University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Global and Regional Studies Program

Middle East Studies

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst

Director, Middle East Studies
Assistant Professor, Department of Religion

We live in a “post-9/11 world”—a world that assumes pressing interest in the Middle East. But what is the Middle East?

Simply looking at a map may not solve this problem. See for yourself:

map collage These maps include different areas—some include North Africa, others include parts of Asia, others still include some of Asia and Africa, but not all. We can’t clearly define the Middle East geographically. In the Middle East Studies Program students will explore how the Middle East functions historically, geographically, ethnically, religiously, linguistically, and/or politically.

In the Middle East Studies minor, students can expect to tackle issues of definition, region, geography, politics and political histories, histories that span Greek and Roman empires to post-revolution Iran and beyond, religions, languages, and more across disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences. These issues are pressing in a post-9/11 world—a world that, as we stated above, assumes a pressing interest in the Middle East.

Additionally, the Middle East Studies Program sponsors a variety of lectures and cultural events on campus related to the region. Please check our website and the GRS calendar for upcoming events during the year.