Middle Eastern and North African Studies (minor only)

Changes effective Fall Term 2018

Faculty teaching Middle Eastern and North African Studies include members of the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences. Please see the schedule of classes for each academic term for specific assignments.

Nationwide, there has been an increased interest in the Middle East and North Africa, a region not well understood by most Americans. The minor in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies offers a thorough survey of the cultures, politics, and religions of the region throughout history, with a strong focus on the contemporary period. Short-term or semester-long field studies are also encouraged, with students in recent years electing to spend time studying in Morocco, Jordan, and Israel. 


Six (6) courses are required: two (2) core courses and four (4) electives. 


  • ANT 255 - Middle East Culture
  • POL 304 - Middle East Politics
Choose four (4) courses listed in the schedule of classes as MENA electives that meet the following criteria.
  • No more than two (2) language courses may count toward the minor
  • No more than three (3) courses may be taken from any one department
  • At least one elective must be at the 300-level or above
  • Courses taken during semester-long field studies at universities in the Middle East and North Africa may also serve as electives, to be approved on a case-by-case basis


  • ARA 101 Elementary Arabic I
  • ARA 102 Elementary Arabic II
  • ARA 201 Intermediate Arabic I
  • ARA 202 Intermediate Arabic II
  • ANT 277 Women & Gender in the Middle East and North Africa
  • ARH 218 Archaeology of Egypt and the Near East
  • FRN 320 Introduction à la civilization maghrébine
  • HBR 101/102 Elementary Hebrew
  • HBR 201 Intermediate Hebrew
  • PHI 205 Middle Eastern Humanities
  • POL 306 Muslims in Western Politics
  • POL 307 Islam and Politics
  • REL 125 Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
  • REL 217 Jewish Life and Thought
  • REL 219 Islam: Religion and Society
  • REL 223 Contemporary Jewish Literature and Film
  • REL 228 Women and Religion
  • REL 304 Jerusalem
  • REL 351X Religion and Popular Culture

Course of Study

MENA 201 Islamophobia: Explores the rhetoric and stereotypes of Muslims in America. Students investigate and define the multi-faceted concept of Islamophobia in America. We critically evaluate this unfair, racialized,  and anti-Muslim discourse using multi-media sources from a humanist perspective.

MENA 202 Arab Society Through Poetry: Poetry is among the highest forms of art in Arab society. This course explores translated classical Arabic poetry, a form of local media, from before and during the rise of Islam. We critically examine this bygone golden era to challenge assumptions of a conservative, homogenous, and unsophisticated society.

MENA 203 Arab Society Through Performance: Explores a selection of translated Arabic performing arts from before the rise of Islam to the present. We critically examine these eras to challenge assumptions of a conservative, homogenous, and unsophisticated society.

MENA 300 Middle Eastern Immigrant Memoirs: Explores the multi-dimensional links between Middle Eastern immigrant narratives and the authority to tell them. Students investigate autobiographies in multi-media sources to pinpoint the relationships between narratives, authority, and society. We evaluate the debates about authority while studying the struggles immigrants face while adapting to a new society.