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Modern Middle East Studies Major

Why Major In Modern Middle East Studies?
The Middle East is growing in importance on the global stage, and as such is a valuable field of study for any number of future opportunities for Yale graduates. Students may begin with a general interest in the rich culture and history of the region and later pursue careers in government, international relations, journalism and peacemaking.

The major is strengthened by

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The Major
The major offers students the possibility to focus on the culture, history, religion, politics, and society of the Modern Middle East in its full geographical breadth using any one (or more) of its four major languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. It consists of twelve term courses:

Foundational Courses
Students complete one course in each of three groups: 1) Modern Thought; 2) Classical Thought; and 3) Seminar on the Modern Middle East.

Elective Courses
Students take six courses examining aspects of culture and thought, history, religion, politics and society, focusing on at least two different sub-regions and from two or more departments.

Language Courses and Requirements
Students must achieve advanced language and proficiency in one of the four dominant languages of the Middle East: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. This can be completed through coursework at the 3rd and 4th year levels, or by passing a departmental examination.

Senior Essay
All students in the major undertake a senior essay that involves serious use of materials in one or more of the four modern Middle East languages.

Study Abroad
Students are encouraged, but not required, to engage in serious study-abroad programs, including research and internship experiences in the region. Information on programs, as well as funding opportunities, is available through the director of undergraduate studies and CMES.

Questions? Contact the Co-Directors of Undergraduate Studies:
Andrew March and Beatrice Gruendler.

Faculty in Modern Middle East Studies at Yale
Core faculty who teach and advise on the modern period come from a wide range of disciplines:

Anthropology:
Narges Erami
Marcia Inhorn

Art History:
Robert Nelson
Kishwar Rizvi

Economics:
Tolga Köker

History:
Adel Allouche
Abbas Amanat
Ivan Marcus
Alan Mikhail

NELC:
Benjamin Foster
Beatrice Gruendler
Dimitri Gutas

Political Science:
Adria Lawrence
Ellen Lust
Andrew March

Religious Studies:
Gerhard Böwering
Stephen Davis
Steven Fraade
Frank Griffel

Sociology:
Jonathan Wyrtzen

They join a number of lectors in NELC, dedicated to teaching modern Middle East languages:

Arabic Language:
Sarab Al-Ani

Hebrew Language:
Ayala Dvoretzky

Turkish Language:
Etem Erol

Persian Language:
Farkhondeh Shayesteh

In addition, visiting faculty through CMES and other programs bring a number of other courses.

Visiting Middle East Scholars by Area of Expertise, 2003-2013

Oliver Bast, United Kingdom, History, early 20th Century German-Iranian Relations
Kahar Barat, Turkey, Language and Culture
Daphna Canetti-Nisim, Israel, Political Psychology
Mine Eder, Turkey, Political Economy
Rabab El-Mahdi, Egypt, Comparative Politics
Sharif Elmusa, Egypt, International Political Economy
Sibel Erol, Turkey, Literature
Rola Husseini, Lebanon, Minorities in the Middle East, Political Elites
Elizabeth Kassab, Lebanon, Modern Arab Thought
Isam Khafaji, Iraq, Political Economy
Marwan Khawaja, Lebanon, Public Health
Farhad Khosrokhavar, Iran, Sociology of Islamist Opposition
Lilia Labidi, Tunisia, Health and Psychology
Mazyar Lotfalian, Iran, Islam, Science and Society, Iranian Cinema
Driss Maghraoui, Morocco, History of North Africa
Shaul Mishal, Israel, Palestinian Politics
Tarik Ramahi, Palestine/Israel, Public Health
Hamadi Redissi, Tunisia, Islam and Politics
Ibrahim Saif, Jordan, Middle East Economics
Sallama Shaker, Egypt, Foreign Affairs
Fereydun Vahman, Iran, Persian Philology, Literature