Resources for Studying and Teaching the Middle East. Key research and instructional resources. . OSU Main Library - location. William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library (Main Library) LI 1858 Neil Ave Mall Columbus, OH 43210-1286 Telephone: (614) 292-6154 .
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Key research and instructional resources.
William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library (Main Library) LI
1858 Neil Ave Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1286
Telephone: (614) 292-6154
Key Collections for Research related to the Middle East:
Middle East Studies Collection: http://library.osu.edu/sites/mes/
Hebraica and Jewish Studies Collection: http://library.osu.edu/find/collections/hebraica-and-jewish-studies-library/
Hillander Research Library: http://cmrs.osu.edu/rcmss/
The Cartoon Library is available on Main campus at 27 West 17th Avenue Mall, near the Wexner Center.
The Middle East Studies Center at The Ohio State University is a US Department of Education Undergraduate Title VI National Resource Center (NRC). Since its designation as a National Resource Center in 1988, it has been consistently renewed in the 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, and 2003 cycles, for a total of 18 years. A major part of the Center’s function is to provide a reliable source of information to the public. Many sources are now internet-based and it can be difficult or simply time consuming to research the organizations or people behind the site, let alone the accuracy of the information on the site. Obviously nothing can replace critical thinking skills, but MESC can provide an verification for a site’s authenticity, as well as make suggestions for resources in other formats. Please see the MESC web site for further information about the Center: http://mesc.osu.edu
A Concise History of the Middle East A pleasure to read in its entirety, but also an excellent quick-look-up reference.
Politics and Change in the Middle East Recommended by faculty as a good introduction to the region.
Venture of Islam: Recommended by Professor Michael Zwettler, a faculty member of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and cultures. This book coherently presents the history of Islam as a part of world history. It covers the full breadth and depth of the development of Islam and Islamic civilizations. Well-written and enjoyable to read. Available online at Ohio State.
An Introduction to Islam: Comprehensive and well-organized. Includes Information on Christianity, Judaism, and ancient civilizations important to understanding the origins of Islamic theology. In addition, informative on modern movements.
Islam: the Straight Path: A comprehensive source, key to understanding Islam’s origins as well as modern times.
Muhammad and the Origins of Islam: Provides the prophet’s biography as well as important insights into the meaning of the Qur’an.
An Introduction to Judaism. Recommended by Professor Adena Tanenbaum, faculty member of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU.
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction. Recommended by Professor Adena Tanenbaum, faculty member of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU.
Everyman’s Talmud. A summary of the teachings of the Talmud on religion, ethics, folk-lore, and jurisprudence. Recommended by Professor Sam Meier, faculty member of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU.
Judaism. A foundational work. Recommended by Professor Sam Meier, faculty member of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU.
A History of the Arab Peoples. Essential information for understanding Arab culture, but also tells the history as a story in an engaging style.
The Arabic Language. Considering the significance of language to the development of Arab and Islamic culture, Arabic and its evolution is essential knowledge for understanding the relation between the two. This is the authoritative work.
A Short History of the Jewish People. Recommended by Professor Adena Tanenbaum, and Professor Daniel Frank, faculty members of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU. It‘s very clearly written, and extremely informative.
Wanderings. Recommended by Professor Adena Tanenbaum, faculty member of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU.
Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries. This book is well-organized, provides a summary of theories on nationalism, and discusses the impact of Kurdish nationalism on the formation of the modern Turkish state. Useful for understanding the history of the status of the Kurds.
*Online version available via OSU Libraries.
**non-electronic version available via OSU libraries.
Ancient and Modern: Fall and Rise of the Middle East. This film is recommended by Center Director, Alam Payind.From the University of Pennsylvania: “This film probes the question: "Why did the Middle East begin to decline just as the Renaissance in Europe began?"
From the publisher: “Oil is, of course, the impetus that brought Islam into the late 20th century. The conflicts between traditional values and modern lifestyles, between vast wealth and indigenous poverty, between the civilization once believed eternally monolithic and the thousands of voices each demanding satisfaction on a different level--these are the seismic fracture points of the Islamic scene today. (30 minutes, color)”
Islamic Art. Beautiful examples of the Islamic visual tradition, with an explanation of its development and uses for decoration.
From the publisher: “Forbidden by Islamic law to represent the human form, Moslem art burst forth in the characteristic decorative style we know as arabesque. This program discusses the architecture and sculpture of mosques and Koranic schools, the illumination and calligraphy of sacred texts, music, the art of the garden, and the influence of the abstract arabesque on Western art. (32 minutes, color)”
Introduction to the Arab World. Recommended because it provides the essentials about Arabs, including who they are and who they are not.
The Arabs Make Their Entrance: Islam and Empire. Very useful for giving a comprehensive history of the Arabs in a short amount of time.
From the publisher: “As the shadow of the Dark Ages fell across Europe, the scene for the advancement of Western civilization shifted to the Near East. This program charts the rise of the Arab empire, from its roots in the long-standing rivalry between the Byzantines and the Sassanids. Nodes along that timeline include the dual role of Mecca as a place of worship and as a center for trade, the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islam, the rapid expansion of Arabia at the expense of Byzantium and the Sassanid kingdom, and the internecine struggle between Arab factions that led to the founding of the Umayyad dynasty. Portions are in French with English subtitles. (26 minutes, color)”
This is recommended by the Hagop Kevorkian Center, NYU.
Topics and materials include a visit to Ayasofia, a historical overview of this great monument, completed in 537 for the Emperor Justinian as a church, and converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It explores the treasures and tales of the spectacular building in Istanbul, now a museum whose gardens house the largest Ottoman royal tombs, containing the bodies of a number of sultans and princes. This video is available through the University of Arizona (see slide “National Resource Centers on the Middle East” for more information.) Review by Melek Oyman.
Persian Miniatures from the Shahnameh
This film is recommended by the Near Eastern Languages and cultures Department at OSU.
From the publisher: “The Shahnameh, Iran’s national epic, has been illustrated again and again over the course of Persian history. This epic poem, written by the poet Firdausi in the early 11th century, recounts Persia’s mythological and historical past. This program traces the development of Shahnameh painting over three centuries and under the patronage of three distinct Persian dynasties. Parallels between miniature painting and other art forms of the time are drawn, and the cultural settings in which this art flourished are examined. This fascinating look at a unique art form was produced with the assistance of the Fogg Art Museum. (30 minutes)”
Takuma: The First Fifty Years
Both of these films are recommended by Professor Adena Tanenbaum, of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department at OSU. Dr. Tanenbaum uses them in her Israeli Culture courses, and the Middle East Studies Center uses them in the course “Introduction to the Middle East.” Originally intended for an Israeli audience (part of an Israeli television series), they provide useful depictions and background information on the culture of Modern Israel.
From the publisher: “May 14, 1948: David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the Jewish state of Israel. The following day the neighboring Arab populations declared war. Israel was born from this conflict and emerged a refuge for a people dispersed throughout the world, yet still engaged in combat with its Arab neighbors for its right to exist. This program presents the history of Israel, from its founding Zionist fathers in the 19th century such as Theodor Herzl, to the war of independence and the emergence of Israel as a prosperous, independent Jewish state. (52 minutes, color)”
Takuma: The Ingathering
From the publisher: “Ben-Gurion's founding principles of the Israeli state were security and immigration. This program examines the history of Jewish immigration and the conflux of cultures that exist within the broader cultural/religious identity of the Israeli population. In addition to identifying as Jewish, Israelis also identify themselves as Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Libyan, Algerian, Yemenite, and Ethiopian. Yet as the Jewish state prospers and grows, the latest wave of immigrants, the Ethiopians, feel unwelcome. The program explores the question of cultural identity and heritage in a multicultural society founded on a principle of inclusion for all Jewish people. (52 minutes, color)”