Feb 01, 2023  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations Minor

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Dr. Gabrielle M. Lanier, Interim Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6132
Email: laniergm@jmu.edu
Location: Jackson Hall, Room 201
Website: http://jmu.edu/history

J. Arndt, K. Borg, J. Butt, P. Dillard, M. Galgano, M. Gubser, S. Guerrier, S. M. Hanifi, K. Hardwick, R. Hyser, G. Lanier,  M. Mulrooney, D. Owusu-Ansah, S. Reich, M. Seth

Associate Professors
R. Brannon, S. Chappell, J. Davidson, C. Davis, T. Fitzgerald, M. Gayne, H. Gelfand, Y. Hu, L. King, K. McCleary, R. Meixsel, A. Sandman, W. Van Norman, E. Westkaemper, A. Witmer

Assistant Professors
E. Friss, M. Galmarini-Kabala, P. Herrington


The Department of History supports the academic mission of James Madison University by providing the highest quality educational experiences within the liberal arts tradition that meet students’ needs and prepare students for meaningful careers and active citizenship. The department focuses on the student as individual learner and global citizen. Our dedicated faculty members are classroom innovators and scholars who work responsibly and supportively with students to expand their knowledge and skills, and to create a foundation for their lifelong learning.

Inside the Classroom

Students of history will become well-rounded and engaged citizens by:

  • Acquiring knowledge of the human condition through the study of political, cultural, and social experiences of people around the world
  • Learning the historical contexts of major political, intellectual, social, economic, religious and environmental events and transformations
  • Understanding the major cultural developments in fine and popular arts in societies around the world in their historical contexts
  • Discerning how people from a variety of societies hold differing values, ethics, and legal concepts and comprehending how these ideas relate to each other and to Western ideas and values

Students of history will gain the following skills

  • Reading, writing, and speaking effectively and critically
  • Making informed judgments based on existing evidence
  • Locating printed and online information to research a topic exhaustively
  • Critically evaluating textual evidence by identifying its thesis, sources, conclusions, perspective, bias, and reliability

Beyond the Classroom

While at JMU, students of history will bring the insights and skills they learn in the classroom to their relationship and experiences with their broader communities.

Possibilities for such interactions include:


  • Leading efforts to promote open dialogue, civic engagement, and public service.
  • Fostering interdisciplinary relationships by engaging with the larger scholarly community at the university.
  • Participating in partnerships and events that expand and challenge their own worldview.
  • Studying abroad to deepen their understanding of cultural differences and non-US historical perspectives and experiences.
  • Becoming involved in professional work through internships.

Career Opportunities

Students graduating with a major or minor in history leave JMU with skills that are sought after by a wide range of employers.  History graduates are adaptive learners and able project managers. As a result, they are particularly marketable in a world where professions change rapidly.  Some of the career paths that history majors follow include:

  • Advertising
  • Archives and Libraries
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Digital humanities
  • Education
  • Government
  • Information Management
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Project Management
  • Public History and Museums
  • Public Policy
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Writing and Editing

Undergraduate work in history is also a successful foundation for advanced degrees in the humanities, law, the social sciences, medicine, and other disciplines.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations


Dr. Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-1743
Email: hanifism@jmu.edu
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/mecm

This minor concentrates on social and political issues involving Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations in their own right and in relation to one another in the territory between the Nile and Indus rivers during the modern period. The program is also designed to accommodate consideration of other communities including Hindu and other South Asians, Anatolian and Central Asian Turks, and Mediterranean peoples in the larger area stretching from North Africa to Southeast Asia as well as Middle Eastern diaspora communities in Europe and the Americas from the ancient period to the present.

The cross disciplinary orientation of the program emphasizes comparison and a synthesis of local, regional, trans-national and global perspectives. The program provides an intellectual foundation that can be usefully applied and built upon in graduate school, the private sector or government service.

Students are required to take 18 credits comprised of six credits of core course work and 12 credits of electives.Students may take no more than nine credits from a single academic unit.

Core Courses

Choose two: 6 Credit Hours

Choose any of the following to fulfill the remaining 12 credits:

Regular Offerings

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Department of Political Science

Total: 18 Credit Hours

Additional Courses

The following three-credit courses are offered at varying intervals and can count toward the MECM minor if they are structured to include substantial content relating to the foci and goals of the program. Contact the program coordinator to apply one of these courses to the MECM minor.


1 Offered every fall semester.

2 Offered every spring semester.

3 Offered May–June summer term only.

4 Offered every third semester.

5 Offered fall or spring semester.

6 Offered every two years.

7 Offered every fall and spring.

Additional Information

The College of Arts and Letters departments offer a number of courses listed generically, usually at the 300– and 400–level (including disciplinary capstone and methodology courses, often numbered 395) that can also count toward the MECM minor under certain circumstances.

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