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The Middle East & South Asia Studies Program at California University Davis

As the only University of California campus with a minor and major in Middle East/South Asia Studies, UC Davis is a pioneer in the study of the Middle East and South Asia in relationship to each other.

About

The Middle East and South Asia Studies Program (ME/SA) at the University of California, Davis, was founded in 2004 as an undergraduate Minor in response to the demands of UC Davis students and the urgent need for understanding this crucial area of the world. In its first year, 1,052 students enrolled in ME/SA courses.

By June 2006, the program had won a major U.S. Department of Education grant to launch Arabic and Hindi/Urdu instruction, new courses, conferences, lectures, and K-12 teacher training.

The ME/SA undergraduate major was launched in Fall 2008. By 2009, community members had funded the Suad Joseph Lecture series in Iranian Studies.  By 2010, ME/SA had won the PARSA CF endowed visiting lectureship in Iranian Studies and donor funding for the Faris Saeed Arab Studies lecture series.  By 2013, UC Davis had over 30 ME/SA affiliated faculty, 22 teaching faculty, and over 100 courses.

As the only University of California campus with a minor and major in Middle East/South Asia Studies, UC Davis is a pioneer in the study of the Middle East and South Asia in relationship to each other.

Some Courses

Literatures of the Islamic World (3)

Lecture—2 hours; discussion—1 hour. This course will explore major works of world literature in translation from Arabic and Persian as well as Urdu and Ottoman Turkish. We will read legends, stories and poetry from diverse genres that offer perspectives on storytelling and poetry, and on the individual, the family, the journey, spirituality, ethics, gender and government. We will examine literary texts in their historical context. We will also investigate the arts of the book and the relationship between text and performance.

Modern Iranian Film (4) (cross-listed with MSA 131A)

Iranian cinema of the 20th century in the context of profound cultural and social changes in Iran especially since the Iranian Revolution. Productions by representative directors such as Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, BahramBeizaie are included. Knowledge of Persian not required.

Arts of the Islamic Book (4)

Lecture—3 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: course 1E recommended. Critical study of the arts of the luxury book in the pre-modern Islamic world.Representation in Islam, the relationship of word and image, the discipline of calligraphy, aesthetics and representation in Persianate painting. GE credit: ArtHum, Div, Wrt | AH, VL, WC.—I, II, III. (I, II, III.)

The Islamic City (4)

Lecture—3 hour; term paper. Prerequisite: course 1E recommended. Introduction to the urban history of the Islamic world.Includes critical study of the historiography of the Islamic city, development of urban form, institutions and rituals, and analysis of selected themes.GE Credit: ArtHum, Div, Wrt.—(II.)

Islamic Art and Architecture (4)

Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Introduction to the art and architecture of the Islamic world including the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and South Asia, from the 7th century CE to the 20th. GE credit: ArtHum, Div | AH, VL, WC.—(I.)

Classical Literature of the Islamic World 600‐1800 (4)

Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour.Prerequisite: Subject A or consent of instructor.Major classical texts of the Islamic world with attention to intermingling of diverse cultural influences and historical context. Includes epic, romance, lyric, mystical narrative, fairy tales, essays. Texts from Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Urdu literature.Offered in alternate years.GE credit: ArtHum, Div, Wrt | AH, WC, WE.—(II.)

HIS 112 C. Jews Among Muslims (4)

Lecture—3 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: upper division standing recommended. History of Jewish communities in the lands of Islam from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day. GE credit: SS, WC, WE.—I. (I.)

HIS 112 C. Jews Among Muslims (4)

Lecture—3 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: upper division standing recommended. History of Jewish communities in the lands of Islam from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day. GE credit: SS, WC, WE.—I. (I.)

Modern Islam (4)

Lecture/discussion—3 hours; term paper.Prerequisite: course 60 or consent of instructor.The response of Islam to modernity: secularism, reformism, fundamentalism.Islam and imperialism, women, media and immigration.Islamic modernism, political Islam, Islam in Europe and America.GE credit: ArtHum, Div, Wrt | AH, WC, WE.—II.(II.)

Iran & Persian Studies

Description: The Iran & Persian Studies minor offers students courses on history and culture in the Iran & Persian world during the early modern and modern periods. It is an interdis-ciplinary minor open to undergraduates in all four colleges.

Major and Minors

The Middle East/South Asia Studies Programs offers a range of major and minors which allow students to fit with their academic curriculum.

Major

Middle East/South Asia Studies

Description: The major in Middle East/South Asia Studies (MESA) offers comparative studies of the Middle East and South Asia, regions that have been integrally linked for centuries by trade, migration, exchange of scientific, mathematical, political and philosophical ideas, religion, literature, and art. This region encompasses 44 countries, with particular focus on the Arab Gulf, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, the Meghreb (North Africa), Palestine, Syria and Turkey. Students will explore the culture, history, politics and economies of these regions through courses from a variety of disciplines: Anthropology, Art History, Asian American Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, Film Studies, History, Music, Political Science, Religious Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Students are encouraged to take advantage of our Study Abroad Program to gain first hand experience in Egypt, India and/or Turkey.

Minors

Middle East/South Asia Studies

Description: Similarly to the major, the ME/SA Studies Minor offers comparative studies of the Middle East and South Asia, regions that have been integrally linked for centuries by trade, migration, exchange of scientific, mathematical, political and philosophical ideas, religion, literature, and art.The ME/SA Studies Minor is a brief introduction to the field of ME/SA Studies.

Arab Studies

Description: The minor in Arab Studies covers an area of utmost historical, cultural, economic and geopolitical significance. Several key contemporary issues make the region as a whole a focus of interest for scholarly study. The Arab Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor open to undergraduates in all four colleges.

India/South Asia Studies

Description: The minor in India & South Asia Studies covers an area of immense historical, cultural, economic, demographic, and geopolitical significance. The minor is designed to emphasize the interconnected and comparative aspect of history, culture, society, economy, religion, gender relations, media, law, political economy, international relations, urbanism, migration and diaspora, language and literatures across regional and national boundaries. It is an interdisciplinary minor open to undergraduates in all four colleges.

Iran & Persian Studies

Description: The Iran & Persian Studies minor offers students courses on history and culture in the Iran & Persian world during the early modern and modern periods. It is an interdis-ciplinary minor open to undergraduates in all four colleges.

Contact the Center

Address: 1 Shie, ld, s AveUC DavisDavis, CA 95616

Email:

Phone: 530-754-4926

Website: mesa.ucdavis

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