Joel Gordon
Director, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies
202 Old Main
479-575-4157
http://mest.uark.edu
mest@uark.edu

Students interested in the Middle East and North Africa and wishing to maximize their potential for academic, business, professional, or government careers related to the area, may earn a second major in Middle East studies with a required primary major in an approved area such as anthropology, economics, world languages, geography, history, journalism, and political science. New students entering the program are required to notify both the major adviser and the MEST director of their intention to participate. Freshmen and sophomores considering this program are advised to begin their study of a Middle East language as early as possible. Students may also earn a minor in Middle East studies.

Requirements for a Second Major in MEST. To attain a second major in MEST, the student is required to have a primary major in one of the following approved areas: anthropology, communication, economics (BA), French, geography, history, international relations, journalism, political science, sociology, or Spanish. Up to nine hours of courses in the primary major with Middle East content may be counted toward the MEST combined major with the permission of the MEST director.

Total Hours Required: (30 semester hours) Students must complete 3 hours in MEST 2013 Introduction to Middle East Studies (Fa), 3 hours in MEST 4003 Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp), 6 hours of Arabic language beyond ARAB 2016, and 18 hours in additional MEST or MEST-approved core courses. MEST courses must be in at least two disciplines, with no fewer than 9 hours of MEST core courses in one discipline.

Introduction to Middle East Studies: (3 hours) Students must complete 3 hours of Introduction to Middle East Studies (MEST 2013).

Middle East Studies Colloquium: (3 hours) Students must complete at least 3 hours in MEST 4003 Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp). The Colloquium may be repeated with a change of subject for a maximum of 6 credits.

Arabic Requirement: (6 hours of MEST credit) Students must complete 6 hours of Arabic language beyond (ARAB 2013 or ARAB 2016). Courses approved by the MEST director and completed in a summer intensive Arabic program or study-abroad program in an Arabic speaking country may substitute for all or part of this requirement.

MEST Core Courses: To count for MEST credit, courses not on the following list must be approved by the student’s MEST major adviser and the MEST director. Individualized readings, directed research courses, or courses in a second Middle Eastern language may count as MEST core courses with the approval of the MEST major adviser and MEST director.

MEST Core Courses
ANTH 3123The Anthropology of Religion (Sp)3
ANTH 3033Egyptology (Irregular)3
ANTH 4123Ancient Middle East (Irregular)3
ANTH 4256Archeological Field Session (Su)6
ANTH 4513African Religions: Gods, Witches, Ancestors (Irregular)3
ANTH 4533Middle East Cultures (Sp)3
ANTH 4913Topics of the Middle East (Irregular)3
GEOS 2003World Regional Geography (ACTS Equivalency = GEOG 2103) (Sp, Fa)3
GEOS 4043Geography of the Middle East (Fa)3
GEOS 410VSpecial Problems in Geosciences (Fa)1-6
HIST 3033Islamic Civilization (Irregular)3
HIST 3043History of the Modern Middle East (Irregular)3
HIST 3473Palestine and Israel in Modern Times (Irregular)3
HIST 3923HHonors Colloquium (Irregular) (approved selected topics)3
HIST 4353Middle East, 600-1250 (Even years, Fa)3
HIST 4373Mongol & Mamluk Middle East 1250-1520 (Even years, Sp)3
HIST 4393Early Modern Islamic Empires, 1300-1750 (Odd years, Sp)3
HIST 4413New Women in the Middle East (Irregular)3
HIST 4433Social and Cultural History of the Modern Middle East (Irregular)3
HUMN 2213Introduction to World Religions (Sp)3
HUMN 425VColloquium (Irregular) (approved selected topics)1-6
MEST 2003Introduction to Islam (Irregular)3
MEST 2013Introduction to Middle East Studies (Fa)3
MEST 4003Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp)3
MEST 4003HHonors Middle East Studies Honors Colloquium (Sp)3
PLSC 3523Politics of the Middle East (Fa)3
PLSC 3813International Law (Fa)3
PLSC 4593Islam and Politics (Fa)3
PLSC 4843The Middle East in World Affairs (Sp)3
WLIT 3983Special Studies (Irregular) (approved selected topics)3

Requirements for a Minor in Middle East Studies:

Total Hours Required: (18 semester hours)

Students must complete MEST 2013 Introduction to Middle East Studies (Fa) (3 hours), MEST 4003 Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp), 6 hours of Arabic beyond ARAB 2016, and a minimum of 6 additional hours of MEST core courses.

Introduction to Middle East Studies: (3 hrs) Students must complete three hours in the MEST 2013 Introduction to Middle East Studies (Fa).

Middle East Studies Colloquium: (3 hours) Students must complete three hours in MEST 4003 Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp).

Arabic Requirement: (6 hours of MEST credit) Students must complete 6 hours of Arabic language beyond the Fulbright College language proficiency requirement (ARAB 2013). Courses approved by the MEST director and completed in a summer intensive Arabic program or study-abroad program in an Arabic speaking country may substitute for all or part of this requirement.

MEST Core Courses: (6 hours) Students must complete an additional 6 hours of MEST core courses supervised by faculty participating in the program. Students choosing to take individualized reading or directed research courses as a part of the minor must obtain the approval of the MEST director and their major adviser.

Requirements for Honors in MEST:

The Honors Program in Middle East Studies gives junior and senior students of high ability the opportunity to enroll in enriched courses and conduct independent research culminating in an honors thesis. In addition to satisfying the general Fulbright College requirements for graduation and the basic eligibility requirements for honors as established by the Honors Council, candidates for honors in Middle East Studies must complete 12 hours of honors credit in partial satisfaction of requirements for the co-major. One to 6 of these hours may be thesis hours (MEST 399V).

The preferred method for satisfying the remaining hours is to enroll in the colloquium at least once for honors credit (MEST 4003H) and to take relevant honors colloquia or graduate courses (with permission) in one of the departments contributing to this interdisciplinary area study. The thesis committee shall include a representative from the major discipline (in the case of multiple majors, from the discipline contributing most significantly to the topic). Successful completion of these requirements will be recognized by the award of the distinction “Middle East Studies Scholar Cum Laude” at graduation. Higher degree distinctions are recommended only in exceptional cases and are based upon the whole of the candidate’s program of honors studies.

Courses

MEST 2003. Introduction to Islam (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course introduces Islam as a global religion and world civilization, including study of the Qur'an, prophet Muhammad, ritual and community practices, metaphysics, mysticism, art, literature, and sacred and critical history.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 2003H.

MEST 2003H. Honors Introduction to Islam (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course introduces Islam as a global religion and world civilization, including study of the Qur'an, prophet Muhammad, ritual and community practices, metaphysics, mysticism, art, literature, and sacred and critical history.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 2003.

MEST 2013. Introduction to Middle East Studies (Fa). 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide students with fundamental building blocks for understanding the contemporary Middle East/Islamic World. Students will be introduced to a variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of the geo-cultural region, including history, politics, arts and literature, religions and cultures, social geography, and economics.

MEST 2203. Introduction to Christianity (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduces the geography, events, characters, and histories that formed Christianity--from early band of Jews into its global and colonial ascendancy today. Focus on people, conflicts, disagreements, theological locations and the influence of geo-politics and effects of financial, political and/or military control.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 2203H.

MEST 2203H. Honors Introduction to Christianity (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduces the geography, events, characters, and histories that formed Christianity--from early band of Jews into its global and colonial ascendancy today. Focus on people, conflicts, disagreements, theological locations and the influence of geo-politics and effects of financial, political and/or military control.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 2203.

MEST 3003. Islam: Theory & Practice (Sp). 3 Hours.

Explores the relationship between teachings, norms, customary practices and Muslim perception of Islam. Examines theoretical concepts and practices, such as war and peace, democracy, pluralism, modernity, human rights, environment, gender, Islamic law, nation-state, and citizenship in addition to the basic tenets of Islam. Prerequisite: MEST 2003.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 3003H.

MEST 3003H. Honors Islam: Theory & Practice (Sp). 3 Hours.

Explores the relationship between teachings, norms, customary practices and Muslim perception of Islam. Examines theoretical concepts and practices, such as war and peace, democracy, pluralism, modernity, human rights, environment, gender, Islamic law, nation-state, and citizenship in addition to the basic tenets of Islam. Prerequisite: MEST 2003.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 3003.

MEST 3203. Christianity: Theory & Practice (Sp). 3 Hours.

Focuses on essential doctrines of the Christian faith, historical contexts from which these doctrines grew, and scriptural and traditional arguments made by different theological positions in both ancient and modern doctrinal debates. Examines the experiential side of Christianity, emphasizing the worship and ritualistic observances of various ancient and modern communities. Prerequisite: MEST 2203 or HIST 3003.

MEST 3303. Hebrew Literature & Language I (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduction to biblical Israel and Judah. Examines the ancient Hebrew language, focusing on sacred texts produced during Israel's Iron Age II period. Introduces the ancient Hebrew alphabet, biblical Hebrew vocabulary, morphology, and syntax in the context of the Old Testament. Some extra-biblical Hebrew texts will also be considered.

MEST 340V. MEST Independent Study (Sp, Fa). 1-3 Hour.

An exploration of varied topics related to the Middle East and North Africa studied independently with the supervision of a faculty member. Credit arranged with instructor. Prerequisite: Instructor consent and junior standing. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

MEST 340VH. Honors MEST Independent Study (Sp, Fa). 1-3 Hour.

An exploration of varied topics related to the Middle East and North Africa studied independently with the supervision of a faculty member. Credit arranged with instructor. Prerequisite: Instructor consent, junior standing and honors standing. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 340V.

MEST 399V. MEST: Honors Thesis (Irregular). 1-3 Hour.

Middle East Studies Honors research, readings and thesis. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

MEST 4003. Middle East Studies Colloquium (Sp). 3 Hours.

An interdepartmental colloquium with an annual change in subject required of all students in the Middle East studies program. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

MEST 4003H. Honors Middle East Studies Honors Colloquium (Sp). 3 Hours.

May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.

This course is equivalent to MEST 4003.

MEST 4103. Special Topics in Middle East Studies (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Courses in lecture or seminar format to be offered in a variety of disciplines relating to the history, culture, politics, geography, languages, literature, arts, and religions of the Middle East, North Africa, and/or Islamic world. May be repeated for up to 12 hours of degree credit.

MEST 420V. Internship (Sp, Su, Fa). 3-6 Hour.

Internship experience with a group, firm, agency, or non-profit organization related to the Middle East and/or North Africa (MENA). Local, regional, and international internships (paid and unpaid) may take place with various NGOs, related corporations, and US Agencies and Departments. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

MEST 420VH. Honors Internship (Sp, Su, Fa). 3-6 Hour.

Internship experience with a group, firm, agency, or non-profit organization related to the Middle East and/or North Africa (MENA). Local, regional, and international internships (paid and unpaid) may take place with various NGOs, related corporations, and US Agencies and Departments. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and honors standing. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

This course is cross-listed with MEST 420V.

M. Sarwar Alam, Instructor
Spencer L. Allen, Lecturer
Christopher C. Angel, Instructor
Najib Ghadbian, Associate Professor
Paula Marie Haydar, Clinical Assistant Professor
Thomas R. Paradise, University Professor