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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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Resources for Studying and Teaching the Middle East

Key research and instructional resources.


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OSU Main Library - location

William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library (Main Library) LI

1858 Neil Ave Mall

Columbus, OH 43210-1286

Telephone: (614) 292-6154

Hours: http://library.osu.edu/sites/libinfo/hours.php

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.


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OSU Library Access

  • Some teachers have access OSU libraries through their local library via OhioLink. Westerville Public Library and Upper Arlington Public library are both members of OhioLink.

    • “OhioLINK is a state-funded consortium of Ohio university and college libraries and the State Library of Ohio. Students, faculty members, and staff members affiliated with OhioLINK institutions can request books online, view journal articles online, search authoritative databases, and make use of other OhioLINK services that enhance research and education.”

    • See: http://www.ohiolink.edu/help/catalog-faq.html for instructions on how to order materials through Ohiolink and pick them up at your library.

  • Teachers can go directly to the Main Library at OSU and request access to the collection.


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Key Resources Online

  • Encyclopaedia of Islam. Available online (with OSU username) from the Libraries home page. 2nd ed. (MES DS37E56 1960)

  • Index: Islam ansiklopedisi indeksi. (MES DS37I75 1961 INDEX)

  • Godlas, Alan. Resources for Studying Islam. http://www.uga.edu/islam/ Lists many Websites with full text of the Qur’an, the hadith, English translations of both, and commentaries with translations on both. 

  • Guide to online research and resources: http://library.osu.edu/sites/mes/Arabic241SP08.htm


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Middle East Studies Center (MESC) Educator Resource Lending Library

  • MESC has a variety of lesson plans, videos, books and music CDs available to educators to borrow on a one week basis. Please refer to our web site on the resources page for a complete listing (http://mesc.osu.edu/teacherResources_LendingLibrary.php),and e-mail Jennifer Swain ([email protected]) for further information. You can also call me or Catalina for recommendations, or suggestions for your research.

  • Recommended item: “The Modern Middle East” lesson plan created by “History Alive” provides excellent scholarship on Middle East history and culture, but it is practical too, providing a variety of hand-outs, audio, and visual materials. Classroom activity 1.1 “Impressions of the Middle East” is especially recommended for it’s visual approach, and it’s inclusion of geography. Should you decide to try it, please send us your opinion and share your experiences with this lesson plan.


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Scholarship of Sources and Title VI National Resource Centers

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


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Scholarship of Sources and Title VI National Resource Centers

  • In addition to Ohio State, 18 other universities across the country have Middle East Studies Centers designated as Title VI National Resource Centers:

    • Columbia University, The Middle East Institute - National Resource Center

    • Emory University, Georgia Middle East Studies Consortium - National Resource Center

    • Georgetown University, National Resource Center on the Middle East - National Resource Center

    • Georgia State University, Georgia Middle East Studies Consortium - National Resource Center

    • Harvard University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • New York University, Hagop Kevorkian Center - National Resource Center

    • Princeton University, Program in Near Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of Arizona, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of California, Berkeley, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Near Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Middle East Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of Chicago, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of Michigan, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of Pennsylvania, Middle East Center - National Resource Center

    • University of Texas at Austin, Center for Middle Eastern Studies - National Resource Center

    • University of Utah, Middle East Center - National Resource Center

    • University of Washington, Middle East Center - National Resource Center

    • Yale University, Middle East Studies Council - National Resource Center


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Online teaching tools and resources. Centers

  • TeachGlobalEd.net. A global education resource. Provides a web site index and guide tailored to suit teachers’ needs.http://teachglobaled.net/

  • Outreach World. A global education resource. Provides numerous lesson plans, guides, and educational opportunities for teachers. http://www.outreachworld.org/


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Teaching current events. Centers

  • Great Decisions. A program by Foreign Policy Association and it provides guides to information and lessons plans based on current affairs in the Middle East.

    • Example of a current topic: Turkey http://www.fpa.org/topics4707/topics_show.htm?doc_id=357618

    • It provides links to useful information on reputable web sites.

    • The article to be read and discussed comes in an annual $15 publication, with all of the Great Decisions topics for that year.

  • Newshour Extra – A teacher resource on PBS. Provides lesson plans and other resources on current events. Lesson plans on Iraq are updated daily. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/world/

  • Global Connections – another excellent educational resource on the PBS web site to enhance current events lesson plans. Here is a link to the main page for Middle East: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/index.html


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Suggested Web Sites Centers

  • The Arab Culture and Civilization web site by the National Inst. For Technology and Liberal Education and the Middle East Policy Council: http://acc.teachmideast.org/

  • The www.persia.org site was originally recommended by the Middle East National Resource Center at the University of Texas. This page is very useful: http://www.persia.org/Culture/cul.html

  • This site on Zionism provides an overview of origins of the modern state of Israel: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/zion.html

  • Turkish Culture Portal: Overview of Turkish arts, thought, and popular culture. Aligned with the government’s secular vision of Turkey - http://www.turkishculture.org/

  • Turkish tutor online - http://languagetutors.ucla.edu/turkishtutor/ - provides a view into Turkish popular culture and a basic introduction to Turkish language through the popular Turkish TV show, BİZİMKİLER .

  • The official web site of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq: http://www.krg.org/articles/?lngnr=12&areanr=61&smap=03010000


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Bibliography Centers

  • On the Middle East

    • Goldschmidt, Arthur: A Concise History of the Middle East, 2005.

    • Anderson, Roy, Robert Seibert, Jon Wagner: Politics and Change in the Middle East, 2004.

  • On Islam

    • Hodgson, Marshall: The Venture of Islam, 1974.

    • Denny, Frederick Mathewson: An Introduction to Islam

    • Peters, F.E.: Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, 1994

    • Esposito, John L.: Islam: The Straight Path, 1988

  • On Judaism

    • Fishbane, Michael: Judaism, 1987.

    • Cohen, Abraham: Every Man’s Talmud,1975.

    • de Lange, Nicholas: An Introduction to Judaism, 2000.

    • Solomon, Norman: Judaism: A Very Short Introduction, 1996.

  • On Eastern Orthodox Christianity

    • Kallistos, Bishop of Diokleia:The Orthodox Church,

    • Meyendorff, John: Byzantine Theology: historical trends & doctrinal themes,

  • On Christian traditions of the modern Middle East

    • Dalrymple, William: From the holy mountain : a journey among the Christians of the Middle East, 1998.


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Bibliography (cont’) Centers

  • On Arabs

    • Hourani, Albert: A History of the Arab Peoples, 2002.

    • Versteegh, Kees: The Arabic Language, 2001.

  • On Jews

    • Scheindlin, Raymond P: A Short History of the Jewish People Oxford University Press, 2000.

    • Potok, Chaim: Wanderings. Ballantine Books, 1978.

    • Kugel: On Being a Jew 1990.

  • On Turks

    • Findley, Carter: The Turks in World History, 2005.

    • Inalcik, Halil: The Ottoman Empire: The classical age 1300-1600, London, 1973.

    • Quataert, Donald: The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922, New York, 2000.

  • On Persians (and Iranians)

    • Browne, Edward G: Preface of The Persian Revolution, edited by Abbas Amanat,  pp. xi-xxi and 31-58, Washington, 1995.

    • Bill, James A: The Eagle and the Lion: The tragedy of American-Iranian relations, Binghamton, 1988.

  • On Kurds

    • Özuglu, Hakan: Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries, Albany, 2004.


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Notes on Books: The Middle East Centers

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.


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Notes on Books: Islam Centers

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.


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Notes on books: Judaism Centers

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.


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Notes on Books: Eastern Orthodox Christianity Centers

  • The Orthodox Church. The author is the former Timothy Ware. Because he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, it was necessary for him to "learn" and "understand" the lengthy and complicated history, both of the Church, and its Doctrine. Therefore, many, including myself, have found this book in English to be the most understandable and comprehensive. Professor Predrag Matejic, faculty member of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Literatures strongly recommends it and the following source.

  • Byzantine Theology: historical trends & doctrinal themes. This work provides an excellent, and rather brief, synopsis.


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Notes on Books: Christian traditions of the modern Middle East

  • From the Holy Mountain : a journey among the Christians of the Middle East. Recommended by Professor Sam Meier, of the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department


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Notes on Books: Arabs East

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.


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Notes on Books: Jews East

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.


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Notes on Books: Turks East

  • The Turks in World History. Carter Findley is an OSU faculty member. This work provides a comprehensive history of the Turkic world from ancient times to the present. It is essential to understanding the modern Turkic states, in addition to the Turkic peoples in world history.

  • The Ottoman Empire: The classical age 1300-1600. Although it was published in 197(?) It is a fundamental resource for teaching Turkish Ottoman history from the 13th century until the beginning of the 17th century; i.e., the origins until the peak of Ottoman power. It explains the institutions, the power of the Sultan, the governing of the provinces, and Ottoman society in general. It is best completed by Ottoman Empire and Islamic Traditions, Norman Itzkowitz, 1972.

  • The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922. This book is the perfect extension from the previous two.


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Notes on Books: Persians East

  • The Persian Revolution (The Preface). This article is recommended by Professor Parvaneh Pourshariati of our Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department. It is a concise yet thorough description of Persian history and culture; major players from ancient times until now are noted and their roles explained.

  • The Eagle and the Lion: The tragedy of American-Iranian relations. Recommended by MESC director, Dr. Alam Payind. This is an insightful analysis of Iranian-American relations in the 20th century. It provides the background information which allows the reader to more fully understand current events.


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Notes on Books: Kurds East

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.


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Annotated list of Films East

  • On the Middle East

    • Ancient and Modern: Fall and Rise of the Middle East.  Britannica (25 min)

  • On Islam

    • *Islam today. Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Part of The World of Islam series.

    • *Islamic Art. Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Part of The World of Islam series.

  • On Eastern Christianity

    • The Forgotten Faithful, Produced by Lois Pinneo and George Conklin in cooperation with the Anglican Diocese of Jeruselem, 1988.

  • On Arabs

    • **Introduction to the Arab World (Part I only – 15 min). Amideast

    • *The Arabs Make Their Entrance: Islam and Empire. Films for the Humanities & Sciences. Online version from OSU libraries. Part of the “Lorsque Le Monde Parlait Arabe” series.

  • On Turks

    • Ayasophia. (199?, 26 minutes)

  • On Iranians

    • Struggling with Modernity. Ambrose Video, 1993.

    • Persian Miniatures from the Shahnameh. Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

  • On Israelis

    • *From the series Takuma: The First Fifty Years

      • *The Conflict, 1998.

      • *Takuma: The Ingathering, 1998.

*Online version available via OSU Libraries.

**non-electronic version available via OSU libraries.


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Notes on films: Middle East East

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?"


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Notes on films: Islam East

Islam Today.

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)”


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Notes on films: Eastern Christianity East

  • The Forgotten Faithful. Recommended by the Director of the Center, Dr. Alam Payind. This film provides a view of Palestinians which is not as well known, while also documenting Christianity in the Middle East. This film is shown during the Summer Institute on Middle Eastern Cultures.


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Notes on films: Arabs East

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)”


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Notes on Films: Turks East

Ayasofia

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.


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Notes on Films: Persians (and Iranians) East

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)”


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Notes of Films: Israelis East

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)”


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Depictions in Popular Culture and Stereotypes East

  • Bernstein, Matthew, & Gaylyn Studlar: Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film, New Brunswick, 1997. Provides colonial background information and 20th history of Middle Eastern images in Western popular culture.

  • Middle Eastern Americana on the website of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at the university of California, Los Angeles. Part of a long-term project to collect, record, and interpret Middle Eastern representations in American culture. http://www.isop.ucla.edu/cnes/home/article-meus.asp?parentid=14972# This project has been developed and lead by Jonathan Friedlander, the Outreach Director of the that center. For a list of Middle East National Centers, please see the next slide.

  • Michalak, Laurence: Cruel and Unusual: Negative Images of Arabs in American Popular Culture, Washington, D.C., 1988. This source provides solid data and good examples of negative portrayals of Arabs in American media. A copy can be ordered for $2.00 through the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee web site: http://www.adc.org/education/adcpub.htm , or accessed for free on line through the Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC) – do a title search.


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