RCL: Subjects
MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY, LANGUAGES, AND LITERATURES The Middle Eastern History, Languages, and Literatures section covers the geographic area from Morocco to Afghanistan and Armenia. The history section surveys the period immediately preceding the rise of Islam to the contemporary era. It also includes politics, social issues, and popular culture. The languages and literatures section covers those languages associated with the region, both ancient and modern. Currency of materials was considered important. Given the plethora of available good sources, we often opted for currency when making choices for inclusion. However, much of the earlier corpus includes standard works which are still widely used. These are included. There is a vast amount of appropriate material dealing with current history, politics and social issues. Decisions to include one title over another were often favored only by the availability of a positive review. An attempt was made with many areas to include not only what appears on syllabuses, but also a representation of various schools of thought. Works dealing primarily with Islam as a religion are not included, but Islamic history, women in Muslim societies, and Islam and politics are. Works about the diverse ethnic and religious groups of the region are also included. The section entitled "Ethnography" is not meant to include every possible group (or sub-group) in the region, but only those which represent traditional minority presence. Hence Arabs, Turks, and Iranians/Pesians as the majority ethnic groups of the region are not included in this section. They are assumed to be represented under the broader regional and country headings. Major regional social critics, philosophers, ideologues, politicians, statesmen, historians, and literary authors have been considered primary resources. If their works have been translated they are included. There has been a tremendous increase since 1988 of translations of modern literature, especially Arabic and Hebrew. Ideally, all of it should be included, certainly the works of the major authors. Almost all of it is used in undergraduate courses both for its universal literary value and as a mirror of the cultures. Because of space constraints, it was a matter of choosing a representation. Sometimes choices were arbitrary, but hopefully the seminal works are included. Return to Subject List