Discussions of the possible launch of a graduate program go back more than a decade in our department, and have involved most of the faculty as well as support from peers in other departments. Ultimately the growth of our undergraduate majors, minors, and language enrollments kept us busy enough over the years. In 2017-2018, however, then-Chair Nadia Yaqub constituted a graduate planning committee that built on previous efforts to complete a proposal draft, which would eventually become our formal proposal to the leadership of the university. This proposal received approval in December of 2019. Many individuals were involved in this process, but the key leaders were Yaron Shemer, Uffe Bergeton, Robin Visser, and Nadia Yaqub.
The new program, for which we are now recruiting applicants, is intended to provide humanistic training to students in one of two tracks: either the broad, interdisciplinary area of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, or the more focused field of Chinese studies.
The M.A. will give students the chance to improve proficiency in one or more languages designated “critical” to the future of America by the State Department, as well as significant expertise in the culture of a country or region in Asia or the Middle East. Students will develop advanced skills beyond those already mastered as undergrads to enhance future careers in higher ed, politics, international organizations and non-profits, journalism, the military, and business and finance.
To students considering our M.A. program: please take a look at the directory of faculty in our department to get a sense of our interests and areas of expertise. We include scholars of literature and environmental humanities, experts in critical theory, historians of culture, specialists in film and visual culture, anthropologists of medicine, and experts in language teaching among other topics. We look forward to hearing from you.