Thursday, February 3, 2011

COH Awarded $100,000 to Create Program in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

detail of an illuminated page from the Koran.
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the College of Humanities $100,000 to create a new Minor and Program in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEAIS), the College is pleased to announce. Led by Gender and Women’s Studies Professor Nayereh Tohidi, CSUN faculty and students have long envisaged the creation of an interdisciplinary Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program to guide humanities teaching, scholarship, and program development in cross-cultural bridge building, interreligious dialogue, the role of Diaspora Muslims, and the effect of the women’s movement on reformation, democratization, and secularization of Muslim societies.

The Program will offer a Minor in MEAIS (19 units), while also presenting monthly lecture series, annual seminars, cultural events, art exhibitions, and film festivals, further extending CSUN’s cultural outreach to the campus and the larger community. Courses in the MEAIS Minor will be taught by CSUN professors and adjunct lecturers from the departments of History, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Religious Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology. Drawing from the methodologies of this varied field of disciplines within the Humanities and Social Sciences, the MEAIS Minor will explore languages, cultures, art, history, philosophies, and religious thought; sociopolitical movements; and the rich heritage of diverse peoples from Islamic backgrounds—both in U.S. society and around the world. The new Minor will be promoted through Student Advising, annual major fairs, Middle Eastern–related cultural events, campus events, and articles and ads in Daily Sundial, CSUN’s campus newspaper. Students of all national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds will be welcome to enroll in individual MEAIS courses.