The Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) minor is a multidisciplinary minor designed to provide a broad understanding of the cultures, history, politics, and economies of the Middle East and Islamic societies, very broadly defined. The emphasis of the minor is on the complexity and diversity of these societies as well as some of the connections between them. The program includes study of the Middle East from the founding of Islam in the seventh century to the present, as well as those cultures and areas in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere that are associated with the historical and current spread of Islam.
This minor was created in 2007 with the support of then-deans Joel Kassiola and Paul Sherwin. The goal of MEIS is to encourages student to evaluate common perceptions and misperceptions of the Middle East and the Islamic societies, and to develop an appreciation for the complexity of the region, and its cultures, peoples, history, and politics. As we keep reading about the Middle East in the news, the minor helps to explain what led us to this present-day scenario.
The MEIS minor is useful for students planning careers in politics and government, business, education, international organizations, journalism, and art, as well as for those who desire a better understanding of the Middle East, Islamic societies, and Muslim cultures.