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Middle Eastern and North African Studies Middle Eastern and North African Studies Middle Eastern and North African Studies Middle Eastern and North African Studies Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Interdisciplinary Programs

Middle Eastern and North African Studies

Questions?

Esra Tasdelen

+1 630 637 5108

etasdelen@noctrl.edu

Develop an in-depth perspective on a key region of the world that affects the daily lives of Americans. You will study both language—at least two terms of Arabic—and culture by selecting from courses in history, art, conflict resolution, French, gender/women’s studies, music, political science, religious studies and sociology/anthropology. Your related activities will include opportunities to visit and work in the Chicago region and to study abroad in Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. Graduates with MENA minors will fill the growing need for employers to hire applicants with a strong knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa.

Middle Eastern and North African Studies Minor

The Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies minor is an interdisciplinary area studies minor that equips students to analyze the MENA region through the lens of several disciplines such as history, literature, art, conflict resolution, gender and sexuality studies, music, political science, religious studies and sociology/anthropology. Co-curricular activities will include opportunities to visit and work in the Chicago region and to study abroad in Morocco, Jordan or Turkey. Graduates with MENA minors will not only fill the growing need for employers to hire applicants with a strong knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa, but also be able to choose from a wide variety of sectors to work/study in: Academia, international corporations, non-profit organizations, government organizations and NGOS.

For additional information about this program, see Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

  • MENA 130 - Introduction to the Middle East & North Africa

    MENA 130 - Introduction to the Middle East & North Africa

    4.00 credit hours

    An interdisciplinary introduction to the diverse philosophical, religious and historical concepts and values of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Experiencing Place, Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MENA 310 - Literary Landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa

    MENA 310 - Literary Landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa

    4.00 credit hours

    This interdisciplinary course focuses on works of fiction by authors from the Middle East and North Africa and contextualizes them in Modern Middle Eastern history, aiming to acquire a more intimate understanding of the cultural and intellectual history of the region.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ARAB 101 - Elementary Arabic I

    ARAB 101 - Elementary Arabic I

    4.00 credit hours

    Introduction to the alphabet and basic structures of Modern Standard Arabic, with emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and listening. Comprehension and production of basic sentence structures of Modern Standard Arabic. Exploration of Arab culture as it manifests in daily life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • ARAB 102 - Elementary Arabic II

    ARAB 102 - Elementary Arabic II

    4.00 credit hours

    Development of speaking, reading, listening and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic, with increased emphasis on Arabic sentence structures, grammar and vocabulary that goes beyond the daily such as news, the business world, politics, history and literature.

    Prerequisite(s)

    ARAB 101.

    Schedule Of Classes

Elective

Four credit hours from the following:

  • ARTH 100 - World Art Histories I

    ARTH 100 - World Art Histories I

    4.00 credit hours

    Art history survey of visual art and architecture until 1400 CE. Geographic regions considered include the Mediterranean, Near East, Europe, Asia and Africa, emphasizing interactions between cultures.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Arts, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HIST 180 - Modern Middle East

    HIST 180 - Modern Middle East

    4.00 credit hours

    A survey of the Middle East from the rise of Islam in the sixth century to the present, with special attention to European imperialism, nationalist movements, Pan-Islam, gender/sexuality, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Ethical Dimensions, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity, Engaging Civic Life, Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HIST 185 - African History

    HIST 185 - African History

    4.00 credit hours

    This survey of the history of Africa introduces students to the cultural diversity and complexity of African societies. Both sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa are examined. Attention is given to the long period of independent development of traditional societies, to the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, to the era of European colonial domination, and to post-1945 struggles to regain independence and create new national identities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • MUSI 156 - The World of Music

    MUSI 156 - The World of Music

    4.00 credit hours

    Introductory course that uses a case studies approach to present various global musics, exploring the relationship of music and sound to social and cultural life in different countries of the world.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Arts, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 221 - Comparative Politics

    POLS 221 - Comparative Politics

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the concepts, ideologies, and methodology that define the field of Comparative Politics. The course will provide a comparative analysis of the various institutions of governance around the world and how those institutions structure state behavior. Comparative Politics seeks to understand different forms of government by comparing them to one another. We will also investigate key topics such as the state, political culture, ethnicity, nationalism, authoritarianism & totalitarianism, democracy, development, globalization and political violence.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • RELG 222 - Peace & Violence in the Bible

    RELG 222 - Peace & Violence in the Bible

    4.00 credit hours

    A survey course designed to examine the themes of peace, war, and violence in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament. Special attention is given to the historical context in which the Bible was written and the portrayals of God that result.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • RELG 240 - Religious Pluralism in the U.S

    RELG 240 - Religious Pluralism in the U.S

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of the multi-religious panorama of the U.S. Particular emphasis is placed on the voices of minority traditions and how religious commitments and freedoms are negotiated in the context of religious pluralism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions, U.S. Power Structures.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • RELG 270 - Judaism

    RELG 270 - Judaism

    4.00 credit hours

    A course on the beliefs, traditions, and history of Judaism. Special attention is given to the Jewish experience, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Global Understanding, U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Experiencing Place, Challenging Inequity, Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • RELG 280 - Islam

    RELG 280 - Islam

    4.00 credit hours

    This course provides an overview of basic Islamic beliefs and practices through an examination of Islamic theology as articulated in Islamic classical traditions and reinterpreted for today. The course analyzes the impact of Islamic beliefs and values on social and cultural practices, and on the formation of institutions, communities, and identities.

    Schedule Of Classes

Note:

A May Term study away seminar and travel experience may apply if focused on the Middle East or North Africa.

Advanced Elective

Four credit hours from the following:

  • GSST 350 - Gender and World Religions

    GSST 350 - Gender and World Religions

    4.00 credit hours

    An analysis of feminist thought in global religious traditions. This course discusses women's redefinition of traditional concepts, rituals, and practices in a number of religious traditions across the globe.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity, Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 350 - Ethnic & Religious Conflict Resolution

    LEAD 350 - Ethnic & Religious Conflict Resolution

    4.00 credit hours

    Students discover the origins of and build a conceptual framework for understanding ethnic and religious conflict. The approach will be interdisciplinary and examine the central causes, consequences, and ultimately solutions for resolving ethnic and religious conflict. We will use numerous case studies to explore the key conceptual and theoretical areas and questions within the field. The reading is plentiful, but thought provoking, and should enable you to explore the dynamics of global conflict with greater rigor and precision. Come prepared for a stimulating academic experience.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • RELG 344 - Religion & the Political Order

    RELG 344 - Religion & the Political Order

    4.00 credit hours

    An examination of primary texts from the history of religious political philosophy with an eye to their relevance for understanding current events and challenges at the intersection of religion & politics. Emphasis is on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Two courses from Philosophy or Religous Studies.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • SGBH 313 - Reading the Qur'an

    SGBH 313 - Reading the Qur'an

    4.00 credit hours

    An exploration of the holy book of Islam. Students will read the Qur'an in its entirety, along with selected parallel passages from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and excerpts from an early biography of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Prerequisite(s)

    SGBH 101 and SGBH 102.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Humanities, Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

NOTE: The courses listed herein have been approved by the faculty as authorized by the Board of Trustees. Prerequisites (if any) and the General Education Requirement(s) which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description.

Current course offerings are available in Merlin.

MENA 130 Introduction to the Middle East & North Africa (4.00)
An interdisciplinary introduction to the diverse philosophical, religious and historical concepts and values of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Social Science, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Experiencing Place, Thinking Globally.

MENA 310 Literary Landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa (4.00)
This interdisciplinary course focuses on works of fiction by authors from the Middle East and North Africa and contextualizes them in Modern Middle Eastern history, aiming to acquire a more intimate understanding of the cultural and intellectual history of the region.

Cardinal Directions Designation(s): Humanities, Global Understanding.
iCon(s): Thinking Globally.

Esra Tasdelen

Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle Eastern and North African Studies; Coordinator of Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Modern & Classical Languages
+1 630 637 5108
Mara K. Berkland

Professor of Communication
Communication
+1 630 637 5367
Shelley Birdsong

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Religious Studies
+1 630 637 5314
Shereen Ilahi

Associate Professor of History; Director of General Education
History
+1 630 637 5616
William Muck

Professor of Political Science; Chair, Department of Political Science; Coordinator of Global Studies
Political Science
+1 630 637 5342
Wioleta Polinska

Professor of Religious Studies; Chairperson, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy
Religious Studies
+1 630 637 5317
Lindsay Shannon

Assistant Professor of Art History
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5334
Kelley Tatro

Assistant Professor of Music
Music
+1 630 637 5626
  • Choose your MENA courses to match your major and personal interests.
  • Fulfill the B.A. requirement for foreign language with two terms of Arabic.
  • Explore Arab-American neighborhoods in Chicagoland.
  • Study abroad in North Africa or the Middle East.
  • Participate in interfaith dialogue workshops among Christian, Muslim and Jewish people.

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