MES4110 – Readings of Middle Eastern Texts

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Consisting of a series of guided reading seminars, this course introduces students to a selection of original language source material in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew. The main goal is to introduce students to excerpts from major texts of cultural, historical, literary, and/or political significance, but the precise selection of texts may vary in accordance with participants’ research. Students will be divided into subgroups according to their choice of language. They are expected to read, interpret and discuss source material in context, and demonstrate their ability to present and analyze the source material in written form.

Learning outcome

This course has two key learning outcomes:

  • familiarizing participants with primary source material from the Middle East and 
  • improving their proficiency in reading source material in a Middle Eastern language


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is only available for students admitted to the programme option Middle East Studies.

Each student must choose one language seminar group according to his or her language specialization (Arabic, Persian or Turkish). This is done in StudentWeb when signing up for the course in August.


In total 2 hours seminar a week over 10 weeks. 

Class meetings will be dedicated to reading, analyzing, and discussing texts. The course requires active participation in class and to be well prepared for each seminar. Both English and the focus language may be used for oral communication in class.

Compulsory activities

  • At least 7 of 10 mandatory submissions approved.

Information about the submissions will be given in the teaching and in Canvas. In order to be approved, they need to be satisfactory according to given criteria specified by the instructor at the outset of the semester.

Approved compulsory activities is only valid for one semester.

Valid absence

If you have valid absence from the compulsory activity, you must submit an application and hand in documentation. 

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activity.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The exam is a portfolio containing at least 3 (out of a total of 7) approved mandatory submissions that students hand in over the course of the semester and that must be re-worked in accordance with the teachers’ feedback. 

You must fulfill the requirement of the compulsory activities in order to qualify for taking the exam.

Grading guidelines Fall 2018

Grading guidelines fall 2021

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

Assignment specifications are given in English. Students may write their submissions in English, Norwegian, Danish or Swedish.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Prior evalutations.

Facts about this course

Every autumn
Every autumn
Teaching language