The support of the Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) award has built momentum and enabled staff and faculty to greatly enhance Middle East and North Africa studies at Marquette University. This project has energized MENA related dialogue on campus and within the greater community through a combination of curricular, programmatic and faculty initiatives.


Upcoming Events

Historical Events Listing

MENA Courses

Marquette University offers a wide array of Middle East and North Africa related courses. Through the support of the Title VI UISFL award, the Office of International Education offered course development grants to faculty for new MENA course development, existing course content infused with MENA topics and short-term study abroad development in the Middle East and North Africa. The current Middle East and North Africa studies courses are listed below.

ANTH 3312. Anthropology of Religion
ANTH 3360. People and Cultures of the Middle East
ARBC 1001. Elementary Arabic 1
ARBC 1002. Elementary Arabic 2
ARBC 2001. Intermediate Arabic 1
ARBC 2002. Intermediate Arabic 2
ARBC 3001. Intermediate Arabic 3
ARBC 3002. Spoken Arabic
ARBC 3200. Culture and Civilization of the Middle East
ARBC 3210. Arabic Literature in English Translation
FILM 4953. Seminar in Film: The Cinema of Iran
Foreign Languages and Literature*
FOLA 4931. Topics in Foreign Language, Culture and Literature - Problems of Integration Encountered Today by North African Muslims in French Society
FOLA 4931. Understanding Arab and Muslim Communities' Oral History (*NEW COURSE)
FOLA 4960. Arab American History and Culture (*NEW COURSE)
HIST 3205. The Byzantine Empire
HIST 3455. Modern Middle East Since 1500
HIST 4212. The Crusades
HIST 4450. North Africa
HIST 4933. Spain and Islam
HIST 5931. Understanding Arab and Muslim Communities' Oral History (*NEW COURSE)
PHIL 4931. Philosophy and Faith in the Three Abrahamic Traditions
PHIL 3620 Early Medieval Philosophy
Political Science
POSC 4366. Religion and Politics
POSC 4561. Politics of the Developing World
POSC 4721. International Politics of the Middle East
Social Welfare and Justice
SOWJ 3450. Arabs and Muslims in America
THEO 2000. Hebrew Scriptures: Old Testament Overview
THEO 2010. Hebrew Scriptures: Old Testament Selected Books
THEO 2200. The Bible Through the Ages
THEO 2410. Christian Faith in Cultural Contexts: Christians and Muslims in Dialogue
THEO 4420. Theology, Violence and Non-violence
THEO 4510. Survey of World Religions
THEO 4520. Jewish Thought and Practice
THEO 4530. Islam: Faith and Practice


The Office of International Education offers a number of study abroad opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. Thanks to the generous support of the Title VI UISFL award, a limited number of scholarships are available.


Rabat, Morocco - Summer Intensive Arabic Program

Dates: late May-early June or all of July
Academics: Arabic, humanities, social science

Rabat is one of Morocco's "imperial cities" and its modern capital. It offers students opportunities to move from shops and cafes to winding alleys and exciting markets of the old “medina”. The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program is a language intensive program, which focuses on modern standard Arabic. Students live with Arabic-speaking Moroccan families and attend classes at the school’s facilities in the bustling Agdal area of the city.

Rabat, Morocco - The Rabat School of Governance and Economics

Dates: Semester or Academic Year
Academics: Political Science, International Affairs, Economics

The Rabat School of Governance and Economics (EGE Rabat) was created in 2008 to develop students with in-depth expertise in the political, economic and cultural realities of emerging and developing economies.  EGE Rabat uses a comparative approach which advocates the application of the same criteria when studying any subject, so that the African and Arab regions are studied in the same way as any other region of the world.

Morocco - Islamic Culture in Morocco (Faculty-led summer program)

Dates: Summer 2012
Academics: Theology, Arabic (3 credits)

The course aims to introduce Marquette students to Arabic language and culture and the study of Islam. Students will gain a first-hand understanding of Islam and Islamic culture in Morocco while exploring the complex relationship between Islam and the West, with an emphasis on cultural, linguistic and inter-religious aspects.

Cairo, Egypt - American University in Cairo

Dates: Semester or Academic Year (not running currently)
Academics: Various

Founded in 1919, American University in Cairo is the region’s premier English language university. It serves as a crossroads for the world’s cultures: a vital, vibrant forum for reasoned argument and understanding across cultures. Students live in one of two premier residence facilities. The academic program is rooted in liberal arts education offering a broad selection of classes in addition to Arabic language courses.

Amman, Jordan - Project GO-Jordan ROTC Scholarship Program for Arabic Language Studies

Dates: Summer 2014
Academics: Arabic language

Marquette’s Project Global Officers (GO) is part of a national effort sponsored by the Defense Language Office and National Security Education Program. Project GO promotes critical language education, study abroad experiences and intercultural communication skills for ROTC cadets/midshipmen. Up to 16 cadets/midshipmen will study in Amman, Jordan, for an eight-week intensive program. This innovative Arabic language and cultural program will enrich your worldview while preparing you for your post-graduate military experience.

Amman, Jordan - Summer Intensive Arabic Program

Dates: Summer 2014
Academics: Arabic language

This eight-week long program aims to provide students with an intensive language program. Students will learn Arabic from some of the most respected language teachers in the area: from the Qasid Institute for Classical & Modern Standard Arabic. Students will live with local Arabic-speaking families and engage in experiential learning every day while gaining an insider perspective on local Jordanian culture and have opportunities to travel the surrounding area.


arab arab2 Hillel

Arabic Language and Culture Club

The Arabic Language and Culture Club provides students with an opportunity to practice Arabic conversation skills with native speakers in an informal setting. This network of Arabic language learners, international students and Milwaukee community members meet regularly to discuss culture and current events in the Middle East and North Africa. For more information contact Dr. Enaya Othman.

Arab Student Association

The Marquette Arab Student Association’s goal is to foster understanding of the diversity and richness of the Arab world. In addition, they form a strong support network for the Arab students on campus.

Muslim Student Association

The Muslim Student Association at Marquette helps the Muslim students on campus live their Islamic tradition throughout their university experience. They also strive to create dialogue with the greater Marquette community to increase understanding of Islam.

Hillel Milwaukee

Hillel Milwaukee strives to create a dynamic, warm and celebratory Jewish environment for Milwaukee’s university students and young adults. They offer holiday and cultural programs, social activities, volunteer projects and more.



'Algerian Chronicles' Captures how Albert Camus Sought Humanity in Colonial Conflict

May 3, 2013 - Philip Naylor, professor of history, wrote an article reviewing Algerian Chronicles, a book that captures how Albert Camus sought humanity in colonial conflict. Story appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Discussions on the Boston Marathon

April 27 and May 1, 2013 - Risa Brooks, assistant professor of political science, wrote on the Boston Marathon tragedy and homegrown terrorism saying, "Americans can be reassured that the terrorism threat posed by Muslims residing in the United States remains small. As horrific as they were, the Boston attacks are not evidence that homegrown terrorism is on the rise." Opinion piece appeared on, April 27, 2013. Related story appeared on, May 1, 2013.

Increased Palestinian Immigration to Chicago

February 7, 2013 - Louise Cainkar, assistant professor of social and cultural sciences, commented on increased Palestinian immigration to Chicago's southwest suburbs, the single largest Palestinian community in the country. Story appeared in

Professor of Theology discusses Dialogue of the Heart

May 19, 2012 - Irfan Omar, associate professor of theology, discussed his belief in "dialogue of the heart," which he says implies that those involved in a genuine exchange have developed a heightened sense of empathy for the other, and have thus acquired a greater appreciation of diversity. Story appeared on

Homegrown Terror isn't just Islamist

May 3, 2012 - Risa Brooks, assistant professor of political science, wrote a piece for titled "Homegrown terror isn't just Islamist," in which she argues that while Americans mistakenly associate homegrown terror just with jihad, it's crucial to focus efforts on extremists of all kinds. Story appeared on

50th Anniversary of the Evian Accords

March 19, 2012 - Dr. Phillip Naylor, professor of history, discussed the Evian Accords, the 50th anniversary of agreements that led to Algerian independence and the framing of post-colonial bilateral relations, as well as French-Algerian relations. Interview aired on France 24.

Discussions about Iran

October 13, 2011 - Dr. Phillip Naylor, history professor at Marquette University, joined Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure to talk about the turmoil in Iran. Dr. Naylor said Iran has some internal conflicts and the United States should consider the ramifications if they chose to attack Iran. The discussion surrounded Iran's  role in an alleged assassination plot against the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the United States.

The 50th Anniversary of the Algerian Workers March and Suppression in Paris

October 2011 - Dr. Phillip Naylor, professor of history, was interviewed on France 24 to discuss the Algerian Workers March and Suppression in Paris with other panelists.

Young Muslims adapt after 9/11

September 8, 2011 - Louise Cainkar, assistant professor of social and cultural sciences at Marquette University, researched how post 9/11 affected young Muslims in the U.S. She found that they were motivated to engage in American civic life and alter career paths to pursue degrees in journalism and political science versus their parents’ desires to pursue degrees in engineering and medicine. Read the full article on the New York Times.

9/11 Alters Life for Muslims: Changes seen in children

September 8, 2011 – Enaya Othman, director of the oral history project for Arab and Muslim women at Marquette University, offered her outlook on how 9/11 changed her own children’s perspective on their Muslim identity. Read the full article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Fall of Gaddafi

August 22, 2011 – Dr. Phillip Naylor, professor of history and expert on North Africa, spoke to WTMJ-TV (NBC 4) and WMLW-TV (CBS 58) about how the fall of Gaddafi in Libya will be life-changing for his critics, especially those Libyans living in America who may have previously been too fearful to go back to their country.

Dr. Naylor quoted in China's Life Week Magazine

August 22, 2011 – Dr. Phillip Naylor, professor of history, was quoted in China's Life Week magazine in a discussion about Hosni Mubarak.

Marquette faculty and students discuss the death of Osama bin Laden

May 2, 2011 – Philip Naylor, associate professor of history, commented on the symbolic importance behind the death of Osama bin Laden and made remarks about the emergence of new leaders and remaining challenges. Read the full article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Marquette strengthens Middle East and North Africa Studies

March, 2011 – Marquette Matters, a publication distributed each month to all faculty and staff, featured an article titled “Developing World Citizens: University Expands International Education Opportunities” highlighting Marquette's expansion of Middle East and North Africa studies with the support of a U.S. Department of Education grant.

Iraqi Refugee Finds Haven in Milwaukee

March 19, 2011 – In 2009, with the help of the Iraqi Student Project, 21 year-old Fatima Al-sammarraie left her life as a refugee in Syria to come to Milwaukee and attend school at Alverno College. She lives with Emmey Malloy and Patrick Kennelly, director of the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette. Fatima is one of around three dozen Iraqis the program has placed in the area. The Iraqi Student Project is a grass-roots group that puts young Iraqis into American colleges with the goal of them returning to Iraq to become part of a peaceful solution. Read the full article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Marquette Arabic Professor founds nonprofit

March 15, 2011 – Enaya Othman, a visiting assistant professor of foreign languages and literature at Marquette University, co-founded the nonprofit Arab and Muslim Women Research and Resource Institute, and heads its oral history project. The organization documents the experiences and histories of Arab Muslim women in the Milwaukee area while promoting an understanding of the issues that impact these communities. Marquette University students participated in a three-credit course with Professor Othman collecting oral histories and exploring the challenges for Arabs in Milwaukee.

Learn more through interviews with Professor Othman on WUWM's Lake Effect and in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Read about the Marquette student oral history project in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well.

Dr. Naylor discusses revolution in Egypt

February, 2011 – Dr. Phillip Naylor, professor of history and expert on North Africa, was traveling in Egypt for research and as part of Marquette’s efforts to set up education abroad programs just before the demonstrations on Tahrir Square escalated in Cairo. He discussed his experience as well as the history and politics leading up to the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia with several news outlets.

Follow the articles and interviews in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, Wisconsin Public Radio and WISN News.


Louise Cainkar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Sciences

Expertise & Research:Arab American studies; Muslims in the United States, and migration and immigrant integration. Award-winning book: Homeland Security: The Arab American and Muslim American Experience after 9/11 (2009) draws upon extensive field work and ethnographic interviews.

Lezlie Knox, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, History

Expertise & Research: Medieval Europe, Crusades, Gender, historical methodology. Author of Creating Clare of Assisi: Female Franciscan Identities in Later Medieval Italy (2008). Current book project focuses on imprisonment practices within two major religious orders of the later Middle Ages, the Franciscans and the Dominicans.

Jean-Pierre Lafouge, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Foreign Languages and Literature

Expertise & Research: Nineteenth and seventeenth century French literature, Orientalist and spiritual literature. Author of an anthology on Jesuit Spirituality: For God's Greater Glory: Gems of Jesuit Spirituality. Translated Charles Eastman's book The Indian Soul/L'Ame indienne.

Phillip C. Naylor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, History

Expertise & Research: North Africa, Middle East and Algeria and French foreign policy. Authored North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present (2009) and France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation (2000). Current board member of the Middle East Studies Association.

Irfan A. Omar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Theology

Expertise & Research: Islamic thought with a special focus on connections between Islam and other religions; Islamic mysticism. Edited Islam and Other Religions: Pathways to Dialogue (2006) and A Christian View of Islam: Essays on Dialogue by Thomas F. Michel, SJ (2010)

Enaya Othman, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Arabic

Expertise & Research: Women and the Muslim faith, Arab-American history and experience, the history of Islam. Founded local non-profit: Arab Muslim Women Research and Resource Institute.

Richard C. Taylor, Ph.D.
Professor, Philosophy

Expertise & Research: Ancient and medieval philosophy; and Arabic/Islamic philosophy and its Greek sources and Medieval Latin influences. Co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (2005) and translated Avoerroes (Ibn Rushd of Cordoba. Long Commentary on the De Anima of Aristotle (2009). Organizer of the Aquinas and the Arabs International Working Group.

David Tweeten, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Philosophy

Expertise & Research: Ancient and medieval philosophy; philosophy of religion. Author of numerous articles and book chapters on Averroes, Aquinas and Albert the Great.