Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

NMC: Introduction

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

Arts and Science

Degree Programs

Near and Middle Easter​n Civilizations

​MA
​PhD​​

Collaborative Specializations

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

  1. Diaspora and Transnational Studies
    • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, MA, PhD
  2. Jewish Studies
    • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, MA, PhD
  3. Sexual Diversity Studies
    • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, MA, PhD
  4. Women and Gender Studies
    • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, MA, PhD

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: http://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
Northrup, Linda - BA, MA, PhD
Ostapchuk, Victor - BA, PhD
Pouls Wegner, Mary Ann - BA, PhD
Raffaelli, Enrico - PhD
Reichel, Clemens - MA, PhD
Reilly, James - BA, MA, PhD
Ruehrdanz, Karin - ScD, 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

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

Associate Members

Ali, Abdel-Khalig - BA, MA, PhD
Baker, Heather - DPhil
Brosius, Maria - BA, PhD
Emon, Anver - LLB, BA, LLM, MA, PhD, SJD, CRC
Fadel, Mohammad - BA, JD, PhD
Frayne, Douglas - BA, MA, PhD
Hojatollah Taleghani, Azita - BA, MA, MA, PhD
Mason, Robert - BA, PhD
Moumtaz, Nada - PhD
Nizri, Yigal - BFA
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:

    1. 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.

    2. 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, are required to successfully complete one of the English tests listed on the department's website.

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
​Introduc​tion 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
​NMC 1701Y
Selected Readings in 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​

Arabic Studies

​NMC​ 2100Y​
Introductory 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
​Introduction to Classical Arabic Literary Prose
​NMC 2131H
​Introduction to Classical Arabic Poetry

​Aramaic-Syriac Language and Literature

NMC 1100Y
Introduction to Aramaic
​NMC 1101Y
Early Syriac Texts​
​NMC 1102Y
Palestinian Aramaic Texts​
​NMC 1104Y
​Aramaic Epigraphy
​NMC 1105Y
Syriac Historical Texts​
​NMC 1106Y
Syriac Exegetical Texts​
​NMC 1110H
​Palestinian Targum
​NMC 1111Y
​Babylonian Aramaic

Archaeology

​NMC 1400Y
Intr​oduction to the Archaeology of the Near East​
​NMC 1406Y
Problems in the Archaeology of Bronze Age Syria-Palestine​
​NMC 1407Y
​Problems in the Archaeology of Iron 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
​The Archaeology of Mesopotamia I (8,000–2,000 BC)
​NMC 1424H
​The Archaeology of Mesopotamia II (2,000–330 BC)
​NMC 1425H
​Mesopotamian Material Culture I: Art and Artifacts
​NMC 1426H
​Mesopotamian Material Culture II: Architecture
​NMC 1427H
​Archaeology of State Societies
​NMC 1428H
​Problems in Mesopotamian Archaeology I: Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Chronologie​s
​NMC 1429Y
​Polarized-Light Microscopy in Archaeology
​NMC 1500Y
​Archaeology, from Alexander to Muhammad

​​​Hebrew Language and Literature

​NMC 1305H
Early Hebrew Epigraphy​
​NMC 1306H
​Scribes, Manuscripts, and Translations of the Hebrew Bible
​NMC 1307H
​History of Ancient Israel
​NMC 1308H
​Readings in Hebrew Bible
​NMC 1309H
Wisdom in Ancient Israel​
​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 1401H
​Ancient Egyptian Cultural History I
​NMC 1402H
​Ancient Egyptian Cultural History II
​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 2118H
​Readings in Medieval Arabic Biographical Literature
​NMC 2119H
Readings in Medieval Arabic Legal Documents​
​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
​Iran and Islam
​NMC 2226H
​Medieval Persian Historiography and Diplomatics
​NMC 2230H
The First World Empire: The Achaemenids
NMC 2231H Alexander and Iran (prerequisite: NMC 2230H)
NMC 2232H Iran After Alexander: From the Seleucids to the Parthians
NMC 2233H The Sasanians: Religion, Society, and Culture in Late Antique Iran
​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 Isl​amic Art and Architecture​
​NMC 2501H​
Persianate Art and Architecture​
​NMC 2515Y
​The Islamic City
​NMC 2521H
​The Taj Mahal and Its Origins
​NMC 2525H
​Painting in Late Medieval and Early Modern Iran and Beyond
​NMC 2526H
Text and Image: The Formation of Arabic and Persian Manuscript Illustration​
​NMC 2541Y
Contextualizing Medieval Middle Eastern and Islamic Pottery​

​​Topics in Law and Religion

NMC 1605H ​Special Topics in Comparative Religious Law​​
​NMC 1607H Life C​ycle and Personal Status Issues in Jewish Law—Biomedical Ethics and Reproductive Technology​
​NMC 1608H Gender Issues in Jewish Law​
​NMC 1609H Gender-Related Topics in​ Law and Religion​

Linguistics

​NMC 1651H
​Phoenician and Punic E​pigraphy
​NMC 1652H
​Ugaritic
​NMC 1653H
​Issues in Ancient Hebrew Philology
​NMC 1654H
Advanced Ancient Hebrew Grammar​
​NMC 1655H
​Comparative Semitics

​Persian Studies

​NMC 2​200Y
​​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 2220Y
Classical Persian Literature​
​NMC 2221H
Medieval Persian Ethical and Advice Literature​
​NMC 2222H
Persian Mystical Poetry​
​NMC 2223H
​The Masnavi ​of Rumi
​NMC 2224H
Persian Myths, Islamic Legends, and Mystical Allegories​
​NMC 2227H
Zoroastrian Cosmic History: From Genesis to Universal Judgment​
​NMC 2228H
​Zoroastrian Apocalyptic Literature: To the Netherworld and Beyond

​Religion and Philosophy

​NM​C 1613Y
​Ancient Near Eastern Religi​​ons (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 2050Y
Prayer in Islamic Thought​
​NMC 2052H
​Islamic Religious Thought
​NMC 2053Y
​Images of the Prophet Muhammad
​NMC 2055H
​The Qur'an and Its Interpretation
​NMC 2056H
​Readings in Qur'an and Tafsir

Turkish and Ottoman Studies

​NMC 2300Y
Introd​uctory 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