The Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures provides a liberal arts education in new global realities and their connections specifically to history of culture in the Near East and Central Asia. A detailed and critical knowledge of ancient and modern languages of these regions is of utmost importance for a better understanding of their rich cultural heritages, and development of language skills requires cultural-historical knowledge. This includes the following:
- Development of language skills, including proficiency in ancient languages of the Middle East, and proficiency in modern foreign languages of the Middle East and Central Asia, involving all four language skills (speaking, writing, reading, and listening).
- Expansion of student understanding of cultural diversity through study of languages, literature, religious, and other cultural aspects of the ancient and modern Middle East and Central Asia:
- Close textual and hermeneutic studies of ancient languages and texts.
- Classical and modern literature.
- History of culture.
Additionally, MELC focuses on the development of student abilities in:
- Critical analyses of texts.
- Thorough understanding of historical and cultural contexts.
- Integrative and critical thinking.
- Analytical writing.
- Research procedures and strategies.