Major in Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages & Literature (1151)
The major in Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages & Literatures (MESALL) offers students the chance to develop an in-depth critical understanding of one or more Middle Eastern and/or South Asian literary and cultural traditions, past and present. Graduates are prepared to function well in cross-cultural contexts, and to contribute meaningfully to addressing today’s global challenges. This flexible 11-course program works well as a second major alongside a major such as Comparative Literature, Asian Studies, Middle East & North Africa Studies, European Studies, Religion, or History of Art & Architecture.
Like all World Languages & Literatures (WLL) majors, MESALL majors begin with CAS XL 100 Leaving Home: Explorations in World Literature, a team-taught course in which students meet the WLL faculty through guest lectures and get oriented in the rich diversity of the world’s literary traditions. They start a relevant language study as early as possible and complete at least three language courses above the fourth semester. A course taught in English translation, Introduction to Middle Eastern Literatures (CAS XL 223) or South Asian Literatures (CAS XL 225), introduces students to major texts and can be taken early in the student’s program. Four additional courses in a relevant language, literature, linguistics, and/or culture provide greater depth in areas of special interest to the student. Students have flexibility in designing a program of study that is of interest to them with the approval of their advisor. One WLL elective focused on a non–Middle Eastern language, literature, or culture helps regional, global and/or historical comparison. Finally, MESALL majors reconvene with all WLL majors in the senior capstone seminar CAS XL 479, where they share the expertise they have gained and work with a faculty mentor on a final project using relevant language and/or literature materials.
Major in MESALL Course Requirements
A total of 11 four-credit courses is required, all completed with a grade of C or higher.
- Prerequisite: Four semesters of language study (intermediate level) or demonstrate equivalent proficiency
- CAS XL 100 Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home
- Either CAS XL 223 Introduction to Middle Eastern Literatures or CAS XL 225 Introduction to South Asian Literatures
- CAS L_ 303 or above in a Middle Eastern or South Asian language:
- CAS LH 311 Advanced Modern Hebrew: Voices in Israeli Society
- LN 303 Modern Hindi Literature and Culture or LN 304 Urdu Language and Literature
- LT 303 Advanced Turkish 1
- LY 303 Third-Year Modern Arabic 1
- LZ 311 Advanced Persian 1 (replaceable with CAS L_491 Directed Study or L_492 Directed Study if scheduling is a problem)
- Any combination of six Middle Eastern and South Asian literature/film/culture courses chosen with approval of the advisor from LH, LN, LT, LY, LZ, and XL, and advanced language courses (above 212) chosen from LH, LN, LT, LY, and LZ. Courses taken at Study Abroad programs in the Middle East or South Asia can also count.
- 1 WLL elective, chosen with approval of the advisor, chosen from all courses in WLL. May also be satisfied by taking both CAS CC 101 Ancient Worlds: Core Humanities 1 and CAS CC 102 The Way: Antiquity to the Medieval World: Core Humanities 2; CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or a higher-level linguistics course; or one literature course in Romance Studies, English, or Classical Studies. Students wishing to do more comparative work may count an additional WLL elective in place of one of the six Middle Eastern language/literature courses above.
- CAS XL 479 WLL Senior Seminar. A capstone course with a paper or translation project that makes use of Middle Eastern and/or South Asian language sources.
Major in MESALL Learning Outcomes
- Advanced knowledge of major themes and genres in Middle Eastern and/or South Asian literature and culture in their historical contexts, including links to other world literary traditions.
- Critical and analytical thinking, communication, global literacy, and writing skills within areas of content and cultural knowledge.
- Proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension in a Middle Eastern or South Asian language at or above a level (ACTFL intermediate-high) where these skills can be used for communication in everyday and academic situations.
Graduating with Honors
To graduate with honors, students must maintain a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and take two additional courses above the 11 required for the major:
- One additional MESALL focus or WLL breadth course
- Either CAS TL 540 Theory and Practice of Literary Translation or CAS LY, LT, LZ, LH, or LN 401 or 402 (continuation of the thesis begun in the capstone seminar.