20109-2011 Undergraduate Catalog

Middle Eastern Studies

Students may complete a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies.


Deborah Harrold, Political Science

Advisory Committee

Amiram Amitai, Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Mehmet-Ali Atac, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology (on leave semesters I and II)
Peter Magee, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology (on leave semester II)
Tamara Neuman, Political Science
Marc Ross, Political Science (on leave semester I and II)
Azade Seyhan, German and German Studies (on leave semester II)
Camelia Suleiman, Arabic
Sharon Ullman, History

There are two different tracks for students who wish to concentrate in Middle Eastern Studies.

Track 1

The first track consists of six courses in the Humanities or Social Sciences that focus on the ancient or modern Middle East distributed in the following manner:

a. An introductory course called “Themes in Middle Eastern Society and Culture” This course will be offered every other year by relevant Middle Eastern Studies Institute (MESI) faculty from Bryn Mawr and, where possible, the Tri-Co Community. The course will be taught by at least two faculty members who would follow a broadly defined theme. Possible themes include: Irrigation, Agriculture and Society; History and Collective Memory; Urbanism and Social Transformation; War and Peace, and Literature and Imagination.

b. Three elective Middle Eastern topic courses, including at least one at the 300 level in a specific area to be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser. This area might be defined in terms of conceptual, historical, or geographical interests and, in many cases, will be connected to work in the student’s major .

c. Two additional Middle Eastern topic courses, at least one of which must be in either the humanities or social sciences if a student’s work in (a) and (b) does not include one or the other of these.

d. Of the six courses one must be pre-modern in content.

e. Of the six courses only three may be in the student’s major.

Track 2

The second track consists of language study and other courses. Students opting for this track must take the equivalent of two years of study of a modern Middle Eastern language or pass a proficiency exam in one of these languages, whereby they may also meet the standard set for the A.B. degree for the foreign language requirement.

Four additional courses distributed as follows are required for the concentration:

a. An introductory course called “Themes in Middle Eastern Society and Culture” as defined above.

b. Three elective Middle Eastern topic courses, which meet the following conditions:
c. One course must be in the social sciences;

d. One course must be in the humanities;

e. At least one course must be at the 300 level to be selected after consultation with the student’s adviser so as to expose the student to in-depth study of the Middle East with a geographic, conceptual, or particular historical focus;

f.  At least one course must be pre-modern in content.

g. Of the four courses, only two may also form a part of the student’s major.

Middle Eastern Studies courses currently offered at Bryn Mawr include:

Fall 2010

ANTH B275 Culture and Society of Middle East
ARCH B220 Araby the Blest: Archaeology of the Arabian Peninsula
ARCH B236 The Archaeology of Syria
ARCH B355 The Achaemenid Empire
GNST B156 Themes in Middle Eastern Society: The Space of Religion
POLS B278  Oil, Politics, Society, and Economy

Spring 2011

HEBR B110 Israeli Cinema