The Major Program
A study of the Middle East and South Asia as a whole allows students to explore a unique set of issues of both historical and contemporary importance. In order to guide students in comparative analysis, faculty help majors deepen their inquiries through coursework on antique, medieval, and early modern empires and political systems. Given the dynamism of modern cultural contexts, majors are invited to concentrate their studies on a wide range of variables including the evolution of states along with new understandings of citizenship, the rise and development of nationalist movements, political conflicts informed by religious majorities, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan, the growth of information societies and computer industries, the production of oil and its social and cultural legacies, labor migrations, urbanization, the emergence of sizeable middle classes, transnational literary movements using sophisticated media technologies, the expansion and intrusion of global security regimes into everyday life, and peace initiatives that shape struggles for justice across the world. Our program's focus on both the Middle East and South Asia is a pioneering achievement in the United States rivaled by only four other colleges or universities.
By the end of their studies, majors will have acquired an in-depth understanding of the common historical experience shared by many peoples in these regions, and of the legacies of culture, social exchange, power and empowerment across diverse settings. Students are also required to complete at least two years of training in a language appropriate to their area of expertise.
The major in Middle East/South Asia Studies at UC Davis offers a unique opportunity to study exchanges, complementarities, and correspondences in such fields as history, political economy, culture, literature and film, religion, family structures, gender relations, media, anthropology, law, international relations, development, diasporas, and urbanism. Students who complete our major will be well suited to embark on careers in non-governmental organizations, journalism and media industries, education and research, governmental service and diplomacy, and business.
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Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM