Undergraduate Fields of Specialization: North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia
North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia
North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia have witnessed the flourishing of some of the earliest civilizations and empires, as well as the emergence of the first cities and writing systems. The relevance of the massive regions stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of China remains absolutely essential to this day, whether in terms of nation-building, migrations, oil, and the new “Silk Road,” or religious, racial, and ethnic diversity, to name but a few. This field of specialization will offer students an opportunity to study these vast expanses in the longue durée, from the emergence of world religions, to the formation and collapse of pre-modern and modern empires, to the rise of modern nation states. A rich variety of courses will also introduce students to the vibrant intellectual and cultural life of this cosmopolitan region, to legal practices, urban contexts, environmental history, social, religious, and military history, race and gender, and the role of nationalism and religion in the cultural and political transformation of modern societies.