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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

Areas of Concentration / Programs: Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 2011-2012

DescriptionRequirementsCoordinator & FacultyCourses

Description

The concentration in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies gives students basic knowledge of the Middle East and broader Muslim world, and allows students to employ discipline-specific tools for advanced work in this area. To complete the concentration, students are required to fulfill several requirements. First, they must demonstrate competence above the intermediate level in a language pertinent to their area of research (A, below). Second, students must take two courses in which they learn about the Middle East and Islam (B, below). Third, students should pursue areas of inquiry related to the Middle East and/or Islam and specific to their interests by taking four electives, at least one of which is at the 300 level (C, below). Examples might include anthropological approaches to the study of Islam or Middle East, the art of the Muslim world, Islam in African politics, medieval Persian history, Jihadi movements, the Iranian Revolution, modern Arabic literature, etc. Fourth, students must write a thesis in their major department that addresses Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and is approved by the Concentration Coordinator (as well as the major advisor).

We strongly encourage students with interests in the Middle East and Islam to meet with the Concentration Coordinator early in their college program (in their first and second years). We also invite students to take advantage of Haverford’s study abroad programs in Egypt, Morocco and other appropriate locations to advance their work in the concentration.

An “Area of Concentration” at Haverford is designed to facilitate a student pursuing an area of study distinct from her major, but which s/he can use the disciplinary tools of her major to pursue. To that end, at least two courses, and no more than three, fulfill both the student’s major requirements and the concentration requirements. In practical terms, this means that students who want to concentrate in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies will usually major in Anthropology, Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, Religion or Sociology. In some cases, students may find that other majors can be joined with a concentration in MEIS (for example, History of Art and Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr are two departments that sometimes have two or three course offerings that could count for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies). Students who can demonstrate that at least two courses in their major are about Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies can petition the Concentration Coordinator and Faculty to have their major approved.

In addition to the Haverford Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies proposal, students may choose to concentrate in Middle East Studies at Bryn Mawr, or minor in Islamic Studies at Swarthmore. The Bryn Mawr Middle East Studies concentration has two key differences from the Haverford program: 1) they offer an option to concentrate without language work, and 2) they require study of the pre-Islamic period. The Swarthmore Islamic Studies program differs from the Haverford program in that it is a stand-alone minor, rather than a concentration. Only one course in the student’s major can count toward the Islamic Studies minor. Swarthmore’s Islamic Studies minor can include instruction in kathak, a form of classical Indian dance.

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Requirements

  1. Students interested in concentrating in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies must demonstrate competence above the intermediate level in a language pertinent to their area of research. In cases where a student has selected Arabic as his or her relevant language, this means completion of Arabic B004. If a student is doing research for which another language is more appropriate, s/he may need to study at the University of Pennsylvania (Pashtu, Persian, Turkish, and Swahili) or Bryn Mawr (Hebrew), or take other Haverford language classes (e.g., Chinese, French). Some study abroad programs are also suitable for gaining language competence. Students should consult with the Concentration Coordinator about the course of language study to fill this requirement.
  2. Students must complete two of the courses listed below, in two of the three departments listed below. By completing this core requirement, students gain broad exposure to the history and politics of the Middle East, and to Islam as a major world religion and social and political force that began in, and continues to be affected by, the Middle East. The core course options are:
    1. History:
      History 117 Modern Mediterranean History
      History 266 Sex and Gender in the Early Modern Islamic World
      History 270 From Empire to Nation: The Ottoman World Transformed
    2. Political Science:
      Political Science 256 The Evolution of Jihadi Movement
      Political Science 357 Conflict in the Middle East
    3. Religion:
      Religion 108 Vocabularies of Islam
      Religion 218 The Divine Guide: an Introduction to Shi’ism
      Religion 248 The Qur’an
    Students must choose from two of the three listed departments, e.g., History and Political Science, History and Religion, Political Science and Religion. Students should consult the Concentration Coordinator to ensure they fill this requirement.
  3. Students must take four elective courses in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies selected from the following Haverford departments: Anthropology, ICPR/Art History, History, Peace Justice and Human Rights, Political Science, Religion, or Sociology. A minimum of one course must be at the 300 level (or the equivalent). Courses at Haverford which fulfill the elective requirement in MEIS include:
    • Anthropology:
      Anthropology 241 Anthropology of the Mediterranean
      Anthropology 259 Ethnographies of Islam
      Anthropology 361 Advanced Topics in Ethnographic Area Studies: National Imaginaries of the Middle East
    • ICPR/Art History
      ICPR 204/PEAC 204 Picturing War: Goya to Abu Ghraib
      ICPR 237 Art and Cultural Identity
    • History
      History 117 Modern Mediterranean History
      History 266 Sex and Gender in the Early Modern Islamic World
      History 270 From Empire to Nation: The Ottoman World Transformed
    • Peace, Justice and Human Rights
      Peace, Justice and Human Rights 304 Cosmopolitanism and Toleration in Enlightenment Europe
    • Political Science
      Political Science 151 International Politics
      Political Science 253 Introduction to Terrorism Studies
      Political Science 256 The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement
      Political Science 333 International Security
      Political Science 345 Islam, Democracy and Development
      Political Science 357 Conflict in the Middle East
      Political Science 358 The War on Terrorism
    • Religion
      Religion 108 Vocabularies of Islam
      Religion 118 Hebrew Bible: Literary Text and Historical Context
      Religion 203 The Hebrew Bible and its Interpretations
      Religion 212 Jerusalem: City, History and Representation
      Religion 218 The Divine Guide: an Introduction of Shi’ism
      Religion 248 The Qur’an
      Religion 306 Of Monsters and Marvels: Wonder in Islamic Traditions
      Religion 307 Imaging Islam: Icon, Object, and Image
      Religion 308 Mystical Literatures of Islam
    • Sociology
      Sociology 207 Internal Disorder: Deviance and Revolution
      Sociology 233 Topics in Sociology: Islamic Modernism
      Sociology 237 Topics in Historical Sociology
      Sociology 298 Law and Sociology
    • Spanish/Comparative Literature
      Spanish 266 Iberian Orientalism and the Nation
      Spanish 340 The Moor in Spanish Literaturev
  4. Students may select from a list of designated electives at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore (see below), or request approval from the Concentration Coordinator to take other appropriate courses at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore or the University of Pennsylvania’s Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Program to fulfill their elective credit. Students may also petition the Concentration Coordinator and MEIS faculty for approval of a course that is not on the electives list, but which the student feels provides important content for his or her specific research topic.
  5. Students must write a thesis in their major department (Anthropology, History, Political Science, Religion or Sociology) that addresses Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. The thesis topic must be approved in advance by the Concentration Coordinator to count for the MEIS concentration. To request approval, students should submit a brief (one page) thesis proposal to the Concentration Coordinator, and arrange a meeting with him/her to discuss the proposal.

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Coordinator and Faculty

The Concentration Coordinator serves as the primary faculty resource for all students interested in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. S/he is the advisor for all students who choose to concentrate in MEIS. S/he will meet with all students who have questions about the concentration, curriculum, study abroad related to the Middle East and/or Islam, language work, research internships, summer programs and other student opportunities related to this area. The coordinator will organize meetings of MEIS faculty, be the point person for events that publicize and advance the mission of the concentration (such as lectures, workshops, symposia, film screenings and artistic residencies) and ensure that student concentrators select thesis topics that are appropriate. The concentration coordinator will inform him- or herself about study abroad programs that are useful for MEIS concentrators and work with the Dean of Global Affairs to help students select programs and ensure that the college maintains sufficient study abroad opportunities to support the concentration. The concentration coordinator will maintain the MEIS website.

MEIS faculty will introduce students to the concentration. When appropriate, MEIS faculty will talk about the concentration in their classes, and about events that support the concentration. MEIS faculty will consult with the Concentration Coordinator about the program, including curriculum, expansion positions, summer opportunities for students, language study and pertinent programs at other area institutions which support the concentration.

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Courses

FALL 2011

ANTH 361 Middle Eastern Nationalisms

Zainab Saleh

HIST 335 Sex, Law and the State in Europe and the Ottoman Empire

Farid Azfar, Lisa Jane Graham

ICPR 237 Art and Cultural Identity

Carol Solomon

POLSC 256 The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement

Barak Mendelsohn

POLSC 333 International Security

Barak Mendelsohn

POLS 345 Islam, Democracy and Development

Susanna Wing

REL 108 Vocabularies of Islam

Jamel Velji

REL 248 The Quran

Travis Zadeh

REL 303 The Ineffable Word: Mysticism and the Limits of Language

Travis Zadeh

SOC 233 Topics in Sociology: Islamic Modernism

Mark Gould

SPRING 2012

HIST 117 Modern Mediterranean History

Alex Kitroeff

HIST 270 From Empire to Nation: The Ottoman World Transformed

Alex Kitroeff

ICPR xxx Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey

Carol Solomon

POLS 151 International Politics

Barak Mendelsohn

POLS 357 International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East

Barak Mendelsohn

REL 307 Imagining Islam: Icon, Object, and Image

Travis Zadeh

REL 353 Seminar in Islamic Philosophy and Theology: Hidden Knowledge and Islamic Revolutions

Jamel Velji

SOC 298 Law and Sociology: Islamic Constitutionalism

Mark Gould

SPAN 340 The Moor in Spanish Literature

Israel Burshatin

MEIS Approved Elective Courses at Swarthmore:

FREN 045 France and the Maghreb: Postcolonial Writing in a Transnational Context
HIST 006A Formation of the Islamic Near East
HIST 006B The Modern Middle East
HIST 025 Colonialism and Nationalism in the Arab Middle East
HIST 018 Cities of the Middle East
HIST 111 Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean
LITR 076 Female Authors from the Arab World
RELG 008 The Qur’an and its Interpreters
RELG 119 Islamic Law and Society
RELG 053 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Islamic Discourses
RELG 054 Power and Authority in Modern Islam
SOAN 009 Cultures of the Middle East

MEIS Approved Elective Courses at Bryn Mawr:

ANTH 261 Palestine and Israeli Society
ANTH 275 Cultures and Societies of the Middle East
ANTH 276 Islam in Europe
ANTH 382 Religious Fundamentalism in the Global Era
CITY 248 Modern Middle East Cities
GNST 158 Themes in Middle Eastern Society
HART 212 Medieval Architecture: Islamic Cities
HEBR 110 Israeli Cinema
HEBR 283 Introduction to the Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
HIST 283 Introduction to the Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
HIST 288 The Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
POLS 282 The Exotic Other: Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East
POLS 383 Two Hundred Years of Islamic Reform, Radicalism, and Revolution

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