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
Kathryn Schwartz, History
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 2022 Middle Eastern Studies Courses

01
4.00

Yael R. Rice, Monica M. Ringer

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
ARHA-357-01-2122S

FAYE217

yrice@amherst.edu mmringer@amherst.edu
ASLC-357-01, ARHA-357-01, HIST-357-01

(Offered as ASLC 357, ARHA 357, and HIST 357 [TC, TE, ME, P]) The Shahnameh (Book of Kings), completed by Abu’l Qasim Ferdowsi around 1010, is one of the world's greatest epics, and also one of the most enigmatic. The Shahnameh tells the history of pre-Islamic Iran from the beginnings of civilization until the Arab conquest in the seventh century A.D. Its tales of battles, romance, heroism, and betrayal have been appreciated as literature for centuries. At the same time, it’s been deployed for political and cultural ends. Many of the communities who have most enthusiastically embraced its stories and themes have been of non-Iranian origin. Indeed, Ferdowsi’s patron, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, was himself of Turkic background. Since the nineteenth century, it has been touted as the cultural cornerstone of an emphatically non-Muslim modern Iranian national identity, and yet the author and his patron were Muslim. Some have even interpreted the Shahnameh as encouraging conversion to Islam.

This course will explore the Shahnameh as literature, history, and material culture—including illustrated manuscripts, printed books, ceramics, metalwork, and photography—from its original tenth-century context to the contemporary moment. We will focus in particular on a heavily illustrated mid-nineteenth-century copy of the Shahnameh in Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections, and consider how this work expressed a non-Islamic cultural foundation of modernity. We will follow this story to explore how the Shahnameh figures in debates over the pre-Islamic past today. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professors Rice and Ringer.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Monica M. Ringer

MW 08:30 AM-09:50 AM

Amherst College
ASLC-355-01-2122S

CHAP210

mmringer@amherst.edu
HIST-393-01, ASLC-355-01

(Offered as HIST 393 [ME/TC/TEP] and ASLC 355) This course examines in depth the formative period of Islam between c. 500-680. Using predominantly primary material, we will chart the emergence, success, and evolution of Islam, the Islamic community, and the Islamic polity. The focus of this course is on understanding the changing nature over time of peoples’ understanding of and conception of what Islam was and what Islam implied socially, religiously, culturally and politically. We concentrate on exploring the growth of the historical tradition of Islam and its continued contestations amongst scholars today. This course will familiarize students with the events, persons, ideas, texts and historical debates concerning this period. It is not a course on the religion or beliefs of Islam, but a historical deconstruction and analysis of the period. Two class meetings per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Ringer.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Yael R. Rice, Monica M. Ringer

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
ASLC-357-01-2122S

FAYE217

yrice@amherst.edu mmringer@amherst.edu
ASLC-357-01, ARHA-357-01, HIST-357-01

(Offered as ASLC 357, ARHA 357, and HIST 357 [TC, TE, ME, P]) The Shahnameh (Book of Kings), completed by Abu’l Qasim Ferdowsi around 1010, is one of the world's greatest epics, and also one of the most enigmatic. The Shahnameh tells the history of pre-Islamic Iran from the beginnings of civilization until the Arab conquest in the seventh century A.D. Its tales of battles, romance, heroism, and betrayal have been appreciated as literature for centuries. At the same time, it’s been deployed for political and cultural ends. Many of the communities who have most enthusiastically embraced its stories and themes have been of non-Iranian origin. Indeed, Ferdowsi’s patron, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, was himself of Turkic background. Since the nineteenth century, it has been touted as the cultural cornerstone of an emphatically non-Muslim modern Iranian national identity, and yet the author and his patron were Muslim. Some have even interpreted the Shahnameh as encouraging conversion to Islam.

This course will explore the Shahnameh as literature, history, and material culture—including illustrated manuscripts, printed books, ceramics, metalwork, and photography—from its original tenth-century context to the contemporary moment. We will focus in particular on a heavily illustrated mid-nineteenth-century copy of the Shahnameh in Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections, and consider how this work expressed a non-Islamic cultural foundation of modernity. We will follow this story to explore how the Shahnameh figures in debates over the pre-Islamic past today. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professors Rice and Ringer.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Yael R. Rice, Monica M. Ringer

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
HIST-357-01-2122S

FAYE217

yrice@amherst.edu mmringer@amherst.edu
ASLC-357-01, ARHA-357-01, HIST-357-01

(Offered as ASLC 357, ARHA 357, and HIST 357 [TC, TE, ME, P]) The Shahnameh (Book of Kings), completed by Abu’l Qasim Ferdowsi around 1010, is one of the world's greatest epics, and also one of the most enigmatic. The Shahnameh tells the history of pre-Islamic Iran from the beginnings of civilization until the Arab conquest in the seventh century A.D. Its tales of battles, romance, heroism, and betrayal have been appreciated as literature for centuries. At the same time, it’s been deployed for political and cultural ends. Many of the communities who have most enthusiastically embraced its stories and themes have been of non-Iranian origin. Indeed, Ferdowsi’s patron, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, was himself of Turkic background. Since the nineteenth century, it has been touted as the cultural cornerstone of an emphatically non-Muslim modern Iranian national identity, and yet the author and his patron were Muslim. Some have even interpreted the Shahnameh as encouraging conversion to Islam.

This course will explore the Shahnameh as literature, history, and material culture—including illustrated manuscripts, printed books, ceramics, metalwork, and photography—from its original tenth-century context to the contemporary moment. We will focus in particular on a heavily illustrated mid-nineteenth-century copy of the Shahnameh in Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections, and consider how this work expressed a non-Islamic cultural foundation of modernity. We will follow this story to explore how the Shahnameh figures in debates over the pre-Islamic past today. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professors Rice and Ringer.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Monica M. Ringer

MW 08:30 AM-09:50 AM

Amherst College
HIST-393-01-2122S

CHAP210

mmringer@amherst.edu
HIST-393-01, ASLC-355-01

(Offered as HIST 393 [ME/TC/TEP] and ASLC 355) This course examines in depth the formative period of Islam between c. 500-680. Using predominantly primary material, we will chart the emergence, success, and evolution of Islam, the Islamic community, and the Islamic polity. The focus of this course is on understanding the changing nature over time of peoples’ understanding of and conception of what Islam was and what Islam implied socially, religiously, culturally and politically. We concentrate on exploring the growth of the historical tradition of Islam and its continued contestations amongst scholars today. This course will familiarize students with the events, persons, ideas, texts and historical debates concerning this period. It is not a course on the religion or beliefs of Islam, but a historical deconstruction and analysis of the period. Two class meetings per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Ringer.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Bozena C. Welborne

M W 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
GOV-224-01-202203

Neilson 209

bwelborne@smith.edu
This course explores the complex challenges facing Muslim-majority states when it comes to their political, economic, and social development in the 21st century. In particular, we will be exploring the various Islamically-inspired ideas ("isms") that have emerged with the onset of globalization; from Islanic feminism and Islamic environmentalism to political Islam and Islamic banking. Enrollment limited to 20.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Bozena C. Welborne

M W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
GOV-248-01-202203

Seelye 212

bwelborne@smith.edu
This course investigates the causes and consequences of the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the viability of efforts to resolve it. We consider the influence of Great Power Politics on the relationship between Arab states and Israel, and between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis. Our exploration of the conflict touches on issues related to human security, terrorism and political violence, as well as broader questions of human rights, national identity and international governance.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Susanna Ferguson

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
HST-237-01-202203

Seelye 202

sferguson06@smith.edu
MES 237-01, HST 237-01
Offered as MES 237 and HST 237. The history of the modern Middle East is a story of border-crossing as well as border-making. From 19th century immigrants from the Ottoman Empire to the Americas, to today's migrant laborers in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Gulf, the region has been forged by those who move within and beyond national borders. How have forces of gender, class, and ethnicity shaped these journeys? This course examines the gendered processes of movement and migration--voluntary and involuntary--that have shaped the modern Middle East from the 19th century to the present. Enrollment limited to 18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
5.00

Joanna Caravita

M W F 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
JUD-102-01-202203

Seelye 102

jcaravita@smith.edu
The second half of a two-semester sequence introducing modern Hebrew language and culture, with a focus on equal development of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. By the end of the year, students are able to comprehend short and adapted literary and journalistic texts, describe themselves and their environment, and express their thoughts and opinions. Learning is amplified by use of online resources (YouTube, Facebook, newspapers) and examples from Hebrew song and television/film. Prerequisite: JUD 101 or equivalent. This course is available to Mount Holyoke College students through a simultaneous video-conferencing option. Enrollment limited to 18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Susanna Ferguson

TU TH 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
MES-219-01-202203

Seelye 308

sferguson06@smith.edu
This course traces the history of Arab feminisms as movements forged in the context of social change in the Arab world, transnational ties, and the rise of European imperialism. How did feminist movements take shape in the modern Arab world? How have feminisms beyond the West been forged by processes of situated translation, as well as in response to local and regional conditions and struggles? And, how might feminisms from the Middle East and North Africa speak with, or speak back to, feminist politics and histories in other contexts, enriching our sense of what feminisms have, and could, accomplish? Enrollment limited to 18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Susanna Ferguson

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
MES-237-01-202203

Seelye 202

sferguson06@smith.edu
MES 237-01, HST 237-01
Offered as MES 237 and HST 237. The history of the modern Middle East is a story of border-crossing as well as border-making. From 19th century immigrants from the Ottoman Empire to the Americas, to today's migrant laborers in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Gulf, the region has been forged by those who move within and beyond national borders. How have forces of gender, class, and ethnicity shaped these journeys? This course examines the gendered processes of movement and migration--voluntary and involuntary--that have shaped the modern Middle East from the 19th century to the present. Enrollment limited to 18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Steven Heydemann

TU TH 1:10 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
MES-240-01-202203

Seelye 304

sheydemann@smith.edu
This colloquium will expose students to contemporary political literature of the Arab world in translation. Through their critical engagement with this literature, students will gain a nuanced, tangible, and deeply dimensional understanding of contemporary life in the Middle East and the many diverse and complex ways in which lives of the region’s peoples are shaped by their political circumstances. Enrollment limited to 20.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Margaret Sarkissian,Suleiman Ali Mourad

M W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
MUS-249-01-202203

Sage 215

msarkiss@smith.edu,smourad@smith.edu
REL 249-01, MUS 249-01
Offered as MUS 249 and REL 249. Music is a complex issue in many Islamic societies. There are tensions between those who believe that music has no place in Islam and try to prohibit it, those for whom it is a central component of mystical devotion, and those who tolerate it, albeit within well-defined parameters. The debate intensifies in the case of popular music, a core part of the self-identification of young people everywhere. Despite this, there is an amazing variety of vibrant popular music throughout the Islamic world. This course explores the religious debates over music and the rich musical tradition (including religious music) in Islam. Enrollment limited to 35.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Suleiman Ali Mourad

M W 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
REL-246-01-202203

Hatfield 203

smourad@smith.edu
Major themes addressed by Muslim thinkers since the 18th century, such as Islamic reform and revival, the encounters with colonialism and imperialism, nationalism and other modern ideologies; and Islamic discussions of modernity, liberalism, conservatism, fundamentalism and militancy. Reading of primary sources in translation.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Margaret Sarkissian,Suleiman Ali Mourad

M W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
REL-249-01-202203

Sage 215

msarkiss@smith.edu,smourad@smith.edu
REL 249-01, MUS 249-01
Offered as MUS 249 and REL 249. Music is a complex issue in many Islamic societies. There are tensions between those who believe that music has no place in Islam and try to prohibit it, those for whom it is a central component of mystical devotion, and those who tolerate it, albeit within well-defined parameters. The debate intensifies in the case of popular music, a core part of the self-identification of young people everywhere. Despite this, there is an amazing variety of vibrant popular music throughout the Islamic world. This course explores the religious debates over music and the rich musical tradition (including religious music) in Islam. Enrollment limited to 35.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Olga Gershenson

TH 4:00PM 6:45PM

UMass Amherst
36876

Herter Hall room 640

gershenson@umass.edu
36891,36902
This course uses film to interrogate an array of issues defining Israeli and Palestinian societies, including competing views of national histories. The course will open with looking at the emergence and development of Israeli and Palestinian cinematic discourses and proceed to explore the dynamic of representation from the period of British mandate, through establishment of the state of Israel, and the onset of Palestinian diaspora, the wars of 1948 and 1967, to the current era. Discussion will be structured around the following major themes: borders and walls; historical traumas; collective and interpersonal memory; cultural influences and appropriations. In addition to film, we will bring into conversation other intertexts, including media, music, and visual arts. All readings and films are with English translation.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Ofir Zussman

M W F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
30318

Herter Hall room 202

ozussman@judnea.umass.edu
Preparation for basic proficiency in speaking, writing, listening to, and reading Modern Hebrew. Emphasis on speaking. Language lab.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Ofir Zussman

M W F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
30319

Herter Hall room 212

ozussman@judnea.umass.edu
Continuation of HEBREW 110. Further preparation for basic proficiency in all four basic language skills, with emphasis on speaking. Language lab. Prerequisite: HEBREW 110.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Joanna Caravita

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
30305

Herter Hall room 444

jcaravita@umass.edu
Continuation of HEBREW 230. Further work in Hebrew conversation, listening, reading, and writing. Introduction to Hebrew word-formation. Adapted short stories, videotapes. Language lab.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Anne Broadbridge

M W F 1:25PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
30426

Herter Hall room 225

broadbridge@history.umass.edu
Students will study the history of the Age of the Crusades (1090s-1290s). They will cover the eight major crusades to the Middle East and North Africa, including personalities, ideologies, and military and logistical challenges. They will investigate the European Crusaders, those Muslim, Christian and Jewish who were "Crusaded Against", and the cultural interactions among them all. Student will also examine Crusades in Europe, and Crusades of later centuries. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Hist majors.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Anne Broadbridge

M W F 10:10AM 11:00AM

UMass Amherst
30363

Herter Hall room 225

broadbridge@history.umass.edu
In this course students investigate the history of Genghis Khan and the Great Mongol Empire, the Mongol Successor Empires, and the copycat Temurid Empire, covering the time period 1150-1500. They look at the rise, expansion and fall of these empires, and at the complexities that make this history so gripping. They also learn unexpected secrets about the contributions made by Chinggis Khan?s womenfolk to this history, based on new research. Course fulfills the History Department?s pre-1500 requirement and one of its two non-Western requirements. In it students will reflect on themselves as students and history majors, on their college careers so far, and on what they have learned in their college careers. They will then make connections between these reflections and the diverse topics we cover in Mongol and Turkish history. This will be through a special paper, on two of four response papers, on both exams, and in guided discussion during most lectures. At the end of the course, they will not only have gained insight into the class material, but also insight into themselves and into their own personal knowledge of the world. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Hist majors.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
3.00

Hadi Jorati

TU TH 4:00PM 5:15PM

UMass Amherst
30456

Herter Hall room 225

hjorati@umass.edu
What do we know about Shi'i Islam? Who are the Shi'is and how are they different from other Islamic groups, and how did that come to be? What do we know about Shi'i societies in the past or present or about their beliefs and practices? Where are these societies located and how did they develop? From its inception to various steps of transformation and in its many manifestations in history and in the modern world, the many misrepresentations and misinformation have created a sense of mystery about this topic. This course does not aim at providing a final and definitive answer to the above questions or similar ones. Instead, we will together approach this topic methodically and critically and discuss various issues in light of the available information and in connection with the current discourse. This course offers a historical introduction to the development of Shi'i Islam, its doctrines and the societies that adhered to it, as well as how it developed through various periods.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Olga Gershenson

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
36890

Herter Hall room 205

gershenson@umass.edu
36901
The course focuses on cultural history of immigration in Israel. The topics include: ideological, political, and social contexts of immigration; interethnic relations; and media representation of immigrants in Israel. (Gen. Ed. HS, DG)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Olga Gershenson

TH 4:00PM 6:45PM

UMass Amherst
36891

Herter Hall room 640

gershenson@umass.edu
36876,36902
This course uses film to interrogate an array of issues defining Israeli and Palestinian societies, including competing views of national histories. The course will open with looking at the emergence and development of Israeli and Palestinian cinematic discourses and proceed to explore the dynamic of representation from the period of British mandate, through establishment of the state of Israel, and the onset of Palestinian diaspora, the wars of 1948 and 1967, to the current era. Discussion will be structured around the following major themes: borders and walls; historical traumas; collective and interpersonal memory; cultural influences and appropriations. In addition to film, we will bring into conversation other intertexts, including media, music, and visual arts. All readings and films are with English translation.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Olga Gershenson

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
36901

Herter Hall room 205

gershenson@umass.edu
36890
The course focuses on cultural history of immigration in Israel. The topics include: ideological, political, and social contexts of immigration; interethnic relations; and media representation of immigrants in Israel. (Gen. Ed. HS, DG)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

David Mednicoff

TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

UMass Amherst
32406

South College Room W245

mednic@umass.edu
34739
This course is a basic, interdisciplinary introduction to the contemporary Middle East, and uses three substances central to contemporary society as organizing metaphors for issues that help define the region that stretches from Morocco to Iran. We consider a wide range of topics including the modern legacy of Western colonialism in the region, the impact of oil, the roles of religion, gender politics, Arab-Israeli conflicts, and US policies towards the region. Satisfies the modern 100-level requirement for the Middle Eastern Studies major. (Gen. Ed. SB, DG)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Hadi Jorati

W 4:00PM 6:30PM

UMass Amherst
38054

Herter Hall room 746

hjorati@umass.edu
38601
This course offers an in-depth study of the Classical Arabic textual tradition, with a philological and historical approach. Students will gain familiarity with various important genres of Classical Arabic, from Religious texts, to Historiographical and Philosophical, and will learn to analyze the text in both grammatical and semantic terms to gain a deeper understanding of the text and the tradition. Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students with a solid background in Arabic.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Olga Gershenson

TH 4:00PM 6:45PM

UMass Amherst
36902

Herter Hall room 640

gershenson@umass.edu
36876,36891
This course uses film to interrogate an array of issues defining Israeli and Palestinian societies, including competing views of national histories. The course will open with looking at the emergence and development of Israeli and Palestinian cinematic discourses and proceed to explore the dynamic of representation from the period of British mandate, through establishment of the state of Israel, and the onset of Palestinian diaspora, the wars of 1948 and 1967, to the current era. Discussion will be structured around the following major themes: borders and walls; historical traumas; collective and interpersonal memory; cultural influences and appropriations. In addition to film, we will bring into conversation other intertexts, including media, music, and visual arts. All readings and films are with English translation.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Andrew March

TU 2:30PM 5:00PM

UMass Amherst
34017

Machmer Hall room W-22

amarch@umass.edu
This course explores the development of Islamic political thought from the mid 19th-century to the present. Major themes include the ideas of Islamic modernism and reformism, the question of the caliphate and the birth of the modern nation-state, Islam and feminism, the rise of Islamism (or Islamic ?fundamentalism?), theories of Islamic democracy, and the question of jihad and violence. Satisfies Integrative Experience requirement for BA-POLSCI majors.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

David Mednicoff

TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

UMass Amherst
34739

South College Room W245

mednic@umass.edu
32406
This course introduces students to the contemporary dynamics of the Middle East and North Africa. By using as metaphors three basic substances that are important to the region and the world, the course spans basic issues of Middle Eastern cultures, recent history, and politics in an innovative and interdisciplinary fashion. More specifically, the course includes the attention to Islam, Western colonialism, Israel, Iran, contemporary growth, regional conflicts, the role of the US, and the role of the Arab uprisings of 2011, among other topics. Student participation and involvement in active learning simulations are expected, though no prerequisites are necessary. (Gen. Ed. DG, SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Fall 2022 Middle Eastern Studies Courses

01
5.00

John O. Weinert

M W F 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Smith College
ARA-100-01-202301

Burton 209

jweinert@smith.edu
An introduction to Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic, using a proficiency-based approach to develop communicative skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The course begins with a focus on reading, pronouncing and recognizing Arabic alphabet, and progresses quickly toward developing basic reading, writing, speaking and listening proficiencies and cultural competence using the Al-Kitaab series and a variety of authentic materials. Students will acquire these skills through a combination of interactive classroom activities, take-home assignments and group work. Students should be at the Novice-Mid level by the end of this course. No prerequisites. Enrollment limited to18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

02
5.00

John O. Weinert

W F 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM; M 3:05 PM - 4:20 PM

Smith College
ARA-100-02-202301

Hatfield 104

jweinert@smith.edu
An introduction to Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic, using a proficiency-based approach to develop communicative skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The course begins with a focus on reading, pronouncing and recognizing Arabic alphabet, and progresses quickly toward developing basic reading, writing, speaking and listening proficiencies and cultural competence using the Al-Kitaab series and a variety of authentic materials. Students will acquire these skills through a combination of interactive classroom activities, take-home assignments and group work. Students should be at the Novice-Mid level by the end of this course. No prerequisites. Enrollment limited to18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

May George

M W F 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
ARA-200-01-202301

Burton 219

mgeorge@smith.edu
This is a communication-oriented course in Arabic at the intermediate level, incorporating both Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic and providing students with an opportunity to hone their skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students will expand their ability to create with the language while reinforcing fundamentals and expanding their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and culture. In addition to in-class teamwork, students will produce a variety of essays, presentations and skits throughout the semester. Prerequisite: ARA 101 or its equivalent.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

John O. Weinert

M W F 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
ARA-300-01-202301

Hatfield 201

jweinert@smith.edu
This helps students achieve an advanced level of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic with an exposure to one Arabic colloquial variety using the four-skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) approach. Students read within a normal range of speed, listen to, discuss and respond in writing to authentic texts by writers from across the Arab world. Text types address a range of political, social, religious and literary themes and represent a range of genres, styles and periods. All of these texts may include hypothesis, argumentation and supported opinions that covers both linguistic and cultural knowledge. This course covers Al-Kitaab, Book 3, units 1-5 in addition to extra instructional materials. Prerequisite: ARA 202, or the completion of Al-Kitaab, Book 2, or its equivalent. Students must be able to use formal spoken Arabic as the medium of communication in the classroom.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

May George

M W F 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
ARA-402-01-202301

Burton 219

mgeorge@smith.edu
This course aims to enable students to further develop their advanced level of proficiency across the four skills of speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Precise vocabulary will be used to engage in complicated arguments and study abstract topics that will include rich cultural components. Gaining proficiency in writing and in reading original sources in Arabic will receive particular emphasis. The goal of the course is to equip students to make active use of Arabic in a variety of social, educational, and professional contexts. Prerequisite: ARA 301. Enrollment limited to 15.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
1.00

Steven Heydemann

W 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Smith College
MES-100-01-202301

Seelye 301

sheydemann@smith.edu
This 8-week course of weekly lectures will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the Middle East by focusing on the big questions that animate the teaching and research of faculty in Middle East Studies and related fields. S/U only.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Steven Heydemann

TU TH 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
MES-203-01-202301

Seelye 202

sheydemann@smith.edu
This lecture class provides an introduction to the comparative politics of the Middle East. Readings, lectures, and discussions will examine political environments in the Middle East, with a focus on states as units of analysis, and on the general processes and conditions that have shaped state formation, the formation of national markets, and state-society relations in the region. The course will equip students to understand and critically assess how political interests are organized; the development of major political, social, and economic structures and institutions; and sources of political contestation within Middle Eastern societies.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Justin Daniel Cammy

M 1:40 PM - 2:55 PM; W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
MES-235-01-202301

Seelye 202

jcammy@smith.edu
MES 235-01, JUD 235-01
Offered as MES 235 and JUD 235. What is in dispute between Israelis and Palestinians? What has prevented a resolution to the conflict, and why does it continue to arouse such passions? Situating contemporary controversies in their historical contexts, explores key issues such as borders, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, security, debates about Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the impact of religious claims, and the role of regional and international players and activists. Includes analysis of competing models for conflict resolution. No prerequisites. Open to students at all levels.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Andrew March

TU 2:30PM 5:00PM

UMass Amherst
52226

Machmer Hall room W-22

amarch@umass.edu
This course explores the development of Islamic political thought from the mid 19th-century to the present. Major themes include the ideas of Islamic modernism and reformism, the question of the caliphate and the birth of the modern nation-state, Islam and feminism, the rise of Islamism (or Islamic ?fundamentalism?), theories of Islamic democracy, and the question of jihad and violence. Satisfies Integrative Experience requirement for BA-POLSCI majors.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

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