GIS 102 Introduction to Global Islamic Studies
An introduction to Islam as a global phenomenon, engaging globalization from the social sciences and humanities.
As a Global Islamic Studies major, you learn to analyze the cultural, political and religious influence Muslims have in the globalized world by examining their past and present. You study how Islam became a fast-growing world religion and how perceptions of Muslims and Islam impact policies and conceptions of citizenship in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries throughout the world. Our faculty have specialized experience in Western Europe, Russia, Turkey, Bosnia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, North Africa and the Middle East. The multidisciplinary and global focus of this major allows you to explore themes of migration and transnationalism, identity, religious orthodoxy and authority, and helps you develop a comprehensive understanding of the many roles played by Islam and Muslims in the unfolding human story.
Language and culture are inherently intertwined. As a Global Islamic Studies major, you are required to undertake at least two years of language study, including two semesters at an intermediate level or higher. You can choose from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Russian, or Spanish, although another language may be selected with the approval of your faculty adviser. All majors are encouraged to become familiar with Arabic, even if it is not your primary language of study.
You will be encouraged to seek a study abroad program tailored to your particular interests. You may study in Europe, Russia, Turkey, India, Africa or the Middle East. You will also work with a team of faculty and career advisers to find or develop a skill-building internship, in the U.S. or abroad, that relates to your studies and career goals.
Waed Athamneh is a specialist in Arabic literature. Her work focuses on modern Arabic literature and 20th-century Arab politics. Her book on the major literary movements and new directions in modern Arabic poetry is forthcoming with University of Notre Dame Press.
Eileen Kane is a historian of modern Russia and Eurasia interested in comparative and global approaches to history. Her research and teaching focus on modern Russia, and she always seeks to consider Russia within broader histories of Europe, Eurasia and the world. Her interests include empires, migrations, religion and historical connections between the Russian and Ottoman empires.
Karolin Machtans's main research and teaching interests are 20th- and 21st-century German literature and film, post-1945 German history and culture, German-Turkish relations; Muslims in Germany; minorities in Germany; Holocaust studies and literary theory.
Caroleen Marji Sayej specializies in comparative politics and the Middle East. She teaches Comparative Politics; Iran: State, Politics and Society; and Middle East Politics.
Sufia Uddin's research interests focus on constructions of Bengali-Muslim religious community from the colonial to the contemporary period. Her work examines the many Bengali expressions of Islam. Her research also covers shared sacred space and religious elements common to both Bengali Hindus and Muslims.
Global Islamic studies, government, Arabic
A: I am especially interested in how local governments can work with NGOs to improve standards of living, amend social issues, and counterterrorism. Analyzing the cultural, political and religious influence Muslims have in the globalized world, as well as understanding Islam and its global phenomena, will ultimately prepare me to be an expert in the subfield of my choice.
A: Studying at Connecticut College is unique in that it encourages a thirst for learning and making a difference in the world. My professors are engaging and passionate about my success, and my work is stimulating and exciting.
A: My "International Politics" class required me to engage in the critical thinking of political science to which I had never before been exposed. Professor Rose allowed me to specialize my essays for the course on terrorism, radical Islam, and wars in the Middle East, which also sparked my interest in GIS. My first-year seminar, “Gandhi and His Critics,” however, has been the most rewarding. The course engaged my interests in activism, Hindu-Muslim relations, feminism, poverty and many other important issues.
A: I want to change the world for the better by working with nonprofit organizations, specializing in the Middle East. I am really passionate about human rights and I have always been fascinated by Islam and its history. I could envision myself exploring a few different paths post-college; I am definitely interested in working with the United Nations, and I would also like to be involved with NGOs such as Amnesty International.