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 Middle Eastern Studies Program at Lehman College

From the Program Director, Dr. Dina Le Gall

Drawing on faculty from a number of departments, the Interdisciplinary Program in Middle Eastern Studies seeks to provide students with an introduction to an area of the world that is as historically and culturally rich as it is critical to today’s geopolitics. The double purpose is to introduce students to a variety of topics and issues in the history, politics, languages, societies, and cultures of the Middle East and to give them the opportunity to study the Middle East using the tools of diverse disciplines. We define the Middle East broadly to include the whole area from North Africa to Afghanistan.

The program is offered as a minor field that complements a wide array of majors. It is particularly valuable for students who wish to combine an interest in the Middle East with majors such as History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, or Languages and Literatures in preparation for graduate work in Middle Eastern Studies or for professional careers in education, business, media, government, human rights, diplomacy, and law, among others.

Learning goals and obectives:

Field Competency: Students will gain an introduction to the Middle East and develop a grasp of central issues in the history, politics, literatures and/or societies of the region. They will approach the Middle East from at least two disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, history, literature, or political science.

Analytical Skills: Students will hone their reading and analytical skills, and will know how to access information and how to summarize and evaluate scholarly arguments and media opinions based on evidence.

Writing Skills: Students will be able to produce well-argued and carefully supported written assignments in which they synthesize information from different sources, advance and sustain arguments, use citations according to accepted academic standards, and avoid plagiarism.

Cultural/Political Awareness: Students will be aware of the diversity of Middle Eastern societies, will learn to approach these societies with empathy, and will be able to participate productively and dispassionately in discussions of complex and contested issues.