MES 450 Directed Studies Project / Middle East Studies Student Workshop
6 credits – Full Year
Restricted to upper-level undergrads; Instructor approval required

In this directed study course, students will be instructed on how to write a polished research paper to be presented at the 2022 Middle East & Islamic Consortium (MEICON) Student Conference at UBC and submitted for publication in an undergraduate journal. Students will learn about different stages of research and writing, workshopping and peer-editing, aural presentation, and more. All papers must be focused on the Middle East (broadly construed) and/or Islam in some capacity.
Please contact Prof. Pheroze Unwalla (Chair, Middle East Studies) at for further details or to discuss eligibility.

Mandatory Core Course

MES 300 (3) The Middle East: Critical Questions and Debates. This innovative, interdisciplinary course introduces students to the study of the Middle East. Each week we will engage with crucial questions and debates that continue to shape scholarly and public perceptions of this widely misunderstood region. Adopting a critical perspective on area studies, we will expose the ‘Middle East’ as a problematic construct that holds the potential to limit our imaginations, distort our understanding of its diverse cultures, and obscure the connections between it and other areas of the world. By doing so, we grapple with how best to navigate the complex challenges inherent to Middle East Studies and contest the paradigms that posit the Middle East as exceptional in the worst sense of the term. This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the Middle East is required. Prerequisites: None.

Special Topics Courses*

Each year, some departments offer special topics course with MES-related content. Please inform the Program Chair if you are taking one of these courses and wish for it to count towards the MES Minor.

MES 450 Arabic for Heritage Learners (title tentative – offered 2022W T2)

HIST105B The Global War on Terror

HIST 403E Seminar in the History of International Relations: The Middle East in Graphic Novels: History, Politics and the Tragic Comic

*This list is not exhaustive. Please consult with the Program Chair if you locate other potential special topics courses with MES content that might count.


New Courses for 2022W

Introductory Modern Standard Arabic I (ARBM 101)

Complete List of Approved Courses

Many of the courses offered this year are highlighted in the list below. Please note the following:

  1. Departments often add course offerings. Some courses may be offered this coming year but are not highlighted here.
  2. Upon consultation, the Program Chair may approve courses not listed here.
  3. Students are encouraged to speak with the Program Chair or other relevant MES-affiliated faculty about the possibility of conducting directed readings or student-directed seminars
  4. Language courses are optional. There is no language requirement for the MES Minor.


ARBC 101 (3) Beginning Classical and Quranic Arabic I
ARBC 102 (3) Beginning Classical and Quranic Arabic II
ARBC 201 (3) Intermediate Classical and Quranic Arabic I
ARBC 202 (3) Intermediate Classical and Quranic Arabic II

ARBM 101 Introductory Modern Standard Arabic I 
ARBM 102 Introductory Modern Standard Arabic II

ASIA 206 (3) Modern Islam
ASIA 207 (3) Classical Islam

AMNE 170 (3) Temples, Tombs, and Tyrants: The Archaeology of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome
AMNE 200 (3) Approaching the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East
AMNE 251 (3) Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology
AMNE 260 (3) Scriptures of the Near East

HEBR 101 (3) Beginning Biblical Hebrew I
HEBR 102 (3) Beginning Biblical Hebrew II
HEBR 201 (3) Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I
HEBR 202 (3) Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II

HIST 280 (3) Islamic World History

NEST 101 (3) Introduction to Near Eastern and Egyptian Archaeology

PERS 100 (3) Basic Persian I
PERS 101 (3) Basic Persian II
PERS 104 (3) Basic Persian
PERS 200 (3) Intermediate-Low Persian I
PERS 201 (3) Intermediate-Low Persian II

RELG 101 (3) Introduction to the Western (Abrahamic) Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
RELG 201 (3) Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology
RELG 203 (3) Scriptures of the Near East
RELG 206 (3) Introduction to Judaism and its Texts
RELG 209 (3) Eden to Exile: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible


AMNE 320A (3) Topics in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern History and Culture
AMNE 382 (3) Egyptomania
AMNE 440A (3) Seminar in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Literature and Ideas – ANC MED IDEAS
AMNE 441 (3) Literature of Ancient Egypt or the Ancient Near East
AMNE 470A (3) Seminar in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology – ANC MED ARCH
AMNE 470B (3) Seminar in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology – ANC MED ARCH
AMNE 572A (3) Topics in Near Eastern Archaeolog

ANTH 311 (3) Ethnography of the Middle East

ARBC 420 (3-12) d Supervised Study in Classical Arabic

ARTH 350 (3) Grounding the Islamic Image
ARTH 351 (3/6) Art and Urban Culture in the Islamic World
ARTH 354 (3) Mughal India: Art, Architecture and the Spectacle of Empire
ARTH 450 (3) Seminar in Art in the Islamic World

ASIA 310 (3/6) Studies in the History of a Major Asian Civilization (dependent on iteration)
ASIA 330 (3) Islam in South Asia (1750 – present)
ASIA 360 (3-9) A Specific Asian Literature in Translation (dependent on iteration)
ASIA 380 Modern Arabic Literature from the Middle East and North Africa in Translation 
ASIA 392 (3) Classical Persian Literature in English Translation
ASIA 393 (3) History of Iran from the Sasanians to the Safavids
ASIA 394 (3) Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema
ASIA 395 (3) Modern Persian Literature
ASIA 408 (3) Religion, Society, and Secularism in Modern India
ASIA 414 (3) Architecture and Urbanism in Islamic South Asia
ASIA 428 (3) Mughal India
ASIA 433 (3) The Cinematic Lives of Muslims in South Asia
ASIA 461 (3) Gender and Sexuality in Modern Iranian Narratives

ENGL 370 (3-6) Literatures and Cultures of Africa and/or the Middle East (dependent on iteration)

GEOG 498 (3) Geographies of the Middle East

GRSJ 410 (3) Religious Feminisms

HEBR 479 (3-12) Supervised Study in Classical Hebrew

HIST 341 (3) Medieval Jewish History
HIST 342 (3) Modern Jewish History
HIST 352 (3) Modern Middle Eastern History
HIST 353 (3-6) Special Topics in Middle Eastern History
HIST 354 (3) The Ottoman Empire
HIST 388 India in the Early Modern World: Mughals, Merchants, and Marauders (PLEASE CONTACT MES CHAIR TO HAVE THIS COUNT TOWARDS MES MINOR)
HIST 405 (3) Diplomacy and Conflict in the Middle East, 1914 to the Present

NEST 304 (3) Ancient Egypt: Archaeology of the Land of the Pharaohs
NEST 317 (3) Introduction to Coptic
NEST 318 (3) Egyptomania
NEST 319 (3) The Archaeology of Ancient Iraq and Syria: Babylon and Beyond
NEST 402 (3-6) Archaeology of the City in the Ancient Near East

PERS 300 (3) Intermediate-High Persian I
PERS 301 (3) Intermediate-High Persian I
PERS 400 (3) Persian Short Story for Native and Heritage Speakers
PERS 401 (3) Contemporary Iranian Cinema for Advanced Speakers of Persian PLEASE CONTACT MES CHAIR TO HAVE THIS COUNT TOWARDS MES MINOR)

RELG 305 (3) The Prophetic Personality in Ancient Israel
RELG 306 (3) Archaeology and the Bible
RELG 308 (3) Talmud, Midrash and the Rabbinic Imagination
RELG 309 (3) Jews and Christians
RELG 310 (3) Jewish Responses to Catastrophe
RELG 316 (3) The Origins of Christianity: Literary Contexts
RELG 317 (3) The Origins of Christianity: Social, Religious, and Political Milieux
RELG 330 (3) Origins of Judaism
RELG 385 (3) Mystical Traditions: Jewish and Christian.
RELG 407 (3) Topics in Early Judaism
RELG 408 (3) Topics in Medieval Judaism
RELG 409 (3) Topics in Modern Judaism
RELG 448 (3) Seminar in the History of the Religion of Islam