Middle Eastern Studies

Jennifer Schultz, Old Main 130
507-786-3080

wp.stolaf.edu/middle-east

The Middle Eastern studies concentration introduces students to the study of the diverse, culturally rich, and increasingly complex part of the world that currently includes the Arab world, parts of Africa, Iran, Israel, and Turkey, recognizing the interconnectedness of peoples and cultures and locating their significance in wider global contexts. The concentration facilitates the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East, encouraging students to combine courses in a number of fields, particularly history, political science, religion, and sociology/anthropology.

Overview of the Concentration

The concentration in Middle Eastern studies provides students with the opportunity to study the ways in which members of Middle Eastern cultures have understood and interpreted the world, as well as the way in which others have interpreted the Middle East. As students explore the experiences, values, intellectual and artistic achievements, and economic, religious, political, and sociological systems and structures that influence Middle Eastern cultures, they gain a fuller understanding of the significance of the Middle East in its own right as well as in relation to the rest of the world.

Intended Learning Outcomes for the Concentration

Special Programs

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities to study in the Middle East through St. Olaf international and off-campus programs, including: Global Semester, Mediterranean Semester, the ACM Semester in Middle Eastern and Arabic Language Studies in Amman (Jordan), Semester at Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey), or Semester at American University in Cairo (Egypt).

The Middle Eastern studies concentration requires a minimum of five courses. Courses must deal in a significant and disciplined manner with one or more aspects of Middle Eastern culture or (medieval or modern) history. At least one course must be taken on campus. Typically, one course taken on Global Semester counts toward the concentration. Many courses offered by relevant departments at the American University of Cairo and Bogazici University, among other semester abroad destinations, count toward the concentration.

Courses taken abroad should be certified by the director of the Middle Eastern studies concentration as fulfilling the appropriate course requirements.

The following courses, offered on- and off-campus during the 2016-17 school year, count towards the Middle Eastern studies concentration:

Fall 2016

ENGL 280 Topics in Genre: Muslim Women Writers

ID 234 Human Geography of the Middle East

ID 235 Introduction to Modern Middle Eastern Studies

REL 248 Judaism

SOAN 235 Introduction to Islamic Feminisms

Interim 2017

BIO 253 Water in Morocco: Precious, Precarious, and Problematic

FREN 235 French Language and Moroccan Culture in Fes (abroad)

REL 271 Bible in Context:Hist/Geography/Culture in Israel & Palestine (abroad)

Spring 2016

FREN 271 The Francophone World The Maghreb

HIST 292 Muslim Societies in Sub-Saharan Africa

REL 217 Christian and Islamic Ethics: Conflicts and Cross-Pollination

REL 246 Islam -- Religion and Community

Director, 2016-2017

Jamie A. Schillinger

Associate Professor of Religion

Christian thought and ethics; Islamic thought and ethics

Ibtesam âl-Atiyat

Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

Arab society; gender; social movements; Islamic movements

Wendy W. Allen

Professor of Romance Languages - French

contemporary France; the Maghreb; second language acquisition; intercultural education

Richard J. Allen

Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

logic programming; intelligent tutoring systems; computer science; Islamic geometric patterns; bioinformatics

Mara H. Benjamin

Associate Professor of Religion

Jewish studies

J. Patrick Dale

Associate Professor of Political Science

comparative politics; European politics and economics; central European thought

Abdulai Iddrisu

Associate Professor of History

African history; Islam in Africa

Robert W. McClure

Associate Professor of Education

social studies; educational psychology; curriculum and instruction

Linda Y. Mokdad

Assistant Professor of English

film history; classical film theory; feminist film theory; art cinema; Arab cinemas

Maria F. Vendetti

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages-French

20th- and 21st-century French and Francophone literature; literature and testimony during and after the Algerian War of Independence; literary and filmic representations of torture, trauma, and war