Middle East and Islamic Studies Minor
College of Liberal & Creative Arts
Dean: Dr. Andrew Harris
Coordinator: Lucia Volk
Humanities Building, Room 576
Phone: (415) 405-2468
The Middle East and Islamic Studies minor is a multidisciplinary minor designed to provide undergraduate students with a broad understanding of the history, politics, and culture of the Middle East and Islamic world. The students are required to fulfill both core and elective requirements, designed to give a background of the complexity and diversity of the region as well as offer more specific, in-depth studies of select issues of the region. This program covers regions and peoples from or in the Middle East from the founding of Islam in the seventh century to the present. In concert with the “Islamic Studies” aspect of this program, this minor also extends beyond the Middle East to those cultures, societies, and areas that are associated with the historical and current spread of Islam. Students can select from a variety of courses across multiple disciplines, including history, religion, politics, culture, art, music, language, and literature.
The minor is useful to students planning careers in politics and government, business, education, international organizations, journalism, and art, as well as for those who simply desire a better understanding of the Middle East and Islam. The multidisciplinary nature of the program also prepares students for further study in a number of academic fields at the graduate level.
The Middle East and Islamic Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses that deal with the region as a whole from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, plus three upper division courses taken upon advisement.
FRED ASTREN (1996), Professor of Jewish Studies; B.E.S. (1979), University of Minnesota; M.A. (1989), Ph.D. (1993), University of California, Berkeley.
MOHAMMAD AZADPUR (2003), Professor of Philosophy; B.A. (1986), Bucknell University; M.A. (1993), University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D. (1999), University of Virginia.
SANJOY BANERJEE (1990), Professor of International Relations; B.A. (1976), Lehigh University; Ph.D. (1982), Yale University.
BURCU AKAN ELLIS (2004), Professor of International Relations; B.A. (1994), Bilkent University, Turkey; Ph.D. (2001), American University.
ERAN KAPLAN (2011), Professor of Jewish Studies; B.A. (1994), Tel Aviv University; Ph.D. (2001), Brandeis University.
HAFEZ MODIRZADEH (1998), Professor of Music; B.A. (1983), San Jose State University; M.F.A. (1986), University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D. (1992), Wesleyan University.
MAHMOOD MONSHIPOURI (2007), Professor of International Relations; B.A. (1975) Teachers' Training University, Tehran, Iran; M.A. (1979), Allamah Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran; Ph.D. (1987), University of Georgia.
MOHAMMAD RAMADAN SALAMA (2005), Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures; B.A. (1990), M.A. (1995), University of Ain Shams, Al-Alsun Faculty, Cairo; M.A. (2000), Ph.D. (2005), University of Wisconsin, Madison.
LUCIA VOLK (2003), Professor of International Relations; B.A. (1991), Stanford University; M.A. (1994), Georgetown University; Ph.D. (2001), Harvard University.
NICOLE WATTS (2003), Professor of Political Science; B.A. (1989), University of Washington; M.A. (1992), University of London School of Oriental and African Studies; Ph.D. (2001), University of Washington.
MAZIAR BEHROOZ (2002), Associate Professor of History; B.A. (1982), Saint Mary's College of California; M.A. (1985), San Francisco State University; C.Phil. (1989), Ph.D. (1993), University of California, Los Angeles.
CAREL BERTRAM (2002), Associate Professor of Humanities; M.A. (1988), University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. (1998), University of California, Los Angeles.
CHRISTOPHER CHEKURI (2004), Associate Professor of History; B.A. (1987), M.A. (1997), Ph.D. (2005), University of Wisconsin, Madison.
DINA A. IBRAHIM (2003), Associate Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts; B.A. (1994), M.A. (1996), The American University in Cairo; Ph.D. (2003), University of Texas at Austin.
SANTHI KAVURI-BAUER (2003), Associate Professor of Art; B.A. (1991), Rutgers University; M.A. (1996), Ph.D. (2002), University of California, Los Angeles.
SHIRIN A. KHANMOHAMADI (2005), Associate Professor of Comparative and World Literature; B.A. (1991), Brown University; M.A. (1996), The University of Texas at Austin;4 M.A. (1998), Columbia University; Ph.D. (2005), Columbia University.
MITRA ARA (2011), Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Literatures; B.A. (2000), M.A. (2003), Ph.D. (2006), University of California, Berkeley.
Middle East and Islamic Studies Minor — 18–22 units
All course work used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
Core (9–11 units)
Complete at least nine units in the core by taking one course from Section A, one course from Section B, and a third course from either section. MEIS 300 and MEIS 301 may satisfy either Core Section A or B. Any core class taken beyond the required units can be counted towards the required elective units.
|Section A: History and Politics|
|Islamic World I: 500-1500|
|Islamic World II: 1500 - present|
|Middle East and North Africa in International Relations|
|Muslim Societies in Transnational Perspective|
|Middle East Politics|
|Section B: Arts and Culture|
|Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa|
|ARTH 417||The Art and Architecture of Islam||3|
|Cultural Expression in Islam|
|Islam and the Poetics of Space|
|Section A or B:|
|Foundations in Middle East and Islamic Studies|
|Islam: Interpretation and Practice|
Electives (9–11 units)
In addition to the three core courses above, take a minimum of three additional courses as electives. Courses that are used to satisfy core requirements may not also be used as electives.
|Select at least one course from Part I and at least one course from Part II. The third elective may be taken from either part I or II:|
|Part I: History and Politics|
|HIST 583||Islam In South Asia: From 1000 A.D. to the Present||3|
|HIST 584||India and the British Empire||3|
|HIST 604||Islamic World I: 500-1500||3|
|HIST 605||Islamic World II: 1500 - present||3|
|HIST 606||History of Iran and Afghanistan 1500 - Present||3|
|HIST 607||Imperialism and Nationalism in the Recent Near East||3|
|HIST 644||Proseminar in World History||3|
|I R 323||The Persian Gulf in International Relations||4|
|I R 324||Middle East and North Africa in International Relations||4|
|I R 326||South and Southeast Asia Foreign Relations||4|
|I R 335||Muslim Societies in Transnational Perspective||4|
|I R/MEIS 433||Model Arab League||4|
|JS/I R/PLSI 430||Israeli Democracy: Politics, Institutions, and Society||3|
|PLSI 410||Middle East Politics||4|
|PLSI 420||State-Society Relations in the Middle East||4|
|PLSI/MEIS 431||Constructing Kurdistan||4|
|PHIL 436||Islamic Political Philosophy||3|
|Part II: Arts and Culture|
|ANTH 319||Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa||3|
|ARAB 102||Second Semester Arabic||4|
|ARAB 103||Third Semester Arabic||4|
|ARAB 104||Fourth Semester Arabic||4|
|ARAB 206||Intermediate Conversation||3|
|ARAB 300||Reading Qur'anic Arabic||3|
|ARAB 600||Modern Arabic Literature and Film in English||3|
|ARAB 650||Modern Arabic Fiction in English||3|
|ARTH 417||The Art and Architecture of Islam||3|
|CWL/HUM 424||Multicultural Middle Ages||3|
|CWL 430||Heroic Tales of the Mediterranean||3|
|HEBR 102||Second Semester Modern Hebrew||3|
|HEBR 201||Third Semester Modern Hebrew||3|
|HEBR 202||Fourth Semester Modern Hebrew||3|
|HUM 361||Cultural Expression in Islam||3|
|HUM 375||Biography of a City (Istanbul)||3|
|HUM 496||Islam and the Poetics of Space||3|
|JS/CINE 408||Israeli Cinema||3|
|JS/HUM/PHIL 501||Judaism, Christianity, and Islam||3|
|MUS 530||Musics of the Middle East and India||3|
|PHIL 516||Islamic Philosophy||3|
|PHIL 517||Islamic Mysticism||3|
|PRSN 102||Second Semester Persian||4|
|PRSN 103||Third Semester Persian||4|
|PRSN 104||Fourth Semester Persian||4|
|PRSN 206||Basic Persian Conversation||3|
|PRSN 260||Persian Culture and Civilization in English||3|
|PRSN 350||Advanced Persian||3|
|RRS/ARAB 450||Contemporary Arabic and Arab American Literature||3|
|WGS 565||Muslim Feminisms||3|
Foreign Language Requirement
Students are strongly encouraged to develop proficiency in a Middle Eastern language or a language pertaining to the Islamic world and to commit to more than one semester of language studies. Therefore, second-semester language courses and higher will count towards elective units. Each student will discuss how to incorporate language into their minor during advising sessions.
Students completing the Middle East and Islamic Studies minor are strongly encouraged to participate in study-abroad programs, whether through the CSU system or another approved study abroad program. SF State’s bilateral exchange with Koç University in Istanbul is particularly suited for MEIS minors. Please attend OIP’s informational sessions and then see a MEIS advisor.