Coordinator: M. Brett Wilson (Religious Studies)
Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Civilization Steering Committee: Khaldoun Samman (Sociology), Andrew Latham (Political Science), Paula Cooey (Religious Studies), David Chioni Moore (International Studies), Beth Severy-Hoven (Classics), J. Andrew Overman (Classics), Mahnaz Kousha (Sociology), Joëlle Vitiello (French and Francophone Studies), Khaldoun Samman (Sociology)
The broad goal of this concentration is to provide students with an opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and the broader Islamic world. More specifically, the objectives of the concentration are to cultivate in students (a) a basic familiarity with the culture, politics, religion, philosophy, literature, economy, and geography of both the Middle East and the wider Islamic world; (b) an understanding of some of the major theoretical and/or methodological approaches to the study of both the Middle East and the Islamic world; (c) an appreciation of the social, political, and cultural diversity/complexity of the Middle East and the Islamic world; (d) a sympathetic understanding of a relevant worldview or cultural perspective different from his/her own; (e) a capacity to engage thoughtfully and constructively in potentially difficult dialogues regarding some of the more contentious issues affecting the region/civilization (e.g. U.S. intervention in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict); and (f) if possible, facilitate knowledge of a language that is spoken natively by people of the Middle East or Islamic world.
Given that students and faculty approach the study of Middle East and Islamic civilization from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the program permits students to complete this concentration in conjunction with a wide array of majors. The program promotes breadth by requiring that students complete courses (in several departments) dealing with both Middle East and the wider Islamic world; it promotes depth by requiring a capstone project focused on a relevant topic.