Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Middle Eastern Studies


Omar Youssef Cheta (coordinator), Susan Aberth, Nuruddin Farah, Irfana Hashmi, Elizabeth M. Holt, James P. Ketterer, Amir Moosavi, Dina Ramadan, Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Karen Sullivan


The Middle Eastern Studies (MES) concentration promotes the intellectual exploration and analytic study of the historical and contemporary Middle East, from North Africa to Central Asia. MES provides an interdisciplinary framework with offerings cross-listed with history, literature, language, religion, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, political studies, art history, and environmental and urban studies. Students moderate into a primary program with a concentration in MES, allowing them to formalize a focus on a region or period within the historical or contemporary Middle East.


Students concentrating in MES must meet the following requirements before Moderation: enroll in an MES core course and obtain one year of language proficiency in Arabic or Hebrew. At Moderation, usually held concurrently with the primary program, students must submit papers on past experience and projected work, as well as an academic paper about the Middle East written in one of their core or elective MES classes. At least one member of the Moderation board should be a faculty member affiliated with MES.

After Moderation, students must enroll in four other electives to broaden understanding of the region, one of which should be a 300-level seminar that requires a substantial paper on some topic pertaining to the Middle East. At least one elective should be taken outside the student’s primary division. Students must also successfully complete a Senior Project that addresses aspects of the contemporary Middle East and incorporates themes that students have learned during their MES course work. While the two-semester Senior Project is based in a primary program, the Senior Project board must include at least one faculty member affiliated with MES.


Core courses include: Religion 106, Introduction to Islam; Literature 2060, Modern Arabic Literature; History 185, History of the Modern Middle East. MES electives include: Arabic 101-102, Beginning Arabic; Arabic 201-202, Intermediate Arabic; Arabic 301-302, Advanced Arabic; Hebrew 101-102, Elementary Hebrew; Hebrew 201-202, Intermediate Hebrew; and History 2122, The Arab-Israel Conflict; among others.