Institute for Middle East Studies

PLEASE NOTE: This information is subject to change prior to the beginning of registration, so please verify your course selections against the University Bulletin listings.

Also, this listing does not include language classes, or classes that may count towards Professional Specialization Field requirements.

Contact the Middle East Studies Operations Mangager if you have any questions about the course offerings.

Graduate Course Offerings – Fall 2015


IAFF 6361 – MES Cornerstone
Brown, N
M, 7:10 – 9:00PM


HIST 6801.10 – Early Modern Empires in the Middle East
Khoury, D
M, 5:10 – 7:00PM

HIST 6801.11 – Readings in the Modern Middle East
Robinson, S
T, 5:10 – 7:00PM

IAFF 6378.14 – Political Economy of the Middle East
Losman, D
T, 7:10 – 9:00PM

PSC 6377 – Government and Politics of the Middle East
Brown, N
M, 5:10 – 9:00 PM

PSC 6478 – International Relations of the Middle East
Cook, S
W, 5:10 – 7:00 PM


ARAB 3301 – Modern Arabic Literature
Bonnah, A
M/W 11:10AM – 12:25PM

IAFF 6378.10 – U.S. Policy in the Gulf
Gnehm, E
M, 5:10 – 7:00PM

IAFF 6378.11 – U.S. Security Policy in the Middle East
Yahpe, J
R, 5:10 – 7:00PM

IAFF 6378.12 – Religion and Politics in Post-Revolutionary Iran
R, 5:10 – 7:00PM

IAFF 6378.13 – Politics of North Africa
Lawrence, W
R, 7:10 – 9:00PM

REL 6402 – Qur’an and Hadith
Faghfoory, M
T, 7:10 – 9:40PM

REL 6441 – Islamic Law
Iravani, A
W, 3:30 – 6:00PM

Graduate Course Offerings – Summer 2015


PSC 6377 – Comparative Politics of the Middle East
Kiamie, C
M/W, 6:10PM - 8:20PM

Middle East Comparative Politics introduces students to the major questions and theoretical approaches involved in the study of the region's politics.  Some of the substantive topics we will cover include:  theories of the state; power, authority and legitimacy; nationalism and identity; competing definitions of ‘the political’; political economy of development; oil and politics; authoritarianism, democratization, and political hybridism; political liberalization and civil society; and religion and politics (specifically Islamist political movements).  The seminar encourages students to rethink many aspects of comparative politics of the Middle East that they have perhaps previously viewed as static or dull - and makes use of readings geared to certain special topics in the region's politics that go "beyond the headlines."  Exposure to pressing questions and various theoretical approaches involved in the study of politics in the Middle East will give students the ability to contextualize popular press and other materials related to the region.  For more information, please contact Prof. Kiamie at


ARAB 3302 – Media Arabic
Esseesy, M
M/T/W/R, 4:00PM - 5:30PM

Authentic scripted and audiovisual materials from various contemporary Arab media outlets including television and radio newscast and cultural programs, newspaper and magazine articles, and the Internet. Prerequisites: ARAB 3001 or ARAB 3301 or permission of instructor.

Graduate Course Offerings – Spring 2015


ANTH 6707 – Anthropology of Government and State in the Middle East
Feldman, I
W 5:10pm – 7:00pm

GEOG 6262 – Geographical Perspectives on the Middle East
Jensen, N
M 5:10pm –7:00pm
Examination of selected topics related to political, economic, social, cultural, and geographic patterns and processes in the region.

IAFF 6364 – Religion/Society in the Middle East
Ibrahim, K
T 7:10pm – 9:40pm
Religion is a major presence in Middle Eastern societies: focus of identity; basis of community organization; cultural idiom; system of religious belief and practice; source of law; guide to politics; and reference for public morality. Religion in general, and Islam specifically, can not only be a source of unity and identity but also an object of contestation, as believers argue over interpretations, ritual practices, and social enactments.
This course examines the varieties of religious expression, organization, and contestation in Middle Eastern societies, largely by a focus on contemporary Islam.


IAFF 6378 – Iraq & Iran
Yaphe, J
R 5:10pm – 7:00pm
This course is intended to give you information and insight into the history and political culture of modern Iraq and its relations with Iran, its other neighbors, and the United States. The focus will be on the role of occupation, militarism, and nationalism on state formation; the consequences of ethnic, sectarian and ideological conflict; and the impact of these issues on the region and U.S. security from 1914 to the present. The region is important for its geo-strategic location, energy resources, and propensity for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and autocratic governance. All of these issues are flashpoints for U.S foreign and security policy interests. This course is meant to enhance your knowledge base as well as your ability to analyze these issues; understand them in their geographic, cultural, and historical context; and examine how policy was and is made towards this complex region.

IAFF 6378 – Lebanon & Syria
Jouejati, M
W 5:10pm – 7:00pm
This course explores the inextricable link between Syria and Lebanon - from the time these territories were part of the Ottoman Empire until the present. In the process, the course focuses on the different political and economic trajectories the two states followed upon gaining independence from France; the domestic and external sources of their respective foreign policies; Lebanon's slide towards civil war in 1975 and Syria's intervention to end it; the politics of Syria's domination of Lebanon and, ultimately, its ouster from the latter.

IAFF 6378 – Militaries/Politics in the Middle East
Cook, S
W 7:10pm – 9:00pm
This course is designed to examine the nature of civil-military relations in the Middle East in an effort to understand 1) the connection between militaries and the development of regime in the region, 2) the role militaries play in the durability of Middle Eastern political systems, and 3) possible pathways out of authoritarian politics.

IAFF 6378 – Turkish Politics and Society
Tol, G
R 5:10pm – 7:10pm
This graduate level course offers in-depth knowledge on Turkish domestic and foreign policy as well as a multi-faceted perspective on dynamics of the contemporary Turkish society. Topics will include current Turkish foreign policy, its dynamics, domestic, regional and international drivers and implications, Turkish political parties and their ideological stance, socio-economic, ideological and cultural cleavages in Turkish society, relations between civil-military and secular-traditional Islamic forces and their impact on Turkish politics. At the end of this course, students will have an in-depth understanding of contemporary issues in Turkish domestic and foreign policy and be able to interpret these issues with a well-informed and sound analysis.

IAFF 6378 – US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
Jeffrey, J
T 5:10pm – 7:10pm
The course focus is on U.S. policy towards the Middle East. It will begin with an inventory of U.S. foreign policy basic principles and bureaucratic tools. It will then survey the Middle East as a whole, to identify commonalities of importance to American policy makers. It will then focus on individual countries of importance (Israel, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey), and critical issues (Islam, Terrorism, the Arab Spring, Use of Force). Each weekly segment will focus on a given country or issue, introduce student participation, and concentrate on a specific U.S. foreign policy decision ‘case study,’ in order to examine the trade craft at play, its success or failure, and the reasons for either. The course will come to a close with a simulation, choosing an issue of current interest at the time, encouraging students to apply what they have learned related to both U.S. foreign policy conduct, and the Middle East area of operations. The final session will look at the future, return to the course beginnings with the focus on the U.S. and the region as a whole, and examine how the U.S. might deal with it in the future.


IAFF 6378 – Politics & Society of Gulf
Yaphe, J; Gnehm, E
W 5:10pm – 7:10pm

This course is intended to give information and insight into the factors that have shaped and continue to influence the political culture, society and governing processes in the region commonly called the Persian or Arabian Gulf; depending which side of the body of water you favor. For purposes of this course, we will refer simply to the Gulf and focus on Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Yemen. Iran is included as a Gulf state in the context of its policies toward the Arab Gulf states. We will examine how history, tribal traditions and values, religion, the impact of sudden wealth from the discovery of oil, colonialism and the role of foreign intervention, and the presence of large and ambitious states have shaped political culture, social values, and the balance power in the Gulf. The Gulf region plays an important role in U.S. security policy because of its geo-strategic location, energy resources, and propensity for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and autocratic governance. We will discuss what the region means for U.S. security and economic interests.
This course is meant to enhance students’ ability to analyze these issues and understand them in their geographic, cultural, and historical context. In the process, students will be asked to defend or criticize topics and countries, some of which may be familiar and important, and others that may be unfamiliar and even unpopular with customary perceptions of a political system, a religion, and some important themes in modern history, politics, and culture. The focus will be on the region’s security issues, the nature of governance, politics and civil society, and its impact on U.S. policy and interests that often conflict with U.S. policy planning.

IAFF 6378 – Oil: Industry, Economy, Society
Weiner, R
M 7:10pm – 9:40pm
Petroleum is one of the fastest-growing industries in the USA, and affects the fortunes of companies and nations. The industry is truly global; most of the largest firms in the world are in petroleum, and look for oil and gas in a wide variety of environments, which we will explore through cases.
Are we running out of oil, or awash in it?  This course takes a multidisciplinary approach (primarily political economy and management) to oil and its effects on business, nation-states, and the world economy. The first half of the course adopts a top-down viewpoint, examining the global oil environment. The second half is more bottom-up, using cases to grapple with industry issues.
The course is conducted in a mixture of seminar and lecture formats. A group proposal, paper, and presentation, as well as active class participation are expected, and constitute over half the assessment.

IAFF 6378.17 - Arabic for International Affairs
Alsani, I
R 07:10PM-09:00PM

IAFF 6379 – Middle East Studies Capstone
Lynch, M
A project-oriented course, designed to synthesize the skills and knowledge that students have acquired in their graduate study. Open only to M.A. candidates in Middle East studies.

REL 6201 – Gender and Islamic Activism
Pemberton, K
W 11:10am – 1:00pm

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Phone: 202.994.9249
Fax: 202.994.4055
Twitter: @IMESatGWU

Institute for Middle East Studies
1957 E Street, N.W., Suite 512
Washington, D.C. 20052