MESAS Mission Statement

The Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies (MESAS) at Emory University is...

  • an academic department in Emory College, which offers a major, as well as minors in Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, and Mediterranean Archaeology.
  • dedicated to teaching and research, and understanding the Middle East and South Asia from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.
  • premised upon the importance of understanding the region through primary sources, whether textual, oral or material.
  • committed to examining actively all subjects in a comparative context, unbounded by a particular ideology or perspective. Our classrooms and public fora seek to represent accurately the range of views and perspectives held by both the peoples in the region and by the scholarly community.

Through the courses, lectures, seminars and programming offered by MESAS, as well as the research conducted by its faculty members, the Department seeks...

  • to explore the languages, literatures, history, religions, cultures, and ideas of the people of the Middle East and South Asia in their historic locations and in their diasporas.
  • to help our students become proficient in the major languages, cultures and histories of the Middle East and South Asia.
  • to approach the study of the Middle East and South Asia integrally, focusing on historical, cultural and religious continuities from the ancient Near East and Indian sub-continent through the Islamic period and up to the present day.
  • to promote sound intellectual inquiry and civil discourse about the full range of issues that fall within our purview.
  • to train our students in a variety of skills, including critical thinking and reading, the methods of historical interpretation, and clear, analytical writing that will help them to become leaders in a variety of fields and endeavors, including business, the professions, public service, and academia.
  • to serve as a resource of information and programming for the greater public.