Middle Eastern Studies
Why should I pursue a minor in Middle Eastern and North African Studies?
The Middle East and North Africa region has long occupied a contested space in public discourse as the site of fluid social, cultural, and political developments. There is a continued urgency for global citizens who are well-informed about the history, cultures, and politics of the region.
The Minor in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Studies will equip you with critical skills to approach the study of the region in a constructive and nuanced manner. Through the minor, you will explore the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa from various intellectual perspectives, using multidisciplinary tools such as textual criticism, historical studies, and strategic analysis.
Areas of exploration include:
- Religious traditions, as the Middle East is the birthplace of the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
- Literary heritage, reflected in the region’s vast body of literature and its numerous languages (Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, Syriac, Turkish, Urdu, Berber, and more)
- Ancient history, spanning 5,000 years of civilization and including the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world
- Economics and geopolitics, since the Middle East is home to the world’s largest reserve of gas and oil
Notre Dame's advanced resources in Middle Eastern and North African Studies are designed to educate and equip the next generation of students with scholarly skills and policy acumen that will enable them to navigate future issues involving these regions in a constructive and nuanced manner.
The MENA Studies minor is open to any Notre Dame undergraduate student.
Questions? Want to get started in MENA?
Professor Hussein Abdulsater
Director of the Middle Eastern and North African Studies Minor