As a minor, the program requires that students complete five courses in the areas of Arabic and Hebrew language and literature, religion, political science, and history. Topics of courses range from Islam and Modernity in South Asia to Principles of Geoscience: Geology of Human Events in North Africa and the Middle East.
A Sampling of Courses
Islamic History and Culture
An interdisciplinary exploration of Muslim societies from the 7th century to the present. Beginning with the origins of Islam, the history of the Quran, and the biography of the Prophet, the course examines how questions of political authority, religious practice, and cultural exchange were navigated as the Muslim community developed. We read texts from Islam’s rich literary heritage and pay close attention to the ways in which the Muslim past continues to animate contemporary debates, practices, and imagination.
Explore these select courses:
The silk roads were a network of trade routes from China to the Mediterranean Sea. This course explores ancient Eurasian trade, language, religion, art and power as Chinese, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Mongols and many others interacted across vast distances. We will study how historians think, considering texts, archeology, linguistics, and art as sources of evidence.
A survey of Jewish history from the Babylonian academies 1100 years ago to the 1930s, seen through the lives of individual people. Focus on how Jews developed a thriving and complex religious civilization while living in minority communities scattered across the world. We will consider religious and intellectual developments under Muslim and Christian rule, the political and social conditions of diaspora, and the impact of modernity. Stress on basic skills in the study of history.
Is religion a source of conflict in the modern world? Investigates examples of religious difference and negotiation from Asia and Europe. Focus on political and religious differences over sacred space, conversion, and Love-Jihad, and interactions among Hindus and Muslims in India.
A survey of the Middle East from Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 to the present. Examines Muslim responses to European imperialism, political and cultural developments, the impact of the Cold War and the continuing Arab-Israeli rivalry.
archaeological history of South Asian religions, especially Buddhist and Hindu traditions; research in themes of inter-religious dynamics, syncretism and religious transformation; colonialism and reconfigurations of sacred centers; and religion and water management in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions
Assistant Professor of Government Erica De Bruin was awarded a research grant from the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA ) to support a new project on militarized policing.