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Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Location,
Websitewww.columbia.edu/cu/mesaas

The Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (also known as "MESAAS") is a leading center for the study of the politics, history, culture, societies and languages of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. With more than forty faculty members, core and adjunct, MESAAS houses a large number of world-renowned scholars, some of whom have had important contributions as public intellectuals in addition to their scholarly productions.[1]

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Transcription

Contents

History

Columbia University's Knox Hall on West 122nd Street in Manhattan houses the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Columbia University's Knox Hall on West 122nd Street in Manhattan houses the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Columbia University, founded in 1754, appointed its first Professor of Oriental Languages in 1784. In the later nineteenth-century the study of Hebrew, Sanskrit, and other Oriental languages became part of the graduate program. By 1890, Oriental Languages became one of the six departments in the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1891 a chair of Indo-Iranian Languages was established. A. V. Williams Jackson, a Columbia Ph.D., was appointed to the chair in 1895. "The scholars of Indo-Iranian philology subsequently broke away to join the anthropologist Franz Boas in the new Department of General and Comparative Linguistics. Oriental Languages, under the leadership of Richard Gottheil, narrowed its name to the Department of Semitic Languages. Gottheil trained several scholars who went on to organize and lead other departments, including William Popper (later chair of the Department of Near East Languages at Berkeley) and Philip Hitti (founder of the Near Eastern Studies program at Princeton)."[2]

In the mid 1960s the department expanded to include scholars from the departments of history and international affairs. "Reflecting the expansion into modern history and politics, the name was revised once more, in 1965, from Near and Middle East Languages, to Middle East Languages and Cultures, or MELAC."[2] In 1992 the name of the department was changed to Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures. "Using the term Asian rather than South Asian made the name scarcely more accurate, but ensured that the department’s new acronym, MEALAC, sounded the same as its previous one."[2] "In 2005, the Department began the most rapid expansion in its history, recruiting a number of faculty in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and in 2007 it extended its geographical and intellectual scope to include African studies. After doubling in size over the previous decade, the department had outgrown its home in Kent Hall and in 2009 moved to new offices in Knox Hall. To coincide with the move and the expanded focus, the faculty decided to change the department’s name to MESAAS, the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies."[2]

Graduate program

The graduate program offers both Ph.D. and M.A. degrees.

Ph.D. students are required to train in three languages in addition to English, including two MESAAS languages,\

MESAAS languages

Other languages are also taught during certain semesters, including Armenian, Sanskrit, Tamil and Ottoman Turkish.

Notable faculty

References

  1. ^ "Faculty News". MESAAS. Columbia University. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  2. ^ a b c d "A History of MESAAS". MESAAS. Columbia University.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 August 2019, at 20:26
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