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HEBRW 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: JWST 1101, JWST 1101 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Intended for beginners. Provides a thorough grounding in reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking. Students who complete the course are able to function in basic situations in a Hebrew-speaking environment.
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HEBRW 1103 : Elementary Modern Hebrew III
Crosslisted as: JWST 1103 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.
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ARAB 1201 : Elementary Arabic I
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This two-course sequence assumes no previous knowledge of Arabic and provides a thorough grounding in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It starts with the alphabet and the number system and builds the four skills gradually and systematically through carefully selected and organized materials focusing on specific, concrete and familiar topics such as self identification, family, travel, food, renting an apartment, study, the weather, etc.). These topics are listed in the textbook's table of contents.  The student who successfully completes the two-course sequence will have mastered about 1000 basic words and will be able to: 1) understand and actively participate in conversations on a limited range of practical topics such as self-identification, family, school, work, the weather, travel, etc., 2) read and understand, with the help of a short list of words, passages of up to 180 words written in Arabic script, and 3) discuss orally in class and write a 50-word paragraph in Arabic.  The two-course sequence aims to take the student from the Novice to the Intermediate Mid level according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.
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ARAB 1203 : Intermediate Arabic I
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1203, ASRC 1203 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this two-course sequence learners continue to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and grammar foundation through the extensive use of graded materials on a wide variety of topics.  While more attention is given to developing native-like pronunciation and to grammatical accuracy than in ARAB 1201 and ARAB 1202, the main focus of the course will be on encouraging fluency and facility in understanding the language and communicating ideas in it.  The student who successfully completes this two-course sequence will have mastered over 1500 new words and will be able to: 1) understand and actively participate in conversations related to a wide variety of topics beyond those covered in ARAB 1201 and ARAB 1202, such as the history and geography of the Arab world, food and health, sports, economic matters, the environment, politics, the Palestine problem, etc. 2) read and understand, with the help of a short list of words, passages of up to 300 words, and 3) discuss orally in class and write a 150-word paragraph in Arabic with fewer grammatical errors than in ARAB 1202.  The two-course sequence aims to take the student from the Intermediate Mid to the Advanced Mid level according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.
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PERSN 1320 : Elementary Persian/Farsi I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Intended for beginners and heritage speakers alike, this course is a quick and easy way to a popular worldly language in a modern day context (Farsi)!  Students develop all four skills - speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Additional materials from authentic culture-focused readings and Persian poetry are an integral part of the curriculum. By the end of this course students will be able to actively participate in conversations centered around family and friends, hometown, country, studies and work, daily activities, modern Iran as well as write extensively on familiar topics. Students will acquire cultural competence and be able to function in authentic Persian cultural context using the taarof.
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PERSN 1322 : Intermediate Persian/Farsi I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The course is designed with strong integration of modern colloquial Persian (Farsi).  Only colloquial Persian is used for all speaking and listening activities, while reading and writing tasks are performed in formal Persian. Authentic material drawn from Persian language TV, radio and movies is introduced regularly in accordance with the topic and vocabulary of given week.  By the end of the semester students will be able to speak, read and comprehend material on a range of social, cultural, political and everyday topics. You'll learn how to write emails and notes as educated Persian speakers, read Persian newspapers and comprehend audio material intended for native speakers. We'll also delve into Persian folk tales, modern Persian rap and pop and Persian humor.
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TURK 1330 : Elementary Turkish I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this course, learners will develop a basic foundation in reading, writing, listening, and beginning conversation skills in contemporary Turkish. In this introductory semester, learners will read short texts on Turkish culture, handle non-complex social conversations, understand sentence-level statements and write simple paragraphs on familiar topics. The course format will focus on initially exploring a subject through listening, video, and reading short pieces or excerpts, before moving into practice and application through informal presentations, discussions, short writing, and role play. This course is for new learners of Turkish.
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TURK 1332 : Intermediate Turkish I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this course, learners will advance their reading, writing, listening and conversation skills in contemporary Turkish as they move towards extended conversation, written communication, academic listening/watching, and research. The format of this program will focus on reading authentic materials, talking about topics of interest, giving presentations, writing short essays, and understanding the main points of a lecture and certain media, such as TV programs, interviews, and talk shows. Learners will start to actively determine the direction of their development via input on subjects for group work, presentations and further reading and research.
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NES 1561 : Introduction to the Ottoman Empire
Crosslisted as: HIST 1561 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will introduce students to the study of the Ottoman Empire from its inception in the late 13th century until the early part of 19th century. The classes will follow the main timeline of the geographical expansion of the empire with a special emphasis on the historical significance of the conquest of Istanbul, the consolidation of the borders of the empire, the establishment of the state apparatus in the classical period, a period of turbulence leading to a substantial transformation of the state in the early 19th century. Special focus will be placed on the Ottoman Empire's diverse religious communities—using the history of the Jewish community as the main case study—the evolution of the imperial and provincial governments' relationships with the various socio-cultural groups, legal and economic practices in the urban centers, the culture of the court in the early modern period, and the evolution of the inter-communal relations in the empire's urban centers.  This course is intended to provide the student with a solid foundation from which they can pursue further specialized study in the history of the Ottoman Empire, the Modern Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
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NES 1918 : FWS: Slow Time:Chronopolitics of Iranian Cinema
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
"Slowness" in films often registers as seriousness or analytic depth. In contrast to the fast-paced action film or the plot-driven melodrama, slow films are characterized by drawn-out scenes where little or nothing happens, signaling an unplaceable philosophical quality alternatively perceived as compelling and reflexive or torturous and painstakingly pretentious. Through writing practices that stress rhetorical analysis and close reading of film, students probe beyond surface assessments to inquire into the politics of time—or chronopolitics—of Iranian cinema. We will engage works by Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Sohrab Shahid-Saless, and others. How do arrangements of film temporality articulate questions about experience, historicity and politics in, and also beyond, the context of Iran and the Middle East?
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NES 1930 : FWS: Powerful Words: Reading Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian Literature
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
When writing arouses admiration, awe, or pity, it can move people to act. Such texts surround us and include forms developed millennia ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Students will learn to recognize how ancient scribes communicated (with gods and men), educated, lamented, persuaded, and animated. Course readings (in translation) include the Epic of Gilgamesh,   Tale of Sinuhe, teachings, law codes, propaganda, magic spells, correspondence, and philosophical musings in both prose and poetry. Influence on the Hebrew Bible and Koran will become apparent, as will the awareness that contemporary culture resonates with ancient meanings. Understanding these early, artful writing techniques will become meaningful as students develop their own to communicate their reactions and interpretations to other students and the instructor.
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NES 1935 : FWS: The Many Lives of Biblical Joseph
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The Joseph "novella" is unique in the biblical text and the character of Joseph himself extends far beyond biblical boundaries, inspiring retellings and new accounts of Joseph's adventures.  To what can we attribute this character's endurance and persistence?  In this class, we will examine the numerous interpretations and reinterpretations of the biblical Joseph story (in translation), ranging from inside the Bible to outside, including pseudepigrapha, Talmud, Sura Yusef in the Qur'an, and modern literary allusions.  What inspired scribes or inspires authors to reuse familiar characters?  Student essays will examine the processes of scribal practice, the function and utility of texts in the ancient world, and the amplification or de-emphasis of aspects of Joseph to fit a society's needs.
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NES 1963 : FWS: That's in the Bible? Archaeology and the Religion of Ancient Israel
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
A casual reading of the Hebrew Scriptures might lead one to believe that the normative religion of the Israelites was that spelled out in the Torah and Prophets.  However, a more critical appraisal of the Biblical texts, along with an analysis of extra-Biblical texts and archaeological materials, demonstrates that the Israelites were often closer to their pagan neighbors than to modern Judaism or Christianity.  Students will explore these similarities and differences in their essays.  Topics may include: cult prostitution, magic, funerary rites, temple ritual, Hebrew mythology, etc.  Readings will be from the Hebrew Bible, translations of extra-biblical texts, articles on archaeology and modern synthetic treatments of Israelite culture.
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NES 2201 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing I
Crosslisted as: URDU 2225 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed to develop competence in Urdu reading and writing for students with a first-year knowledge of Hindi and knowledge of Urdu script. The goal of this course is to improve listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities in Urdu. By the end of the course, students will have the ability to read articles, write short stories and translate Urdu writings. May be taken concurrently with Intermediate Hindi.
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ARAB 2201 : Arabic for Heritage Speakers
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2105 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed for students who can speak and understand a spoken Arabic dialect (Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, etc.) but have little or no knowledge of written Arabic, known as Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, or Fusha. The focus of the course will be on developing the reading and writing skills through the use of graded, but challenging and interesting materials. As they develop their reading and writing skills, students will be learning about Arab history, society, and culture. Classroom activities will be conducted totally in Arabic. Students will not be expected or pressured to speak in Classical Arabic, but will use their own dialects for speaking purposes. However, one of the main goals of the course will be to help the development of the skills to communicate and understand Educated Spoken Arabic, a form of Arabic that is based on the spoken dialects but uses the educated vocabulary and structures of Fusha.
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NES 2273 : Introduction to Religious Studies: Religion and Environmental Studies
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 2273, RELST 2273 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course serves as both an introduction to the academic study of religion and a survey of major topics in the intersections of religious communities and environmentally sustainable practices.  Using real cases of environmentally sustainable, religiously oriented communities, we explore how myth, ritual, symbols, doctrines, and ideologies of time and space are activated in practical living decisions.  This class involves readings of both primary sources, poetry and literature, secondary sources, films and site visits.
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NES 2515 : Anthropology of Iran
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2415, RELST 2515 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course explores the major debates that define the study of contemporary Iran. Drawing from ethnographic works, literary criticism, intellectual histories and more, we will examine historical events and cultural developments from a diverse set of theoretical approaches. Topics include the Iranian revolution in comparative perspective, the Iran-Iraq war and its continued legacy, media forms and practice, contemporary film and literature, women's movements, youth culture, religious diversity, legal systems, techniques of governance, and more. Of particular interest will be the intersections of religion and secularism in Iranian society. Ultimately, it is the objective of the course to explore the diverse cultural, political, and material worlds that shape collective life and individual subjectivity in Iran today.
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NES 2601 : An Introduction to the Ancient Near East
Crosslisted as: JWST 2601 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The pyramids and mummies of Egypt, the ziggurats of Babylonia, and the armies of Assyria are all part of the legacy of the ancient Near East. This course serves as a basic introduction to the history, societies, and cultures of the major civilizations of the ancient world from c. 3300-300 B.C., focusing on Egypt and Mesopotamia but including lesser-known groups such as the Hittites in Anatolia and the Elamites in Iran. Students will learn how these states were organized, how each culture related to their gods, and how they chose to be remembered, as well as many other mysteries of the ancient world.
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NES 2644 : Introduction to Judaism
Crosslisted as: JWST 2644, RELST 2644 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Jewish communities have been established, flourished and often struggled for millennia, throughout much of the world, and in vital contact with a vast range of other peoples and cultures. This course examines the constant and dynamic tension between that which unites Jews in all these different times and places, and that which makes every Jew a person of his or her own time and place. Our whirlwind tour will take us from ancient Israel, through Babylonia and the world of early Islam, into the medieval origins of Ashkenazi Jewry, down to Ottoman North Africa, and all the way across the Indian Ocean. We will learn how Jewish and other diaspora communities overcome challenges to maintain their distinctive identities, how to engage critically with the ways contemporary scholars the records of these far-flung communities, and how to generate their own critical questions.
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NES 2655 : Introduction to Islamic Civilization
Crosslisted as: HIST 2530, MEDVL 2655, RELST 2655 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
At the beginning of the 7th century, a new religion, Islam, appeared in Arabia and by the end of the century, Muslims had defeated the Byzantines and Persians and created an empire that stretched from Spain to India. For the next millennium, Islam glittered. Its caliphs, courts, and capitals were grander, more powerful, and more sophisticated than those of any medieval king, duke or prince. In this course, we will trace the emergence and development of Islamic civilization from the birth of Muhammad ca. 570 to the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. We will read the Qur'an and listen to its recitation; examine the career of the Prophet Muhammad; follow the course of the Arab conquests; explore the nature of the conflict between Sunnis and Shi'is; learn about the five pillars of Islam, sharia law, theology, and Sufism; and assess the achievements of Muslim intellectuals in literature, art, architecture, science, and philosophy.
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NES 2661 : Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2661 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
A survey of the history and development of ships and seafaring as revealed by shipwrecks, boat burials, texts, art, and other evidence. The role of nautical technology and seafaring among the maritime peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world-Canaanites, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans-and the riverine cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt is addressed. The survey stretches from the earliest evidence for Mediterranean seafaring around 10,000 bce to the first transatlantic voyages in the 15th century, including Arab, Viking, and European explorers, and the birth of modern capitalism in the Italian Maritime Republics. Along the way, economics, war, exploration, cult, life at sea, and colonization are discussed.
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NES 2724 : Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Crosslisted as: JWST 2724, RELST 2724 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is a repository of ancient Israelite religious, political, social, historical, and literary traditions. For the modern reader these ancient traditions are often obscured by a focus on the text as revelation. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the biblical world by reading the Hebrew Bible in translation, on its own terms, as a body of literature that evolved in an ancient Near Eastern context. The Bible itself will be the primary text for the course, but students will also be exposed to the rich and diverse textual traditions of the ancient Near East, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Moab, and Ugarit. In addition, this course will explore the impact of early biblical interpretation on shaping the monotheistic traditions inherited in the West. As participants in a secular course on the Bible, students will be challenged to question certain cultural assumptions about the composition and authorship of the Bible, and will be expected to differentiate between a text's content and its presumed meaning.
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NES 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: COML 2754, JWST 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines Near East's rich and diverse literary heritage. We will read a selection of influential and wondrous texts from ancient to modern times, spanning geographically from the Iberian peninsula to Iran. We will trace three major threads: myths of creation and destruction; travel narratives; and poetry of love and devotion. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Song of Songs,' as well as selections from medieval works such as the 'Travels' of Ibn Battuta, the 'Shahnameh' of Ferdowsi, poetry of Yehuda HaLevi, and The Thousand and One Nights. The modern unit will include work by Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz. Students will also have the opportunity to research and analyze primary source materials in the collections of Cornell Rare Books and Manuscript Collection, and the Johnson Art Museum. All material is in English translation.
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HEBRW 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew: Special Topics in Hebrew
Crosslisted as: JWST 3101 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Advanced study of the Hebrew Language both orally and through the analysis of mostly unedited texts of social, political, and cultural relevance with less emphasis on the study of grammar. Students are introduced to articles published in Israeli newspapers, magazines, works by authors and movies. Students develop composition and advanced writing skills by studying language structure, idioms, and various registers of style.
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HEBRW 3104 : Dynamics and Changes of Israeli Culture and Language
Crosslisted as: JWST 3104 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course focuses and explores the development and changes of Modern Hebrew in all aspects of Israeli and Jewish culture. The course is intended to continue the development of all aspects of the language. Emphasis, however, will be placed on speaking skills and understanding by using text material: fiction, drama in their cultural and historical context relevant to Israeli contemporary society. The instructor will be sensitive to individual student needs.
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ARAB 3201 : Advanced Arabic I
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3100 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
In this two-semester sequence, learners will be introduced to authentic, unedited Arabic language materials ranging from short stories, and poems, to newspaper articles dealing with social,  political,  and cultural issues. Emphasis will be on developing fluency in oral expression through discussions of issues presented in the reading and listening selections. There will be more focus on the development of native-like pronunciation and accurate use of grammatical structures than in the previous four courses. A primary objective of the course is the development of the writing skill through free composition exercises in topics of interest to individual students.  This course starts where ARAB 2202 leaves off and continues the development of the four language skills and grammar foundation using 18 themes, some new and some introduced in previous courses but are presented here at a more challenging level.  The student who successfully completes this two-course sequence have mastered over 3000 new words and will be able, within context of the 18 new and recycled themes to: 1) understand and actively participate in conversations, 2) read and understand, with the help of a short list of words, authentic, unedited passages of up to 400 words, and 3) discuss orally in class and write a 300-word paragraph in Arabic with fewer grammatical errors than in ARAB 2202.  The two-course sequence aims to take the student from the Advanced Mid to the Superior level according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.
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ARAB 3206 : Intensive Arabic II
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This immersion course covers the equivalent of ARAB 1203 - Intermediate Arabic I, ARAB 2202 - Intermediate Arabic II, and ARAB 3201 - Advanced Arabic I. We will continue to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through the extensive use of graded materials on a wide variety of topics (education, food, health, sports, religion, politics, economics, etc.).
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ARAB 3210 : Arabic Grammar and Writing (in Arabic)
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course, taught entirely in Arabic, will focus on those aspects of Arabic grammar that are relevant for the correct reading and writing of Modern Standard Arabic such as the case and mood system (I'raab), the construct (IDaafa), the verb forms and their derivatives, different passive constructions, the number and gender systems, and different types of agreement. The readings will consist of a variety of texts (short stories, newspaper articles, poems, and biographies) which will be used as a basis for writing compositions.
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NES 3325 : Literary Reading and Writing in Advanced Urdu
Crosslisted as: URDU 3325 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Designed for those students who have either taken Intermediate Urdu or are at the same level of competency in reading and writing skills. The goals of this class are to improve Urdu literary reading and writing abilities, primarily through reading various forms of Urdu prose. In addition, students learn about various genres of Urdu poetry and watch video clips and lectures that enhance listening and speaking abilities as well as the understanding and appreciation of Urdu culture.
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NES 3511 : Performing Islam in Southeast Asia
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3311, ASIAN 6611, RELST 3311 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
What role does Islam take in the politics, history, arts and rituals of Southeast Asia? Structured as a seminar, this course takes you on a journey through Southeast Asia, home to almost a quarter of the global Muslim population, to explore how centuries of cultural mixing and layering have shaped the regions' religious outlook. How are local traditions and universal Islamic precepts reconciled? How is this manifested in the performative arts and rituals? How does Islam play out in governance and the law? How is Islam deployed in the transnational sphere? Previous knowledge of Islam is an advantage, but not a requisite to succeed in this course. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Islam as a religious system as well as a historical phenomenon throughout the course.
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NES 3525 : Palestinians in Israel
Crosslisted as: JWST 3525, NES 6525 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the political, intellectual, and cultural expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Referred to by the Arab media as "1948 Arabs" or "Arabs within" and by the Israeli media as "Israeli Arabs" or "the Arab sector," this community is marginalized and often overlooked. Our discussions will be situated within the context of the history of the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts: the events of 1948-9 (Israeli Independence, the Nakba, the first Arab-Israeli War); the transformations wrought by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war; and the impact on Palestinian-Israelis of the first and second Intifada. We will also look at the status of Palestinian citizens within Israeli civil society: from the era of military rule (1948-1966) to the present. Our primary focus will be exploring words and images produced by Palestinian-Israeli writers, intellectuals, filmmakers, and artists to understand how members of this marginalized community assert their identities as both Palestinian and Israeli. All course materials are in English.
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NES 4537 : Shi'ism: Debates and Discourses
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4637, ANTHR 7637, NES 6537, RELST 4537, RELST 6537 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course offers a broad survey of contemporary Shi'i beliefs, practices, and politics with a focus on Twelver or Imami Shi'ism. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual and political histories, theological writings, and more we will investigate the themes which define the politics and cultural practices of contemporary Shi'ism. In particular, we will highlight the ways in which Shi'is utilize their theological beliefs to negotiate and respond to the socio-political context of the times in which they live.  The course begins by examining the early days of what would later be called "Shi'ism." We then examine the key theological concepts which distinguish Shi'ism from Sunnism, including themes of adalat (divine justice), shahadat (martyrdom), the Karbala paradigm, and the role of the imamate and clerical class. The rest of course is devoted to investigating the ways that Shi'ism informs and interacts with the social realm and vice versa, ranging from negotiations of the everyday to responding to moments of great civil and society unrest and to that which is called "sectarianism". Travelling from South Asia to the Middle East, from Africa to America, we will ultimately examine how Shi'i beliefs and identity act as a dynamic force for shaping the worlds in which they live today.
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NES 4605 : Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4650, HIST 4091, NES 6605 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar examines the dynamics of modern collective identities which dominated the Egyptian public sphere in the long twentieth century. We will explore the underpinnings and formation of territorial Egyptian nationalism, pan-Arabism and Islamism through close readings and class discussions of important theoretical, historiographical and primary texts.
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NES 4626 : Reinventing Biblical Narrative
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4626, CLASS 7626, JWST 4626, MEDVL 4626, MEDVL 6626, NES 6626, RELST 4626, RELST 6626 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Narratives, particularly sacred narratives, are not static or fixed but rather infinitely flexible and malleable.   Subject to multiple retellings—elaborations, modifications, and deletions—stories take on lives of their own even after they come to be written down. What happens to sacred stories when they are heard and read by different communities of interpreters? This is the broad question at the heart of this course, which will explore the diverse interpretations of biblical narratives (e.g., stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and his disciples, Joseph and Mary) found in Jewish and Christian literature from the second century BCE through the 6th century and beyond.  Writers like the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo and the Jewish historian Josephus, Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha and apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, gnostic literature, early rabbinic literature, and Christian patristic writers—these are some of the sources that we will study in this class.    At the conclusion of the seminar, we will explore briefly the retellings of biblical stories and use of biblical characters in the early Islamic materials, especially the Qur'an.    Throughout the semester, we will consider the historical contexts of biblical interpretation and the production, transmission, and use of texts in antiquity, including questions about literacy and orality, education, and the physical forms of ancient books.
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NES 4991 : Independent Study, Undergraduate Level
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
For undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or do extensive reading on a special topic. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course. For undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or do extensive reading on a special topic. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course.
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NES 4998 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Each fall, a small number of highly qualified seniors enter the Near Eastern Studies Honors Program. The Honors Program is open to NES majors who have done superior work and who wish to devote a substantial part of their senior year to advanced, specialized, independent research and writing of a thesis. Successfully completing an honors thesis will require sustained interest, exceptional ability, diligence, and enthusiasm. Students must also take two honors courses NES 4998 in fall and NES 4999 in spring, in addition to the regular major requirements. While admission to the Honors Program and completion of a thesis do not guarantee that students will be awarded honors in Near Eastern Studies, most students find the experience as intellectually rewarding as it is rigorous.
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NES 4999 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Each fall, a small number of highly qualified seniors enter the Near Eastern Studies Honors Program. The Honors Program is open to NES majors who have done superior work and who wish to devote a substantial part of their senior year to advanced, specialized, independent research and writing of a thesis.  Successfully completing an honors thesis will require sustained interest, exceptional ability, diligence, and enthusiasm. Students must also take two honors courses NES 4998 in fall and NES 4999 in spring, in addition to the regular major requirements. While admission to the Honors Program and completion of a thesis do not guarantee that students will be awarded honors in Near Eastern Studies, most students find the experience as intellectually rewarding as it is rigorous.
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NES 6525 : Palestinians in Israel
Crosslisted as: JWST 3525, NES 3525 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the political, intellectual, and cultural expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Referred to by the Arab media as "1948 Arabs" or "Arabs within" and by the Israeli media as "Israeli Arabs" or "the Arab sector," this community is marginalized and often overlooked. Our discussions will be situated within the context of the history of the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts: the events of 1948-9 (Israeli Independence, the Nakba, the first Arab-Israeli War); the transformations wrought by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war; and the impact on Palestinian-Israelis of the first and second Intifada. We will also look at the status of Palestinian citizens within Israeli civil society: from the era of military rule (1948-1966) to the present. Our primary focus will be exploring words and images produced by Palestinian-Israeli writers, intellectuals, filmmakers, and artists to understand how members of this marginalized community assert their identities as both Palestinian and Israeli. All course materials are in English.
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NES 6537 : Shi'ism: Debates and Discourses
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4637, ANTHR 7637, NES 4537, RELST 4537, RELST 6537 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course offers a broad survey of contemporary Shi'i beliefs, practices, and politics with a focus on Twelver or Imami Shi'ism. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual and political histories, theological writings, and more we will investigate the themes which define the politics and cultural practices of contemporary Shi'ism. In particular, we will highlight the ways in which Shi'is utilize their theological beliefs to negotiate and respond to the socio-political context of the times in which they live.  The course begins by examining the early days of what would later be called "Shi'ism." We then examine the key theological concepts which distinguish Shi'ism from Sunnism, including themes of adalat (divine justice), shahadat (martyrdom), the Karbala paradigm, and the role of the imamate and clerical class. The rest of course is devoted to investigating the ways that Shi'ism informs and interacts with the social realm and vice versa, ranging from negotiations of the everyday to responding to moments of great civil and society unrest and to that which is called "sectarianism". Travelling from South Asia to the Middle East, from Africa to America, we will ultimately examine how Shi'i beliefs and identity act as a dynamic force for shaping the worlds in which they live today.
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NES 6548 : City-Scapes of the Late Ottoman Empire
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6548, HIST 6548 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar is intended for Graduate students who are interested in exploring notions of space and place within the context of the late Ottoman Empire. Going beyond the examination of the "Islamic city" this seminar will bring theoretical readings about place making, in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, to bear on the late Ottoman case. From the urban frontiers of the empire to the capital, Istanbul, this seminar will tackle the latest in historical research on the late Ottoman Empire's parks, public monuments, city planning, public/private space, Ottoman official buildings, the "Turkish house," the "Arab house," city soundscapes, amongst others. We will critically examine how recent studies are re-shaping historians' knowledge of urban spaces and mental map of this vast empire.
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NES 6605 : Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4650, HIST 4091, NES 4605 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar examines the dynamics of modern collective identities which dominated the Egyptian public sphere in the long twentieth century. We will explore the underpinnings and formation of territorial Egyptian nationalism, pan-Arabism and Islamism through close readings and class discussions of important theoretical, historiographical and primary texts.
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NES 6626 : Reinventing Biblical Narrative
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4626, CLASS 7626, JWST 4626, MEDVL 4626, MEDVL 6626, NES 4626, RELST 4626, RELST 6626 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Narratives, particularly sacred narratives, are not static or fixed but rather infinitely flexible and malleable.   Subject to multiple retellings—elaborations, modifications, and deletions—stories take on lives of their own even after they come to be written down. What happens to sacred stories when they are heard and read by different communities of interpreters? This is the broad question at the heart of this course, which will explore the diverse interpretations of biblical narratives (e.g., stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and his disciples, Joseph and Mary) found in Jewish and Christian literature from the second century BCE through the 6th century and beyond.  Writers like the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo and the Jewish historian Josephus, Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha and apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, gnostic literature, early rabbinic literature, and Christian patristic writers—these are some of the sources that we will study in this class.    At the conclusion of the seminar, we will explore briefly the retellings of biblical stories and use of biblical characters in the early Islamic materials, especially the Qur'an.    Throughout the semester, we will consider the historical contexts of biblical interpretation and the production, transmission, and use of texts in antiquity, including questions about literacy and orality, education, and the physical forms of ancient books.
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NES 6800 : Practicum in Near Eastern Studies
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course provides students with an opportunity to gain expertise as practitioners within the field.  The course will meet once a week, and will focus on a different topic each week.  Topics are to be determined.  All Near Eastern Studies graduate students are strongly encouraged to participate.
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NES 6960 : Rites of Contact
Crosslisted as: COML 6960, GERST 6960 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
New forms of German literature emerged in the wake of transnational labor migration, especially after 1989. Taking leave of a sociological model that interprets this literature only in terms of intercultural dialogue, this course juxtaposes prose fiction about cultural contact and critical theories of difference with two primary goals in mind. Students will be introduced to representative examples of contemporary German literatures of migration, and critical modes of conceptualizing cultural contact in Germany will be compared in relation to each other and in tension with the literary field. Focus on German literature of Turkish migration complemented by readings reflecting other transnational phenomena such as postsocialism, postcolonialism, globalization, refugees, world literature.
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NES 6991 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
For graduate students who wish to do intensive reading on a focused topic. Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member that has agreed to supervise the course.
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