2023-2024 University Catalog 
    May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog archived

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 Vietnam and 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 sea (the Indian Ocean). The Middle East has long been politically and economically salient in American experience, and South Asia is steadily emerging in the geopolitical, economic, and cultural spheres. The MESA minors span several disciplines: history, language and literature, economics, politics, religion, and the arts.

The program hosts two minors: MESA Studies and MESA Studies with Language Emphasis (see below).  The MESA-related languages offered on campus are Arabic (go.wlu.edu/arabic) and Sanskrit (lubin.academic.wlu.edu/), though language study is not required for the MESA Studies minor.

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

Program Head: Melissa Kerin

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

Joseph M. Cantey Jr., 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

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

Melissa Robin Kerin, Ph.D. (2011, 2017)
Associate Professor of Art History
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

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

Mark E. Rush, Ph.D. (1990, 2002)
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Director, Center for International Education
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

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


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’s advisory committee. In such cases, students may petition the committee to allow other 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),