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.