The NYU Department of Politics emphasizes the science in Political Science and teaches modern methods for analyzing and explaining political events. Students in the "Understanding the Middle East Region" cluster will enroll in two Politics Department courses, and one language course in either Hebrew or Arabic at the appropriate skill level. A fourth class in Qualitative Research Methods which will require fieldwork is encouraged. Students will also have the opportunity at intern at one of numerous organizations to help bring the material learned in class to everyday life.
Students will gain a vivid and objective understanding of the Middle East region and the interrelationships among cultures, political movements, environments, and religious traditions. Students will have an incomparable vantage point from which to survey and explore the many forces that shape all regions of the world today.
During the spring semester, students studying science can stay on track with their major by taking courses in Biology and Chemistry. Biology students can compliment their studies with the Biology Internship which allows students to intern in one of Tel Aviv University's life-science and medical-research labs. The organic chemistry lab also takes place at Tel Aviv University.
Eytan Fox is an acclaimed director and writer whose 2004 film Walk on Water - a story of a Mossad secret service agent who befriends the gay grandson of an ex-Nazi officer - has become the most successful Israeli film abroad. Previously, 2002's Yossi & Jagger, the love affair between two officers in the Israeli army, became an international breakout hit. Born in New York City, at an early age Fox moved with his family to Israel. He grew up in Jerusalem, then studied at Tel Aviv University's School of Film and Television. His first film, Time Off, a 45-minute drama about sexual identity in the Israeli army, won him acclaim and led to the making his first feature, Song of the Siren, a romantic comedy which became Israel's biggest box office success in 1994. He also created and directed the Israeli TV dramatic series Florentine, which examined the life of young people in Tel Aviv before and after the Rabin assassination. Fox ran the film program at the Alon high school for the arts in Ramat Hasharon and has taught filmmaking at Tel Aviv University's School of Film and Television as well as at Sapir and Beit Berel colleges.
Eytan Fox's Israeli Cinema course will enrich the students’ understanding of Israeli Cinema as a microcosm of the young, vibrant, and continually changing Israeli state and society. We will analyze the cinematic expression of the themes behind the inception and evolution of the small yet multifaceted country, and note the differences between the cinema of the first and second wave of Israeli filmmakers.
More than 30 years have passed since 1979, the year when a self-styled Islamic Revolution unfolded in Iran. Historian Eric J. Hobsbawm branded this revolution as "one of the central social revolutions of the twentieth century"; and social scientist Richard Cottam described it as perhaps "the most popular revolution in the history of mankind." Whatever the case may be, we are now permitted to use the benefit of hindsight to revisit the 1979 revolution. In the first part of the course we will review the manifold causes of the 1979 revolution in a historical perspective, tracing the social, political, economic and cultural bases of the rise of the revolutionary movement and political Islam (or Islamism) in Iran. We will then move on to situate the revolution in a global context. This will enable us to examine Iranian history since 1979 in comparative perspective as well as to integrate the revolution into the "entangled histories" of modernity of which it is part. At the same time we will examine the cultural dimensions of the post-1979 state in Iran. We will consider cultural production in the Islamic Republic of Iran as a site of state domination and oppositional resistance. We will suggest that the Islamic Republic is a "scopic regime," developing a symbolic Islamism as a tool of propaganda and hegemony. At the same time, literature, cinema, and the visual arts have been sites of resistance.