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Mid-Eastern Studies Minor

The contemporary Middle East encompasses at least seventeen countries bounded by Iran in the East and Egypt in the West. This multi-ethnic region is populated by communities speaking five major languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Kurdish and Turkish.

The Middle East has been a region of global importance since the dawn of history. The world’s oldest civilizations of the Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt thrived here; Christianity, Judaism, and Islam emerged from this region; and the philosophical and scientific achievements of Middle Easterners during the Middle Ages enabled early European learning. With the rise of modern Western empires, imperial conquests and colonialism, the complexity of the region’s relationship with the West deepened. The discovery of oil in the 20th century opened important avenues, and situated the Middle East as a vital player in the modern world economy and global politics. Post-9/11, the Middle East has again become a region of strategic importance to the US. These significant historical, cultural, political, and economic factors have resulted in a mushrooming of academic and professional opportunities that require expertise in the Middle East.

  • Why Mid-Eastern Studies?
    • Jobs: The State Department is eager to hire Middle East experts. The military is impressed by new recruits that know about the Middle East. The United Nations, the Peace Corps and the Foreign Office prefer candidates with degrees that testify to their knowledge of other regions and cultures.
    • Free money and free education: The US Government offers multiple scholarships for language training and study abroad in the Middle East.
    • Emerging Markets and Rapid Economic Growth: Qatar’s per capita GDP is 250% that of the United States. The per capita GDP of other Gulf states also far suprasses that of the US. The growing financial market of the oil-rich Gulf are constantly attracting well-qualified foreigners with cultural competence in the Middle East. The next new hire could be you!
  • Requirements and Courses

    Minor Requirements (in effect Fall 2017):

    A minor in Middle Eastern Studies requires 15 credit hours which are distributed as follows: three credits from Group I (Religion and Culture), three credits from Group II (History and Politics), and nine additional credits selected from any of the courses listed in Group I, Group II, or other approved courses. Middle Eastern Studies minors are encouraged to learn languages native to the region. On a case by case basis, students with intermediate level or higher proficiency in a Middle Eastern language may also earn credit for their language skills. Please contact the Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Minor to discuss credit for language skills, approved courses for the minor not listed in the description above, independent studies or any other issue.

    Group I (Religion and Culture) - REL 3030, REL 3060, REL 3150, REL 3510, ENGL 3540.
    Group II (History and Politics) - HIST 3510, HIST 3520, HIST 3960, HIST 3970, HIST 4720, HIST 4880*, PO SC 4760.
    *May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with the consent of the Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Minor.

    Courses Offered:

    REL 3030: The Quran
    REL 3150: Islam
    REL 3060: Judaism
    REL 3510: Ancient Near East
    ENGL 3540: Literature of the Middle East and North Africa
    HIST 3510: Ancient Near East
    HIST 3520: Egypt in the Days of the Pharaohs
    HIST 3960: The Middle East to 1800
    HIST 3970: The Modern Middle East
    HIST 4720: Medieval Conquests and Crusades
    HIST 4880: Studies in Modern Middle East History
    PO SC 4760: Middle East Politics

  • Faculty

    Core Faculty:

    Amit Bein ( Dr. Bein is an Associate Professor of History. He specializes in the history of the modern Middle East with a particular emphasis on the late Ottoman period and the Republic of Turkey. He teaches courses on the social, political, and cultural history of the modern Middle East.

    Vladimir Matic ( Vladimir Matic has been teaching since 1996 at Clemson University. He is an expert on American foreign policy, European and Balkan affairs.. He is a former Yugoslav career diplomat and ambassador. He is Senior Peace Fellow at the Public International Law and Policy Group. He was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center 1999. Has served since 2000 as a consultant for the Department of State and Foreign Service Institute, 2000-2003 the U.S. Institute of Peace, 2000-20001 analyst at International Crisis Group. He teaches a course on Middle Eastern Politics and enjoys teaching independent studies that focus on the Middle East.

    Angela Naimou ( Dr. Naimou is an Assistant Professor of English. Her main research interest is in late twentieth- and early twenty-first century literature, with special attention to fiction and poetry of the Middle East, Caribbean, and the United States. She teaches courses on contemporary literature written or translated into English and the relationship of literature to law, economy, empire, race, ethnicity, gender, and migration.

    Mashal Saif ( Dr. Saif is the Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Minor. She is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. She specializes in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. She teaches courses on Islam, Islamic law, Islam and the West, the Quran, etc.

    Affiliated Faculty:

    Walt Hunter: Walt Hunter is Assistant Professor of world literature. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in ARCADE, the Boston Review, College Literature, Cultural Critique, Essays in Criticism, Jacket2, the minnesota review, and Modern Philology. His current book project, “Ecstatic Call: The Global Lyric from Yeats to the Present,” looks at modern and contemporary lyric as a social form that makes visible processes of globalization. His co-translation of Frédéric Neyrat’s Atopies, with Lindsay Turner, will be published by Fordham University Press. His research and teaching interests include critical global studies, Anglophone and Francophone poetry and poetics, translation studies, and twentieth-century and contemporary global literature.

    Cameron Bushnell: Cameron Bushnell, Associate Chair and Associate Professor, English at Clemson University, works on global politics in aesthetic forms and in humanities and explores the intersections of postcoloniality, politics, and Western music. Her monograph, published by Routledge, is Postcolonial Readings of Music in World Literature: Turning Empire on its Ear (2013). Her second book project, Listening to Edward Said: Music, Exile, and Double Consciousness will investigate the discursive connections in Said’s writings between, on one hand, the cultural and aesthetic practices of Western classical music and, on the other hand, the political aspects of Palestinian self-determination to determine how the interchange of aesthetics and politics contributed to conditions necessary for the emergence of a new discipline of postcolonial studies.

    Steven Grosby: Dr. Steven Grosby is a professor of Religious Studies. His areas of research include the ancient Near East, the Hebrew Bible, religion and nationalism, and social and political philosophy. He teaches courses on Judaism, the Old Testament and the ancient Near East.

    Caroline Dunn: Dr. Caroline Dunn is a scholar of medieval Europe with a particular focus on women’s roles and social networks in late medieval England. For the Middle Eastern Studies minor she teaches a course titled Medieval Conquests and Crusades. The course focuses on interfaith relations in the Middle East and Spain and also explores religious motivations for conquest in Europe.

    Elizabeth Carney: Dr. Elizabeth Carney teaches courses on the ancient world, and has a special interest in Alexander and ancient Macedonia. She also teaches courses on ancient Egypt. Her courses offerings include Egypt: In the Days of the Pharaohs; Egyptomania; Pharaohs of the Sun; a course on the Akhenathen period; etc. She has published on the role of brother-sister marriages in Ptolemaic Egypt and has recently authored a book titled Arsinoë Of Egypt and Macedon: A Royal Life (New York and Oxford 2013).

Philosophy Minor

Minoring in Philosophy is flexible and straightforward: it simply requires 15 credits in philosophy, nine of which must be at the 3000 level or above. But note: many prospective minors decide to double-major in Philosophy because they like the coursework and find the major requirements are flexible enough to make double-majoring easy and rewarding.

Religious Studies Minor

Looking for an easy way to gain perspective on human religiosity? Want to benefit from a humanities minor in which you learn to think critically, globally and comparatively? Trying to separate yourself from the pack? Minor in Religious Studies!

A minor in Religious Studies requires 15 credits as follows: REL 3000; and 12 additional credits, nine of which must be at the 3000 level or above. PHIL 3030, POSC 4070, and SOC 4320 may be included.

Department of Philosophy and Religion
Department of Philosophy and Religion | 126D Hardin Hall, Clemson, SC 29634