The primary mission of the Middle East and North Africa Studies Program (MENA) at Bridgewater State University is to introduce and enhance the educational and cultural awareness of the Middle East region and of its diverse peoples, history, and cultures. MENA promotes both specialized knowledge and public understanding of this crucial region of the world, which includes the Arab states, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.MENA strives to reach the broadest possible constituency, working with a variety of academic departments, educational and cultural organizations and experts to discover new avenues for scholarly outreach and cooperation. MENA aims to reinforce links to other institutions in the Middle East region to offer academic opportunities to faculty and students to study and gain more understanding of the Middle East. MENA adheres to the strategic vision of Bridgewater State University in maximizing the intensity, diversity and richness of teaching and learning relationships forged between faculty, students and members of the broader community the Middle East and the world.
With the objective of promoting a multidisciplinary approach of the study of Middle East, its peoples, religions, history, economics, geography, art, cultures, science, and politics, MENA seeks to:
- Increase the availability of Middle East-related courses by supporting resident faculty and helping bring visiting scholars to academic departments without resident Middle East specialists.
- Promote interdisciplinary and collaborative projects through joint sponsorship with other academic research units of intellectual programs and visiting scholars.
- Support the offering of main languages of the Middle East including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew.
- Facilitate the efforts of Bridgewater State University to establish viable academic and education partnerships with colleges and universities in the Middle East.
- Support short-term and long-term exchanges of faculty and students in the area study of the Middle East.
- Organize and sponsor lecture series, colloquia, film series, seminars, museum exhibits, and major research forums and conferences.
- Offer a vast Middle East library collection including visual sources.
- Collaborate with other departments and divisions to serve and provide educational and pedagogical training for teachers at the level of elementary, secondary and high schools.
- Strive to be recognized as a regional and national resource, which will in turn make it eligible to participate in the US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center (NRC).
Affiliated Academic Departments
As an interdisciplinary center, MENA works collaboratively with a variety of departments and programs including Anthropology, Art, Communication Studies, History, Sociology, Economics, Management, Special Education and Communication Disorder, Geography, Criminal Justice, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Foreign Languages, Political Science, Computer and Mathematics, Women Studies, Music, Asian Studies, and African Studies.