The Program in Middle East and North African Studies offers undergraduates the opportunity to pursue and develop their interests in the history, languages, literatures, politics and societies of this large and diverse region of the world. While there is room in the major in MENA studies for some specialization, the MENA Program is committed to cross-regional and interdisciplinary approaches in order to allow students to glimpse the multiplicity of ways that the particularities of the region may be approached.

To complete a major or a minor, undergraduates take a combination of courses offered by the MENA program and those that originate in other departments but taught by MENA faculty affiliates (these courses appear on a list of preapproved courses; see the Course Guide posted elsewhere on this site). Students pursuing the major may also petition the MENA Director to consider other courses not listed on the Course Guide if she or he can demonstrate their relevance to their course of study.

The centerpiece of the major is MENA 301, a three-course sequence that is the key, formative experience for students majoring in Middle East and North African studies. Each academic year, three faculty affiliated with MENA will teach 301 (one each quarter). Together, these faculty members will choose an overarching theme for the year (e.g., Revolution; Politics and Culture; the Middle East and the World). Each seminar will be tailored to the professor’s own strengths and disciplinary focus and will be an independent course with no prerequisite for enrollment, nor any expectation that students will have taken the other courses in the sequence. Thus students should feel free to take one, two, or all three courses in any given year.

MENA 301 differs from courses on the Middle East and North Africa in other departments by

  1. offering students a more intimate, focused, upper-level approach to the study of the MENA region;
  2. relating individual courses to a larger historical or social question, reaching across the annual theme;
  3. highlighting interdisciplinarity;
  4. offering students the opportunity to reflect on different disciplinary approaches to a similar historical, political, or social problem/question.
The 2013–2014 theme is: Transformations of the Traditional
Click hereto see detailed course descriptions.

Fall 2013: MENA 301-1: “Reform, Revival, and Modern Islam”
Instructor: Brannon Ingram, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Winter 2014: MENA 301-2: “Gender in the Middle East: Accommodation, Challenge and the In-between”
Instructor: Amina Tawasil, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in MENA Studies

Spring 2014: MENA 301-3: “20/21 C Lit & Film from MENA: National Traditions, Global Influences”
Instructor: Brian Edwards, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies

Whether or not you are able to complete a major or a minor, we encourage you to try out our courses, take a language class, or attend one of our events. Welcome!


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On the Ground: New Directions in Middle East and North African Studies, edited by Brian Edwards, and featuring the work of 8 core faculty in MENA, was released in print on February 6, 2014. An online edition with full text of the contents is available here.

Upcoming Events

No MENA Monday March 9th
March 9, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

MENA Monday: Dr. Waleed Hazbun, American University of Beirut
March 16, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

MENA Monday: Dr. Meltem Gürle, Boğaziçi University
March 30, 2015 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Photo Gallery

Brian Edwards,Tehran, 2009

Jessica Winegar, Egypt, 2011

Brian Edwards, Isfahan, 2007

Hannah Feldman, Algiers

Brian Edwards, Fes

Hannah Feldman, Doha, Qatar

Brian Edwards, Casablanca, 2011

Jessica Winegar, Egypt, 2011

Brian Edwards, Casablanca, 2011

Brian Edwards, Cairo, 2009

Elizabeth Hurd, Damascus, 2009

Brian Edwards, Cairo, 2009