Middle Eastern Studies

The Five College Certificate Program in Middle Eastern Studies is an opportunity for students to complement a disciplinary major with multidisciplinary studies and linguistic attainments. Because of the wide range of courses available through the Five College consortium, students may design a program that will meet their intellectual, academic and prospective professional needs in conjunction with an advisor from their home institution.

Middle Eastern Studies is coordinated on a Five College basis by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. Collaborative activity includes sponsorship of cultural programming, publication and coordination of courses and administration of a Five College Certificate Program in Middle Eastern Studies.

On This Page

Faculty

Chris Dole, Anthropology & Sociology and Asian Languages & Civilizations
Mohamed Hassan, Arabic
Tariq Jaffer, Religion
Mona Oraby, Law, Jurisprudence, & Social Thought
Monica Ringer, History and Asian Languages & Civilizations 

Aaron Berman, History (Emeritus)
Omar Dahi, Economics  
Salman Hameed, Integrated Science & Humanities 

Elif Babül, Anthropology
Sohail Hashmi, International Relations and Asian Studies 
Amina Steinfels, Religion 

Joshua Birk, History and Medieval Studies
Ibtissam Bouachrine, Spanish
Justin Cammy, Jewish Studies and World Literatures
Susanna Ferguson, Middle East Studies
May George, Arabic
Steven Heydemann, Middle East Studies
Suleiman Ali Mourad, Religion
Karen Pfeifer, Economics (Emerita)
John Weinert, Arabic
Bozena Welborne, Government
Gregory White, Government

Anne Broadbridge, History
Walter Denny, History of Art & Architecture
Tayeb El-Hibri, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
Olga Gershenson, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
Rachel Green, Comparative Literature and Israel/Palestine Studies
Hadi Jorati, History
Nahla Khalil, Arabic
Andrew March, Political Science
David Mednicoff, Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies
Mary Christina Wilson, History (Emerita)

Certificate

The Five College Certificate Program in Middle Eastern Studies is an opportunity for students to complement a disciplinary major with multidisciplinary studies and linguistic attainments. Because of the wide range of courses available through the Five College consortium, students may design a program that will meet their intellectual, academic and prospective professional needs in conjunction with an advisor from their home institution.

The program is administered by the Five College Middle Eastern Studies Committee, which includes faculty advisors from each participating campus. In addition to exploring the range of courses offered at the Five Colleges, students are encouraged to spend time in the Middle East, learning Arabic and other languages and immersing themselves in the culture of the area. Plans for study abroad should be designed in consultation with the student's advisor. Courses from outside the Five Colleges can be counted toward the certificate requirements on the recommendation of the campus advisor and the approval of the committee. Students must receive a grade of B or better in every course counted toward the Certificate.

Students interested in pursuing the certificate are encouraged to consult with a certificate program advisor regularly.

Certificate Advisors:

Amherst College: Monica Ringer 
Hampshire College: Omar Dahi
Mount Holyoke College: Sohail Hashmi
Smith College: Steven Heydemann
UMass Amherst: David Mednicoff

Certificate Requirements:

  1. Knowledge equivalent to at least two years of college-level study of a Middle Eastern language, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian and Armenian. Classes in Arabic and Modern Hebrew are currently taught in the Five Colleges. Additional courses in Arabic as well as courses in Turkish, Persian and other languages are offered through the Five College Center for World Languages. This requirement may be fulfilled through course completion or by examination.
  2. Two introductory courses providing an overview of Middle Eastern history. One course must be in the premodern period (600–1500 CE) and one course must be in the modern period (1500–present).
  3. Five courses from the following categories. Students must take at least one course from each of the groups.
    1. Religion and Philosophy
    2. Literature, Art, and Language Study beyond what is required to satisfy the language requirement above
    3. History and Social Sciences

Certificate Completion:

In preparation for graduation, students pursuing the certificate should meet with their campus advisor to review courses taken to complete the requirements, using the certificate completion form.

The certificate completion form must be approved by the student's home campus advisor as well as the Five College Middle Eastern Studies Committee. Five College Certificates are awarded upon graduation. 

Courses

Note:  Also see the courses offered through the Five College Arabic Initiative, as well as other languages offered in the Five Colleges.

Spring 2023 Middle Eastern Studies Courses

Subject Course # Sect # Course Title Instructor(s) Institution Meeting Times
ARA 101 01 Elementary Arabic II Smith College W F 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM; M 3:05 PM - 4:20 PM
ARA 101 02 Elementary Arabic II John O. Weinert Smith College M W F 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
ARA 201 01 Intermediate Arabic II May George Smith College M W F 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM
ARA 301 01 Advanced Arabic II John O. Weinert Smith College M W F 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM
MES 225 01 Colq:Egypt-Mother of the World Angela Giordani Smith College TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM
MES 230 01 Society & Devel in Middle East Steven Heydemann Smith College TU TH 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM
MES 322 01 Sem:Arab Revolutions Angela Giordani Smith College TH 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM
MES 380 01 Sem:Authoritarianism-Mid East Steven Heydemann Smith College TU 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM
HISTORY 394AI 01 Age of the Crusades Anne Broadbridge UMass Amherst M W F 1:25PM 2:15PM
JUDAIC 328 01 Mediterranean Mosaic Aviva Ben-Ur UMass Amherst TU TH 11:30AM 12:45PM
MIDEAST 220 01 Mideast & the World: 1400-1800 Malissa Taylor UMass Amherst M W 2:30PM 3:45PM
MIDEAST 328 01 Mediterranean Mosaic Aviva Ben-Ur UMass Amherst TU TH 11:30AM 12:45PM
MIDEAST 361 01 Sufism: Islamic Mystical Trad Malissa Taylor UMass Amherst M W 4:00PM 5:15PM
MIDEAST 391A 01 S-IslamicSocty&Culture/MdlAges Tayeb El-Hibri UMass Amherst TU TH 2:30PM 3:45PM

Contact Us

Program Chairs:

Andrew March, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Steven Heydemann, Professor in Middle East Studies; Director of Program in Middle East Studies, Smith College

Five College Staff Liaison:

Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs