Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies You don’t need any prior knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese or Persian to study them here but you do need imagination, perseverance, curiosity and a sense of adventure. You can also combine Arabic, Hebrew or Persian with a modern European language. Broaden your horizons The area we study stretches from Japan in the East to Morocco in the West, and from classical times to the present day. To study one of these cultures through its language is not only to develop a set of practical skills and knowledge that can be used later in many different ways, but also to engage with different ways of understanding our shared world. We don’t require you to have studied specific subjects at school; the best preparation is for you to explore for yourself what interests you in the culture you choose to study (see the Faculty website for suggestions). Flexibility: our range of options Our course is flexible and numerous options and combinations are available. You should indicate which language(s) you’re interested in studying in your SAQ (see p7). • You can study Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese or Persian. • You can combine Arabic, Hebrew and Persian with each other, or with a modern European language (if you have an A Level/IB Higher Level or equivalent in the European language), or with Egyptology or Akkadian. You can take Arabic or Hebrew on their own, but Persian must be combined with another language. • Chinese and Japanese cannot be combined, with the exception that Korean can be combined as a minor subject with Japanese in Year 4.
Chinese gives you China in its own words. You encounter a sophisticated civilization and the most vibrant economy in the world today. You delve into its 3,500 years of recorded history, poetry and philosophy to understand how they shaped the tumultuous changes of modern times, and to engage with contemporary society. In Japanese, you master the spoken and written forms of the modern Japanese language. You gain a comprehensive understanding of Japan, its history, its rich and varied culture, its politics and society, and its vital role in world affairs and the often fraught diplomacy of Northeast Asia. Arabic and Persian, the languages of the Qur’an and of Islamic mystical poetry, are the keys to a medieval culture which kick-started the European Renaissance. Our course gives you access both to this and to the modern societies, cultures and thought fed by this heritage. Hebrew offers classical (Biblical) and/or modern Hebrew and its literature, and the history and culture of Israel and the modern Middle East. You can also study other languages such as Aramaic.
For my dissertation, I was able to investigate any course-related subject attracting my attention, and pursuing those investigations at length was my degree high point. Fraser
Published on Feb 24, 2015