University of Utah
Middle East Language and Area Studies
MID E Course Descriptions
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University of Utah

 General Catalog 2002-2003
Posted March 1, 2002

College of Humanities 

Center Office: Middle East Center, 153 Orson Spencer Hall, 581-6181 

Mailing Address: 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm. 153, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9157 

Web Address:

Director of the Middle East Center, Ibrahim Karawan, Ph.D. 

Director of Graduate Studies, Bernard G. Weiss, Ph.D. 

Undergraduate Advisor, Roberta Micallef, Ph.D.


Professors. B. Cannon, M. Eid, H. Lenowitz, P. Sluglett, B. Weiss. 

Associate Professors. I. Karawan, L. Loeb, M. Mazzaoui, P. von Sivers. 

Assistant Professors. S. Amirsoleimani, N. Cagatay, H. Elkhafaifi, R. Micallef, M.H. Yavuz. 

Assistant Professor - Lecturer. T. Qutbuddin.

Affiliated Faculty

Assistant Professors. G. Berik, K. Erturk. 

The Middle East Center coordinates an interdisciplinary program in Middle East studies in cooperation with the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Languages and Literature, Linguistics, and Political Science. The extensive undergraduate and graduate curriculum includes major languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish), literatures, and cultures of the Middle East as well as area concentrations in the various disciplines above. 

Undergraduate Program

Degree. B.A. in Middle East studies—Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish. 

The Middle East Center (MEC) at the University of Utah is a recognized Center for the academic study of the Middle East, one of fifteen National Resource Centers in the United States funded by the US Department of Education since 1960.

To declare a Middle East studies major or minor, students must have the approval of the undergraduate advisor and must consult with the advisor in designing their program.

Middle East Studies Major.  The B.A. degree in Middle East Studies, granted through the Department of Languages and Literature, is achieved through an interdisciplinary program.  Students pursuing this degree receive training through the advanced level in the language of emphasis, and in addition complete a program of interdisciplinary study of the Middle East consisting of courses offered in various participating departments for a total of 38 credits as outlined in the major requirements listed below.  These requirements represent the minimum and students are encouraged to take as many courses as possible within the limits prescribed by the university and college regulations.

Middle East Studies Minor. The Middle East Center offers minors in Middle East studies in the following: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and area studies. For details, see the minor requirements listed below. The course of study must be approved by the undergraduate adviser. 

 Further information can be obtained from the Middle East Center office. 

Requirements for the Major

To cover the total major credit program of 38 semester hours, students are required to complete: 

I. Introductory level: six semester-credit hours of lower-division (1000-or 2000-level) courses from an approved list, plus the first two years of a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) or the equivalent. Note: Credit hours for this lower-division language study do not apply toward the major. 

II. Upper-division (3000- or 4000-level) 23 credit hours: the third year of a Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) (counting eight credit hours towards the major requirement); plus five additional courses (15 credit hours) in at least three of the following area studies categories: 

A. Upper-level languages and linguistics courses
B. Middle East literature 
C. Modern Middle East (related courses in the fields/departments of anthropology, economics, modern history, and political science) 
D. Middle East cultures and religions (including medieval studies) 

III. Advanced work (nine credit hours): three courses at the 4000- or 5000- (depending on department) level. Fourth year language study is encouraged, but not required. 

Requirements for the Minor

The Middle East Center offers two minors in Middle East studies. The language minors require completion of three semesters in one of the four languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish) and two additional languages and literature courses (4000-level or above). The area studies minor requires completion of one year in one of the four languages and 12 hours of approved courses. 

Graduate Program

Degrees. M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. in Middle East studies— Arabic, Arabic and linguistics, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, anthropology, history, or political science. 

Students may specialize in language, literature, linguistics, or any pertinent Middle East studies curriculum in anthropology, history, and political science. A candidate's program must be approved by a graduate adviser and the supervisory committee. 

A degree in Middle East studies offers students a unique opportunity  to choose a study program from among the five participating departments. Depending on the student's interests, a degree may be based on contemporary topics in political science and anthropology or the more traditional fields of history, language, literature, and linguistics. 

Master's Degree. Candidates for the M.A. in Middle East studies must complete at least 33 credit hours, including those granted for thesis research (normally six). Candidates specializing in Arabic, Arabic and linguistics, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, history, or political science may exercise a nonthesis option, replacing the thesis with six hours of course work and a noncredit essay or paper reviewed by the supervisory committee. Thesis research, or course work done in lieu of a thesis, is done in the chosen field of specialization. Of the remaining credit hours, half must be earned in the field of specialization and half in at least two allied fields in participating departments. 

 Candidates specializing in anthropology, history, or political science are required to complete specified courses in those fields. Requirements relating to language proficiency, comprehensive examinations, and submission and defense of an M.A. thesis vary according to the field of specialization. For further details, see the Middle East Center's Handbook for Students in Middle East Studies

Ph.D. Degree. Applicants must complete an M.A. in Middle East studies and demonstrate the potential for high scholarly achievement and independent research. 

 Requirements include 30 hours in approved graduate courses and seminars in the major beyond the M.A. degree, 14 hours of dissertation credit, and 10 hours or more in approved allied fields (completed outside of the Department of Languages and Literature). In most  emphases, the candidate must have knowledge of at least two European languages at the standard proficiency level. In all cases, the specific language requirements are determined by the candidate's supervisory committee. 

 The student must pass oral and written qualifying examinations prior to commencing the dissertation. The examinations concentrate on the language studies and the interdisciplinary program. The candidate must publicly defend the dissertation after preliminary acceptance by the supervisory committee. 

Courses in Participating Departments

The majority of the following courses are cross-listed with courses taught by participating departments of the Middle East Studies program.  Language courses required by Middle East Studies degrees may be found in the Department of Languages and Literature section of the catalog under the following headings: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish.  Ancient Near Eastern languages are offered on demand through the Middle East Center. 

MID E Course Descriptions

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