Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies

Course Offerings for Fall 2022 (PDF)

Jewish, Islamic and Middle East studies (JIMES) illuminates the general questions of our liberal arts and sciences curriculum from the purview of Jews, Muslims, and other Middle Easterners. The program allows students interested in Jewish and Islamic religion and Middle Eastern history, politics, and culture to focus on a deeper understanding of the contribution of Judaism and Islam to the development of world civilizations. Part of what distinguishes this program from others like it nationally is that it requires students to understand the entangled and interconnected histories, cultures, and politics of Jews, Muslims, and other religious groups over time and in different contexts, as well as the similarities and conflicts between these groups. Furthermore, this program seeks to incorporate college-wide conversations about integration and diversity on campus with the rigors of academic investigation.

The wide-ranging curriculum draws from the departments of history, religion, and international studies, with courses ranging from Terrorism, Torture, and Anti-Colonialism to Sex, Gender, and Religious Identity in the Medieval World. Other program highlights include:

  • Race and Racism
  • Islamophobia
  • Modern Islamic Thought
  • Modern Jewish Thought and Culture
  • Being Muslim from Muhammad to Malcolm
  • Israel-Palestine Conflict
  • US Foreign Policy in the Middle East
  • Religion & Politics
  • Muslim-Christian Relations
  • Questions in Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies

This program houses three different minors in (1) Jewish Studies; (2) Islamic and Middle East Studies; and (3) Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies.

    • Jonathan Judaken was voted onto the Board of Directors for the Association of Jewish Studies in December 2021
    • Jonathan Judaken co-edited book on French-Jewish-Tunisian sociologist, philosopher, and novelist Albert Memmi came out February 2020
    • Sarah Ifft Decker’s book on medieval Jewish women, encompassing both Europe and the Middle East, is available for pre-order 
book jacket for Modern Things on Trial

The new Jewish, Islamic and Middle East Studies Program (JIMES) at Rhodes College hosted Dr. Leor Halevi for its first lecture. Halevi, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, spoke about his new book, Modern Things on Trial: Islam's Global and Material Reform in the Early 20th Century.