Welcome to the UC Davis History Department webpage informing you about Middle East, North African, and South Asian Studies (MENASA) in the History Department! We are proud that our department boasts six full-time, tenured faulty who specialize in Middle East, Central and South Asia and North African studies, offering an extraordinarily comprehensive regional program most unusual for its breadth and depth. Subfields of specialization are equally as diverse: the Ottoman Empire, modern Egypt, the Levant, pre-modern and modern Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent, colonial and post-colonial North Africa, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean world are all within our purview. Topically speaking, we are equally as variegated: faculty interests cover a spectrum of thematic fields including (but hardly limited to) theory and historiography, literature and history, environmental studies, pre-modern Islam, Indo-Persian culture, intellectual history, urban studies, minority studies, human rights, and the history of empires. In addition, we have close relations with scholars and programs in other departments whose faculty strengths complement our own: relations between our faculty and colleagues in the fields of anthropology, sociology, fine arts, religion, and comparative Literature are extremely close, inviting you to look further afield in developing a comprehensive curriculum that suits your needs.
Our goal is to create a lively, engaged, and vibrant community of scholars within the department who are conversant with major debates in our field, who seek to master critical discourses around them, and who are looking for innovative answers to questions both old and new. Because of the small cohort specializing in the MENASA field, our students receive very close and individual attention at every stage of their graduate careers. They never get lost in the shuffle! Advanced students also benefit from the rich resources of the entire UC library system, one of the greatest collections in the United States for area-related material; from overseas language programs; and from the fellowship and financial aid programs sponsored by University of California designed to assist graduate students in history to build rewarding professional careers.
Prospective students are encouraged to contact individual faculty in the department during the application process. We are always ready to help with advice and counsel. Do drop us a line!!