Middle East Concentration

Middle East

The concentration in the Middle East focuses on the religion, politics, art, and literature of the Middle East and North Africa.  The concentration includes the Arab world, as well as important bordering states such as Turkey and Iran.  This is a region with a rich history and tradition which has been a preoccupation of recent United States foreign policy.  

Language Requirement:

Students must demonstrate competency in Arabic.  (Competency means the equivalent of six semesters of Arabic.)

LSU Courses in the Middle East Concentration:

  • ARTH 2401 – Art of the Ancient Near East and Egypt (3) This is a General Education course.Development of art and architecture in the ancient Near East and Egypt over three millennia; influences of one culture on another and subsequent contributions to Western art.
  • HIST 4096/REL 4096/INTL 4096 – The Modern Middle East (3) Major problems of the Middle East and North Africa in the modern period; internal Arab social, economic and intellectual developments; Muslim responses to European colonialism; modern Arab nationalism and political trends; Islamic reformist and revivalist movements; problem of Palestine.
  • INTL 3992 – Study Abroad in the Middle East (1-6) May be repeated for up to 12 hours credit when topics vary.Studies in the history, culture, economics, politics or geography of the Middle East.
  • INTL 4033/GEOG 4033 – Geography of Central Asia and Afghanistan (3) Survey of the geography of Central Asia and Afghanistan; emphasis on geographic elements of the history, ecology, environment, economy and strategic importance of the region.
  • INTL 4051/GEOG 4051 – North Africa and the Middle East (3) Survey of the geography of North Africa and the Middle East; emphasis on the geographic elements of the history, ecology, economy and politics of the region.
  • POLI 4059 – International Politics of the Middle East (3) International relations among Middle Eastern countries, with special emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict, international terrorism and U.S. policy toward the region.
  • POLI 4061 – Comparative Politics of the Middle East (3) Government and politics of Middle Eastern countries, with special emphasis on political institutions and processes, the role of Islam and women’s conditions.
  • REL 2029 – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (3) This is a General Education course.Credit will not be given for this course and REL 2030. Survey of the history, beliefs and practices of these three related religions.
  • REL 3100 – Judaism (3) Religious texts, faith and practice in Judaism, from antiquity to the present.
  • REL 3786/INTL 3786 – The Religion of Islam (3) Introduction to the major religious and cultural dimensions of the Islamic world, both those that express its diversity and those that express its continuity; emphasis on the development of classical Islamic institutions and ideas, the diverse forms of Islamic religious and cultural life over the past fourteen centuries as the Islamicate tradition has spread around the world.
  • REL 3092/INTL 3092 – Fundamentalisms and Religious Nationalism (3) Investigates how the phenomenon of fundamentalism manifests itself in combinations of religion and politics in various countries around the world as a response to “modernity.”
  • SOCL 4551 – Global Society (3) Prerequisite: SOCL 2001 or equivalent. Presents central concepts and major perspectives on international development, globalization and world poverty and income inequality.

Note: Course offerings will vary from semester to semester, and there are invariably new courses or special topics classes which are applicable to this concentration but do not appear on the list below.  A scheduling guide listing course offerings will be circulated before scheduling begins for each semester.  Also students who study abroad can ask to count courses taken abroad toward their concentration.  Generally any course focusing on the modern Middle East (Ottoman empire and after) can be applied to the concentration.

Study Abroad Options:

Study Abroad options for this concentration include semester and academic year exchange programs in Morocco and in the United Arab Emirates, as well as a frequent LSU summer program in the city of Fez in Morocco.  Please visit the Academic Programs Abroad) for more information.