B.A. MENAS Degree Requirements

Foundations

  • 1st Year English or equivalent
  • Math: PHIL 110, LING 123, MATH 105, 107, 112 or higher
  • 4th semester second language proficiency

General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences
     
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Arts
  • 3 units Diversity

Minor

Required, minimum of 18 units (or double-major)

Introductory Courses

  • Complete all the following courses (9 units)
Middle East history from the rise of Islam to the Turkish conquest of Constantinople, 600 – 1453.
Modern Middle East: the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and the Arab lands, 1453 – present.
A consideration of Islam, one of the world's major religions, and the view of the universe and the modes of behavior and values it advocates. Most of the course will be dedicated to an examination of the majority (Sunni) opinion, but some attention will be directed also to the more significant minority (Shi'i, et al.) positions as well. The course has no prerequisite but does build on the information presented in TRAD 101 Middle Eastern Humanities.

Senior Capstone

  • Complete the following course (1 to 3 units)
  • Note: Honors students complete MENA 498H: Honors Thesis in place of a senior capstone.
This course is a culminating experience and requirement for MENAS majors. In a weekly seminar, students work with mutual support and the guidance of the instructor on the revision of a paper written for a past MENAS course. Students are expected to expand their papers into an 18-20 page research paper that draws on primary sources. Students should choose a paper for this purpose that is strongly connected to their concentration within the major. Students who are concentrating on Language and Culture are expected to utilize some original language source material for their revised papers. The resulting papers will be submitted for evaluation to the instructor and presented to an audience of students and faculty. Students are also required to submit a 400-500 word reflective essay on their course of study and intellectual development in the MENAS major. Enrollment in this course requires senior standing.

Language Tracks

  • Complete one of the following pairs of languages (10 units)

Arabic

Intermediate conversation and readings in modern standard Arabic.
Intermediate conversation and readings in modern standard Arabic.

Hebrew

Instruction to achieve moderate fluency in conversation, reading, and writing.
Instruction to achieve moderate fluency in conversation, reading, and writing.

Persian

Conversation in the dialect of contemporary Iran; extensive readings in classical and modern literature.
Conversation in the dialect of contemporary Iran; extensive readings in classical and modern literature.

Turkish

This course begins the second year of the Turkish language. It is an intermediate course designed to improve language; speaking, reading, comprehension, vocabulary, translation, composition and grammar.
This is a continuation of "Intermediate Turkish I". Emphasis will be placed on grammar knowledge, conversational skills, vocabulary, reading, and writing.

Major Elective

  • Complete one of the following (3 units)
History and structure of the Arabic language in its various forms.
Overview of classical Arabic literature; pre-Islamic era to Abbasid periods. Explore artistic poetic characteristics of each of these periods and their most important genres. Examine political, social, intellectual and religious environments in the emergence of these four distinctive pieces of literature.
The exchange of scholarly information on various topics related to the linguistic situation in the Arab World in particular and the Middle East in general. The scope of work shall consist of critical evaluation- both oral and written- of scholarly books and articles.
A course designed to explore the social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of Middle Eastern countries.
This course investigates how the consciousness of "the West" as a rival cultural entity emerged in Muslim societies, and how the West has been represented and evaluated by Muslim intellectuals from the colonial period to current debates over US hegemony and globalization.
Explores the social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of Middle Eastern countries with the central goal of introducing students to the correlation between social and linguistic variables from a contemporary sociolinguistic perspective.
This course examines the grammatical structure, linguistic usage, and sociolinguistic status of a particular language from the Near East. The language covered changes each year but may include varieties of Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Persian, and other languages of the region.
This course introduces Middle Eastern women's issues through a critical reading of literary works written by women in the major languages of the Near East (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish) that are available in translation. Readings include poetry, short stories, and novels all analyzed within their social context.
Iran has been lauded as one of the great exporters of cinema during the last two decades. During this time, Iranian films have won countless international awards and enjoyed great reviews. Through the analysis of movies, the history of Iranian cinema, cinematic criticism, and historical texts, this course helps students understand the process of social change in that society and the ways such changes influence the production of art. Students watch a variety of movies and read analytical and theoretical writings on cinema all placed in their social and historical contexts. Particular attention will be paid to issues such as gender, modernization, nationalism, class struggle, and ideological enunciations. The course will try to conceptualize past cinematic movements in order to understand how Iranian cinema has gained its current status. Assignments include weekly reports on the movies and readings, class participation, and a term paper.
The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of the results of such research through discussion, reports, and/or papers.
Topics vary, including Classical Persian Literature in English Translation; Classical Persian Literature in the Original Language; Medieval Cultural and Political History of Persia; and Ancient Persian Language, Literature and Culture. Focus on student-faculty discussion/interaction and exchange of scholarly information, students engage in research activities and exchange results through discussion, reports, and/or papers.
Various topics including Modern Persian Literature in English Translation; Modern Persian Literature in the Original Language; Contemporary Cultural and Political History of Iran, Ideology and Revolution in Iran, and Women and Gender Issues in Contemporary Iran. Exchange of scholarly information, research by course registrants, exchange results through discussion, reports, and/or papers.
Course content varies by semester. Focus topics may include Ottoman Turkish, and other areas in Turkish language, literature, culture, history, and society.

Writing Emphasis

  • Complete one of the following (3 units)
This course investigates how the consciousness of "the West" as a rival cultural entity emerged in Muslim societies, and how the West has been represented and evaluated by Muslim intellectuals from the colonial period to current debates over US hegemony and globalization.
Introduction to and critical examination of the ethnographic literature on the peoples/cultures of the Middle East. Focus on social organization, cultural meanings, and regional political economy.
The revolutions and uprisings of the 2011 "Arab Spring" are undoubtedly the most significant democratic transformations since the fall of the Soviet Union. The extent of such revolutions has yet to be realized, yet it is essential to understand their origins and developments. This course will use the "Arab Spring" as a lens for introducing students to the political systems, social issues, youth culture, new social media, international alliances, and cultural values of the Arab world.
Overview of ethnic and religious minorities in the contemporary Middle East, the study of ethnic and religious diversity and its origin and manifestations in the modern Middle East. Examination of how the concept of religious and ethnic minorities has emerged as a key factor in state policies towards minorities as well as the cultural, economic, political, religious, and educational lives of its people.
Principal achievements in Islamic architecture 680-1600, AD/CE, understand the achievements in social/cultural contexts, become familiar with the vocabulary and basic methodologies of the field, and consider the historical evolution of our knowledge and understanding of this architecture.
The course objectives are (1) to acquaint students with traditional literature and contemporary research on Islamic movements, and 2) to introduce students to the historical and ideological basis of an emerging globalized political Islam.
The objectives are to highlight the thematic, theoretical, and methodological approaches and contributions in the field of North African studies and to underline the relationship, continuities, and discontinuities between the colonial past and postcolonial realities.
Explores the social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of Middle Eastern countries with the central goal of introducing students to the correlation between social and linguistic variables from a contemporary sociolinguistic perspective.
Origin and development of Sufism and its impact on Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
The Middle East region is often portrayed as a patriarchal, misogynist, and violent place in Western discourse. Terror, violence against women, and honor killings are increasingly popular topics of popular and academic interest in the region. Approaching these issues from a critical perspective this class seeks to answer: What are the power dynamics of gender relations in the Middle East? What are the gendered contours of the different forms of collective violence in the region? What are the limits and problems of the Western modes of thinking about gender and violence in the Middle East? How can we better understand the various gendered violence practices associated with the region without reproducing Orientalist and racist discourses? Throughout the semester, we will use historical and ethnographic texts, films and documentaries, fictive and journalistic writing to address these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective. Course material will engage with a variety of issues, including honor killings, female "circumcision" controversy, LGBT issues, and military masculinity, in contexts ranging from Turkey to Palestine/Israel, and Lebanon to Algeria.
This course introduces Middle Eastern women's issues through a critical reading of literary works written by women in the major languages of the Near East (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish) that are available in translation. Readings include poetry, short stories, and novels all analyzed within their social context.
Iran has been lauded as one of the great exporters of cinema during the last two decades. During this time, Iranian films have won countless international awards and enjoyed great reviews. Through the analysis of movies, the history of Iranian cinema, cinematic criticism, and historical texts, this course helps students understand the process of social change in that society and the ways such changes influence the production of art. Students watch a variety of movies and read analytical and theoretical writings on cinema all placed in their social and historical contexts. Particular attention will be paid to issues such as gender, modernization, nationalism, class struggle, and ideological enunciations. The course will try to conceptualize past cinematic movements in order to understand how Iranian cinema has gained its current status. Assignments include weekly reports on the movies and readings, class participation, and a term paper.
The modern Middle East in the age of imperialism, world wars, state formation, decolonization, and Islamic resistance.
Origins of Zionism, and Palestinian and other Arab nationalisms from the nineteenth century and the post-1948 Arab-Israel state conflict in the Cold War era.
Middle Eastern society viewed from the perspective of women. Examines the extent to which formal definitions of women's nature and roles coincide with women's self-images and activities.
The development and exchange of scholarly information, usually in a small group setting. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of the results of such research through discussion, reports, and/or papers.
What modernity is and how it came about have long been hotly contested questions. The relationship between modernity and colonialism has often been central in these debates. The course considers this relationship by investigating how intellectuals in colonized lands have understood and critiqued modernity in comparison with Western theories.
Topics vary, including Classical Persian Literature in English Translation; Classical Persian Literature in the Original Language; Medieval Cultural and Political History of Persia; and Ancient Persian Language, Literature and Culture. Focus on student-faculty discussion/interaction and exchange of scholarly information, students engage in research activities and exchange results through discussion, reports, and/or papers.
Various topics including Modern Persian Literature in English Translation; Modern Persian Literature in the Original Language; Contemporary Cultural and Political History of Iran, Ideology and Revolution in Iran, and Women and Gender Issues in Contemporary Iran. Exchange of scholarly information, research by course registrants, exchange results through discussion, reports, and/or papers.

Additional Courses

  • Complete 2 additional courses (6 units).
  • See the major checklist for a list of courses

 

Electives

Elective courses may be taken to fulfill the 120 total units or 42 upper-division units.