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Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES)

Basic Structure of the Program

  • AMES is an interdisciplinary program that draws on faculty and courses from a variety of disciplines (anthropology, sociology, linguistics, government, history, art history, music, theater, AMELL, and others) as well as sponsoring its own courses.
  • AMES shares an affinity with AMELL (Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures) but concentrates more on area studies and less on languages (six of ten courses for the major, and all six for the minor, must be non-language courses). Members of the DAMELL faculty are part of the AMES faculty, and all AMELL courses other than first-year language courses can count towards study in AMES.
  • Within AMES are three principal areas of concentration: East Asia (mainly China, Japan, and Korea), South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Students can also pursue a Central Asia or interregional focus.
  • AMES majors and minors are required to take at least one interregional course as part of their program of study. Students may choose from one of several iterations of AMES 40 or another pre-approved course of an interregional nature.  Contact the AMES chair for the current list of possible substitutes for AMES 40.
  • The AMES Program sponsors an interdisciplinary Foreign Study Program in Fez, Morocco, in the spring term.  Prerequisites for the program are listed on the AMES web site.
  • In partnership with the Women's and Gender Studies program, AMES offers an interdisciplinary Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India, in the winter term.  The prerequisite is completion of at least one pre-approved AMES or WGST course with a grade of B or higher.  The AMES and WGST web sites provide current lists of approved prerequisites.
  • AMES sponsors a Foreign Exchange Program with Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, during the fall term. Information regarding this program can be found on the AMES website.
  • Applications are due Feb. 1 for programs in 2014-15  Visit the Off-Campus Programs office for more information and applications.

Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

  • Courses that have an AMES designation only, and most of the courses from other departments and programs that are cross-listed with AMES, constitute broad and comprehensive introductions to various aspects of Asia and the Middle East, and might be the best place for a student with no background to begin.  These courses include:
    • AMES 1: Hindi-Urdu as a Cultural System
    • AMES 4: Introduction to Arab Culture
    • AMES 5: Thought and Change in the Middle East and Central Asia
    • AMES 6: Islam: An Anthropological Approach
    • AMES 8: Introduction to Islam
    • AMES 9: Hinduism
    • AMES 10: The Religions of China
    • AMES 11: Introduction to Korean Culture
    • AMES 12: Introduction to Chinese Culture
    • AMES 13: Introduction to Japanese Culture
    • AMES 15: Modern Islam
    • AMES 17: Introduction to Hebraic and Israeli Culture
    • AMES 18: History and Culture of Indonesia

Information for the First-Year Student who Plans on Pursuing Studies in AMES

  • A first-year student who plans to major or minor in AMES should identify as soon as possible an appropriate faculty advisor within his or her chosen area of concentration (East Asia, Middle East, or South and Southeast Asia), and work closely with the advisor to develop a coherent major program.  Both the AMES chair and the program administrator can aid in identifying such an advisor.

Other Information about Courses and the Program

  • Any questions about the program, appropriate courses, or whether certain courses in particular departments can count towards AMES study can be addressed to Allen Hockley (chair) or Ann Fenton (administrator). Courses from other departments or programs that have been approved for credit toward the AMES Major are listed on the AMES web site (see below).

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The AMES home page

Last Updated: 9/5/13