Introduction

The interdisciplinary Middle East Studies major contributes to Dickinson’s coverage of global affairs. The major combines language study with courses in the humanities and social sciences, including a capstone senior research course. Majors may choose to study for one or two semesters in the Arab world or Israel.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

MEST/HIST 121, Middle East to 1750
MEST/HIST 122, Middle East since 1750
MEST 200, Topics in Middle East Studies

MEST 231/HIST 371, The Arab-Israeli Conflict

MEST 233, U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Arab World

MEST 234/SOC 234, Middle Eastern American Communities

MEST 250/RELG 247, Saints and Demons

MEST 259/HIST 259/RELG 259, Islam

MEST 260/POSC 260, Media & Politics in the Middle East & North Africa

MEST 261/POSC 261, Authoritarianism & Change in the Middle East & North Africa
MEST 262/POSC 290/JDST 262, Zionism: Ideology, Institutions, Cultures & Contestations

MEST 264/POSC 290/JDST 264, Politics, Society and Culture in Israel

MEST 266/POSC 277/INST 277, International Politics of the Middle East

MEST 270/RELG 270, Middle Eastern Christianity

MEST 272/SOC 272/MEST, Islam and the West

MEST 280/ECON 214, Political Economy of the Middle East

MEST 490, Middle East Studies Senior Seminar

HIST 213, The Age of the Crusades
HIST 315, Modern Iran
HIST 404, US-Middle East Relations
JDST 104, Judaism
JDST 216/RELG 241, Love, Sex and Hebrew Texts
JDST 216, Jews and Judaism in the Medieval World
JDST 316, Israeli Cinema
POSC 290, Comparative Politics of the Middle East
RELG 313, Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Social Sciences (Division II):
MEST/HIST 121, Middle East to 1750
MEST/HIST 122, Middle East since 1750

MEST 231/HIST 371, The Arab-Israeli Conflict

MEST 234/SOC 234, Middle Eastern American Communities

MEST 260/POSC 260, Media & Politics in the Middle East & North Africa

MEST 261/POSC 261, Authoritarianism & Change in the Middle East & North Africa
MEST 262/POSC 290/JDST 262, Zionism: Ideology, Institutions, Cultures & Contestations

MEST 264/POSC 290/JDST 264, Politics, Society and Culture in Israel

MEST 266/POSC 277/INST 277, International Politics of the Middle East

MEST 272/SOC 272/MEST, Islam and the West

MEST 280/ECON 214, Political Economy of the Middle East

MEST 259/HIST 259, Islam

Comparative Civilizations:
MEST/History 121, Middle East to 1750
MEST/History 122, Middle East since 1750

MEST 231/HIST 371, The Arab-Israeli Conflict

MEST 250/RELG 247, Saints and Demons

MEST 259/HIST 259/RELG 259, Islam

HIST 315, Modern Iran

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The MEST major was designed with the hope and expectation that all of our students would spend one or two semesters in the Arab world or Israel. As a result, we developed the curriculum so that a student who did spend one/two semesters abroad could complete all the requirements for the major, as long as she or he followed a few guidelines.

The guidelines are written for the entering student who knows he or she wants to major in MEST. Rather than specify the courses that you “must” have in a given semester, the following are general guidelines regarding courses that we suggest you take during each year. You should think of these guidelines as giving you a fast track into the major – this provides maximum flexibility in your junior and senior years.

First Year
HIST 121/122
Arabic or Hebrew
One social science course in another discipline
One humanities course

Sophomore Year
Arabic or Hebrew (complete language requirement: 4 semesters)
One humanities course
One additional elective to be in a country that is NOT the focus of the language study
MEST general electives: please refer to the MAJOR section of the Academic Bulletin: Middle East Studies.

Junior Year
MEST general electives: refer to the MAJOR section of the Academic Bulletin: Middle East Studies.
Take additional Arabic or Hebrew (if available)

Senior Year
Senior research
One humanities course
Finish all other MEST requirements (core courses, electives, language as needed)
Take additional Arabic or Hebrew (if available)

For information regarding the suggested guidelines, please feel free to contact a MEST faculty member and discuss with your advisor. Students not following these guidelines may still be able to study abroad and still complete the major, but will face a more demanding senior year.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Students should consult with the program coordinator and the Center for Global Study and Engagement to determine suitable opportunities for off-campus study. For students taking Arabic, Dickinson has a Partner Program with the American University in Cairo. For students taking Modern Hebrew, Dickinson has a Partner Program with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

Additional Remarks

Related activities: When appropriate, Middle East Studies offers films and lectures that are coordinated with the core courses, but which are open to the entire community, often in cooperation with the participating departments.

Further information: Information on the particular courses being offered each semester are available online and from the Middle East Studies Program Coordinator.

Off-Campus study additional information: Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad, but study abroad is not a requirement. Students should consult with their advisor and with the Executive Director of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, Samantha Brandauer.