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About the Minor

A minor in Middle East and Islamic Worlds Studies consists of five courses. Students must take at least one course from each of three divisions: language and literature; social sciences; and religion and culture. One course must be taken at the introductory (100) level, and one at the advanced (300 or 400) level.

A Sampling of Courses

Middle Eastern Studies

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.

Meet Our Faculty

Kira Jumet

Associate Professor of Government, Director of Middle East and Islamicate World Studies

comparative politics, international relations, and Middle East politics

Rama Alhabian

Assistant Professor of Arabic

19th & 20th century Arabic literature; medieval Arabic travel writing and the Medieval Maqama; genre, translation, and postcolonial studies

Abhishek Amar

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

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

Usman Hamid

Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

History of Islam in South Asia, specializing in Sultanate and Mughal India; Muslim devotional traditions, material culture, and gender and sexuality; history of pre-modern Iran and Persian culture

Shoshana Keller

Chair and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History, Director of Russian Studies

Russian and Soviet history, Central Eurasian history, and history of the modern Middle East

Mireille Koukjian

Associate Professor of Instruction in Arabic

foreign-language education, specifically Arabic and the integration of storytelling into language learning

Claire Mouflard

Associate Professor of French

contemporary French and Francophone literature, culture, and film; literature and cinema of immigration; transnational immigrant identities in France

Israeli culture, ethnicity, and Hebrew language

Explore Hamilton Stories

Eleanna “Ele” Sorensen ’23

Eleanna Sorensen ’23 Receives Critical Language Scholarship

Eleanna “Ele” Sorensen ’23 will hone her long-time interest in the Arabic language as the recipient of a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).

Erica De Bruin

De Bruin Awarded Grant to Study Militarized Policing

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.

Middle East and Islamic World Studies

A World of Choice Leads to the Middle East

That moment you realize you can take any course that sounds interesting: when it happened to first-year student Elliot Plaut ’19, he opted for Arabic.


Department Name

Middle East and Islamicate Worlds Studies Program

Contact Name

Kira Jumet, Program Director

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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