Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Arab Cultures Concentration
Department of Asian Studies
New West 113, CB# 3267
The Department of Asian Studies offers five major concentrations, nine minors, and instruction in Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Students pursuing the B.A. degree in Asian Studies can complete the interdisciplinary major in Asian Studies, or concentrate in Arab Cultures, Chinese, Japanese, or South Asian Studies.
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Interdisciplinary Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Arab Cultures Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Chinese Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–Japanese Concentration
- Asian Studies Major, B.A.–South Asian Studies Concentration
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Asian studies program, students should be able to:
- Identify significant aspects of the target culture, history, and society in interpreting and analyzing literary and other texts and media
- Identify and analyze cultural and historical trends across regional and national boundaries within Asia and the Asian diaspora
- Actively use listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the target language for interpersonal communication and personal and academic enrichment within and beyond the university setting
- Demonstrate awareness of global citizenship and affirm cultural diversity through academic and experiential learning
In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must
- attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
- complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
- take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
- earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).
For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.
|ARAB 300||Arabic Grammar and Composition||3|
|Two additional Arabic language courses beyond ARAB 204 1||6|
|One of the following introductory-level classes: 2||3|
|First-Year Seminar: Arab World Photography|
|First-Year Seminar: The 2011 Revolution through Egyptian Eyes|
|First-Year Seminar: Power of Music/Music of Power: Cultural Politics of 20th-Century Arabic Music|
|First-Year Seminar: Narrating the Self: Autobiographies of Arab Intellectuals|
|Introduction to Arab Cultures|
|Arabic Literature through the Ages|
|Four Arabic literature and culture courses (list below)||12|
|Arabic through level 4 3||4|
Students whose initial language placement is above ARAB 305 should consult the department.
It is recommended that students take this course either prior to or concurrent with upper-level Arabic literature and culture classes.
The first three levels of Arabic (ARAB) can count toward the General Education Foundations requirement and have not been included as additional hours for the major.
Arabic Literature and Culture Courses
|At least three must be chosen from:|
|Visions of Emancipation in Modernist Arab Thought|
|Borders and Walls in the Arab World|
|Borders and Walls in the Arab World - Experiential|
|Women and Leadership in the Arab World|
|Readings in Arabic I (taught in Arabic)|
|Readings in Arabic II (taught in Arabic)|
|War and Peace in Arabic Literature (taught in Arabic)|
|Music, History, and Power (taught in Arabic)|
|Modern Arabic Literature in Translation|
|Dissident Voices in Arab Cultures|
|Film, Nation, and Identity in the Arab World|
|Global Perspectives on Arab Cultures and Societies|
|Modernity and Its Discontents in Arabic Literature and Culture|
|Senior Honors Thesis II|
|Literary Diasporas of the Middle East|
|Postcolonial Literature of the Middle East|
|The Arab-Jews: Culture, Community, and Coexistence|
|Beyond Hostilities: Israeli-Palestinian Exchanges and Partnerships in Film, Literature, and Music|
|Middle East Women Writers|
|Gender and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Literature|
|At most one course may be chosen from:|
|Readings in Islamicate Literatures|
|Introduction to Art and Architecture of Islamic Lands (Eighth-16th Centuries CE) H|
|Art in the Age of the Caliphs|
|Islamic Architecture and the Environment|
|Arts of the Islamic Mediterranean|
|Gender, Space, and Place in the Middle East|
|History of Muslim Societies to 1500|
|HIstory of Muslim Societies since 1500|
|History of Iraq|
|The Modern Middle East|
|The Conflict over Israel/Palestine|
|Revolution in the Modern Middle East|
|Women in the Middle East|
|The Middle East and the West|
|The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa|
|Introduction to Islamic Civilization|
|Modern Muslim Societies|
|Islam and Islamic Art in South Asia|
|The Qur'an as Literature|
|Framing Identities: Franco-Arab Transvisual Transcultural Contexts|
|Transnational Geographies of Muslim Societies|
|Modern Muslim Literatures|
|Sociology of the Islamic World|
or approved courses taken in UNC–Chapel Hill-sponsored study abroad programs
Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.
Students majoring in Arab cultures are strongly encouraged to take additional Arabic literature or culture courses as electives or to fulfill General Education requirements.
Placement credit (PL) may not be used to meet core requirements for the concentration.
With the approval of the associate chair of Asian studies, a student may count a course in directed readings (ASIA 496 or ARAB 496) in the concentration in Arab cultures. To register for ASIA 496 or ARAB 496, a student must obtain the approval of the associate chair and the faculty member who will supervise the project.
Of the eight courses in the concentration in Arab cultures, at least six must be passed with a grade of C (not C-) or better. No course in the concentration may be declared Pass/Fail.
Special Opportunities in Asian Studies
Honors in Asian Studies
A candidate for honors in Asian studies will write a substantial paper under the guidance of a faculty member. While researching and writing the honors paper, the student will enroll in ASIA 691H and ASIA 692H. ASIA 692H may count as one of the interdisciplinary courses for the major; ASIA 691H will count for elective credit only. In the case of the concentrations in Arab cultures, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian studies, ASIA 692H may count toward the major in the concentration.
A committee composed of at least two faculty members will examine the candidate. To be accepted as an honors candidate, a student must meet the University’s requirement of a minimum overall grade point average of 3.3, secure the consent of a faculty member in the Asian studies field to act as advisor for the project, and submit a proposal to the associate chair of Asian studies for approval.
The department sponsors a variety of cultural events — lectures, film series, performances, and more — as well as social and informational events where students can get to know each other and faculty members in an informal setting. Faculty members in the department serve as advisors to some of the many Asia-related student organizations on campus, such as the Japan Club, Chinese Conversation Club, Hebrew Table, and more.
Languages across the Curriculum
The department participates in the Languages across the Curriculum (LAC) program, offering a one-credit-hour discussion section that is conducted in Arabic but associated with a variety of courses offered in English, both in Asian studies and in such other departments as history or religious studies. This LAC recitation section offers students the opportunity to use their Arabic language skills in a broader intellectual context.
Additional LAC offerings are being developed in Chinese and Hindi-Urdu.
The University has rich collections of books and periodicals on Asia in the relevant Asian languages, as well as in English and other Western languages. Experts in the collection development department for Davis Library are available to help students locate the materials they need. The University also has an outstanding collection of Asian films and other audiovisual materials, housed in the Media Resource Center at House Library.
The department sponsors an annual speaker series. These events include lectures by prominent artists, scholars, and writers and are often cosponsored by other units on campus.
UNC–Chapel Hill sponsors several study programs (summer, semester, and yearlong) in China, Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. Asian studies majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to live and study in an Asian setting; UNC-approved study abroad programs also satisfy the experiential education requirement. For further information on these programs and other study abroad opportunities in Asia, contact the UNC Study Abroad Office.
The department actively encourages undergraduate student research. Through classes, advising, and office hours, faculty members guide students toward defining areas of interest, conceptualizing research questions, identifying sources, and writing academic papers. Students may pursue research through independent studies, the senior honors thesis, and study abroad research opportunities such as the Burch Fellowship. Asian studies students have received a variety of competitive research support and travel awards, won regional contests for undergraduate papers, published papers in academic journals, and presented their work at such events as the Senior Colloquium in Asian Studies and the campuswide Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research in the spring.