Beginning Islamic Civilization and Cultures
First- and second-year students may begin with any introductory course that deals with Islamic civilization or its cultures. RLST 240 Classical Islam, HIST 166 History of the Islamicate World, or HIST 264 History of Modern Middle East are especially designed as introductory courses and are open to first-year students. Students hoping to spend all or part of their junior year in the Arabic-speaking world should begin their study of Arabic in the first two years at Kenyon.
Concentration Requirements and Curriculum
1. Area and disciplinary coursework
Students are required to take at least 2 units (four semester courses) which focus on the Islamic world, outside of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Courses should be chosen from at least two different departments. These courses may be chosen from a list of courses approved by the program committee of the Islamic Civilization and Cultures Concentration and may include up to two relevant courses taken in study abroad programs. These courses must have a substantial amount of work that deals specifically with an aspect or aspects of the Islamic world. One of the courses may be a comparative course that examines the Islamic world together with another cultural region. One of the courses must be an introductory course chosen from the following: RLST 240 Classical Islam, HIST 166 History of the Islamicate World, or HIST 264 History of Modern Middle East. At least one of the courses must be an advanced seminar.
2. Language study
At least one year of instruction in a relevant Islamicate language is required. Currently, this requirement can be met by taking the two-semester sequence of Arabic at Kenyon (MLL 101Y-102Y). The equivalent of one year of approved college-level language instruction in Arabic or another relevant language such as Farsi, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili, Uzbek, or Bhasa Indonesian at another accredited academic institution will also meet the requirement, as will some intensive summer programs, or a semester of language study abroad when paired with language immersion. In the case of transfer students, credit will be accepted for a year of Islamicate language study with a grade of C+ or better pursued at another institution. If the program committee determines that a student possesses native proficiency in a relevant language, it will waive the requirement. Students are encouraged to continue language study beyond one year. It is strongly recommended that students continue their language study beyond the first year.
Off Campus Study
Off-campus study in the Islamicate world is not required, but it is highly recommended. Students should consult with Islamic Civilization and Cultures Concentration faculty and the director of international education for opportunities available to Kenyon students to study in the Islamicate world for one semester or a year. Summer language-study programs are also available for students who need to prepare for off-campus study or desire to learn an Islamicate language not offered at Kenyon (e.g., Hindi-Urdu, Farsi, Turkish, Swahili, Bhasa Indonesian). Students who wish to study abroad in the Arabic speaking world need to complete one year of Arabic at Kenyon before going abroad.