MESA Minor Requirements

2018 - 2019 Catalog

We have the following degrees:

Middle East and South Asia Studies with Language Emphasis minor

A minor in Middle East and South Asia studies with language emphasis requires the completion of seven courses (at least 21 credits). In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student must use at least nine credits not also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor. Students should regularly consult with the Program Director about course substitutions due to changes in departmental offerings, and courses taken abroad.

1. Gateway course: One course introducing the MESA area through comparative, broad-scale consideration of cultural processes, chosen from among the following: HIST 170, 171; MESA 195; REL 130, 283

2. Distribution: Three additional courses (at least nine credits) selected from the following, with at least one course from at least two of the following three areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the program director approves in advance:
a. Art History and Literature: ARTH 140, 141, 242, 243, 245, 246, 342, 343; LIT 273; REL 273, or, when appropriate, ARTH 295, LIT 180, 295 (on a MESA-related topic)
b. Other Humanities: REL 101, 102, 105, 106, 131, 132, 216, 231, 250, 260 (on a MESA-related topic), 284, 333, 335, 350, 381; or, when appropriate, HIST 195, 289; REL 195, 260 (on a MESA-related topic)
c. Social Sciences: ECON 246, POL 384, REL 220, 222, 246; or, when appropriate, ECON 276, 295, 395; POL 274, 396

3. Language: Three additional 3- or 4-credit courses earned by completing through term five in one MESA-relevant language. The first two terms of language study are not applicable to the minor:
a. Arabic: successful completion of ARAB 210 or 211 or its equivalent.
b. Sanskrit: successful completion of SKT 301 or its equivalent.
c. Other MESA-relevant languages (e.g., Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu, or potentially other languages) can be studied elsewhere (e.g., intensive language programs at other universities; language study abroad) and will be considered by the Program Director for credit towards the MESA with Language option.

The language component will conclude, as part of ARAB 211 or SKT 301, with a fifth-term project, in which each student will read sources in Arabic or Sanskrit, as well as relevant secondary literature, and write a paper which will include discussion of how the topic relates to the larger concerns of MESA studies. Those writing a fifth-term project paper will participate in the regular capstone workshops with capstone paper writers, and will give an oral presentation on their work.

  1. Gateway course:
  2. One course introducing the MESA area through comparative, broad-scale consideration of cultural processes, chosen from among the following:

    • HIST 170 - History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyBlecher

      This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.


    • HIST 171 - History of Islamic Civilization II: 1500 to the Present
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyBlecher

      This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.


    • MESA 195 - Gateway to Middle East and South Asia Studies
      FDRHU
      Credits3-4

      A gateway course introducing Middle East and South Asia studies through the lens of a special topic, issue, or problem relevant to the MESA region.


    • REL 130 - Us, Them, and God: Religion, Identity, and Interaction in the Middle East and South Asia
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyLubin

      This course surveys the historical and social dynamics that have contributed to the formation of religious identities in the Middle East and South Asia. These identities, shaped over many centuries by the rise, spread, and interaction of religious ideas, peoples, and institutions, become important factors in socio-political movements and conflicts. The course takes a long view of the historical roots of these religious identities, their shifting boundaries and significance in the era of European colonialism, and their role in the formation of post-colonial nations. Particular emphasis is placed on the cultural linkages between the various Middle Eastern and South Asian cultural spheres, and broader patterns of Identity-formation and cultural influence through forms of globalization, both modern and pre-modem


    • REL 283 - Sufism: Islamic Mysticism
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyAtanasova

      This course explores the mystical expressions and institutions known as Sufism within the Islamic community. Topics include the elaboration of Sufism from the core tenets of Islam; Sufi practices of ecstasy and discipline; the artistic and literary products of the Sufi experience; the institutions of Sufi orders, saints, shrines, and popular practices; and the debates among Muslims over the place of Sufism within the greater tradition of Islam.


  3. Distribution:
  4. Three additional courses (at least nine credits) selected from the following, with at least one course from at least two of the following three areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the program director approves in advance:

    • Art History and Literature:
      • ARTH 140 - Asian Art
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        A survey of artistic traditions from South (including the Himalayan region), East, and Southeast Asia from roughly the 1st to the 18th centuries CE. The course focuses on a wide range of media - including architecture, sculpture, painting, textiles, and book arts - that serve a spectrum of religious and secular functions. The broad temporal, geographic, and topical scope of this course is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of not only the greatest artistic achievements and movements in Asia, but also the historical and political contexts that gave rise to these extraordinary pieces of art.


      • ARTH 141 - Buddhist Art of South and Central Asia
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course investigates the multivalent world of Buddhist art from South and Central Asia, particularly areas that now fall within the modern-day boundaries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Tibet, and Nepal. We study the nascent forms of Buddhist imagery and its ritual functions from the Indo-Pak subcontinent, focus on monumental sculpture and cave architecture of Central Asia (Afghanistan and the Tarim Basin)and issues of iconoclasm, and study the art and iconography of the Himalayas, as well as current-day production and restoration practices of Tantric Buddhist art.


      • ARTH 242 - Arts of India
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course explores the artistic traditions of India from the earliest extant material evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization (circa 2500 BCE) to the elaborate painting and architectural traditions of the Mughal period (circa 16th - 18th centuries). The course analyzes the religious and ritual uses of temples, paintings, and sculptures, as well as their political role in expressing imperial ideologies.


      • ARTH 243 - Imaging Tibet
        FDRHA
        Credits4
        FacultyKerin

        An examination of images and imaging practices of the early 1900s to the present in order to define and analyze the ways in which both Western and Asian (particularly Tibetan and Chinese) artists have imagined Tibet and its people.


      • ARTH 245 - Ancient Cultures, New Markets: Modern and Contemporary Asian Art
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course examines the art movements of the last one hundred years from India, China, Tibet, and Japan primarily through the lenses of the larger sociopolitical movements that informed much of Asia's cultural discourses: Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. We also address debates concerning "non-Western" 20th-century art as peripheral to the main canons of Modern and Contemporary art. By the end of the course, students have created a complex picture of Asian art/artists, and have engaged broader concepts of transnationalism, as well as examined the roles of galleries, museums, and auction houses in establishing market value and biases in acquisition practices.


      • ARTH 246 - Questions of Ownership: Looting, Curating, and Destroying Cultural Heritage Objects
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        Cultural heritage objects are powerful artifacts to own, display, and even destroy. But why? This courses explores the ways art and cultural heritage objects have been stolen, laundered, purchased, curated, and destroyed in order to express political, religious, and cultural messages. Case studies and current events are equally studied to shed light on practices of looting and iconoclasm. Some of the questions we consider: What is the relationship between art and war? Under what conditions should museums repatriate art from its collections? What nationalist agendas are at work when cultural heritage objects are claimed by modem nation states or terrorist groups?


      • ARTH 342 - Love, Loyalty, and Lordship: Court Art of India, 1500s to1800s
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        During the 16th-19th centuries, India's Hindu and Islamic courts, as well as British imperial forces, vied for political authority and control over the subcontinent. Despite the political and economic volatility of the time, the regional courts commissioned spectacular secular and religious arts in the form of illustrated narratives, miniature paintings, and architectural masterpieces. This course focuses on this rich artistic heritage. As we analyze the courts' painted and built environments, we investigate three recurring themes: love (of court, God and, in some cases, an individual); loyalty (to courtly values, religious ideals, and ruler); and lordship (over land, animals, and people).


      • ARTH 343 - Art and Material Culture of Tibet
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        Through a chronological presentation of sites and objects, we study Tibet's great artistic movements from the 7th-20th centuries. Our analyses of the art and material culture of Tibet, and its larger cultural zone, has an art historical and historiographic focus. This two-pronged approach encourages students to analyze not only the styles and movements of Tibetan art, but the methods by which this art world has been studied by and simultaneously presented to Western audiences.


      • LIT 273 - Modern Jewish Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
        FacultyMarks

        Readings in the works of 20th-century Jewish authors, studied as literary responses to the historical and religious crises of modern Jewish life in Europe, the United States, and Israel. 


      • REL 273 - Modern Jewish Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirements
        FacultyMarks

        Readings in the works of 20th-century Jewish authors, studied as literary responses to the historical and religious crises of modern Jewish life in Europe, the United States, and Israel. 


      • or, when appropriate,
      • ARTH 295 - Special Topics in Art History
        FDRHA
        Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

        Selected topics in art history with written and oral reports. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, ARTH 295B-01: History of Islamic Art & Architecture (3). An introductory survey to the art and architecture of the Islamic world, from the founding of Islam in the 7th century to the present day. The course concentrates on selected moments and monuments in the central historic regions—the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, India, Turkey—and considers the relationship of the visual arts to the history, geography, and traditions of each region. The class includes a trip to the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. (HA) Gustafson.


      • LIT 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteFirst-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing. Completion of FW FDR requirement or this may vary with the topic

        First-year seminar.

        Winter 2019, LIT 180-01: First-Year Seminar: From Page and Stage to Celluloid: Carmen (4). Prerequsite: First-year class standing only. Bizet's opera, Carmen, based on the so-named novella by French author Mérimée, popularized the character of the fiery gypsy abroad more than in France. We trace her sisters in French, Spanish, and Russian literature, opera, and art, and her reincarnations in film, including Charlie Chaplin's A Burlesque on Carmen, Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones, Federico Rosi's filmed opera Carmen, J.-L. Godard's Prénom Carmen, Carlos Saura's Carmen. We study how the world stage, the artistic trends, the mores, and the concerns of the times shape and renew this enduring character and the men she beguiles. (HL) Frégnac-Clave.

        Fall 2018, LIT 180-02: FS: Living by the Code: Honor, Love, and War in the Literature of the High Middle Ages (3). First-year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only and completion of the FDR requirement in writing (FW). An exploration of notions of honor and honorable behavior in European aristocratic culture of the High Middle Ages, as represented in literary texts of the 11th and 12th centuries. Students chart the transformation in court literature of the Germanic and feudal warrior (Hildebrandslied, Song of Roland) into the chivalric knight (Arthurian romances), whose adventures are motivated by the quest for honor and the love for an ideal woman. We also study the ways in which warrior and courtly codes of conduct, the ethos of chivalry and courtly love, and conceptions of the feminine ideal were articulated, constructed, and critiqued. (HL) Prager.


      • LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation (on MESA-related topic)
        FDRHL
        Credits3-4
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

        A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2019, LIT 295-01: Literary Reflections on National Socialism (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. The literature of post World War II Germany that reflects on and attempts to come to terms with the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Readings, discussion, and writing in English. (HL). Crockett.

        Spring 2019, LIT 295-03: Topic: The African Child-Soldier (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. Who is a child? Who is a child-soldier? Did the child have a childhood in a home and family before becoming a soldier? What is childhood? How does the definition of childhood (legal or otherwise) jibe with the child's own perception or understanding of his/her place in society? Does s/he return home, and to a family after combat? Are home and family still the same? This course engages these and other questions as they relate to the representation of the child-soldier in African literary texts and in film. In so doing, we interrogate the larger question of agency, victimhood, and the human capacity to transcend adversity, focusing specifically on how the child (or child-soldier) negotiates the meandering road upon which s/he has been thrusted by people and circumstances, with no properly functioning compass. (HL) Kamara.

        Fall 2018, LIT 295B-01: Arabic Literature in Translation: The Arab Spring in Literature and Media (3). Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement. The year 2011 marked the moment in which demonstrations and sit-ins against tyranny erupted simultaneously throughout the Arab World. Revolutionaries, mostly under the age of 30, demanded freedom of speech, an end to corruption, and the establishment of democratic states. These uprisings, called The Arab Spring, left a strong footprint on Arabic literature and media. This course introduces students to political, social, and economic issues in the Arab World through different literary genres (such as novels and short stories, political satire, movies, music, poetry and social media) that reflect the aspirations, disappointments, and concerns of the Arabs before, during, and after the revolutions. (HL). Hala Abdelmobdy.

         


    • Other Humanities:
      • HIST 170 - History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBlecher

        This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.


      • HIST 171 - History of Islamic Civilization II: 1500 to the Present
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBlecher

        This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.


      • REL 101 - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyMarks

        An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).


      • REL 102 - New Testament
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBrown

        An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the New Testament.


      • REL 105 - Introduction to Islam
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyAtanasova

        This course familiarizes students with the foundations of the Islamic tradition and the diverse historical and geographical manifestations of belief and practice built upon those foundations. Throughout the course, the role of Islam in shaping cultural, social, gender, and political identities is explored. Readings are drawn from the writings of both historical and contemporary Muslim thinkers.


      • REL 106 - Judaism: Tradition and Modernity
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyMarks

        Through a variety of sources, including Talmudic debate, fiction, drama, liturgy, memoirs, film, and history, this course introduces the main concepts, literature, and practices of the classical forms of Judaism that began in the first centuries C.E., and then examines how Judaism has changed during the past two centuries, in modernist movements (Reform, Neo-Orthodoxy, Zionism) and contemporary fundamentalist movements (Ultra-Orthodoxy, messianic settler Zionism), as well as current ideas and issues.


      • REL 131 - Buddhism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        A survey of the historical development of the doctrines and practices of Buddhism. After a discussion of the Hindu origins of Buddhism, the course focuses on the development of the Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions. A class trip to at least one Buddhist center is included.


      • REL 132 - God and Goddess in Hinduism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.


      • REL 216 - Sainthood in Four Traditions
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        A survey of sainthood in a variety of religious contexts: Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist. The course asks: "What makes someone holy? How do saints behave? How and why are they worshipped?" Readings include sacred biographies (hagiographies), studies of particular traditions of saint worship, and interpretations of sainthood in both theological and cross-cultural perspectives.


      • REL 231 - Yogis, Monks, and Mystics in India
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Yogis, ascetics, and other holy people pursue extraordinary paths that invert the normal aims and values of society. This course surveys ideas on mental and physical training; their conceptual basis; the range of techniques used; and their philosophical development. Course material is drawn from a diverse range of religions that may include Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, and Christian. The course seeks to answer such questions as: "What is the purpose of these teachings and for whom were they designed?" "What roles do yogis and ascetics play in religious life?" and "What is their ethical status in the world?"


      • REL 250 - Truth, Belief, Dissent: Defining Insiders and Outsiders in Ancient, Medieval and Modern Religion
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteOpen to all students regardless of class year or major
        FacultyBrown

        Who decides what is orthodox [acceptable thought] and what is heretical [unacceptable], how are these decisions made, and what impact do they have on societal definitions of "insider" and "outsider?" What perennial questions emerge in debates about orthodoxy and heresy -- e.g., the powers of states to enforce religious orthodoxy, the joining of political ideologies with religious interests -- and how are those questions addressed in modernity? This course explores the shifting and perpetually uncertain boundaries of truth and identity in religion. The focal religion is Christianity, but comparative religions are in view. Readings include selections from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, "Gnostic gospels", and other so-called heretical texts, writings from the Church Fathers (with special attention to St. Augustine), medieval heresy trials, a contemporary American novel, and recent scholarly treatments of the boundaries that define "insiders" and "outsiders."


      • REL 333 - Meditation and Self-Knowledge
        FDRHU
        Credits4
        FacultyLubin

        For 2,500 years, Hindus and Buddhists have promoted meditation as a means to attain insight and liberation from suffering, a state sometimes understood in terms of divinity or Buddha-nature. Meditation has also been adopted by some in the West during the last century, often for psychological or physical benefits apart from any devotional context. What had traditionally been a practice of ordained monks was popularized in the West, a trend that then caught on in Asia as well. We look at the origins of meditative practices in Asian traditions using primary sources, social context, and personal experience of basic meditative techniques. The course concludes by noting that some contemporary neuroscientists are looking to meditation to better understand mind, brain, emotion, and cognition.


      • REL 335 - Hindu Law in Theory and Practice
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        India produced one of the oldest legal systems in the world — one that offers some surprising contrasts with modern assumptions about the nature and scope of the law. Combining ethical and ritual obligations alongside rules for criminal and civil litigation, it was intended to cover every aspect of life, from personal habits to political institutions. The course begins with the ancient codes, Indian political theory, and documents from everyday legal practice in medieval times. The second half of the course begins with colonial-era British attempts to codify Hindu law; Hindu personal law in modern India; and the controversy over religion and secularism in the courts today, including the constitutional definition of "Hindu;" attempts to legislate against disapproved religious practices; and disputes over sacred spaces. We close with comparisons with legal reasoning about religion in America, Israel, and England, based on court cases.


      • REL 350 - Seminar in Biblical Studies
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteREL 101, 102, 151 250, or course work in ancient history or classics, or instructor consent

        An exploration of a topic in Biblical studies, focusing on ancient texts and their interpreters from antiquity to the present. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

         


      • REL 381 - Islamic Law in Society
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyAtanasova

        This seminar introduces students to the Islamic understanding of shari'a ("Path," "law") and its role in Muslim culture, history, and society. To be examined are: the key sources of law in the Qur'an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of Islamic legal theories and institutions, the roles of these institutions in everyday life, and the struggle to re-imagine Islamic law and its place in contemporary Muslim communities. Case studies include the nature of political institutions, the rights and roles of women, and Islamic economics, courtroom procedure and the standing of shari'a in American courts.


      • or, when appropriate,
      • HIST 195 - Topics in History for First-years and Sophomores
        FDRHU
        Credits3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring
        PrerequisiteVaries with topic

        Selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, HIST 195A-01: Muhammad: the Prophet of Islam throughout History (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. Other students may register for HIST 289A. To Muslims, Muhammad is a prophetic figure whose model life is to be emulated; to non-Muslims, a controversial figure that has stirred the imagination for centuries. Through an analysis of the earliest non-Muslim sources on Muhammad, to insider Muslim narratives of his miraculous life, to contemporary controversies about visual depictions of Muhammad -- even bans on celebrations of his birthday -- this course challenges common misconceptions about Muhammad as a historical and a religious figure, while fostering critical historical literacy and familiarity with theoretical questions in the study of religion. (HU) Atanasova.


      • HIST 289 - Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History
        FDRHU
        Credits3 in fall or winter; 4 in spring

        A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in Asian or African history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, HIST 289A-01: Muhammad: the Prophet of Islam throughout History (3). Prerequisite: Sophomore, junior, or senior class standing only. First-years may register for HIST 195A. To Muslims, Muhammad is a prophetic figure whose model life is to be emulated; to non-Muslims, a controversial figure that has stirred the imagination for centuries. Through an analysis of the earliest non-Muslim sources on Muhammad, to insider Muslim narratives of his miraculous life, to contemporary controversies about visual depictions of Muhammad -- even bans on celebrations of his birthday -- this course challenges common misconceptions about Muhammad as a historical and a religious figure, while fostering critical historical literacy and familiarity with theoretical questions in the study of religion. Students conduct independent research as part of this course. (HU) Atanasova.

         


      • REL 195 - Special Topics in Religion
        FDRHU
        Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring

        A course offered from time to time in a selected problem or topic in religion. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • REL 260 - Seminar in the Christian Tradition (on MESA-related topic)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        An introduction to perduring issues in Christian theology and ethics through study of one or more of the classical Christian theologians.

         


    • Social Sciences:
      • ECON 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultySilwal, Lubin

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.


      • POL 384 - Seminar on Middle Eastern Politics
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 105 or instructor consent
        FacultyCantey

        This course examines contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Topics include the role of colonial legacies in state formation, the region's democratic deficit, nationalism, sectarianism, and the influence of religion in politics. We explore inter- and intrastate conflict, including the use of terrorism, economic development and underdevelopment, and the recent Arab uprisings (commonly referred to as the Arab Spring). Throughout, we consider why the Middle East attracts as much attention from policymakers and scholars as it does, how analysts have studied the region across time and space, and why understanding different cultural perspectives is critical to understanding the region.


      • REL 220 - Whose Law? Pluralism. Conflict, and Justice
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Society is made up of schools, corporations, religions, guilds, associations, tribes, etc., each defined by a set of more-or-less formal rules that apply in various ways depending on the status of each member. Individuals are thus subject to overlapping obligations and claims, so authorities often come into conflict. This is legal pluralism. This seminar explores the various ways in which such interactions can play out in a range of social, religious, and political environments, and how they can affect people of different statuses differently. Examples range from the Roman empire, the Middle East and South Asia, past and present, to the modern United States and Europe. In each case, we examine the ways in which legal status is defined in relation to the state, religious community, ethnicity or race, and social class. Given different, overlapping, conflicting claims to authority, rights, and obligations, how is justice to be defined, and how can it be served?


      • REL 222 - Law and Religion
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Drawing on examples from diverse periods and legal cultures, this seminar addresses "law" and "religion" as two realms of life that have much shared history and continue to intersect in the modern world. Several important topics in comparative law and jurisprudence are covered, including authority and legitimacy, the relation between custom and statute, legal pluralism, church-state relations, and competing models of constitutional secularism. A selective survey of legal systems and practices rooted in particular religious traditions is followed by an examination of how secular legal systems conceptualize religion and balance the protection of religious freedom with their standards of equity and neutrality.


      • REL 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultyLubin, Silwal

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students. 


      • or, when appropriate,
      • ECON 276 - Health Economics in Developing Countries
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years
        FacultyBlunch

        A survey of the major issues of health economics. with a focus on developing countries (although the issues are also relevant for developed countries, including the U.S. Economic modeling of health-related issues, supply and demand of health, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, health goals, and policy alternatives. Economic epidemiology, including HIV/AIDS. Selected case studies. Group project, where the group selects a developing country for which a policy proposal is then developed for a health-related policy issue of the group's choice.


      • ECON 295 - Special Topics in Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteNormally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102 but may vary with topic. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years

        Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295A-01: The Economy of Brazil (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 101. This course examines economic development in Brazil, with the purpose of identifying the factors that have prevented Brazil from developing the type of economy and standard of living level associated with a North American or European country. Recommendations are made for future policy directions, and implications for other emerging economy countries are examined. The class has three distinct phases. In the first phase, we have four hours of lectures per week. Following this, there is a weekend workshop with distinguished speakers. After the workshop, the research phase of the class begins, with students responsible for contributing to a white paper on the topic of the course. During the research phase, there will be weekly class meeting to discuss progress. Kahn.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295B-01: The Economics of Poverty and Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100. Household food insecurity has many determinants including socio-economic status, time, the food environment, education, and culture. This course explores the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity and, as necessary, cover micro-economic theory and econometric concepts to understand the literature. Periodically, we work in the computer lab using publicly available datasets and Stata to gain tangible coding and data-management skills. Students learn to appreciate economics as a larger discipline, which will assist you in viewing and understanding the world around you. Scharadin.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295B-02: The Economics of Poverty and Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100. Household food insecurity has many determinants including socio-economic status, time, the food environment, education, and culture. This course explores the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity and, as necessary, cover micro-economic theory and econometric concepts to understand the literature. Periodically, we work in the computer lab using publicly available datasets and Stata to gain tangible coding and data-management skills. Students learn to appreciate economics as a larger discipline, which will assist you in viewing and understanding the world around you. Scharadin.

        Spring 2019, ECON 295-02: Land in O'odham Culture Economics and History (4). A seminar on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the O'odham Indians' ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. Students address three major themes: 1) O'odham land and cosmology; 2) land and economy in O'odham history; and 3) contemporary cultural and economic issues among O'odham peoples. The class spends 8 days in the Sonoran Desert region of Southern Arizona to visit sites and meet with speakers in and around the Tohono O'odham Nation. Guse and Markowitz.

        Fall 2018, ECON 295A-01: The Economics of Race (3). Prerequisite: Normally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years. A critical examination of the causes and consequences of racial disparities in valued life-course outcomes in America. More than 50 years have passed since the passage of civil-rights and equal-employment-opportunity legislation in the U.S. Nevertheless, racial gaps persist - with blacks lagging whites - on most socioeconomic indicators. The course is divided into four parts: (1) an introduction to the biological and social construction of race; (2) theories to explain racial disparities; (3) an examination of racial disparity in such realms as education, health, wealth, wages, and unemployment; and (4) policies to address racial disparities. In each section of the course, students explore relevant issues through assigned readings, films, and classroom discussion. The course fosters the development and use of critical thinking, effective writing, and oral presentation skills. Student evaluation is based on classroom participation, an examination of concepts discussed, film commentaries, and a term paper. Goldsmith.


      • ECON 395 - Special Topics in Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 203 or varies with topic

        Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and will be announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395A-01: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time-series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. We cover various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time-series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395A-02: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time-series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. We cover various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time-series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395B-01: Advanced Topics in the Economics of Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An exploration of the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity. Using this multidisciplinary approach, we will conduct a detailed investigation of the four main contributors to food insecurity; inadequate income, inadequate time, inadequate food environment, and inadequate nutrition education. Within each unit, we discuss the societal occurrence, characterize formal econometric models, and use publicly available data with Stata to address a simple research question on the current topic. In addition to gaining a greater appreciation for how economics is applied, students gain a better understanding of econometric and data management tools, while working with food insecurity topics. The course utilizes a service learning component in order to connect in class topics with real world situations. Scharadin.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395C-01: International Public Health (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. A survey of the major issues of public health, with case studies from across the world. These include water and sanitation, vaccinations, contraceptive use, obesity, child work and health outcomes, quality of medical care and provider choice, and HIV-AIDS. Students continue explorations of regression models, building on the material from ECON 203, using a hands-on approach. The course emphasizes understanding of the use and analysis of data and student-directed research using policy-relevant applications related to public health. Blunch.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395A-01: Culture and Development (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An examination of empirical evidence on key features of development across a wide range of countries.  Economists have long been interested in understanding the sources of (under) development. Topics include labor coercion, corruption, health, education, and many more. As reliable micro-level data has become increasingly available from developing countries, our understanding of the process of development has evolved accordingly. Students gain familiarity with those datasets and the recent empirical papers utilizing them. While our approach is grounded in economic theory and empirical findings, one of our goals is to contextualize economic development. That is, development or under-development does not happen in vacuum. The roots of economic well-being of a country can be traced to its history, culture, and geography. The course, therefore, combines topics from economics of culture as it relates to development economics. Silwal.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395A-02: Culture and Development (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An examination of empirical evidence on key features of development across a wide range of countries.  Economists have long been interested in understanding the sources of (under) development. Topics include labor coercion, corruption, health, education, and many more. As reliable micro-level data has become increasingly available from developing countries, our understanding of the process of development has evolved accordingly. Students gain familiarity with those datasets and the recent empirical papers utilizing them. While our approach is grounded in economic theory and empirical findings, one of our goals is to contextualize economic development. That is, development or under-development does not happen in vacuum. The roots of economic well-being of a country can be traced to its history, culture, and geography. The course, therefore, combines topics from economics of culture as it relates to development economics. Silwal.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395B-01: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. The seminar covers various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395C-01: Environmental Valuation (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. This course is designed to give students an advanced knowledge of environmental valuation techniques. Both theoretical models and empirical work are discussed. Valuation methodologies covered include travel cost models, hedonic wage and price models, contingent valuation, choice modeling, and benefits transfer. Students have empirical assignments. Kahn.


      • POL 274 - Terrorism
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        FacultyCantey

        The principal goal of this course is to help students understand the complexities of contemporary terrorism. We discuss definitional issues, the historical roots of modern terrorism, and various micro- and macro-explanations for this form of violence. We also investigate the life cycles of terrorist groups: How do they emerge? What kinds of organizational challenges do they face? How do they end? Other topics include leaderless movements (e.g., "lone wolves") and state sponsorship. Throughout the course, students observe that terrorism is not a phenomenon unique to one class of people. The course ends with three weeks focused on a certain kind of terrorism which some have called violent Islamic extremism.


      • POL 396 - Seminar in Political Philosophy
        FDRSS2
        Credits3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring
        PrerequisitePOL 111 or instructor consent

        An examination of selected questions and problems in political philosophy and/or political theory. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

         


  5. Language:
  6. Three additional 3- or 4-credit courses earned by completing through term five in one MESA-relevant language. The first two terms of language study are not applicable to the minor:
        a.    Arabic: successful completion of ARAB 210or ARAB 211 or its equivalent.
        b.    Sanskrit: successful completion of SKT 301 or its equivalent.
        c.    Other MESA-relevant languages (e.g., Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu, or potentially other languages) can be studied elsewhere (e.g., intensive language programs at other universities; language study abroad) and will be considered by the Program Director for credit towards the MESA with Language option.

    The language component will conclude, as part of ARAB 211 or SKT 301, with a fifth-term project, in which each student will read sources in Arabic or Sanskrit, as well as relevant secondary literature, and write a paper which will include discussion of how the topic relates to the larger concerns of MESA studies. Those writing a fifth-term project paper will participate in the regular capstone workshops with capstone paper writers, and will give an oral presentation on their work.

Middle East and South Asia Studies without Language minor

A minor in Middle East and South Asia studies without language requires the completion of seven courses (at least 21 credits). In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student must use at least nine credits not also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor. No more than two language courses can count toward this minor. Students should regularly consult with the Program Director about course substitutions due to changes in departmental offerings, and courses taken abroad.

1. Gateway course: One course introducing the MESA area through comparative, broad-scale consideration of cultural processes, chosen from among the following: HIST 170, 171; MESA 195; REL 130, 283

2. Distribution: 3 additional courses (9-11 credits) selected from the following, with at least one course from at least two of the following three areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the program director approves in advance:

a. Art History and Literature: ARTH 140, 141, 242, 243, 245, 246, 342, 343; LIT 273; REL 273, or, when appropriate, ARTH 295; LIT 180, 295 (on a MESA-related topic)
b. Other Humanities (no more than two of which can be ARAB or SKT): ARAB 111, 112, 161, 162, 210, 211, 212, 395; HIST 170, 171; REL 101, 102, 105, 106, 130, 131, 132, 216, 231, 250, 283, 284, 333, 335, 350, 381; SKT 101, 102, 201, 202, 301; or, when appropriate, HIST 195, 289; REL 195, 260 (on a MESA-related topic)
c. Social Sciences: ECON 246, POL 384, REL 220, 222, 246; or, when appropriate, ECON 276, 295, 395; POL 274, 396

3. Further Courses: Two additional 3- or 4-credit courses from MESA course offerings.

4. Capstone Experience: MESA 393, taken after the completion of all other requirements, culminates in a major research paper on a topic proposed by the student and approved by the Program Director and supervising faculty adviser.

  1. Gateway course:
  2. One course introducing the MESA area through comparative, broad-scale consideration of cultural processes, chosen from among the following:

    • HIST 170 - History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyBlecher

      This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.


    • HIST 171 - History of Islamic Civilization II: 1500 to the Present
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyBlecher

      This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.


    • MESA 195 - Gateway to Middle East and South Asia Studies
      FDRHU
      Credits3-4

      A gateway course introducing Middle East and South Asia studies through the lens of a special topic, issue, or problem relevant to the MESA region.


    • REL 130 - Us, Them, and God: Religion, Identity, and Interaction in the Middle East and South Asia
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyLubin

      This course surveys the historical and social dynamics that have contributed to the formation of religious identities in the Middle East and South Asia. These identities, shaped over many centuries by the rise, spread, and interaction of religious ideas, peoples, and institutions, become important factors in socio-political movements and conflicts. The course takes a long view of the historical roots of these religious identities, their shifting boundaries and significance in the era of European colonialism, and their role in the formation of post-colonial nations. Particular emphasis is placed on the cultural linkages between the various Middle Eastern and South Asian cultural spheres, and broader patterns of Identity-formation and cultural influence through forms of globalization, both modern and pre-modem


    • REL 283 - Sufism: Islamic Mysticism
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyAtanasova

      This course explores the mystical expressions and institutions known as Sufism within the Islamic community. Topics include the elaboration of Sufism from the core tenets of Islam; Sufi practices of ecstasy and discipline; the artistic and literary products of the Sufi experience; the institutions of Sufi orders, saints, shrines, and popular practices; and the debates among Muslims over the place of Sufism within the greater tradition of Islam.


  3. Distribution:
  4. 3 additional courses (9-11 credits) selected from the following, with at least one course from at least two of the following three areas. Additional courses may be used when the topic is relevant and the program director approves in advance:

    • Art History and Literature:
      • ARTH 140 - Asian Art
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        A survey of artistic traditions from South (including the Himalayan region), East, and Southeast Asia from roughly the 1st to the 18th centuries CE. The course focuses on a wide range of media - including architecture, sculpture, painting, textiles, and book arts - that serve a spectrum of religious and secular functions. The broad temporal, geographic, and topical scope of this course is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of not only the greatest artistic achievements and movements in Asia, but also the historical and political contexts that gave rise to these extraordinary pieces of art.


      • ARTH 141 - Buddhist Art of South and Central Asia
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course investigates the multivalent world of Buddhist art from South and Central Asia, particularly areas that now fall within the modern-day boundaries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Tibet, and Nepal. We study the nascent forms of Buddhist imagery and its ritual functions from the Indo-Pak subcontinent, focus on monumental sculpture and cave architecture of Central Asia (Afghanistan and the Tarim Basin)and issues of iconoclasm, and study the art and iconography of the Himalayas, as well as current-day production and restoration practices of Tantric Buddhist art.


      • ARTH 242 - Arts of India
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course explores the artistic traditions of India from the earliest extant material evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization (circa 2500 BCE) to the elaborate painting and architectural traditions of the Mughal period (circa 16th - 18th centuries). The course analyzes the religious and ritual uses of temples, paintings, and sculptures, as well as their political role in expressing imperial ideologies.


      • ARTH 243 - Imaging Tibet
        FDRHA
        Credits4
        FacultyKerin

        An examination of images and imaging practices of the early 1900s to the present in order to define and analyze the ways in which both Western and Asian (particularly Tibetan and Chinese) artists have imagined Tibet and its people.


      • ARTH 245 - Ancient Cultures, New Markets: Modern and Contemporary Asian Art
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        This course examines the art movements of the last one hundred years from India, China, Tibet, and Japan primarily through the lenses of the larger sociopolitical movements that informed much of Asia's cultural discourses: Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. We also address debates concerning "non-Western" 20th-century art as peripheral to the main canons of Modern and Contemporary art. By the end of the course, students have created a complex picture of Asian art/artists, and have engaged broader concepts of transnationalism, as well as examined the roles of galleries, museums, and auction houses in establishing market value and biases in acquisition practices.


      • ARTH 246 - Questions of Ownership: Looting, Curating, and Destroying Cultural Heritage Objects
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        Cultural heritage objects are powerful artifacts to own, display, and even destroy. But why? This courses explores the ways art and cultural heritage objects have been stolen, laundered, purchased, curated, and destroyed in order to express political, religious, and cultural messages. Case studies and current events are equally studied to shed light on practices of looting and iconoclasm. Some of the questions we consider: What is the relationship between art and war? Under what conditions should museums repatriate art from its collections? What nationalist agendas are at work when cultural heritage objects are claimed by modem nation states or terrorist groups?


      • ARTH 342 - Love, Loyalty, and Lordship: Court Art of India, 1500s to1800s
        FDRHA
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        During the 16th-19th centuries, India's Hindu and Islamic courts, as well as British imperial forces, vied for political authority and control over the subcontinent. Despite the political and economic volatility of the time, the regional courts commissioned spectacular secular and religious arts in the form of illustrated narratives, miniature paintings, and architectural masterpieces. This course focuses on this rich artistic heritage. As we analyze the courts' painted and built environments, we investigate three recurring themes: love (of court, God and, in some cases, an individual); loyalty (to courtly values, religious ideals, and ruler); and lordship (over land, animals, and people).


      • ARTH 343 - Art and Material Culture of Tibet
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyKerin

        Through a chronological presentation of sites and objects, we study Tibet's great artistic movements from the 7th-20th centuries. Our analyses of the art and material culture of Tibet, and its larger cultural zone, has an art historical and historiographic focus. This two-pronged approach encourages students to analyze not only the styles and movements of Tibetan art, but the methods by which this art world has been studied by and simultaneously presented to Western audiences.


      • LIT 273 - Modern Jewish Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
        FacultyMarks

        Readings in the works of 20th-century Jewish authors, studied as literary responses to the historical and religious crises of modern Jewish life in Europe, the United States, and Israel. 


      • REL 273 - Modern Jewish Literature in Translation
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirements
        FacultyMarks

        Readings in the works of 20th-century Jewish authors, studied as literary responses to the historical and religious crises of modern Jewish life in Europe, the United States, and Israel. 


      • or, when appropriate,
      • ARTH 295 - Special Topics in Art History
        FDRHA
        Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

        Selected topics in art history with written and oral reports. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, ARTH 295B-01: History of Islamic Art & Architecture (3). An introductory survey to the art and architecture of the Islamic world, from the founding of Islam in the 7th century to the present day. The course concentrates on selected moments and monuments in the central historic regions—the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, India, Turkey—and considers the relationship of the visual arts to the history, geography, and traditions of each region. The class includes a trip to the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. (HA) Gustafson.

         


      • LIT 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
        FDRHL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteFirst-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing. Completion of FW FDR requirement or this may vary with the topic

        First-year seminar.

        Winter 2019, LIT 180-01: First-Year Seminar: From Page and Stage to Celluloid: Carmen (4). Prerequsite: First-year class standing only. Bizet's opera, Carmen, based on the so-named novella by French author Mérimée, popularized the character of the fiery gypsy abroad more than in France. We trace her sisters in French, Spanish, and Russian literature, opera, and art, and her reincarnations in film, including Charlie Chaplin's A Burlesque on Carmen, Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones, Federico Rosi's filmed opera Carmen, J.-L. Godard's Prénom Carmen, Carlos Saura's Carmen. We study how the world stage, the artistic trends, the mores, and the concerns of the times shape and renew this enduring character and the men she beguiles. (HL) Frégnac-Clave.

        Fall 2018, LIT 180-02: FS: Living by the Code: Honor, Love, and War in the Literature of the High Middle Ages (3). First-year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only and completion of the FDR requirement in writing (FW). An exploration of notions of honor and honorable behavior in European aristocratic culture of the High Middle Ages, as represented in literary texts of the 11th and 12th centuries. Students chart the transformation in court literature of the Germanic and feudal warrior (Hildebrandslied, Song of Roland) into the chivalric knight (Arthurian romances), whose adventures are motivated by the quest for honor and the love for an ideal woman. We also study the ways in which warrior and courtly codes of conduct, the ethos of chivalry and courtly love, and conceptions of the feminine ideal were articulated, constructed, and critiqued. (HL) Prager.


      • LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation (on a MESA-related topic)
        FDRHL
        Credits3-4
        PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement

        A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Spring 2019, LIT 295-01: Literary Reflections on National Socialism (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. The literature of post World War II Germany that reflects on and attempts to come to terms with the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Readings, discussion, and writing in English. (HL). Crockett.

        Spring 2019, LIT 295-03: Topic: The African Child-Soldier (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR FW requirement. Who is a child? Who is a child-soldier? Did the child have a childhood in a home and family before becoming a soldier? What is childhood? How does the definition of childhood (legal or otherwise) jibe with the child's own perception or understanding of his/her place in society? Does s/he return home, and to a family after combat? Are home and family still the same? This course engages these and other questions as they relate to the representation of the child-soldier in African literary texts and in film. In so doing, we interrogate the larger question of agency, victimhood, and the human capacity to transcend adversity, focusing specifically on how the child (or child-soldier) negotiates the meandering road upon which s/he has been thrusted by people and circumstances, with no properly functioning compass. (HL) Kamara.

        Fall 2018, LIT 295B-01: Arabic Literature in Translation: The Arab Spring in Literature and Media (3). Prerequisites: Completion of FW requirement. The year 2011 marked the moment in which demonstrations and sit-ins against tyranny erupted simultaneously throughout the Arab World. Revolutionaries, mostly under the age of 30, demanded freedom of speech, an end to corruption, and the establishment of democratic states. These uprisings, called The Arab Spring, left a strong footprint on Arabic literature and media. This course introduces students to political, social, and economic issues in the Arab World through different literary genres (such as novels and short stories, political satire, movies, music, poetry and social media) that reflect the aspirations, disappointments, and concerns of the Arabs before, during, and after the revolutions. (HL). Hala Abdelmobdy.

         


    • Other Humanities (no more than two of which can be ARAB or SKT):
      • ARAB 111 - First-Year Arabic I
        Credits4
        FacultyEdwards

        An introductory course in written and spoken Arabic, focusing on basic grammar and speaking. Aspects of Arab culture introduced.


      • ARAB 112 - First-Year Arabic II
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteGrade of C-minus or higher in ARAB 111 or equivalent
        FacultyEdwards

        This course builds communicative skills in written and spoken Arabic, emphasizing foundational grammar and speaking. Continued introduction to cultural practices of the Arab world.


      • ARAB 161 - Second-Year Arabic I
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteGrade of C or higher in ARAB 112, 151, or the equivalent
        FacultyEdwards

        Building on basic grammar and vocabulary knowledge, this course emphasizes speaking and writing, as well as listening comprehension and reading. Students introduced with popular Arab culture.


      • ARAB 162 - Second-Year Arabic II
        FDRFL
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteGrade of C or higher in ARAB 161 or the equivalent. Students with credit in ARAB 164 may not receive subsequent credit in a lower numbered Arabic course. Students may not receive degree credit for both ARAB 162 and 164
        FacultyEdwards

        A continuation of Second-Year Arabic focused on speaking and writing, in addition to listening comprehension and reading. Increased familiarization with popular Arab culture.


      • ARAB 210 - Media Arabic
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteARAB 162 or equivalent language skill
        FacultyEdwards

        A language-focused course that provides students with vocabulary and discourse structures common in today's Arabic media coverage. Weekly topics are culled from various news outlets (e.g., Al-Jazeera, AJ-Arabiyya, BBC Arabic, YouTube, AJ-Ahram, An-Nahar, AI-Dustour) which serve to familiarize students with a broad range of current sociopolitical, economic, and cultural issues.


      • ARAB 211 - Third-Year Arabic I
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteARAB 162, 164, or equivalent
        FacultyEdwards

        This course expands on grammar concepts and vocabulary knowledge with practical applications of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Social and political aspects of Arab culture are introduced.


      • ARAB 212 - Third-Year Arabic II
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteARAB 211 or the equivalent
        FacultyEdwards

        A continuation of third-year Arabic reinforces grammar and vocabulary through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Continued emphasis on social norms and political dimensions of Arab culture.


      • ARAB 395 - Special Topics in Arabic Literature and Culture
        Credits1-3
        PrerequisiteGrade of C or higher in ARAB 211 or instructor consent. Conducted in Arabic

        An advanced seminar on a particular author, period, or genre. Topics may include Arab Short Stories, Classical Arabic Poetry, Travelogues in Arabic Literature, Arabic Pop Culture and Music, and Arabic Media. The subject changes annually. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Winter 2019, ARAB 395A-01: Special Topics in Arab Literature and Culture: Arabic Music and Politics (3). Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in ARAB 211 or instructor consent. Conducted in Arabic. This introduction to music from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) explores the role of music and the performed, spoken word as an instrument of social and political change in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Students listen to songs written in all registers of Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and the various dialects) and read selected literary pieces, editorials, and news reports. Abdelmonem.


      • HIST 170 - History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBlecher

        This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.


      • HIST 171 - History of Islamic Civilization II: 1500 to the Present
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBlecher

        This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.


      • REL 101 - Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyMarks

        An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).


      • REL 102 - New Testament
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyBrown

        An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the New Testament.


      • REL 105 - Introduction to Islam
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyAtanasova

        This course familiarizes students with the foundations of the Islamic tradition and the diverse historical and geographical manifestations of belief and practice built upon those foundations. Throughout the course, the role of Islam in shaping cultural, social, gender, and political identities is explored. Readings are drawn from the writings of both historical and contemporary Muslim thinkers.


      • REL 106 - Judaism: Tradition and Modernity
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyMarks

        Through a variety of sources, including Talmudic debate, fiction, drama, liturgy, memoirs, film, and history, this course introduces the main concepts, literature, and practices of the classical forms of Judaism that began in the first centuries C.E., and then examines how Judaism has changed during the past two centuries, in modernist movements (Reform, Neo-Orthodoxy, Zionism) and contemporary fundamentalist movements (Ultra-Orthodoxy, messianic settler Zionism), as well as current ideas and issues.


      • REL 130 - Us, Them, and God: Religion, Identity, and Interaction in the Middle East and South Asia
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        This course surveys the historical and social dynamics that have contributed to the formation of religious identities in the Middle East and South Asia. These identities, shaped over many centuries by the rise, spread, and interaction of religious ideas, peoples, and institutions, become important factors in socio-political movements and conflicts. The course takes a long view of the historical roots of these religious identities, their shifting boundaries and significance in the era of European colonialism, and their role in the formation of post-colonial nations. Particular emphasis is placed on the cultural linkages between the various Middle Eastern and South Asian cultural spheres, and broader patterns of Identity-formation and cultural influence through forms of globalization, both modern and pre-modem


      • REL 131 - Buddhism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        A survey of the historical development of the doctrines and practices of Buddhism. After a discussion of the Hindu origins of Buddhism, the course focuses on the development of the Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions. A class trip to at least one Buddhist center is included.


      • REL 132 - God and Goddess in Hinduism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.


      • REL 216 - Sainthood in Four Traditions
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        A survey of sainthood in a variety of religious contexts: Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist. The course asks: "What makes someone holy? How do saints behave? How and why are they worshipped?" Readings include sacred biographies (hagiographies), studies of particular traditions of saint worship, and interpretations of sainthood in both theological and cross-cultural perspectives.


      • REL 231 - Yogis, Monks, and Mystics in India
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Yogis, ascetics, and other holy people pursue extraordinary paths that invert the normal aims and values of society. This course surveys ideas on mental and physical training; their conceptual basis; the range of techniques used; and their philosophical development. Course material is drawn from a diverse range of religions that may include Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, and Christian. The course seeks to answer such questions as: "What is the purpose of these teachings and for whom were they designed?" "What roles do yogis and ascetics play in religious life?" and "What is their ethical status in the world?"


      • REL 250 - Truth, Belief, Dissent: Defining Insiders and Outsiders in Ancient, Medieval and Modern Religion
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteOpen to all students regardless of class year or major
        FacultyBrown

        Who decides what is orthodox [acceptable thought] and what is heretical [unacceptable], how are these decisions made, and what impact do they have on societal definitions of "insider" and "outsider?" What perennial questions emerge in debates about orthodoxy and heresy -- e.g., the powers of states to enforce religious orthodoxy, the joining of political ideologies with religious interests -- and how are those questions addressed in modernity? This course explores the shifting and perpetually uncertain boundaries of truth and identity in religion. The focal religion is Christianity, but comparative religions are in view. Readings include selections from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, "Gnostic gospels", and other so-called heretical texts, writings from the Church Fathers (with special attention to St. Augustine), medieval heresy trials, a contemporary American novel, and recent scholarly treatments of the boundaries that define "insiders" and "outsiders."


      • REL 283 - Sufism: Islamic Mysticism
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyAtanasova

        This course explores the mystical expressions and institutions known as Sufism within the Islamic community. Topics include the elaboration of Sufism from the core tenets of Islam; Sufi practices of ecstasy and discipline; the artistic and literary products of the Sufi experience; the institutions of Sufi orders, saints, shrines, and popular practices; and the debates among Muslims over the place of Sufism within the greater tradition of Islam.


      • REL 284 - Gender, Sexuality, and Islam
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyAtanasova

        How have issues of gender and sexuality in Medieval and Modern Islamic societies been debated across the Middle East, South Asia, and the West? Students examine scholarly and public discussions of gender and Islam, and they build a vocabulary in which to talk about women. queer, and intersex history as they concern Muslim societies and their foundational sources in their regional and historical contexts. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.


      • REL 333 - Meditation and Self-Knowledge
        FDRHU
        Credits4
        FacultyLubin

        For 2,500 years, Hindus and Buddhists have promoted meditation as a means to attain insight and liberation from suffering, a state sometimes understood in terms of divinity or Buddha-nature. Meditation has also been adopted by some in the West during the last century, often for psychological or physical benefits apart from any devotional context. What had traditionally been a practice of ordained monks was popularized in the West, a trend that then caught on in Asia as well. We look at the origins of meditative practices in Asian traditions using primary sources, social context, and personal experience of basic meditative techniques. The course concludes by noting that some contemporary neuroscientists are looking to meditation to better understand mind, brain, emotion, and cognition.


      • REL 335 - Hindu Law in Theory and Practice
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        India produced one of the oldest legal systems in the world — one that offers some surprising contrasts with modern assumptions about the nature and scope of the law. Combining ethical and ritual obligations alongside rules for criminal and civil litigation, it was intended to cover every aspect of life, from personal habits to political institutions. The course begins with the ancient codes, Indian political theory, and documents from everyday legal practice in medieval times. The second half of the course begins with colonial-era British attempts to codify Hindu law; Hindu personal law in modern India; and the controversy over religion and secularism in the courts today, including the constitutional definition of "Hindu;" attempts to legislate against disapproved religious practices; and disputes over sacred spaces. We close with comparisons with legal reasoning about religion in America, Israel, and England, based on court cases.


      • REL 350 - Seminar in Biblical Studies
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteREL 101, 102, 151 250, or course work in ancient history or classics, or instructor consent

        An exploration of a topic in Biblical studies, focusing on ancient texts and their interpreters from antiquity to the present. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

         


      • REL 381 - Islamic Law in Society
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyAtanasova

        This seminar introduces students to the Islamic understanding of shari'a ("Path," "law") and its role in Muslim culture, history, and society. To be examined are: the key sources of law in the Qur'an and the model of the Prophet Muhammad, the early development of Islamic legal theories and institutions, the roles of these institutions in everyday life, and the struggle to re-imagine Islamic law and its place in contemporary Muslim communities. Case studies include the nature of political institutions, the rights and roles of women, and Islamic economics, courtroom procedure and the standing of shari'a in American courts.


      • SKT 101 - Elementary Sanskrit I
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyLubin

        Sanskrit, sister to Greek and Latin and aunt to most of the languages of Europe, was used to compose most Hindu and Buddhist sacred texts. and much other literature of India, including the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, lyric poetry, drama, fables, works on yoga and meditation, poetics, logic, political theory, law (Dharma), the exact sciences, and the erotic arts. The discovery by Western scholars of the remarkably systematic ancient grammar of Panini (around 400 BCE) led to the development of the modern science of linguistics. This elementary course presents the basic grammar of the language over the course of the year. From the very first day, students begin reading texts and using simple spoken Sanskrit. We also discuss the role of Sanskrit in religious history and in Indian and Nepali society up to the present. Meeting times are arranged.


      • SKT 102 - Elementary Sanskrit II
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and SKT 101 or equivalent
        FacultyLubin

        Continuation of SKT 101. Meeting times are arranged.


      • SKT 201 - Intermediate Sanskrit I
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and SKT 102 or equivalent
        FacultyLubin

        An integrative review of grammar, focusing on syntax and idiomatic usage, and put into practice in reading and oral textual analysis using the traditional method for glossing and analyzing compounds. Readings are drawn from Lanman's Reader and other passages in prose and verse. Meeting times are arranged.


      • SKT 202 - Intermediate Sanskrit II
        FDRFL
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and SKT 201 or equivalent
        FacultyLubin

        Continuation of SKT 201. Meeting times are arranged.


      • SKT 301 - Advanced Readings in Sanskrit
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and SKT 202 or equivalent
        FacultyLubin

        Readings are selected to match the skills and (where possible) interests of the student. The course presents the readings in the context of their social, historical, and intellectual situation, the conventions of the genre, and their impact on the tradition to which they belong. Texts are read with traditional commentary, where it is available. A portion of each term is given over to reading texts from manuscript or inscription to give the student an understanding of the philological problems posed by the material form of the text, of variant readings, and the constitution of printed texts. Grammar and syntax are reviewed as needed. May be repeated for degree credit when readings are different. Meeting times are arranged.


      • or, when appropriate,
      • HIST 195 - Topics in History for First-years and Sophomores
        FDRHU
        Credits3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring
        PrerequisiteVaries with topic

        Selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, HIST 195A-01: Muhammad: the Prophet of Islam throughout History (3). Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. Other students may register for HIST 289A. To Muslims, Muhammad is a prophetic figure whose model life is to be emulated; to non-Muslims, a controversial figure that has stirred the imagination for centuries. Through an analysis of the earliest non-Muslim sources on Muhammad, to insider Muslim narratives of his miraculous life, to contemporary controversies about visual depictions of Muhammad -- even bans on celebrations of his birthday -- this course challenges common misconceptions about Muhammad as a historical and a religious figure, while fostering critical historical literacy and familiarity with theoretical questions in the study of religion. (HU) Atanasova.


      • HIST 289 - Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History
        FDRHU
        Credits3 in fall or winter; 4 in spring

        A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in Asian or African history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2018, HIST 289A-01: Muhammad: the Prophet of Islam throughout History (3). Prerequisite: Sophomore, junior, or senior class standing only. First-years may register for HIST 195A. To Muslims, Muhammad is a prophetic figure whose model life is to be emulated; to non-Muslims, a controversial figure that has stirred the imagination for centuries. Through an analysis of the earliest non-Muslim sources on Muhammad, to insider Muslim narratives of his miraculous life, to contemporary controversies about visual depictions of Muhammad -- even bans on celebrations of his birthday -- this course challenges common misconceptions about Muhammad as a historical and a religious figure, while fostering critical historical literacy and familiarity with theoretical questions in the study of religion. Students conduct independent research as part of this course. (HU) Atanasova.

         


      • REL 195 - Special Topics in Religion
        FDRHU
        Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring

        A course offered from time to time in a selected problem or topic in religion. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


      • REL 260 - Seminar in the Christian Tradition (on a MESA-related topic)
        FDRHU
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        An introduction to perduring issues in Christian theology and ethics through study of one or more of the classical Christian theologians.

         


    • Social Sciences:
      • ECON 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultySilwal, Lubin

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.


      • POL 384 - Seminar on Middle Eastern Politics
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        PrerequisitePOL 105 or instructor consent
        FacultyCantey

        This course examines contemporary politics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Topics include the role of colonial legacies in state formation, the region's democratic deficit, nationalism, sectarianism, and the influence of religion in politics. We explore inter- and intrastate conflict, including the use of terrorism, economic development and underdevelopment, and the recent Arab uprisings (commonly referred to as the Arab Spring). Throughout, we consider why the Middle East attracts as much attention from policymakers and scholars as it does, how analysts have studied the region across time and space, and why understanding different cultural perspectives is critical to understanding the region.


      • REL 220 - Whose Law? Pluralism. Conflict, and Justice
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Society is made up of schools, corporations, religions, guilds, associations, tribes, etc., each defined by a set of more-or-less formal rules that apply in various ways depending on the status of each member. Individuals are thus subject to overlapping obligations and claims, so authorities often come into conflict. This is legal pluralism. This seminar explores the various ways in which such interactions can play out in a range of social, religious, and political environments, and how they can affect people of different statuses differently. Examples range from the Roman empire, the Middle East and South Asia, past and present, to the modern United States and Europe. In each case, we examine the ways in which legal status is defined in relation to the state, religious community, ethnicity or race, and social class. Given different, overlapping, conflicting claims to authority, rights, and obligations, how is justice to be defined, and how can it be served?


      • REL 222 - Law and Religion
        FDRSS4
        Credits3
        FacultyLubin

        Drawing on examples from diverse periods and legal cultures, this seminar addresses "law" and "religion" as two realms of life that have much shared history and continue to intersect in the modern world. Several important topics in comparative law and jurisprudence are covered, including authority and legitimacy, the relation between custom and statute, legal pluralism, church-state relations, and competing models of constitutional secularism. A selective survey of legal systems and practices rooted in particular religious traditions is followed by an examination of how secular legal systems conceptualize religion and balance the protection of religious freedom with their standards of equity and neutrality.


      • REL 246 - Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law
        FDRSS4
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent. ECON 100 or 101 required only for credit as an elective in the Economics major
        FacultyLubin, Silwal

        Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students. 


      • or, when appropriate,
      • ECON 276 - Health Economics in Developing Countries
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years
        FacultyBlunch

        A survey of the major issues of health economics. with a focus on developing countries (although the issues are also relevant for developed countries, including the U.S. Economic modeling of health-related issues, supply and demand of health, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, health goals, and policy alternatives. Economic epidemiology, including HIV/AIDS. Selected case studies. Group project, where the group selects a developing country for which a policy proposal is then developed for a health-related policy issue of the group's choice.


      • ECON 295 - Special Topics in Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteNormally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102 but may vary with topic. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years

        Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295A-01: The Economy of Brazil (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 101. This course examines economic development in Brazil, with the purpose of identifying the factors that have prevented Brazil from developing the type of economy and standard of living level associated with a North American or European country. Recommendations are made for future policy directions, and implications for other emerging economy countries are examined. The class has three distinct phases. In the first phase, we have four hours of lectures per week. Following this, there is a weekend workshop with distinguished speakers. After the workshop, the research phase of the class begins, with students responsible for contributing to a white paper on the topic of the course. During the research phase, there will be weekly class meeting to discuss progress. Kahn.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295B-01: The Economics of Poverty and Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100. Household food insecurity has many determinants including socio-economic status, time, the food environment, education, and culture. This course explores the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity and, as necessary, cover micro-economic theory and econometric concepts to understand the literature. Periodically, we work in the computer lab using publicly available datasets and Stata to gain tangible coding and data-management skills. Students learn to appreciate economics as a larger discipline, which will assist you in viewing and understanding the world around you. Scharadin.

        Winter 2019, ECON 295B-02: The Economics of Poverty and Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 100. Household food insecurity has many determinants including socio-economic status, time, the food environment, education, and culture. This course explores the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity and, as necessary, cover micro-economic theory and econometric concepts to understand the literature. Periodically, we work in the computer lab using publicly available datasets and Stata to gain tangible coding and data-management skills. Students learn to appreciate economics as a larger discipline, which will assist you in viewing and understanding the world around you. Scharadin.

        Spring 2019, ECON 295-02: Land in O'odham Culture Economics and History (4). A seminar on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the O'odham Indians' ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. Students address three major themes: 1) O'odham land and cosmology; 2) land and economy in O'odham history; and 3) contemporary cultural and economic issues among O'odham peoples. The class spends 8 days in the Sonoran Desert region of Southern Arizona to visit sites and meet with speakers in and around the Tohono O'odham Nation. Guse and Markowitz.

        Fall 2018, ECON 295A-01: The Economics of Race (3). Prerequisite: Normally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years. A critical examination of the causes and consequences of racial disparities in valued life-course outcomes in America. More than 50 years have passed since the passage of civil-rights and equal-employment-opportunity legislation in the U.S. Nevertheless, racial gaps persist - with blacks lagging whites - on most socioeconomic indicators. The course is divided into four parts: (1) an introduction to the biological and social construction of race; (2) theories to explain racial disparities; (3) an examination of racial disparity in such realms as education, health, wealth, wages, and unemployment; and (4) policies to address racial disparities. In each section of the course, students explore relevant issues through assigned readings, films, and classroom discussion. The course fosters the development and use of critical thinking, effective writing, and oral presentation skills. Student evaluation is based on classroom participation, an examination of concepts discussed, film commentaries, and a term paper. Goldsmith.


      • ECON 395 - Special Topics in Economics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteECON 203 or varies with topic

        Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and will be announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395A-01: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time-series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. We cover various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time-series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395A-02: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time-series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. We cover various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time-series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395B-01: Advanced Topics in the Economics of Food Insecurity (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An exploration of the economic determinants of food insecurity and why it persists today. We use readings from economics, sociology, psychology and nutrition to understand various perspectives of food insecurity. Using this multidisciplinary approach, we will conduct a detailed investigation of the four main contributors to food insecurity; inadequate income, inadequate time, inadequate food environment, and inadequate nutrition education. Within each unit, we discuss the societal occurrence, characterize formal econometric models, and use publicly available data with Stata to address a simple research question on the current topic. In addition to gaining a greater appreciation for how economics is applied, students gain a better understanding of econometric and data management tools, while working with food insecurity topics. The course utilizes a service learning component in order to connect in class topics with real world situations. Scharadin.

        Winter 2019, ECON 395C-01: International Public Health (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. A survey of the major issues of public health, with case studies from across the world. These include water and sanitation, vaccinations, contraceptive use, obesity, child work and health outcomes, quality of medical care and provider choice, and HIV-AIDS. Students continue explorations of regression models, building on the material from ECON 203, using a hands-on approach. The course emphasizes understanding of the use and analysis of data and student-directed research using policy-relevant applications related to public health. Blunch.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395A-01: Culture and Development (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An examination of empirical evidence on key features of development across a wide range of countries.  Economists have long been interested in understanding the sources of (under) development. Topics include labor coercion, corruption, health, education, and many more. As reliable micro-level data has become increasingly available from developing countries, our understanding of the process of development has evolved accordingly. Students gain familiarity with those datasets and the recent empirical papers utilizing them. While our approach is grounded in economic theory and empirical findings, one of our goals is to contextualize economic development. That is, development or under-development does not happen in vacuum. The roots of economic well-being of a country can be traced to its history, culture, and geography. The course, therefore, combines topics from economics of culture as it relates to development economics. Silwal.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395A-02: Culture and Development (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. An examination of empirical evidence on key features of development across a wide range of countries.  Economists have long been interested in understanding the sources of (under) development. Topics include labor coercion, corruption, health, education, and many more. As reliable micro-level data has become increasingly available from developing countries, our understanding of the process of development has evolved accordingly. Students gain familiarity with those datasets and the recent empirical papers utilizing them. While our approach is grounded in economic theory and empirical findings, one of our goals is to contextualize economic development. That is, development or under-development does not happen in vacuum. The roots of economic well-being of a country can be traced to its history, culture, and geography. The course, therefore, combines topics from economics of culture as it relates to development economics. Silwal.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395B-01: Macro Forecasting (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. Time series analysis and forecasting methodologies that are applied to issues in business, finance, and economics. The seminar covers various analytical techniques used by economists to model and forecast macroeconomic levels of economic activity. Topics include smoothing techniques, time-series decomposition methods, regression-based forecasting, unit root tests, and ARMA and SVAR modeling. Students learn to perform time-series regressions, undertake forecasting exercises, and test a variety of hypotheses involving time series data. Stata and Excel software are used throughout. Collins.

        Fall 2018, ECON 395C-01: Environmental Valuation (3). Prerequisite: ECON 203 or instructor consent. This course is designed to give students an advanced knowledge of environmental valuation techniques. Both theoretical models and empirical work are discussed. Valuation methodologies covered include travel cost models, hedonic wage and price models, contingent valuation, choice modeling, and benefits transfer. Students have empirical assignments. Kahn.


      • POL 274 - Terrorism
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        FacultyCantey

        The principal goal of this course is to help students understand the complexities of contemporary terrorism. We discuss definitional issues, the historical roots of modern terrorism, and various micro- and macro-explanations for this form of violence. We also investigate the life cycles of terrorist groups: How do they emerge? What kinds of organizational challenges do they face? How do they end? Other topics include leaderless movements (e.g., "lone wolves") and state sponsorship. Throughout the course, students observe that terrorism is not a phenomenon unique to one class of people. The course ends with three weeks focused on a certain kind of terrorism which some have called violent Islamic extremism.


      • POL 396 - Seminar in Political Philosophy
        FDRSS2
        Credits3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring
        PrerequisitePOL 111 or instructor consent

        An examination of selected questions and problems in political philosophy and/or political theory. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

         


  5. Further Courses:
  6. Two additional 3- or 4-credit courses from MESA course offerings.

  7. Capstone Experience:
  8. MESA 393, taken after the completion of all other requirements, culminates in a major research paper on a topic proposed by the student and approved by the Program Director and supervising faculty adviser.

    • MESA 393 - Capstone in Middle East and South Asia Studies
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent
      FacultyStaff

      Capstone project. Independent research project on a topic in Middle East and South Asia studies, under the guidance of a faculty adviser, including regular individual meetings and at least four group workshops, culminating in a formal presentation of the finished project to MESA faculty and students.