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.

  • Anthropology

    Anthropology 241 Anthropology of the Mediterranean

    This course focuses on pluralism and cultural interaction in circum-Mediterranean societies from the Ottoman Empire through the present. It includes such topics as: orientalism and the problematics and politics of ethnographic production in and on “peripheral” societies; the use and abuse of concepts of cultural continuity; ethno-religious interaction in rural and urban settings; imperial legacies and nation-state ideologies in 21st century cultural politics; local and transnational economic systems; migration patterns, conflicts, and contemporary social transformations.
    Prerequisite: one course in anthropology or Global History.

    Anthropology 259 Ethnography of Islam SO

    Comparative ethnographies of Muslim societies. Islam as a field of anthropological inquiry and theorizing. Ethnographic (and other) representations of Muslims and the construction of ethnographic authority.  Muslim Americans.  Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology or consent of the instructor. Offered occasionally.

    Anthropology 361 Advanced Topics in Ethnographic Area Studies: National Imaginaries of the Middle East. SO

    The end of the 19th century saw the emergence of nationalistic thought in the Middle East. The fall of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the formation of nation‐states in the region, many of which came under direct European colonialism. This course critically examines nationalistic imaginations and state formation. By focusing on questions of “imagined communities,” we will analyze inclusionary and exclusionary practices of nationalistic discourses, including Turkish/Persian/Arab nationalisms, Baathisms, Zionisms, and Iraqism. We will also approach the nation‐state “as a category of practice,” by focusing on laws, monuments, museums, flags, etc. The purpose of the course is to provide a historical and political approach to understanding nation formation in the Middle East. We will conclude by studying the recent Arab uprisings in the region, and how they consolidated nationalism within each country but also opened a space for a broader (and different) concept of Arab nationalism.

  • Art History/Independent College Programs

    ICPR 204 Picturing War: Goya to Abu Ghraib

    Images of war are ubiquitous throughout the history of art, and they have a constant presence in our media-saturated world.  What accounts for the prominence of this type of imagery? Why are we so captivated by representations of pain and suffering?  Does the ubiquity of these images inure us to their awfulness?  How do we respond to them emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and politically?  What issues of truth, sensationalism, exploitation, ethics, aesthetics, history, and memory do such images raise?  This course explores these questions and issues while considering images of war in a variety of media – prints, photographs, paintings, sculpture, and film – from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day.  Goya’s Disasters of War, Picasso’s Guernica, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, and the Abu Ghraib prison photos are among the considered works.  Cross listed with History of Art (Bryn Mawr) and Peace, Justice and Human Rights.

    ICPR 236 Art, Politics, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Europe HU

    This course explores European art in the context of political, social, and cultural developments in the period from the late eighteenth century to the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism are the artistic movements of this period. Artists discussed will include David, Goya, Friedrich, Turner, Constable, and Gericault among others.

    ICPR 237 Art and Cultural Identity HU

    Interdisciplinary examination with texts by Appiah, Bhabha, Fanon, Hall, Said and others. Exile, diaspora, alienation, transnationalism, hybridity, cosmopolitanism, and global identity; cultural imperialism, orientalism, and cultural property debates. Strategies employed by artists from the mid-19th century to the present who negotiate the terrain of cultural identity.

    ICPR 303 Curatorial Praxis: The Making of an Exhibition

    Students in this course will be involved in all aspects of the production of an art exhibition and exhibition catalog featuring contemporary artists from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and the Maghrebi diaspora. The exhibition will take place at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College in the fall of 2014. Major issues of contemporary curatorial theory and praxis with a particular emphasis on the impact of post-colonialism will be discussed. The course will include visits to and critical analysis of exhibitions at local museums. Course fulfills requirement in MEIS and the HART major at BMC. Prerequisite – 200 level course

    ICPR 325 Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey

    C. Solomon
    This interdisciplinary course considers aspects of contemporary art and visual culture of North Africa and the Middle East and the other two principal non-Arab Muslim states in the region, Iran and Turkey.

    Prerequisite: One course in History of Art or MEIS Course fulfills MEIS requirement and requirement in HART Major at Bryn Mawr. Enrollment limited to 15 students.

  • History

    History 117 Modern Mediterranean History

    This course examines how the Mediterranean world experienced and reacted to the impact of Western Europe in the period between the French revolution of 1789 and the 1970s, a decade that included the oil crisis, transition to democracy in Southern Europe and war in the Middle East. It was an era of varies responses to the western challenges of modernity transmitted through ideas such as nationalism, policies such as economic and political imperialism that were met in due course by revolutions, nation & state building and anti-colonial movements. We will examine the ways traditional societies were transformed by modernity in the Mediterranean by focusing on Algeria, Egypt (& Israel/Palestine), Greece (& Turkey), Italy and Spain.

    History 266 Sex and Gender in the Early Modern Islamic World

    F. Azfar
    This course examines the histories of sex and gender in the Ottoman, Mughal (Indian), and Safavid (Persian) Empires, focusing mostly on the period between the 16th and 18th centuries. Among the topics covered are power-relations in the Ottoman imperial harem, the role of gender in the cultural synthesis of Hindu and Muslim traditions, same-sex themes in Persian love poetry, the clash between Sufi and orthodox traditions, and the use of the law in the resolution of familial disputes.

    History 274 History of the Modern Middle East

    S. Helfont
    This course will cover the history of the Middle East from the 18th century until the present. Geographically, it will include the Arab speaking world, Iran, Turkey, and Israel. The course aims to introduce students not only to basic historical events, but also to key debates in the historiography of the region. It will do so through exposing students to a wide range of views and historiographical approaches (e.g. social, economic, gender etc…) as well as to some primary documents. After an introduction to the Middle East and to Islamic civilization in general, some basic themes the course will cover are: Middle Eastern encounters with the West; imperialism; World War One, the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, and the development of a new order; the rise of nationalism; the Arab Israeli conflict and peace process; the role of oil; the resurgence of Islam; post-colonial states; and the Iraq Wars.

    History 270 From Empire to Nation: The Ottoman World Transformed

    World War I was a turning point in global history not least because it brought the dissolution of three mighty empires, the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman and the emergence of nation-states in their place. This course focuses on the end of the Ottoman Empire, a multi-ethnic polity whose collapse brought the promise of modernity replacing tradition for the Muslim Turks but also devastating consequences for the Empire’s non-Muslim minorities. The memory of those events is alive and politically controversial almost a century later. The course covers a period that begins in the early C20th that saw the beginning of the end of the Empire and concludes with the emergence of a new, secular Turkish republic. The course material includes a wide range of eye-witness accounts and personal memoirs.

  • Peace, Justice, and Human Rights

    Peace, Justice, & Human Rights 304 Cosmopolitanism and Toleration in Enlightenment Europe

    F. Azfar
    This seminar will cover the histories of religious toleration and cosmopolitanism in Enlightenment Europe. We will read across a range of different topics - the lives of religious minorities, experiences of cross-cultural travel, memories of religious war and engage with a variety of texts, from antislavery pamphlets to narratives written by sailors captured by Barbary pirates. We will engage with questions of justice, difference, violence, and culture, exploring the ways in which each of these ideas is historically situated and historically contingent.

  • Political Science

    151 International Politics (I) SO

    An introduction to the major issues and trends in world politics, especially since World War II: realism and idealism, bi-polarity and multi-polarity, emergence of the Third World, role of force and diplomacy, the post-Cold War era, foreign policy-making, the United Nations, and humanitarian intervention.

    Political Science 253 Introduction to Terrorism Studies SO

    After being marginalized in international relations scholarship for years, in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorism has moved to the forefront of scholarly interest. The purpose of this course is to survey the various theories concerning terrorism from diverse perspectives employing rationalist and psychological theories to explain terrorism-related phenomena.

    Political Science 256 The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement (I) SO

    This course explores the evolution of the jihadi movement, focusing on its ideological development throughout the twentieth century, and the structural changes it has gone through since the jihad to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan during the 1980s.

    Political Science 333 International Security


    Political Science 345 Islam, Democracy and Development (C) SO (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)

    An examination of political dynamics of Islam. Islam is analyzed with respect to democracy, human rights, cultural pluralism, and development. Case studies from Africa, Europe and other regions of the world will be explored. Prerequisite: Jr. or Sr. standing or consent.

    Political Science 357 International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East (I) SO

    The international relations of the Middle East have long been dominated by uncertainty and conflict. External intervention, interstate war, political upheaval and interethnic violence are compounded by the vagaries of oil prices and the claims of military, nationalist and religious movements. The purpose of this course is to set this region and its conflicts in the context of its history and international relations theory.

    Political Science 358 The War on Terrorism (I) SO

    Exposes students to the broad range of activities undertaken within the framework of the global war on terrorism and to enhance understanding of the diverse military and political challenges comprising this confrontation. The seminar surveys the multiple components of the war on terrorism and examines them through several relevant analytical prisms. The course also discusses the implications of the war on terrorism for foreign policy and international relations theory. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing, or consent of instructor.

  • Religion

    Religion 108 Vocabularies of Islam [A] HU

    Introduction to the foundational concepts of Islam and the diverse ways in which Muslims understand and practice their religion. Topics include scripture, prophethood, law, ritual, theology, mysticism, and art.

    Religion 118 Hebrew Bible: Literary Text and Historical Context HU

    The Hebrew Bible, which is fundamental to both Judaism and Christianity, poses several challenges to modern readers. Who wrote it, when, and why? What was its significance then and now? How does one study the Bible from an academic point of view? Using literary, historical, theological, and archeological interpretive tools, this course will address these questions and introduce students to academic biblical studies.

    Religion 203 The Hebrew Bible and its Interpretations [A,B] HU

    This course will critically study select Hebrew Biblical passages (in translation) as well as Jewish and Christian Biblical commentaries in order to better understand how Hebrew Biblical texts have been read, interpreted and explained by ancient and modern readers alike. Students will also learn to read the texts critically and begin to form their own understandings of them. Typically offered in alternate years.

    Religion 212 Jerusalem: City, History and Representation [A] HU

    An examination of the history of Jerusalem as well as a study of Jerusalem as a religious symbol and how the two interact over the centuries. Readings from ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary sources as well as material culture and art.

    Religion 218 The Divine Guide: An Introduction to Shi’ism [A] HU

    An exploration of the religious, social, and political dimensions of Shi'i Islam, from its early formation until the modern period. Topics include: authority and guidance; theology and jurisprudence; messianism and eschatology; scriptural exegesis; ritual and performance; gender; intersections between religion and politics.

    Religion 248 The Qur'an HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)

    Overview of the Qur'an, the scripture of Islam. Major themes include: orality/textuality; sanctity and material culture; revelation, translation, and inimitability; calligraphy, bookmaking and architecture; along with modes of scriptural exegesis as practiced over time by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    Religion 306 Of Monsters and Marvels: Wonder in Islamic Traditions HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature)

    From contemplating the cosmos to encountering the monstrous, this course explores the place of wonder in Islamic traditions through readings from the Qur'an, exegesis, prophetic traditions, popular literature, travel narratives, descriptive geography, philosophy and theology. Prerequisite: Consent.

    Religion 307 Imagining Islam: Icon, Object, and Image HU

    Explores the place of material and visual culture in Islam, examining how Muslims have conceptualized and deployed material and visual forms of religious expressions in a number of historical contexts.

    Religion 308 Mystical Literatures of Islam HU (Cross-listed in Comparative Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies)

    Overview of the literary expressions of Islamic mysticism through the study of poetry, philosophy, hagiographies, and anecdotes. Topics include: unio mystica; symbol and structure; love and the erotic; body/gender; language and experience.

  • Sociology

    Sociology 207 Internal Disorder: Deviance and Revolution


    Sociology 233 Topics in Sociology: Islamic Modernism


    Sociology 237 Topics in Historical Sociology


    Sociology 298 Islamic Constitutionalism

  • Spanish/Comparative Literature

    Spanish 266 Iberian Orientalism and the Nation HU

    This course examines cultural production in the frontier cultures of medieval Iberia and the patterns of collaboration and violence among Islamic, Christian, and Jewish communities. Other topics include Christian "reconquest" and the construction of Spanishness as race and nation; foreign depictions of Spain as Europe's exotic other; internal colonialism and Morisco resistance; and contemporary African migrations. Class conducted in English. Prerequisite: Freshman Writing or Span 102 or consent.

    Spanish 340 The Moor in Spanish Literature

    The discourse concerning Spain's Muslims and their descendants: the Moor as other (sensual, fanatical or exemplary but flawed) and as a metaphor of power, from the Christian Reconquest and the expulsion of the Moriscos to Juan Goytisolo's Reivindicación del conde don Julián. Prerequisite: A 200 level course or consent of the instructor.