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Haverford College
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About: 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
      ICPR 325 Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey
    • 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

    Approved Elective Courses

    Students may select from a list of designated electives at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore (see courses), 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.

    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
  4. 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.