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Introduction to ME/SA Studies Seminar

The Middle East/South Asia Studies program offers a First Year Seminar and First Year Aggie Connection every Fall quarter. The seminar was initially developed to help students who have a personal connection or interest in learning about the Middle East or South Asia find community on campus. The first offering of the seminar coincided with the unexpected transition to virtual instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was proven to be crucial in helping students connect with their peers, faculty, and staff.


Introduction to Middle East/South Asia Studies is a one-quarter 2 unit seminar that provides a basic introduction to the peoples and cultures of Middle East and South Asia (ME/SA), designed especially for students of South Asian or Middle Eastern backgrounds, students interested in finding out more about these areas of the world, and students considering a Major or Minor in the Middle East/South Asia Studies (ME/SA) Program. Lectures and interactive sessions are specifically designed to help students acquire the basic knowledge of the histories, cultures, languages, literatures, societies, and geopolitical significance of this vast geographical area shared between the countries of Middle East and South Asia, connected through the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea and the overland corridor of Afghanistan and Central Asia – home to a quarter of the earth’s population, with India in South Asia, with 1.3 billion people and Egypt, in the Middle East, with 90 million plus. Taken together, the region is also where more than half of the world’s total population of Muslims live, with India home to the second largest Muslim population in the world. These facts alone make the study of ME/SA of enormous interest to all who are interested in Global Learning. This seminar is designed with a view to help our students gain a greater understanding and deeper knowledge of the societies, histories, languages, literatures and religions of Arab, South Asian, and diasporic Americans living in the U.S. Sessions will be devoted to themes such as: ‘Arab speaking peoples’, ‘Muslim Diaspora’, ‘Global Hinduism’; ‘Iran, Persia and the Persianate World’ and ‘Geopolitical futures of the Middle East’. The course will also teach students how to develop basic skills or writing, oral presentation, and academic planning, and also introduce them to valuable on-campus resources relating to the study of ME/SA.

Please email ME/SA Advisor for more information about the seminar.