Jun 05, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Studies in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia Concentration

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Studies in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia


Elias Saba


Catherine Chou
Timothy S Dobe
Caleb Elfenbein
Katya Gibel Mevorach
Tony Perman
Elizabeth Prevost
Marion Tricoire
Mervat Youssef


The SAMESA concentration approaches Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia as important arenas of the Global South that share long histories and complex traditions of interaction with one another and the rest of the world. Balancing the importance of critical analysis, contextualization, and comparison, the concentration seeks to promote an awareness of these regions as dynamic centers of intellectual and cultural production in their own right with local, regional, and global nodes of affinity.

Students who concentrate in SAMESA will:

  1. Engage with these regions of the world through a comparative and interdisciplinary framework of investigation;
  2. Develop a historical and/or contemporary consciousness of some of the contested modes of power, knowledge, and culture that have shaped these regions and, in turn, the modern world;
  3. Foster meaningful academic preparation for, self-reflective return from, and curricular integration of off-campus study in South Asia, Africa, or the Middle East (for those who choose to study abroad in these regions, which is strongly encouraged);
  4. Build their skills of global citizenship through a deeper understanding of these parts of the Global South and the diversity of the communities they encompass.

The curricular structure requires students to become conversant in critical theoretical perspectives of difference, knowledge, and power; apply them to comparative regional settings; and develop them in advanced research forums and peer groups.

Concentration requirements: 22 credits as follows:

  • No more than 12 credits from any department.

Critical Theory: 4 credits

4 credits in critical theory (postcolonial, poststructural, or critical discourse, including some consideration of texts produced in Africa, the Middle East, and/or South Asia).

Regional Context: 12 credits

12 credits in regional context at the 100 or 200 level from the following regions. Courses in this category focus at least 40% of their content on one or more of the three regions. Concentrators must include representation from at least two of the three geographic regions by taking either multiple regional courses or by including at least one course that itself is multi-regional.


Middle East

South Asia

Advanced Work: 4 credits

4 credits of advanced work at the 300 or 400 level, either through coursework, or independent study. In courses that involve a major research project, students taking the course to fulfill the concentration requirement should develop their project with the goals of the concentration in mind.

Research Colloquium: 2 credits


With permission, up to 8 credits of Regional Context may be substituted with:

a) Off-Campus Study - 4 credits;

b) ALSO language study in a non-European regional language at the intermediate level or above (examples include, but are not limited to, Hindi, Urdu, Hebrew, or Kiswahili) - 4 credits;

c) artistic or performance study in related coursework or independent projects - 4 credits

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