Middle East and Islamic Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Undergraduate

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

200-Level Courses

RELI 211: Religions of the West (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Focuses on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from historical, comparative, and cross-cultural perspectives. May also include modern developments of those faiths such as Mormonism and Baha'ism, as well as Zoroastrianism and religions of ancient Near Eastern cultures. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 272: Islam (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Introduces basic religious beliefs and practices of Islam, with view to diverse manifestations of Islamic culture in different ethnic and social contexts. Provides overview of essential rituals of Islamic life, mystical practices of Sufis, certain popular forms of religious practice, sources and application of Islamic law, and distinctive Islamic artistic and literary forms. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 281: Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Survey of Middle Eastern history from rise of Islam to present, emphasizing processes that led to emergence of economic, cultural, social, and political institutions that characterize region today. Surveys period from rise of Islam in 570 to medieval period (ca. 1258) May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 282: Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Survey of Middle Eastern history from rise of Islam to present, emphasizing processes that led to emergence of economic, cultural, social, and political institutions that characterize region today. Surveys medieval period to present. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

300-Level Courses

ANTH 308: Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines the anthropological literature on peoples and cultures of the Middle East, with particular attention to political and social change over the course of the 20th century. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

ANTH 309: Peoples and Cultures of India (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examination of South Asia, with emphasis on India. Includes general overview of prehistory and history; impact of colonialism; contemporary Indian culture, including the changing relations of caste and class, family organization, and the roles of women, religion, and ideology; and current trends in economic development and socioeconomic differences in different parts of the country. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

ENGH 309: Topics in Literature (1-3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Studies literature by topics, such as women in literature, science fiction, and literature of the avant garde. Notes: Topic varies. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ARTH 319: Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Aspects of the art, archaeology, and culture of ancient Near East and Bronze Age Mediterranean. Approach varies depending on instructor; emphasis may be on Mesopotamia, Iran, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, or the Aegean. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 24 credits.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ARTH 320: Art of the Islamic World (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Introduction to Islamic art, from the time of Muhammad to present. Cultural and regional approach, utilizing local museum collections. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: Completion of 24 hours.
Schedule Type: Lecture

GOVT 328: Non-Western Political Theory (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Theory and history of political community, governance, and development as understood by various non-Western societies, including China, Japan, India, Africa, and Islamic World; relations to Western tradition; methodology of studying other cultures; postcolonial theories; and cultural politics on contemporary globalization. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: GOVT 101 or 133.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ANTH 330: Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Examines cultures of a specific region such as Africa and the Middle East. Focuses primarily on non-Western cultures. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: ANTH 114, 60 credits, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

GOVT 332: Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Societies of Middle East and North Africa and their response to impact of internal sociocultural-political determinants and external forces. Focuses on contemporary politics, ideologies, popular manifestations, institutions, and operations. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: GOVT 132, 133.
Schedule Type: Lecture

GOVT 340: Central Asian Politics (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Comparative examination of political change in Central Asia with attention to national identity formation, political economy, political conflict, political Islam, and democratization. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

GOVT 345: Islam and Politics (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Covers politics of religion in Muslim societies; history, ideology, and practices of key individuals, movements, and institutions; case studies of political Islam in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the West; plurality and diversity of political expression in Muslim world; nature of democracy in Islam; and Islamic state. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 355: Sufism (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines the tradition of Islamic mysticism, Sufism, through an exploration of the literature produced by Sufis themselves. Provide general introduction to Sufism and its spiritual perspective and investigates various genres of Sufi literature, including hagiography, symbolic scriptural exegesis, spiritual autobiography, didactic allegory and love poetry. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ENGH 362: Global Voices (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Studies two cultures other than contemporary British or American culture through exploration of several textual forms such as written literature, oral literature, film, folklore, or popular culture. Specific cultures vary, but at least one is non- Western. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the degree.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 374: Islamic Thought (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines Islamic views on fundamental issues in religious thought, such as nature of God, nature of man, and relationship between God and man as reflected in both divine revelation and human religious vocation. Investigates intellectual approaches to these problems within Islamic tradition, including those of theological, philosophical, and mystical thinkers. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: RELI 211, 3 credits in religious studies, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

RELI 375: Qur'an and Hadith (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Explores two primary sources of Islamic belief and practice: Qur'an and Hadith. Discusses thematic structure and literary quality, and examines theological and moral issues. Also introduces various methods of interpretation and critical analysis applied to texts in both Islamic and Western scholarship. Lecture and discussion. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits in philosophy and religious studies, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ARTH 382: Arts of India (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

History, culture, and arts of south Asia from earliest civilizations along the Indus River to onset of Western colonialism. Emphasizes role of material evidence in the creation of the South Asian history and how political, social, and religious developments affected the arts. Discusses monuments and artifacts in a variety of media in relation to historical contexts. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 24 credits.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ARTH 386: The Silk Road (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Explores luxury arts and material culture of Eurasian trade routes between Mediterranean and China in historical, religious, and social contexts. Emphasizes cultural interactions in medieval Central Asia. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 24 credits.
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 387: Topics in Global History (3-6 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest in global, Latin American, African, Asian, or Middle Eastern history. Notes: Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

400-Level Courses

ARAB 420: Survey of Arabic Literature (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

A survey of Arabic literature from its genesis to the present day. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Taught in Arabic, Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: Six credits of 300 level courses taught in Arabic or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

ARAB 440: Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Survey of the religious and intellectual heritage of the Arab world. Notes: May be repeated when topic and texts are different. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
Mason Core: Capstone
Specialized Designation: Taught in Arabic, Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: Six credits of 300 level Arabic or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

GOVT 445: Human Rights (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Explores philosophical, legal, and political issues at heart of modern international human rights movement. Examines historical background legal architecture of modern human rights movement. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: GOVT 132.
Schedule Type: Lecture

FREN 453: Topics in North African Francophone Literature and Culture (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Analyzes a selection of literary texts (novel, short story, poetry, and/or theater) and authors in their historical and cultural contexts with a focus on the construction of identity: Maghreb in pre and (post)colonial era, recent ideological trends in writing. Notes: May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: 15 credits of French at the 300 level or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 460: Modern Iran (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Modern Iran, from 1800 to present, in context of several broad themes: institutional structure of state; role of great powers in Iran and Iranian response to economic, military, technological, and ideological challenge posed by West; interaction of religion and other ideologies and politics; economic development and impact on politics and society; and ways historians have sought to understand and interpret modern Iranian history. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 461: Arab-Israeli Conflict (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Overview of history of Arab-Israeli conflict. Examines conflict from various perspectives: over land and between competing nationalisms and identities; in terms of national interests of various states, including Israelis and Palestinians as well as other Arab governments and great powers; and in terms of peace making and conflict resolution. Some knowledge of history of Middle East since World War I strongly advised. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 462: Women in Islamic Society (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Surveys history of women in Islamic society from rise of Islam to present day. Examines historical processes that affected role and status of women in society, and specific topics around which issues of gender status and identity coalesced, especially in modern period. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

HIST 465: The Middle East in the 20th Century (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Political, social, and cultural history of Middle East since World War I. Emergence of Israel, Arab nationalism, and political and economic influence of Middle East in world affairs. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Recommended Prerequisite: 6 hours of HIST or permission of Instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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