Requirements and Courses
Any student with an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or equivalent may apply.
The certificate requires the completion of 15 credits for all students. It follows a lettered grading system, and students must pass all coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to have the certificate approved.
Students will be permitted to count previously taken coursework to the certificate, subject to approval by the CGIS. Credits earned as part of the certificate may count towards the student’s graduate degree.
All students must choose two of these three core courses:
POS 6933 Global Islam and Politics (3 credits) Contact Dr. Badredine Arfi Description: The course brings together various contemporary approaches from social sciences, social theory, philosophy, and humanities to offer a sustained exploration of the question of Islam and world politics in today’s world.
RLG 5365: Global Islam (3 credits) Contact Dr. Terje Østebø Description: The course has a combined topical and geographical approach, focusing on how Islam intersects with broader social, cultural, political and economic dynamics, and deals with areas such as America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North-Africa/Middle East. Interdisciplinary in character, it draws from perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities.
ANG6930/AFS6905 Global Connections (3 credits) Contact Dr. Abdoulaye Kane Description: The course examines through an anthropological perspective the formation of global Muslim networks across national borders, and explores the way Muslim communities in Europe and North America – coming from various countries and religious traditions – negotiate their religious identity in new global contexts and conditions. It looks at how both transnational networks and practices initiated by Muslims in the West are integral to global processes of forming a Muslim universal community across difference both geographical and cultural.
In addition, all students need to complete three elective courses related to particular contexts and topics:
ANG 6930: Islam in the West Contact Dr. Abdoulaye Kane Description: The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the dynamic relations between Muslim minorities and majority societies and secular state in Europe and North America. It looks how Muslims minorities negotiate their integration in Western societies in a highly tense political context characterized by a steady increase in Islamophobia. A comparative approach is applied to examine and contrast Muslim minorities’ experiences in different legal and political context.
POS 6933: Modern Middle East Politics Contact Dr. Patricia Woods Description: The course has a historical institutionalist approach to the development of the modern Middle East in the move from empire to nation-state, with attention to several important themes in 20th and 21st century Middle East politics. Readings include top-down as well as bottom-up analyses.
RLG 5365: Modern Islamic Thought Contact Dr. Zoharah Simmons Description: This course reviews Modern Muslim Thought as expressed by some of its prominent intellectuals from the 19th century though the 21st century. There is a specific focus on issues such as Western hegemony, democracy, secularism, and women’s rights. The course is interdisciplinary using historical, religious studies, and political science approaches.
RLG 5365: Women & Islam Contact Dr. Zoharah Simmons Description: This course addresses a difficult, controversial and highly provocative topic, and challenges the idea that Islam is the root cause of the oppression of women in the Muslim world, by exploring the role of male Quranic and Hadith interpreters in creating the misogynist view of Islam that has been conflated with the actual scriptures. The Course uses Muslim feminists’ interpreters to cast an insider perspective on the volatile subject, and is interdisciplinary in character.
AFS Islam and popular culture in Africa Contact Dr. Fiona McLaughlin Description: This course examines popular forms of contemporary Islamic cultural expression in Africa and how they reflect people’s views on topics of religious interest. Genres include painting, photography, film, fashion, dance and music, as well as mixed forms that defy categorization. Students will become familiar with theoretical approaches to popular culture and modernity, especially Islamic modernity, and will engage in critical thinking about the study of Africa and Islam.
AFS 6905 Islam and African literature Contact Dr. Fiona McLaughlin Description: This course explores the multiple ways in which African writers have dealt with the theme of Islam in their work. Focusing primarily on West Africa, the course first considers the history of Sufi Islam in the region as well as local Muslim practices such as pilgrimages, religious ceremonies, and the role of the marabout or shaykh. Readings encompass a variety of genres including mystical religious poetry, folktales and short stories, but the focus is on the novel.
RLG 5365: Islam in America Contact Dr. Zoharah Simmons Description: The Course covers the religion’s spread throughout the Middle East and into Asia into Europe from the 7th through the 13th centuries, before dealing with the specifics of Islam in the Americas, from when a significant numbers of enslaved and free Moors and Africans were brought to the Americas in the 15th century. It also focuses on the rise of Islam in North and South America in the 20 & 21st centuries. The course is interdisciplinary using historical, religious studies, and political science approaches.
RLG 5365/AFS 6905: Islam in Africa Contact Dr. Terje Østebø Description: The course will examine processes of Islamization and the emergence of local Muslim cultures, contemporary issues, and will expose students to the diversity of Islam in Africa. It aims at providing students with skills to assess issues common to many African Muslim societies, such as dynamics of religious reform, Islam and the state, Islam and socio-economic developments, and questions related to ethnic and religious identities.
(Courses with a ‘/’ means they are cross-listed between two units)