Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Arab Studies

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Associate Professor & Chair: Joubin

The Arab Studies Department adheres to the philosophy that the study of the Arabic language cannot be separated from the study of the rich Arabic culture.

Language Placement

Students with background in Arabic prior to entering Davidson may take a placement test and oral examination in order to be placed at the appropriate level.

ARB 201 - Intermediate Arabic I   satisfies the foreign language requirement

Arab Studies Major (A.B. Degree)

To major in Arab Studies, students must apply for the major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies prior to spring break of their sophomore year.  Application information can be found on the CIS website.


Courses: ARB 101 ARB 102 ARB 201 ARB 202  or the equivalent.

Study Abroad: Students are required to spend at least one summer and one semester on an accredited program in the Arab world.  In individual cases, an intensive Middlebury program in the United States may fulfill this requirement.  Students may count up to four approved courses from an accredited study abroad program toward their major.


The major requires 11 courses, (12 if completing a thesis) as follows.

Methods Courses

Select at least one methods course from the department best suited to the intended thesis project.


Students completing a Capstone should enroll in CIS 495. Students completing a thesis must enroll in both courses.

Minor Requirements

A minor in Arab Studies requires six courses numbered above 102, as follows.

1. ARB 201  and ARB 202   (or other language courses for students who place above the Intermediate level)

2. At least three courses in literature and advanced language:

ARB 240 - Accelerated Persian for Arabic Speakers 
ARB 250 - Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East 
ARB 295 - Studies in Arabic Culture 
ARB 321 - Contemporary Arabic Literature 
ARB 325 - Contemporary Syrian Television Drama 
ARB 326 - Politically Critical Parodies in Syria: Past and Present 
ARB 327 - Mediating Conflict: Syrian Television Drama and Revolution  
ARB 328 - Gender & Sexuality in Syrian Television Drama 
ARB 330 - The Arab Spring  
ARB 340 - Gender and Politics in Contemporary Syrian Literature 
ARB 342 - Postcolonial Syrian Film 
ARB 395 - Independent Study for Advanced Students 
ARB 396 - Independent Study for Advanced Students 
or other specialized course in Contemporary Arabic Literature.

3. One course that deals with the history, society, and cultures of the Middle East:

HIS 175 - The Middle East, 610-1453: The Formation of Islam 
HIS 176 - The Middle East, 1453-Present: Islam in the Modern World 
HIS 218 - Jihad and Crusade 
POL 291 - Politics of the Middle East 
REL 178 - Islam: The Formative Era 
REL 277 - Mysticism & Occult in Islam 
or other approved course (including at time courses taught by visiting faculty)


  • In individual cases, the department may approve allowing a second course from list two (history, society, & cultures of the Middle East) to substitute for one of the advanced courses in Arabic.
  • With departmental approval, students may also count courses taken abroad toward the minor. 

Interdisciplinary Minor in Middle East Studies

Students should note as well the possibility of a focus on the Middle East through an interdisciplinary minor in Middle East Studies .

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