2024-2025 University Catalog 
    Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog

Middle East and South Asian Studies (ARAB, MESA)

Middle East and South Asia Studies

The Middle East and South Asia (MESA) minor program is an interdisciplinary program of study focused on the Middle East (including Arabic-speaking North Africa) and South Asia (including Tibet, and mainland and insular Southeast Asia as far east as Indonesia). These regions, though wide in extent and culturally diverse, contain multiple cradles of civilization, and have been linked since antiquity by cultural, religious, and economic networks, both on land (the Silk Road) and by sea (the Indian Ocean). Our broad course offerings allow students to delve into the complex and subtle ways these areas have been and continue to be responsive to one another and to the rest of the world through art, religion, trade, economics, politics, and media.  Within these vectors of investigation are other nested concerns related to gender, human rights, terrorism, civil war, cultural heritage, and identity, among others.

The Middle East and South Asia (MESA) Studies program currently offers minors in 1) Middle East and South Asia Studies, and 2) Middle East and South Asia Studies with Arabic language emphasis.  These offerings are in the process of being revised.  Beginning in academic year 2025-2026, the program plans to offer minors in 1) Middle East and South Asia Studies, and 2) Arabic.  (Note that any revision will be subject to review and approval by the faculty.)  Descriptions of the minors currently offered can be found here.

For further information, see wlu.edu/middle-east-and-south-asia-studies-program.

Program Head: Seth Cantey

Core Program Faculty

First date is the year in which the faculty member began regular faculty service at the University. Second date is the year of appointment to the present rank.

Kameliya Atanasova, Ph.D. (2017, 2017)
Assistant Professor of Islamic Religion and History
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Alexandra Brown, Ph.D. (1987, 2001)
Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Bible
Ph.D., Columbia University

Seth Cantey, Ph.D. (2014, 2020)
Associate Professor of Politics
Ph.D., Duke University

Anthony (Antoine) Edwards, Ph.D. (2015, 2023)
Associate Professor of Arabic
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin

Timothy Lubin, Ph.D. (1997, 2009)
Professor of Religion
Ph.D., Columbia University

Affiliate Program Faculty

Aliaa Bassiouny, Ph.D. (2012, 2019)
Lawrence Term Associate Professor of Finance
Ph.D., ESADE Business School

Hugo Blunch, Ph.D. (2006, 2021)
Darrold and Kay Cannan Term Professor of Economics
Ph.D., The George Washington University

Stuart Gray, Ph.D. (2015, 2021)
Associate Professor of Politics
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Shikha Basnet Silwal, Ph.D. (2012, 2019)
Associate Professor of Economics
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Pooja Thakur-Wernz, Ph.D. (2010, 2020)
Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Ph.D., Rutgers University


Courses listed below meet the requirements of at least one of the Middle East and South Asia studies minors, but other courses across the curriculum that include an appropriate proportion of material may be substituted with the approval of the program director. In such cases, students may petition the director to allow relevant courses.

Middle East and South Asia Studies Courses

Middle East and South Asia studies courses are as follows:


And when appropriate (with a MESA-related topic),


Interdisciplinary Minor