COLT 1814D East-West Encounters: Politics and Fictions of Orientalism
Egyptology
EGYT 1310 Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian Writing and Language (Middle Egyptian I)
EGYT 1330 Selections from Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts
EGYT 1430 History of Egypt I
English
ENGL 1561D Writing and the Ruins of Empire
French Studies
FREN 1410T L'expérience des réfugiés/immigrés
Gender Studies and Sexuality
GNSS 1961G Framing Gender in Middle Eastern Cinema
History
HIST 0244 Understanding the Middle East: 1800s to the Present
HIST 1200C History of Greece: From Alexander the Great to the Roman Conquest
HIST 1960Q Medicine and Public Health in Africa
HIST 1968A Approaches to the Middle East
HIST 1968F History of Capitalism: The Eastern Mediterranean and the World Around
HIST 1968K Islam in Turkey: Rumi to the Republic
HIST 1969A Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples I
HIST 1979K The Indian Ocean World International Relations
International Relations
INTL 1802D Religion, Politics and Society: Israel in a Comparative Perspective
INTL 1803M Reassessing Contentious Politics, and Social Movements
Judaic Studies
BHBR 0100 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew
HEBR 0100 Elementary Hebrew
HEBR 0300 Intermediate Hebrew
HEBR 0500 Writing and Speaking Hebrew
JUDS 0050H Israel's Wars
JUDS 0603 Race, Religion, and the Secular
JUDS 0686 The Ten Commandments
JUDS 0820 God and Poetry
JUDS 1635 Problems in Israelite History
JUDS 1713 Introduction to Yiddish Culture and Language
Persian
PRSN 0100 Basic Persian
PRSN 0300 Intermediate Persian Language and Culture
PRSN 0500 Advanced Persian Language and Culture I
Political Science
POLS 1822I Geopolitics of Oil and Energy
Religious Studies
RELS 0022 Introduction to the New Testament
RELS 0088 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
RELS 0195 Gender in Early Jewish and Christian Narratives
RELS 0600C Radical Islam (?)
Turkish
TKSH 0100 Introduction to Turkish Language and Culture I
TKSH 0300 Intermediate Turkish


Director

Beshara B. Doumani

Professor

Beshara B. Doumani
Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History

Visiting Professor

Adi Ophir
Visiting Professor of Humanities and Middle East Studies

Visiting Assistant Professor

Shamiran Mako
Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies

Amir Moosavi
Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies

Hanan Toukan
Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies

Visiting Fellow

Eileen Kane
Visiting Fellow in Middle East Studies

Visiting Scholar

Pelin Kadercan
Visiting Scholar in Middle East Studies

Sarah A. Tobin
Visiting Scholar in Middle East Studies

Middle East Studies

Middle East Studies (MES) is an interdisciplinary concentration that draws upon courses offered by a distinguished core faculty in the humanities and the social sciences. Regardless of one’s passions – whether history, religion, politics, culture, literature, modern media, philosophy or practices of everyday life – the Middle East is an ideal site for considering the diversity and complexity of the human experience.  A growing number of exciting courses, creative and relevant programming, and a steady stream of post-docs and visiting professors offer unparalleled opportunities for MES concentrators who wish to understand this region and to engage with a broad range of issues that affect our world.

Standard Program for the AB Degree - Effective for the Class of 2020

HIST 1968Approaches to The Middle East1
Foundational Courses, which may include (among others):2
Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East
Ethnographies of the Muslim Middle East
Ways of Seeing: The Arab World in Global Perspective
MES 1993
Middle East Politics
COLT 0812H
Literary Bestsellers of the Islamic World
HIST 0240
Middle East Beginnings
Modern Middle East Roots: 1492 to the Present
Understanding the Middle East: 1800s to the Present
Civilization, Empire, Nation: Competing Histories of the Middle East
The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire
The Making of the Modern Middle East
Debates in Middle Eastern History
The Imaginary Lives of Muslims
Islam Unveiled
Middle East Politics
Language Semesters: Basic competence in at least one of the modern Middle Eastern Languages is required. This entails taking at least six semesters of coursework in one of the modern Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Turkish, etc. 6
Electives: Two courses chosen from the list of courses that are cross-listed by Middle East Studies and approved by the Concentration advisor. Students should acquire a good balance of courses by taking courses in the humanities and social sciences. Students should also seek a good balance between courses whose primary subject matter is pre-modern (ancient and medieval) and modern and contemporary Middle East. 2
Capstone/Honors Project: This can take many forms such as:1
a. A paper of approximately 30 pages for an existing concentration-eligible (MES-coded or X-Listed) WRIT-designated course, undertaken with the permission of the instructor
b. An independent study or project (artistic, research, or otherwise) supervised by at least one faculty member for at least one semester under MES 1970 - Independent Study designation. 1
c. an Honors Thesis
Total Credits12
1

 Two semesters of Independent Study (MES 1970) are required for honors and will raise the number of required courses to 13.

Standard Program for the AB Degree - Effective through the Class of 2019

HIST 1968Approaches to The Middle East1
Foundational Courses, which may include (among others):2
Cultures of the Contemporary Middle East
Ethnographies of the Muslim Middle East
Ways of Seeing: The Arab World in Global Perspective
MES 1993
Middle East Politics
COLT 0812H
Literary Bestsellers of the Islamic World
HIST 0240
Middle East Beginnings
Modern Middle East Roots: 1492 to the Present
Understanding the Middle East: 1800s to the Present
Civilization, Empire, Nation: Competing Histories of the Middle East
The Ottomans: Faith, Law, Empire
The Making of the Modern Middle East
Debates in Middle Eastern History
The Imaginary Lives of Muslims
Islam Unveiled
Middle East Politics
Language Semesters: Basic competence in at least one of the modern Middle Eastern languages is required. This entails taking at least four semesters of coursework in one of the modern Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Turkish, etc. 14
Electives: Four courses chosen from the list of courses that are cross-listed by Middle East Studies and approved by the Concentration advisor. Students should aquire a good balance of courses by takng courses in the humatities and social sciences. Students should also seek a good balance between courses whose primary subject matter is pre-modern (ancient and medieval) and modern and contemporary Middle East. 4
Capstone/Honors Project: This can take many forms, such as:1
a. a paper of approximately 30 pages for an existing concentration-eligible (MES-coded or X-Listed) WRIT-designated course, undertaken with the permission of the instructor
b. An independent study or project (artistic, research, or otherwise) supervised by at least one faculty member for at least one semester under MES 1970- Independent Study designation 2
c. An Honors Thesis
Total Credits12
1

 Honors students will be required to have at least six semesters of language study (Advanced), two semesters of which may be counted toward the elective requirement.

2

 Two semesters of Independent Study (MES 1970) are required for honors and will raise the number of required courses to 13.

Honors

To be eligible for honors, students will have earned an "A"  in the majority of courses for the concentration.  Honors students will be required to have at least six semesters of language study (Advanced), two semesters of which may be counted toward the elective requirement.  Two semesters of Independent Study (MES 1970) towards the Honors Thesis with the thesis advisor(s) are required.  This is typically done during senior year and will raise the total number of required courses to 13.