Socio-Cultural Studies of the Contemporary Middle East

Core Major Course Requirements

MENAS Ph.D. students are required to take:

  • MENA 595D: Middle East- Approaches, Themes and Controversies
  • One Course in Middle Eastern History
  • One Course in Islamic Studies
  • One Course in Gender and Society in the Middle East
  • Total Core Units (not including languages)= 12 credits

This track is designed for students who aspire to make use of qualitative methods of social science research in the study of social phenomena and their cultural dimensions. The primary disciplines and fields related to the track are Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Geography, Gender Studies, and Political Science, and students are ordinarily expected to take a minor in one of these areas. This track is particularly advantageous for social scientists whose topics of interest require a thorough grounding in the intellectual debates, public media, and popular culture of the Middle Eastern societies that they aim to study. The track is also well-suited to students interested in multi-disciplinary socio-cultural fields, such as immigration studies or sports studies. The track provides a solid disciplinary grounding not only through the required minor, but by means of courses taught by faculty members within the department who are trained in social science disciplines and employ a variety of qualitative methods in their own research. Students in this track take advantage of the PhD program language requirement to learn two languages (or in some cases dialects) spoken or used in the country or countries of their research.

Required Courses:

  • MENA 696J - Ethnography of the Middle East: Issues and Methods
  • MENA TBA – Social Theory and Middle East Studies or equivalent

Elective Courses:

  • MENA 502A - Economic History of the Islamic World
  • MENA 508A - Islamic Movements in the Contemporary Muslim World
  • MENA 517A - North African Societies: History, Culture & Politics
  • MENA 530A - Language and Society in the Middle East
  • MENA 545 - Women in Islamic History
  • MENA 551 - Gender and Violence in the Middle East
  • MENA 556 - Jews of the Islamic World in the modern Period (1840 - Present)
  • MENA 566 - The Middle Eastern City and Islamic Urbanism
  • MENA 571 - Iranian Cinema, Gender Issues, and Social Change
  • MENA 595E - Struggle and Survival: Modern Mid East and North Africa, c. 1850 - Present
  • MENA 559A - Turkey: Culture, Power and History
  • MENA 596C - The Literature of Identity in the Modern Middle East
  • MENA 596G - Islamic Law and Society
  • MENA 596S - Colonialism and the Critique of Modernity
  • MENA 696Y - Nationalism and Islam