MES 250
MES 250 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

MES 250H
MES 250H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

MES 260
MES 260/ REL 260 - Religion & Culture in Muslim Soc

Historical survey of Muslim-majority societies and the diverse cultural forms produced within them from the seventh century to the beginnings of the modern period. Topics include literary and artistic expression, architecture, institutions, philosophical and political thought, religious thought and practice.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: MES 260

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Normally alternates with REL 262.

MES 261
MES 261/ REL 261 - Cities in the Islamic World

An exploration of urban forms and culture in Muslim societies from Islamic late antiquity to the present. The course examines and critiques concepts of 'the Arab city' and ‘the Islamic city' while focusing on elements of continuity and change in particular cities, such as Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Istanbul, Isfahan, Samarqand, Lucknow and Lahore. Topics include migration, settlement, and the construction of new cities; conversion; the emergence of ‘holy cities' as centres for pilgrimage, religious education and Islamic legal scholarship; sacred space and architecture; religious diversity in urban environments; the impact of colonialism; post-colonial developments; modern and contemporary environmental issues; renewal and preservation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: MES 261

Prerequisites: None. Not open to students who have taken MES 365/REL 365.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course is also offered at the 300-level as MES 365/REL 365.

MES 263
MES 263/ REL 263 - Islam in the Modern World

A study of the modern history of the Islamic religion and its interaction with historical forces in shaping developments in Muslim societies from the late eighteenth century to the present. The course explores the emergence and evolution of religious movements and discourses in the context of the colonial and postcolonial periods, with particular attention to the histories of modern nation-states, such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia. Readings encompass a variety of perspectives and address a range of topics, including religious practice, modes of interpretation, matters of governance and the state, economic issues, gender and gender relations, and the participation of women in various arenas of public life. Islam is explored as a diverse and dynamic religious tradition that is responsive to change, and enquires into the divergent understandings of religion represented in a variety of modern and contemporary contexts.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: MES 263

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

MES 264
MES 264/ REL 264 - Minorities in the Ottoman Empire

This course explores the religious, social, and cultural interactions between the internal aspects of Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities and the formal structures of the state in the Ottoman Empire (1299–1923), which, until the nineteenth century, constituted one of the most religiously diverse societies in Europe and Asia. We will study the religious cultures of the Pax Ottomana of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as the gradual dissolution of the multi-religious Ottoman Empire during the last two centuries. The course will cover a wide range of topics, including Ottoman palace and state institutions; colonialism; pietism, confessionalization, and conversion practices; Greek and Armenian Christians, Alevite Muslims, Jews, and Kurds; reform and repression; the status of Hagia Sophia; and questions of genocide and political representation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: MES 264

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Balikcioglu

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 265
MES 265/ REL 265 - Rel, Pol, Cult in Mod Turkey

This course examines religion, politics, and culture in Turkey from the late Ottoman Empire to the present. Beginning with the 19th-century Ottoman political and military reforms toward Westernization, we will explore the formation of modern Turkish national identity and the role of Islam in it, as well as recent and contemporary social and civil rights movements in the context of global trends and world politics. Contemporary topics include Anatolian pop/rock, Arabesque music, internal migration, Green Pine film industry, food culture, German guest workers, recent novels and poetry, and their place in the regional economic challenges that Turkey is confronting today. All readings will be in English.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: MES 265

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Balikcioglu

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 267
MES 267/ REL 267 - Muslim Ethics

How have Muslims, over the course of a millennium and a half and in strikingly different environments and circumstances, conceived of human nature, moral conduct and responsibility, and the good life; and how have they formulated, debated and applied ethical principles? This course explores these questions with reference to the rich materials that have informed the religious cultures of Muslim communities, including the sacred sources of the Qur'an and the Prophet's example, the reception, interpretation and development of late antique moral philosophies and wisdom literatures, the evolving corpora of legal and theological scholarship, and the elaboration of rationally based ethical systems. Issues include charity, the environment, gender, dispute resolution, violence and non-violence.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: MES 267

Prerequisites: None. Not open to students who have taken MES 347/REL 347.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 300-level as MES 347/REL 347.

MES 270H
MES 270H - Wintersession in Morocco

This course is a fast paced experiential introduction to the rich cultural and literary history of Morocco. In addition to language classes in Classical Arabic and Moroccan Arabic, students will get a basic introduction to the Amazigh language and its alphabet in order to enable them to read street signs and decipher some of the graffiti art. Students will also attend lectures given by at least a dozen scholars on topics such as: linguistic diversity and national identity, postcolonial literature, gender and women issues, Moroccan Jewish heritage and history, Amazigh activism, and the complexities of contemporary schools of thought within Islam. Students will also have a chance to travel to southern and central Morocco in order to put the texts they are reading in context and engage with local scholars in small discussion seminars.

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: Three semesters of Arabic or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Aadnani

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Winter

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Winter

Notes: Not offered every year. Subject to Provost's Office approval.

MES 293
HIST 293/ MES 293 - Changing Constr. of Gender

Intertwined with the political history of the modern Middle East are the dramatic cultural and social changes that have shaped how many Middle Easterners live their lives and imagine their futures. This course explores the historical contexts of the changing constructions of femininity and masculinity in different Middle Eastern settings from World War I to the present. Such contexts include nationalist and Islamist movements; economic, ecological, and demographic change; changing conceptions of modernity and tradition, individual and family, and public and private space; and state violence and civil war. Primary sources will focus on the self-representations of Middle Eastern men and women as they engaged with what they considered the major issues of their times.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: MES 293

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kapteijns

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

MES 310
ARAB 310/ MES 310 - Resistance & Dissent, N.Afr & MidEast

An exploration of themes of resistance and dissent in the literatures and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East since the early 1980s. Topics include the rise of democratic movements, such as political parties, associations, and NGOs; the role and importance of Islam to the identity of contemporary nation-states in the region; the status of women and minorities in the ideologies of the movements under study; and the status and implications of dissent. Materials studied include works of fiction and nonfiction, films, speeches, song lyrics, and online publications.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: ARAB 310

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Aadnani

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 347
MES 347/ REL 347 - Muslim Ethics

How have Muslims, over the course of a millennium and a half and in strikingly different environments and circumstances, conceived of human nature, moral conduct and responsibility, and the good life; and how have they formulated, debated and applied ethical principles? This course explores these questions with reference to the rich materials that have informed the religious cultures of Muslim communities, including the sacred sources of the Qur'an and the Prophet’s example, the reception, interpretation and development of late antique moral philosophies and wisdom literatures, the evolving corpora of legal and theological scholarship, and the elaboration of rationally based ethical systems. Issues are likely to include charity, the environment, gender, dispute resolution, violence and non-violence.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: MES 347

Prerequisites: Open to Juniors and Seniors who have taken at least one unit in Middle Eastern Studies or Religion, and permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken MES 267/REL 267.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 200-level as MES 267/REL 267.

MES 350
MES 350 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

MES 350H
MES 350H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

MES 358
MES 358/ PEAC 358/ POL2 359 - Palestine Israel Peace Prosps

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the Palestinian Israeli conflict from a comparative and social justice perspective. Our goal is to provide an analysis of events to engage in constructive academic debates. The class begins by contextualizing the study of the Middle East within the broader scope of comparative politics and Peace and Justice studies. Next, we focus on the origins of the conflict: the debate about 1948, the consolidation of the Israeli state, and the development of Palestinian and Israeli political and military organizations. The course then delves into different dimensions of the conflict: regional geopolitics, international relations, environmental debates, gender activism, terrorism, and the “Wall.” The last portion of the class considers peace negotiations, conflict mediation, compromise, and solutions: the refugee question, Jerusalem, TRCs, and the role of the United States.

This course may serve as a capstone seminar for Peace and Justice majors and minors.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: POL 2359,MES 358

Prerequisites: PEAC 104 or PEAC 217/POL2 217 or PEAC 204 or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Hajj

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall and Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

MES 359
MES 359/ REL 359 - Sem: Power, Legitimacy, Islam

How have Muslims understood the relationship between religion and politics at different moments in Islamic history? This seminar explores the interplay of religious principles and ritual practices with discourses of political legitimation and socio-political dissent in Muslim contexts. With examples drawn from the earliest period of Islamic history to the present day, the course examines religious authority and political leadership in Sunni and Shi'i contexts; the evolving religious-political meanings of the caliphate and the imamate; concepts of justice and injustice; power, authority and gender; dynastic rule and monarchy; and the position of Muslims living in non-Muslim-majority states. Particular attention to twentieth- and twenty-first-century responses to and appropriations of the pre-modern Islamic religious and political heritage.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 359

Prerequisites: At least one course in Religion, Middle Eastern Studies, History or Political Science, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies; REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

MES 360
MES 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the department.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

MES 361
MES 361/ REL 361 - Sem: Studying Islam & Mid East

An exploration of the study and representation of Islam and West Asia/the Middle East in European and American scholarship, literature, arts, and journalism, from the Middle Ages to the present. Topics, studied in historical context, include medieval European images of Islam, translations of sacred texts and literary works, religious polemic, colonial histories and correspondence, Orientalism and post-Orientalism, new and emerging scholarship, the modern press and popular culture. Students will participate in focused discussion of primary sources and works of criticism, including Edward Said's Orientalism, and will undertake individual and group-based research projects.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: MES 361

Prerequisites: Open to Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores who have taken at least one unit of Middle Eastern studies, or by permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 362
MES 362/ REL 362 - Sem: Poetry in Islamic World

This course examines the themes of love, desire, and illumination in Islamicate poetry from early Arabic verse to the classical works of Persian, Turkish, and Urdu literatures. The concept of love, covering different shades of meaning from homoerotic to mystical, will be explored throughout the course. In addition to the classical poets of this canon—Rumi, Hafez, Kabir, Shaykh Galib, and Mirza Ghalib—we will also study lesser known women poets such as Jahan Malek Khatun and Mihri Hatun. Particular attention will be given to Sufi teachings about divine union and illumination. Primary source texts will be taken from various languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu), but all readings will be in English.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 362

Prerequisites: One 200-level course in Comparative Literature, Religion, History, Middle Eastern Studies, or African Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Balikcioglu

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 363
MES 363/ REL 363 - Sem: Law in Muslim Societies

An exploration of law in theory and practice in Muslim communities from the early Islamic period to the present day. How have Muslim societies developed legal principles, discourses and practices? How have different kinds of law – the religious law or shari?a, legal rulings issued by the state, customary law – interacted at different times and in different localities? What have been the roles of scholars, jurists and judges? How have legal discourses and local practices interacted with issues of social and economic status, gender and sexuality? Areas of concentration include law in the diverse societies of the early modern empires (Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal), the legal interventions of colonial powers and their legacies, and contemporary legal discourses among Muslims in Muslim-majority and non-Muslim majority settings.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Crosslisted Courses: MES 363

Prerequisites: One unit at the 200 level in Religion, Middle Eastern Studies, History, Political Science or a related field.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 364
HIST 364/ MES 364 - Sem: Film in the Middle East

Filmmakers in the modern Middle East and North Africa have been at the forefront of intellectual engagement with their societies’ major challenges. By narrating the lives of individuals caught in historical circumstances not of their choosing, they have addressed issues such as incomplete decolonization and economic exploitation, cultural and political dogmatisms, the politicization and policing of religious, gender and sexual identities, foreign intervention and occupation, and dictatorship, civil war, and displacement. We will engage with the form, content, and historical contexts of a range of films and analyze how they leverage aesthetic, affective, and effective image, speech, and sound to persuade their audiences.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 364

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructors. At least one course in Middle Eastern Studies (apart from Arabic language) will be required and preference will be given to Seniors and Juniors.

Instructor: Aadnani (Middle Eastern Studies), Kapteijns (History)

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

MES 365
MES 365/ REL 365 - Cities in the Islamic World

An exploration of urban forms and culture in Muslim societies from Islamic late antiquity to the present. The course examines and critiques concepts of 'the Arab city' and ‘the Islamic city' while focusing on elements of continuity and change in particular cities, such as Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo, Istanbul, Isfahan, Samarqand, Lucknow and Lahore. Topics include migration, settlement, and the construction of new cities; conversion; the emergence of ‘holy cities' as centres for pilgrimage, religious education and Islamic legal scholarship; sacred space and architecture; religious diversity in urban environments; the impact of colonialism; post-colonial developments; modern and contemporary environmental issues; renewal and preservation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: MES 365

Prerequisites: One unit in Middle Eastern Studies or Religion, or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken MES 261/REL 261.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course is also offered at the 200-level as MES 261/REL 261.

MES 366
HIST 366/ MES 366 - Sem: Greater Syria 1850-1950

This is a research seminar about the history of “Greater Syria” (modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel/Palestinian Authority) from the perspective of its cities, especially Aleppo, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Haifa, and Jerusalem. Focus on the impact of the Ottoman Empire's mid-nineteenth-century Tanzimat (or modernization) reforms; the Empire's demise after World War One, and European Mandate rule (French in Lebanon and Syria, and British in Trans-Jordan and Palestine). Themes include: changes in governance and the administration of Islamic law; localism, Arab nationalism, sectarianism, and changes in communal identities and inter-communal relations; migration, urban and demographic growth, and the transformation of urban space; Jewish nationalism and immigration, and the impact of World War Two.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 366

Prerequisites: By permission of the instructor to students with some background in History and the Middle East.

Instructor: Kapteijns

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 367
MES 367/ REL 367 - Seminar: Muslim Travelers

An exploration of the experiences and writings of Muslim travelers from the Middle Ages to the present in West, South, East, and Central Asia, North Africa, Europe, and America. Focus on the wide range of cultural encounters facilitated by journeys for purposes of pilgrimage, study, diplomacy, exploration, migration, and tourism, and on the varied descriptions of such encounters in forms of literary expression associated with travel, including poetry, pilgrimage manuals, narrative accounts, letters, memoirs, and graffiti. Authors include al-Biruni, Ibn Jubayr, Ibn Battuta, Evliya Çelebi, al-Tahtawi, Farahani, Abu Talib Khan, Asayesh.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 367

Prerequisites: Open to juniors and seniors, students who have taken at least one unit in Middle Eastern studies, and by permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Marlow

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy; LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MES 369
HIST 369/ MES 369 - Sem: Histories of Ethnic Violence

A crucial aspect of modern and contemporary international history is the large-scale violence against civilians that has marked recent civil wars throughout the world, from former Yugoslavia to Rwanda, and from Ireland to Sri Lanka and China. Though such violence is often labeled “ethnic” or “religious,” its causes are much broader. This research seminar will focus on: the causes and consequences of both state-perpetrated and communal violence; the scholarly (and legal) debates about how to approach political/social reconstruction in the aftermath of such large-scale violence, and the ethics of the representation of violence by historians and other authors/creators. Drawing on the conceptual readings and case studies of the syllabus, students will design a research paper about a particular conflict chosen by them.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: MES 369

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Kapteijns

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: For IR-History students, this seminar will fulfill the HIST 395 capstone requirement.

MES 370
MES 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: MES 360 and permission of the department.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.