Minor: Arab and Muslim American Studies

Minors in American Culture

American Culture offers a general minor in addition to minors from our Latina/o Studies, Native American Studies, and Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies units. The American Culture minor gives skills, information, and techniques from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. Students engage comparative ethnic studies, history, literature, film/media studies, religion, music, art, digital technologies, women's studies, folklore, sexuality studies, and ethnography. Our curriculum allows students a better understanding of the nation's diversity and the U.S.'s role in a global context. We explore what it has meant — and continues to mean — to claim to be an "American." The department also offers a minor in Digital Studies. 

Appointments with the respective advisor can be scheduled online at: www.lsa.umich.edu/ac/undergraduate/advising

Arab American Studies +

Not a major program

Today, an estimated 3.5 million Arab Americans and an overlapping 8 million Muslim Americans live in the United States. Michigan is a major center for these massive and growing populations. The Detroit metropolitan region has the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the nation (almost half a million). Moreover, the Arab region and its diasporas have become increasingly central to U.S. history, diplomacy, and politics. Immigration and displacement by war and the forces of global economy are among the factors that have sparked movements of Arab people to the United States. Since September 11, 2001, there has been increased national attention to Arab and Muslims Americans and a scholarly renaissance in the field.

Courses in Arab American Studies provide an interdisciplinary study of Arab American histories, literatures, and cultures. We address the historical and current experiences of Arab Americans in the United States and the relevance of those experiences for understanding race and ethnicity in the U.S. and globally. Courses explore themes such as immigration history; racism and discrimination; gender and sexuality; media representations; the local and global impacts of war and violence on Arabs and Arab Americans; intellectual, artistic, and cultural contributions; and relationships with other racial and ethnic groups. This curriculum provides knowledge vital for a critical understanding of the contemporary United States in a global context. The Program in American Cultures offers the following courses in Arab American Studies: "Why do they Hate Us?: Perspectives on 9/11", Arab American Literature", Introduction to Arab American Studies, Muslim Americans, Arab Women: Homelands and Diasporas, Immigrant and Racial Politics after September 11th, Representing the Middle East in Hollywood Cinema. Courses may also be offered in other departments or crosslisted in American Culture. Faculty members teaching in this area include Nadine Naber and Evelyn Alsultany.

Students interested in pursuing a course of study in the field should contact  American Culture's designated advisor. Appointments are schedule online at www.lsa.umich.edu/ac/undergraduate/advising

Effective Winter 2015

This minor is intended for students interested in Arab and/or Muslim diasporas and who wish to develop a coherent understanding of the cultural politics of being Arab and/or Muslim in the U.S. and the contributions of Arabs/Muslims in American culture. Students will draw on the Arab and Muslim American Studies minor to supplement and make more coherent their understanding of the knowledge formed in a traditional discipline. For instance, students with interests in Arab and/or Muslim American identities, experiences, culture, or politics, who are majoring in a traditional humanities or social science discipline can enhance and deepen their thinking about Arabs and/Muslim communities by taking a systematic supplement of courses designed around those populations. Students majoring in Near Eastern Studies, International Studies, Public Policy, Anthropology, Sociology, History, English, Intergroup Relations, Political Science, and Women’s Studies would take particular interest in this minor, as well as those majoring in American Culture.

The minor in Arab and Muslim American Studies offers students:

  • An interdisciplinary approach to Arab and Muslim American studies that integrates research and teaching methods from various fields, such as history, media studies, religious studies, literature, anthropology, and sociology, among others
  • A transnational approach that highlights the relationship between Arab and Muslim homelands and diasporas
  • Comparative approaches that place the understanding of Arab and Muslim American history and experiences in relation to other racial, ethnic, religious, or immigrant groups
  • Community-based approaches that link universities with Arab and Muslim American communities through internships and collaborative projects

Prerequisites to the Minor

None

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 5 courses (15 credits). At least one course must be at the 300- or 400-level, and at  least three courses must be taken in American Culture (AMCULT) or Arab American Studies (ARABAM). 

  1. One required survey course (3-4 credits): either 
    • AMCULT / ARABAM 215 Introduction to Arab American Studies


    • or 
    • AMCULT / ARABAM 235 The Middle East in Hollywood Cinema
  2. At least two additional courses (6 credits) offered by American Culture/Arab American Studies providing interdisciplinary study of Arab and/or Muslim American histories, literatures, and cultures, chosen from the list below or selected in consultation with and approved by the Arab and Muslim American Studies minor advisor:
    • AMCULT 311. Topics in Ethnic Studies, section titled “Camels, Kabobs and Kahlil: Arab American Cultural Studies”
    • AMCULT 498, Capstone Seminar in American Culture, section titled “Why Do They Hate Us: Perspectives on 9/11”
    • ARABAM 236 / AMCULT 236. Muslims in America
    • ARABAM 290 / AMCULT 290 Arab American Literature
    • ARABAM 311. Arab American Studies and the Humanities, section titled “Camels, Kabobs and Kahlil: Arab American Cultural Studies”
    • ARABAM 390 / AMCULT 390. Internship in Arab and Muslim American Studies
    • ARABAM 498, Capstone Seminar in Arab American Studies, section titled “Why Do They Hate Us: Perspectives on 9/11”
  3. Two additional courses (6 credits) in American Culture/Arab American Studies, or in another department. These electives may be chosen from the list below or selected in consultation with and approved by an American Culture advisor.

    Courses in other departments providing comparative, transnational, or broader perspectives on Arab and Muslim Americans.

    • AAPTIS 100 / ACABS 100 / HISTORY 132 / HJCS 100. Peoples of the Middle East
    • AAPTIS 285 / HISTART 285. Visual Culture Islam 
    • AAPTIS 325 / HISTORY 325 / ASIAN 324 / MEMS 325 / RELIGION 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
    • AAPTIS 363 / RELIGION 363. The Qur'an and Its Interpretations 
    • AAPTIS 365. The Prophet Muhammad in Islam 
    • AAPTIS 381. Introduction to Arab Literature in Translation 
    • AAPTIS 383. The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Middle Eastern Literature 
    • AAPTIS 486. Topics in Modern Arabic Literature in Translation 
    • AAPTIS 487 / HISTORY 443. Modern Middle East History
    • AAPTIS 493 / MENAS 493. Comparative Perspectives of the Middle East and North Africa 
    • ACABS 100 / AAPTIS 100 / HISTORY 132 / HJCS 100. Peoples of the Middle East
    • ANTHRCUL 409. Peoples and Cultures of the Near East and North Africa
    • ASIAN 324 / HISTORY 325 / AAPTIS 325 / MEMS 325 / RELIGION 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
    • ENGLISH 280. Introduction to Digital Cultures, section titled “Writing Islam”
    • ENGLISH 317. Literature and Culture, section titled “Arab American Literature”
    • HISTART 285 / AAPTIS 285. Visual Culture Islam 
    • HISTORY 132 / AAPTIS 100 / ACABS 100 / HJCS 100. Peoples of the Middle East
    • HISTORY 241. America and Middle Eastern Wars
    • HISTORY 243 / MENAS 243. Islamic World History
    • HISTORY 324. Muslims in Contemporary Europe
    • HISTORY 325 / AAPTIS 325 / ASIAN 324 / MEMS 325 / RELIGION 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
    • HISTORY 443 / AAPTIS 487. Modern Middle East History
    • HISTORY 449. Topics in Middle Eastern History
    • HJCS 100 / AAPTIS 100 / ACABS 100 / HISTORY 132. Peoples of the Middle East
    • MEMS 325 / HISTORY 325 / AAPTIS 325 / ASIAN 324 / RELIGION 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
    • MENAS 243 / HISTORY 243. Islamic World History
    • MENAS 493 / AAPTIS 493. Comparative Perspectives of the Middle East and North Africa 
    • REEES 490 / SOC 490 / WOMENSTD 492. Women and Islam: A Sociological Perspective
    • RELIGION 325 / HISTORY 325 / AAPTIS 325 / ASIAN 324 / MEMS 325. The History of Islam in South Asia
    • RELIGION 363 / AAPTIS 363. The Qur'an and Its Interpretations 
    • SOC 218 / UC 218. Foundations of Intergroup Relations
    • SOC 490 / REEES 490 / WOMENSTD 492. Women and Islam: A Sociological Perspective
    • UC 218 / SOC 218. Foundations of Intergroup Relations
    • WOMENSTD 492 / SOC 490 / REEES 490. Women and Islam: A Sociological Perspective
    • Another course with significant Arab or Muslim content from another department, contingent on approval from an Arab and Muslim American Studies minor advisor.
    • 300- or 400-level Arabic language (no more than three credits can be applied toward the minor)

Advising

The designated Director of Arab American Studies will be responsible for advising most students with the assistance of the American Culture Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Ethnic Studies Associate. Both the Associate Chair and the Chair will provide back-up advising.


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109 © 2015 Regents of the University of Michigan