The Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in two fields:
- Ancient Near Eastern Studies
- Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Courses are offered and faculty conduct research in the following areas: Egyptology, including archaeology, language, history and religion; Mesopotamia and the Near East including archaeology and Assyriology; Syro-Palestinian Archaeology; Hebrew & Judaic Studies including Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew, Talmudic and Rabbinic literature, history and religion; modern Hebrew literature, Aramaic (Biblical, Targumic, and Jewish Eastern and Western dialects), Syriac Studies, including language, history and religion; Arabic Studies; Islamic Studies; History of the Islamic World & the Modern Middle East; Islamic Art; Persian Studies; and Turkish Studies, including Ottoman language and history.
Jewish Studies Collaborative Doctoral Program
The Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies offers both broad and intensive exposure to the constituent fields within Jewish Studies. Because of Jewish civilization’s vast chronological and geographical range, as well as its constant interaction and cross-fertilization with other cultures, graduate work within Jewish Studies demands intensive exposure to a wide variety of languages, textual traditions, and scholarly disciplines.
The collaborative program involves the graduate master's and doctoral programs listed above. Upon successful completion of the master’s requirements of the home department and the program, students receive the designation “Completed Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies” on their transcript. Upon successful completion of the doctoral requirements of the home department and the program, students receive, in addition to the doctoral degree in their home department, the notation “Completed Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies.” Please note that the required Jewish Studies Core Methods Seminar and the Core Research Colloquium are in addition to the three or six full-course equivalents (FCEs) required for the MA or PhD program in NMC. Some funding is available for both MA and PhD students in the Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies.
Graduate Program Requirements for MA
- CJS1000H: Completion of the core methods seminar in Jewish Studies.
- This seminar will introduce students to the different disciplines, methods, and approaches within Jewish Studies. One half-course in Jewish Studies taken within the student's home department or in another department (may count towards the course requirements of the student's home department).
- A comprehensive exam in Jewish Studies, supervised by a faculty member chosen from Jewish Studies and in consultation with the graduate chair from the student's home department, in which the student will be asked to show knowledge of areas of Jewish Studies relevant to his or her disciplinary focus.
- If the student's home program requires a major research paper or thesis, the focus of the paper must pertain to Jewish Studies and the topic must be approved by the Director of the Collaborative Master's Program.
Graduate Program Requirements for PhD
- CJS2000H: Core Research colloquium in Jewish Studies that runs biweekly throughout the year.
- Two half-courses, one within and one outside of the student's home department, taught by a member of the CJS faculty (may count towards the course requirements of the student's home department).
- Paper presentation in the Graduate Student Conference before completion of the program.
- A doctoral dissertation that deals substantively with topics in Jewish Studies and is supervised or co-supervised by a CJS graduate faculty member.
- A program of study should be planned in consultation with the Director of the Jewish Studies Collaborative Doctoral Program, Professor Anna Shternshis (phone: 416-978-8131; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies of the student’s home graduate unit. Visit the Centre for Jewish Studies to learn more.
Graduate Collaborative Program in Women & Gender Studies (CWGS)
Graduate units from the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences participate in the Graduate Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) at the University of Toronto. The collaborating units contribute courses and provide facilities and supervision for graduate research. This program, offered at the master’s and doctoral levels, is administered by the Women and Gender Studies Institute. CWGS provides a formal educational opportunity for qualification in the field of women’s studies through the pursuit of original interdisciplinary research in Women and Gender Studies and advanced feminist scholarship. It provides a central coordinating structure to facilitate and disseminate women’s studies research through student and faculty research seminars, colloquia, circulation of work in progress, study groups, conferences, and publications. CWGS contributes to the development of an integrated research community in women’s studies at the University of Toronto. Applicants to the program are expected to meet the admission and degree requirements of both the home department and CWGS.
Normally, both Master’s and PhD applicants to CWGS should have at least one course (and preferably more) in Women’s Studies, Feminist Studies, and/or Gender Studies. This course may be in Women’s Studies/Gender Studies, or it may be a course on gender and women in another discipline. In exceptional cases, extensive work or activist experience, which also requires academic knowledge of research on women and/or gender, will also be considered.
In order to qualify for admission to Women and Gender Studies, applicants must be offered admission to the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Applicants may apply concurrently to the CWGS and are encouraged to do so in the interest of expediency. Please note that applicants cannot be admitted to CWGS until they have been officially admitted to the Department of NMC.
The collaborative requirements can be met concurrently with, or in addition to, home unit requirements. Upon successful completion of the requirements, students receive the MA or PhD degree in their departmental area with the notation “Completed Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies” on their transcripts. For further information, please contact the Graduate Coordinator of the Department, Professor Walid Saleh or Professor Robert Diaz, Graduate Coordinator of the Graduate Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies, Room 2036, 40 Willcocks Street, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1C6; Tel: (416) 978-3668, Fax: (416) 946-5561, e-mail: email@example.com.
A program of study should be planned in consultation with the Graduate Collaborative Program Coordinator as well as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies of the student’s home graduate unit. Courses are selected from an established list of core courses approved by CWGS for the Collaborative Program. Each year these are available on the Women and Gender Studies Institute’s website. For further information regarding the Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies Institute see the SGS 2020-2021 calendar.
Graduate Collaborative Program in Sexual Diversity Studies
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations participates in the MA and PhD Graduate Collaborative Program with the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. For the MA and PhD Programs students must take the core course offered by SDS (SDS1000H). This requirement must be supplemented by at least another half-course in the area of sexuality. Course selections must be approved by the director of the Collaborative Program. Doctoral students who have completed the Collaborative Program at the Master’s level will not be required to take SDS1000H a second time, so that they will be required to take only another half-course in the area of sexuality. Students must pursue a dissertation topic related to sexual diversity, and include on the thesis committee at least one faculty member associated with SDS. The director of the Collaborative Program must approve the topic as compatible with the requirements of the program. Doctoral students are expected to participate in a variety of other activities programmed by the Bonham Centre, including a monthly colloquium series, and in an annual one-day student conference envisaged for the Centre, and regular "brown-bag" talks. The Collaborative Program director is responsible for certifying the completion of the Collaborative Program requirements. The home graduate unit, in this case the NMC Department, is solely responsible for the approval of the student’s home degree requirements. Upon the completion of requirements of the home program and the Collaborative Program, student transcripts will indicate that they have completed all the requirements for the "Collaborative Program in Sexual Diversity Studies." Detailed information on the Program and its requirements can be found on the website of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Please note that the required SDS1000H is in addition to the three or six full-course equivalents (FCEs) required for the MA or PhD program in NMC.
Graduate Collaborative Program in Diaspora and Transnational Studies
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations participates in the MA and PhD Graduate Collaborative Program with Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Diaspora in contemporary thought involves the shifting relations between homelands and host nations from the perspective of those who have moved, whether voluntarily or not. Diaspora emphasizes the inescapable lived translocal experiences of many migrant communities that exceed the boundaries of the nation-state. Questions of nostalgia, of the dynamics of co-ethnic identification, of the politics of homeland and host nation, and of the inter-generational shifts in responses to all these are central to studies of diaspora. Transnationalism, on the other hand, focuses on flows and counterflows and the multi-striated connections to which they give rise. It encompasses in its ambit not just the movement of people but also concepts of citizenship and multinational governance, the resources of information technology, and the realities of the global marketplace, among others. Taken together, the two concepts of diaspora and transnationalism enable our understanding of the complex realities of vast movements of people, goods, ideas, images, technologies, and finance in the world today. This collaborative program is designed to bring together both social science and humanities perspectives to augment our existing tri-campus undergraduate program and to contribute to increased research collaboration between participants in the program. At the MA level there is a required seminar in Comparative Research Methods in Diaspora and Transnational Studies (DTS). As part of the Research Methods Seminar, students are required to submit an ethnographic, archival, or documentary paper on a diasporic community in Toronto or elsewhere. A half course, (DTS 2000H) is required but with the approval of the Program Director, a student may substitute a course from their home department for the DTS topics course. The same requirements hold for doctoral students but one cannot participate in both the MA and the PhD Program. Please note that the required DTS 2000H is in addition to the three or six full-course equivalents (FCEs) required for the MA or PhD program in NMC. A major paper or MA thesis or PhD thesis must be on a topic in Diaspora and Transnational Studies.