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Global Islamic Studies at Connecticut College

In this center you study how Islam became a fast-growing world religion and how perceptions of Muslims and Islam impact policies and conceptions of citizenship in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries throughout the world.


Global Islamic Studies focuses upon the analysis of the cultural, political and religious influence Muslims have in the globalized world by examining their past and present. You study how Islam became a fast-growing world religion and how perceptions of Muslims and Islam impact policies and conceptions of citizenship in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries throughout the world. Our faculty have specialized experience in Western Europe, Russia, Turkey, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, North Africa and the Middle East. The multidisciplinary and global focus of this major allows you to explore themes of migration and transnationalism, identity, religious orthodoxy and authority, and helps you develop a comprehensive understanding of the many roles played by Islam and Muslims in the unfolding human story.

Language study

Language and culture are inherently intertwined. As a Global Islamic Studies major or minor, you are required to undertake advanced language study—two semesters at the intermediate level or higher in the same language related to the focus of your GIS studies. You can choose from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, or Spanish, although another language may be selected with the approval of your faculty adviser. All majors are encouraged to become familiar with Arabic, even if it is not your primary language of study.

Study abroad

You will be encouraged to seek a study abroad program tailored to your particular interests. You may study in Europe, Russia, Turkey, India, Africa or the Middle East. You will also work with a team of faculty and career advisers to find or develop a skill-building internship, in the U.S. or abroad, that relates to your studies and career goals.

Global Islamic Studies Major

The major consists of at least ten courses drawn from a wide variety of departments and interdisciplinary programs, as well as foreign languages related to the student’s focus of study.

Every student must complete at least one elective at the 300 level or higher.  Students receiving honors in the major must complete eleven courses, with Global Islamic Studies 497-498 in place of 491 or 492.  Given the status of Arabic in the religious life of Muslims, all students are strongly encouraged to take Arabic language courses even if they have chosen another language related to their focus.  Courses taken abroad may be counted toward the major with the approval of the faculty adviser.

Every student who declares a major in Global Islamic Studies will attend public lectures and other events sponsored by the program.  Students will maintain a portfolio of their coursework and also write reflection essays about the events they have attended.  In their senior year, students will make use of this portfolio for majors’ discussions and events.  There will also be a poster session showcasing students’ senior projects.

Students must complete the following five courses:

Required Courses

GIS 102/REL 102  Intro Global Islamic Studies

REL 214/GIS 214  Islamic Traditions

HIS 249/GIS 249   Early Islamic History

GIS 491       Individual Study

GIS 492       Individual Study

Five courses from the following:

AMS 334/HIS 334 Historicizing 9/11

ARA 201     Intermediate Arabic

ARA 202     Intermediate Arabic

ARA 330     Modern Arabic Lit (In Eng)

AHI 207       Islamic Art

AHI 413       ISLAMIC ART: Word And Image

GER 258/FLM 258          Transnat’l Writers/Filmmakers

GER 435      Transnt’l Cul:Turks In Germany

GOV 238/GIS 238 Middle East Politics

GOV 325/GIS 325 Int’l Politics of the Mid East


HIS 226       Making Modern South Asia

HIS 232       Later Middle Ages

HIS 234/CRE 234 Modern Europe, 1790s-1990s

HIS 247/SLA 247  Soviet Union & Its Legacies

HIS 249/GIS 249   Early Islamic History

HIS 255/CRE 255 S Asia in Postcolonial World

HIS 264/SLA 264  The Russian Empire,1700-1920’S

HIS 334/AMS 334 Historicizing 9/11

HIS 444       Imperial Lives: Merch,Miss,Migr

REL 101      Intro To Religion: Global Rel

REL 214/GIS 214  Islamic Traditions

REL 222      Islam in the Modern World

REL 252/GIS 252  Islam & the United States

REL 493N/SLA 449        Worldviews of Jews Eur/M East

SOC 400/AMS 400/GWS 400/GIS 401 the Sociology of Globalization

Global Islamic Studies Minor

The minor consists of six courses:

GIS 102/REL 102              Intro Global Islamic Studies

REL 214/GIS 214              Islamic Traditions

HIS 249/GIS 249              Early Islamic History

Two semesters of a foreign language at the 200 level or higher

And two additional courses chose from the list of electives for the GIS major

Contact the Center

Connecticut College

270 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320

1 (860) 447-1911

Email: info@conncoll.edu

Email: admission@conncoll.edu

Website: https://www.conncoll.edu/academics/majors-departments-programs/majors-and-minors/global-islamic-studies/

About Ali Teymoori

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