Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

NMC: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degree Programs

Near and Middle Easter​n Civilizations

MA and PhD

  • Fields:
    • Ancient and Near Eastern Studies;
    • Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree​ programs as listed below:

Overview

In the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 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 and Judaic studies, including Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew, law, history, religion, and modern Hebrew literature; Aramaic (Ancient, Biblical, Targumic, and Talmudic Aramaic) and Syriac studies, including language, history, religion; Arabic studies; Islamic studies; history of the Islamic world and the modern Middle East; Islamic art; Persian studies; and Turkish studies, including Ottoman language and history.

Contact and Address

Web: nmc.utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-3181
Fax: (416) 978-3305

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
2nd Floor, 4 Bancroft Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1C1
Canada

NMC: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Aksan, Virginia - BA, MA, MLS, PhD
Beaulieu, Paul-Alain - LLB, BA, MA, PhD
Daviau, Michele - MTh, PhD
Fox, Harry - BSc, BA, MS, MA, PhD
Goebs, Katja - MA, DPhil
Grzymski, Krzysztof - MA, PhD
Hanssen, Jens - BPhil, DPhil
Harrak, Amir - MA, LTh, PhD
Harrison, Timothy - BA, MA, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Holmstedt, Robert - BA, MA, PhD
Kingston, Paul - BA, MA, MPH, DPhil
Leprohon, Ronald - BA, PhD
Meacham, Tirzah - BA, MA, PhD (Coordinator of Graduate Studies; Associate Chair)
Metso, Sarianna - MA, PhD
Miller, Jeanne - BA, MA, PhD
Mittermaier, Amira - MA, PhD
Newman, Judith - PhD
Ostapchuk, Victor - BA, PhD
Pouls Wegner, Mary-Ann - BA, PhD
Raffaelli, Enrico - PhD
Reichel, Clemens - MA, PhD
Reilly, James - BA, MA, PhD
Saleh, Walid - BA, MA, PhD
Subtelny, Maria - BA, PhD
Tavakoli-Targhi, Mohamad - BA, MA, PhD
Taylor, Glen - BA, MPH, MTh, PhD
Virani, Shafique - PhD

Members Emeriti

Garshowitz, Libby - BA, MA, PhD
Golombek, Lisa - BA, MA, PhD
Keall, Edward - BA, PhD
Lutz, R. Theodore - MA
Northrup, Linda - BA, MA, PhD
Pietersma, Albert - BA, BD, PhD
Sandler, Rivanne - BA, MA, PhD

Associate Members

Ali, Abdel-Khalig - BA, MA, PhD
Bahoora, Haytham - BA, MA, PhD
Baker, Heather D. - DPhil
Branting, Scott - BA, MA, MA, PhD
Emon, Anver - LLB, BA, LLM, MA, PhD, SJD
Fadel, Mohammad - BA, JD, PhD
Hojatollah Taleghani, Azita - BA, MA, MA, PhD
Mason, Robert - BA, PhD
Porter, Anne - BA, MA, MA, PhD

NMC: Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations MA

Master of Arts​

Program Description

Depending on the amount of undergraduate preparation, students may enrol in either a two-year MA program or a one-year MA program option. Students can also complete the MA through a coursework option or a thesis option. The MA program may be taken on a part-time basis.

 

MA Program (One-Year Option)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree in a relevant program from a recognized university with an average of at least B+, or equivalent, in the final year.

  • Two letters of reference.

  • Statement of academic intent.

  • Some programs may require appropriate knowledge of a primary source language, or one or more European languages.

  • Students choosing to focus on Islamic Art and Material Culture must have a reading knowledge of French or German at the time of admission.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.​

Program Requirements

Coursework Option
  • Students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs).

Thesis Option
  • Students must complete a thesis (1.0 FCE) under the guidance of a supervisor on a topic approved by the supervisor.

  • 2.0 FCEs in coursework.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
9 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

MA Program (Two-Year Option)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree in a relevant program from a recognized university with an average of at least B+, or equivalent, in the final year.

  • Two letters of reference.

  • Statement of academic intent.

  • Some programs may require appropriate knowledge of a primary source language, or one or more European languages.

  • Students choosing to focus on Islamic Art and Material Culture must have a reading knowledge of French or German at the time of admission.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.​

Program Requirements

All students must complete 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs). Students who choose to focus on Islamic art and material culture must successfully complete at least 2.0 FCEs each in art and in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.

Coursework Option
  • Students must complete 6.0 FCEs.

Thesis Option
  • Students must complete a thesis (1.0 FCE) under the guidance of a supervisor on a topic approved by the supervisor.

  • 5.0 FCEs in coursework.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S);
18 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

NMC: Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations PhD

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate MA or 2) direct entry following completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission via one of two routes:

    • MA degree in a relevant program from a recognized university with at least an A– average or equivalent in courses taken for the MA program.

    • Direct entry from a bachelor's degree for exceptionally qualified applicants, at the discretion of the department.
  • Ability to conduct independent research.

  • Competence in primary source language(s) relevant to the applicant's research.

  • Two letters of reference.

  • Statement of academic intent.

  • Writing sample of no more than 12 double-spaced pages including footnotes.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)/resumé up to three pages in length.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.​

Program Requirements

  • The program of study is determined in consultation with the department and includes written and oral general examinations.

  • Each year of the PhD program, students are obligated to consult with their advisor and Graduate Coordinator to see that appropriate coursework is done and that the language requirements are completed on schedule.

  • The minimum course requirement will normally be 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • Year 1: 3.0 FCEs

    • Year 2: 3.0 FCEs

  • Students who have completed a two-year MA in the department may apply for a course reduction that will be granted at the discretion of the department. The reduction should normally be 1.0 FCE, but may be up to 3.0 FCEs in cases of students who also have an exceptional preparation in their area of study at the BA level. Coursework and all language requirements are to be completed by the end of Year 2.

  • In consultation with the supervisor, examining committee, and supervisory committee (if it has already been established), students will prepare a short draft proposal of two to four pages with bibliography by May of Year 2. The short draft proposal will direct some of the preparation for the comprehensive examinations which will take place by the end of the first session of Year 3. A final proposal of at least 10 pages plus bibliography is to be approved by the supervisory committee within one to two months of the completion of the comprehensive exams.

  • Students are required to demonstrate reading comprehension in two languages of modern scholarship (typically French and German), the first by the end of Year 1 in residence, and the second by the end of Year 2 of residence. A language other than French or German may be substituted with approval of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Coordinator. In some cases, the department may require competence in another language relevant to the student's program. The choice of language(s) must be approved by the department.

  • Residence. Students are required to be registered on campus for the period during which coursework requirements are being fulfilled, and in no case for less than two academic years.

  • Thesis. The thesis must embody the results of original investigation and constitute a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. It must be based on research conducted while registered in the PhD program. The thesis must be successfully defended at a Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years direct-entry

NMC: Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations MA, PhD Courses

Akkadian and Sumerian Languages and Literatures

NMC 1001Y
Introduction to Old Babylonian
NMC 1002Y
Selected Standard Babylonian Texts
NMC 1003Y
Akkadian Historical Texts
NMC 1004Y
Intermediate Sumerian
NMC 1005Y
The Assyrian Language
NMC 1008Y Babylonian Archival Texts (Late Periods) (prerequisite: NMC 1001Y)
NMC 1009Y
Introduction to Sumerian

Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature

NMC 1201Y
Introduction to Middle Egyptian
NMC 1202Y
Middle Egyptian Texts
NMC 1203Y
Late Egyptian Texts
NMC 1204Y
Cursive Script
NMC 1209H
Old Egyptian Texts
NMC 1210H
Ancient Egyptian Historical Texts
NMC 1213H
Ancient Egyptian Religious and Funerary Literature
NMC 1215H Ancient Egyptian Instructional Texts (prerequisites: NMC 1201Y, NMC 1202Y)

Arabic Studies

NMC 2100Y
Elementary Modern Standard Arabic
NMC 2101Y
Intermediate Standard Arabic I
NMC 2102Y
Intermediate Standard Arabic II
NMC 2103Y
Advanced Standard Arabic
NMC 2110H
Al-Jahiz and His Debate Partners
NMC 2111H
Medieval Arabic Rhetoric
NMC 2130H
Adab and Arabic Literary Prose
NMC 2131H
Premodern Arabic Poetry

Aramaic-Syriac Language and Literature

NMC 1100Y
Introduction to Aramaic
NMC 1101Y
Early Syriac Texts
NMC 1102Y
Palestinian Aramaic Texts
NMC 1105Y
Syriac Historical Texts
NMC 1106Y
Syriac Exegetical Texts
NMC 1110H
Palestinian Targum
NMC 1111Y
Babylonian Aramaic

Archaeology

NMC 1400H
The Archaeology of the Pre- and Protohistoric Civilizations of the Near East
NMC 1404H Archaeological Reconstructions of Pottery Production and Consumption in the Middle Euphrates
NMC 1406Y
Problems in the Archaeology of Bronze Age Syria-Palestine
NMC 1408Y
Seminar in the Archaeology of Syria-Palestine
NMC 1409H
Archaeology and Material Culture of Ancient Egypt I
NMC 1410H
Archaeology and Material Culture of Ancient Egypt II
NMC 1411H
Near Eastern Ceramics I
NMC 1412H
Near Eastern Ceramics II
NMC 1414H
Egyptian Artifacts
NMC 1416H
Egyptian Iconography
NMC 1418Y
Archaeology of Nubia
NMC 1419Y
Art, Archaeology and Culture of Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids
NMC 1420H
Selected Topics in Near Eastern Archaeology
NMC 1421H
Seminar in Egyptian Archaeology I
NMC 1422H
Seminar in Egyptian Archaeology II
NMC 1423H
Ancient Iraq
NMC 1424H
The Art and Archaeology of Syria
NMC 1425H
Mesopotamian Material Culture — Art versus Artifact
NMC 1426H
Sacred or Secular Space — Mesopotamian Architecture in Context
NMC 1427H
Archaeology of State Societies
NMC 1429Y
Polarized-Light Microscopy in Archaeology
NMC 1430H Warfare — The Archaeology of Conflict
NMC 1500Y
Archaeology, from Alexander to Muhammad

Hebrew Language and Literature

NMC 1306H
Scribes, Manuscripts, and Translations of the Hebrew Bible
NMC 1307H
History of Ancient Israel
NMC 1308H
Readings in Hebrew Bible
NMC 1310H
Readings in Second Temple Period Texts
NMC 1313H Mishnah and Tosefta
NMC 1314H
Law in Ancient Judaism
NMC 1315H
Advanced Readings in the Dead Sea Scrolls
NMC 1316H
Modern Hebrew Poetry
NMC 1317H
Modern Hebrew Prose
NMC 1318H
Midreshei Halakha: Purity and Cultic Texts
NMC 1327H Themes in Midreshic Literature
NMC 1328H Intertextuality: Tannaitic and Amoaric Literature
NMC 1330H
Introduction to Modern Hebrew I
NMC 1331H
Introduction to Modern Hebrew II
NMC 1332H
Intermediate Modern Hebrew I
NMC 1333H
Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
NMC 1334H
Advanced Modern Hebrew I
NMC 1335H
Advanced Modern Hebrew II
NMC 1336H
Modern Academic Hebrew

History

NMC 1010H
Mesopotamian Society and Economy
NMC 1020H
Ancient Mesopotamia I: Sumerians and Akkadians
NMC 1021H
Ancient Mesopotamia II: Assyrians and Babylonians
NMC 1022H
The Babylonian City
NMC 1023H
The Neo-Assyrian Empire
NMC 2080H
Theory and Method in Middle Eastern Studies
NMC 2081H
Anthropology of the Middle East
NMC 2090Y
The Prophet and the Caliphates: Early Islamic History to 1258
NMC 2117H
Readings in Medieval Arabic Chronicles
NMC 2119H
Readings in Medieval Arabic Documents
NMC 2129H Arabic Manuscript Studies (prerequisite: NMC 2101Y or NML211Y or the equivalent)
NMC 2170H
Topics in Modern Arab History I
NMC 2171H
Topics in Modern Arab History II
NMC 2172H
The Politics of Archaeology in the Modern Middle East
NMC 2173H
Intellectuals of the Modern Arab World
NMC 2180H
Iranian Modernity
NMC 2225Y
History of Iran: From the Sasanians to the Safavids
NMC 2226H
Medieval Persian Historiography and Diplomatics
NMC 2230H
The First World Empire: The Achaemenids
NMC 2231H
Alexander and Iran
NMC 2232H
Iran After Alexander: From the Seleucids to the Parthians
NMC 2310Y
Ottoman History to 1800
NMC 2315Y
Topics in Ottoman History
NMC 2345Y
The Steppe Frontier in Eurasian and Islamic History

Islamic Art and Material Culture

NMC 2500H
Early Islamic Art and Architecture
NMC 2541Y
Contextualizing Medieval Middle Eastern and Islamic Pottery

Topics in Law and Religion

NMC 1605H
Special Topics in Comparative Religious Law
NMC 1608H
Gender Issues in Jewish Law

Linguistics

NMC 1651H
Phoenician and Punic Epigraphy
NMC 1653H
Issues in Ancient Hebrew Philology
NMC 1654H
Advanced Ancient Hebrew Grammar
NMC 1655H
Comparative Semitics

Persian Studies

NMC 2200Y
Introductory Persian
NMC 2201Y
Intermediate Persian
NMC 2202H
Modern Persian Poetry (prerequisite: NMC 2201Y)
NMC 2203H
Structural Development of Iranian Language (prerequisite: NMC 2201Y)
NMC 2204Y Avestan
NMC 2205Y Middle Persian (Pahlavi)
NMC 2206Y Old Persian
NMC 2219H Persian Literature: The Epic Tradition
NMC 2220H
Persian Literature: Ethical, Erotic, Mystical
NMC 2221H
Persian Mirrors for Princes
NMC 2224H
The Visionary Tales of Suhravardi, Master of Illuminationist Philosophy
NMC 2225Y History of Iran: From the Sasanians to the Safavids
NMC 2227H
Zoroastrian Cosmic History: From Genesis to Universal Judgment
NMC 2228H
Zoroastrian Apocalyptic Literature: To the Netherworld and Beyond
NMC 2229H Persians, Greeks, and Romans: Friendly Enemies

Religion and Philosophy

NMC 1613Y
Ancient Near Eastern Religion (PhD students in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations excluded)
NMC 1614Y
Ancient Egyptian Religion (PhD students in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations excluded)
NMC 2045Y
Islamic Philosophical Texts
NMC 2052H
Islamic Religious Thought
NMC 2055H
The Qur'an and Its Interpretation
NMC 2056H
Readings in Qur'an and Tafsir

Turkish and Ottoman Studies

NMC 2300Y
Introductory Turkish
NMC 2301Y
Intermediate Turkish
NMC 2330Y
Readings in Ottoman Historical Texts
NMC 2331Y
Ottoman Palaeography and Diplomatics
NMC 2340Y
Studies in Ottoman and Turkish Literature
JNE 2320H
Modern Turkey

Other Courses

NMC 2000Y
Directed Reading
NMC 2001Y
Directed Reading and Research