February 16, 2012

Middle East Studies Offered at Hamline

Middle East Studies main

The Middle East is rarely out of the headlines and has long been a place of fascination for people around the world. Now Hamline undergraduate students have a greater opportunity to examine the complex issues of the region with the newly created Middle East studies minor.

“Whenever Hamline has offered classes on the Middle East there has been a waiting list of students who want to participate,” global studies professor Leila DeVriese said. “So there’s clearly a demand, an interest, and a thirst for knowledge about that area, especially as it’s emerging as an increasingly significant, important, and timely topic.”

Hamline boasts faculty expertise in numerous aspects of the Middle East, so the minor will provide a broad scope of knowledge in order to give students a fuller understanding of the intricacies of the region and context in order to examine contemporary issues.

“To truly understand the complexities of the Middle East with all the historical legacies of colonization and imperialism, you need to look at the area through multiple lenses,” DeVriese said. “We can’t just look at it with a historical, political, or economic lens, we really need to see the convergence of all these different forces to be able to discuss solutions.”

Paired with one of Hamline’s more than 50 areas of study, students can also tailor their academic focus on the Middle East to their own interest. Classes within the minor emphasize aspects of business, law, journalism, literature, history, language, religion, culture, art, and government.

“There are a lot of career opportunities for people who have in-depth knowledge of the Middle East,” Mira Reinberg, professor of modern languages and literature, said. “That’s true if you want to work for an international company that conducts business in that part of the world, or if you want a career in foreign service, with a non-governmental organization or nonprofit, or any number of international corporations.”

Even before this new minor was established Hamline students took advantage of study abroad experiences in Dubai, Morocco, Turkey, and Israel. The aim is to further expand those opportunities through already established international connections with Hamline’s School of Law and School of Business, as well as to explore new options that will enhance the student experience.

To find out more about this new minor, and to see a list of specific classes, visit Middle East studies web page. Keep up on news about this new minor by ‘liking’ the Middle East studies facebook page. You can watch DeVriese’s video blog as she conducts social media research in Egypt and Bahrain by going to YouTube.