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HEBRW 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: JWST 1101, JWST 1101 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 1102 : Elementary Modern Hebrew II
Crosslisted as: JWST 1102, JWST 1102 Semester offered: Spring 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, JWST 1103 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.
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ARAB 1200 : Intensive Arabic I
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course designed for students who are interested in completing Cornell's Elementary Arabic sequence (ARAB 1201 and ARAB 1202) in the spring semester. This will be a useful course for students who miss taking Elementary Arabic I in the fall since the course is not offered in the spring.  Students finishing this course will be in a position to take ARAB 1203 - Intermediate Arabic I.
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ARAB 1201 : Elementary Arabic I
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201, ASRC 1201 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 1202 : Elementary Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202 Semester offered: Spring 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 2017 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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NES 1312 : Introduction to Urdu Script
Crosslisted as: URDU 1125 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This class is an introductory class for beginners. This course will teach students how to listen, speak, read and write Urdu through vocabulary, grammar, oral and written activities, with an emphasis on reading and writing basic Urdu. The course begins by introducing the alphabet and their combinations. In addition to learning the script we will also introduce the basic knowledge and background on Urdu culture.
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PERSN 1320 : Elementary Persian/Farsi I
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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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AKKAD 1410 : Akkadian Language I: Code of Hammurabi
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course is a basic introduction to Akkadian, the language that dominated the writing of ancient Iraq for 2,500 years. It was the language of the empires of Babylonia and Assyria and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Students will become familiar with the basic grammar of Akkadian and will, by the end of the semester, be reading and translating the Code of Hammurabi in the original cuneiform script.
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NES 1561 : Introduction to the Ottoman Empire
Crosslisted as: HIST 1561 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 1602 : Great Discoveries in Greek and Roman Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 1702, CLASS 1702 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This introductory course surveys the archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean. Each week, we will explore a different archaeological discovery that transformed scholars' understanding of the ancient world. From early excavations at sites such as Pompeii and Troy, to modern field projects across the Mediterranean, we will discover the rich cultures of ancient Greece and Rome while also exploring the history, methods, and major intellectual goals of archaeology.
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NES 1660 : The Vikings and their World
Crosslisted as: HIST 1660, MEDVL 1660 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Globalisation may seem like a recent hot topic, but it was already very much in vogue 1000 years ago when Norse explorers burst out of Scandinavia to journey as far as North America, Azerbaijan, the Mediterranean and the White Sea. This course will introduce students to the Norsemen and women of the Viking Age and the centuries following it, weaving together literary, chronicle, archaeological and other sources to tell the remarkable stories of these medieval entrepreneurs and of the many people and places they encountered. Along the way, students will also pick up crucial historical thinking skills: assessing change and continuity over time, learning the basics of source criticism, and gaining an appreciation for interdisciplinary research. This course qualifies for credit towards the undergraduate minor in Viking Studies. 
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NES 1922 : FWS: The Sons of Sinbad: Readings in Arabic Travel Writing
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Is the Sinbad story merely a story of wondrous events aimed at entertaining its readers? Or does its symbolic language tell us something about the nature of crossing frontiers and encountering the unknown? How do we locate significant moments in a given travel narrative and on what basis do we analyze these moments? In The Sons of Sinbad: Readings in Arabic Travel Writing, we will do a close reading of a number of primary literary texts in Arabic travel writing from both the medieval and the modern periods. The main goal of the seminar is to develop the students' skills in understanding literary texts and talking about them through a series of writing assignments. Readings include, but are not limited to, the English translations of: "The Story of Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights; The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta;  Mission to the Volga by Ibn Fadlan; The Journey of Ibn Fattouma by Naguib Mahfouz; and Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih. 
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NES 1935 : FWS: The Many Lives of Biblical Joseph
Semester offered: Spring 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 1985 : FWS: Writing Under Pressure: Arabic Fiction in Times of Crisis
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines Arabic fiction written under conditions of crisis, when the author's life or safety was under threat due to war, famine, a totalitarian regime, etc. All readings will be available in English translation. We will read fiction from Lebanon's civil war period (1975-1990), the Iraqi Gulf War and economic sanctions (1990-2003), Egypt under Hosni Mubarak (1981-2011), and more. Students will answer the following questions in their essays: what compels an author to write despite the imminence of existential threat? What does each author want to convey most urgently about the crisis he/she is experiencing? How does crisis shape writing—how do authors protect themselves from crises and how does that impact their writing style?    
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NES 1998 : The Middle East in the News: Politics, Society, Religion and Culture
Crosslisted as: JWST 1998, RELST 1998 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The peoples, cultures, religions, and politics of the Middle East are never far removed from the front pages of the most influential journals and newspapers. This course will engage students in discussing current religious, political, and socio-cultural concerns and issues in the Middle East, including the intersection of American interests and policies in the region.
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HEBRW 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
Crosslisted as: JWST 2100 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course is aimed at training students in exact and idiomatic Hebrew, expanding vocabulary and usage of grammatical knowledge, and acquiring facility of expression in both conversation and writing. Uses written and oral exercises built around the texts. Reading and discussion of selections from Hebrew literature and Israeli culture through the use of texts and audiovisual materials.
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ARAB 2201 : Arabic for Heritage Speakers
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2105 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2201 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing I
Crosslisted as: URDU 2225 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2202 : Intermediate Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2200, ASRC 2200 Semester offered: Spring 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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NES 2202 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing II
Crosslisted as: URDU 2226 Semester offered: Spring 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. This course may be taken concurrently with Intermediate Hindi.
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ARAB 2204 : Introduction to Quranic Arabic
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2204, RELST 2204 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course is designed for students who are interested in reading the language of the Qur'an with accuracy and understanding. The first week (4 classes) will be devoted to an introduction of the history of the Qur'an: the revelation, collection, variant readings, and establishment of an authoritative edition. The last week will be devoted to a general overview of "revisionist" literature on the Qur'an. In the remaining 12 weeks, we will cover all of Part 30 (Juz' 'Amma, suuras 78-114) and three suuras of varying length (36, 19, and 12).
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NES 2273 : Introduction to Religious Studies
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 2273, RELST 2273 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course introduces the academic study of religion. The topics vary from year to year.
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NES 2516 : Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change in the Modern Middle East
Crosslisted as: FGSS 2516 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course introduces students to basic themes and topics in the history of women and gender in Middle Eastern societies by exploring the forces of social change that influenced the lives of women (and men) in this region between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. It will concentrate on selected themes such as modernity, nationalism, and colonization in order to encourage students to challenge preconceived assumptions about Middle Eastern women, discuss some of the many roles they have played in social change, and think comparatively about gender, history, and social life. Students will be introduced to a wide array of literature produced in Western Europe and elsewhere pertaining to the Middle Eastern societies and cultures for a critical analysis of how knowledge and discourses about gender roles had been constructed in the course of the nineteenth century. In addition, students will learn about the ways in which Islamic law and legal institutions defined and managed the issues in relation to women's status as well as sexuality and marriage as social institutions. We will investigate how historical and contemporary political and social forces such as nationalism, colonialism, and revolutions operated in the course of the twentieth century, shaping both women's movement and advocating for women's rights before the law, access to education and family issues. Finally, this course will introduce students to the debates on "gender as a useful category" by connecting it to the recent and growing scholarship on masculinity and queer studies in the Middle East. By doing so, we will analyze relationality of women, men, and transgender categories and their political and social implications in the past and the present.
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NES 2522 : Drinking in the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2522, CLASS 2630, JWST 2522 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course examines the production and exchange of wine, beer, coffee and tea, and the social and ideological dynamics involved in their consumption. We start in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and end with tea and coffee in the Arab and Ottoman worlds. Archaeological and textual evidence will be used throughout to show the centrality of drinking in daily, ritual and political life.
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NES 2575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: JWST 2575, NES 6575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will survey the cultic practices and beliefs of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, the two major civilizations of Mesopotamia. We will examine the major myths of this region, e.g., Ishtar's Descent into the Netherworld, Etana, and Gilgamesh, in light of what they reveal about Mesopotamian religion, politics, and understanding of the afterlife. We will also examine the performance of magical rituals and incantations, methods of predicting the future, and the role of sacred marriage, prostitution, and slavery in the ancient temple.
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NES 2577 : American Jewish Women and the Body of Tradition
Crosslisted as: AMST 2577, FGSS 2577, JWST 2577, RELST 2577 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Since the 1970s, Jewish women have remade American Judaism by putting their bodies front and center. In the face of a largely male rabbinic elite, they have created new models of ritual, communal leadership, and textual interpretation both within and outside existing Jewish institutions and denominations. How have women mobilized embodied practice and knowledge in efforts to reinterpret, reclaim, and reinvent Judaism? How have these changes reverberated in communities that explicitly reject feminism? And what can these women teach us about religion, gender, and sexuality in America more broadly? This course will engage the fields of religion; gender, sexuality, and the body; textual and material culture; and feminism within the context of American Jewish life. The course will focus the contemporary United States, but will also explore layers of Jewish tradition from ancient to modern times and will consider women's practices in Israel as well. Key themes will include the relationships between gender and power; bodies, texts and objects; individual Jewish practices and communal identity; biology and theology; secularism and spirituality; and the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and conversion. Exploring how competing visions of Judaism reflect alternative understandings of gender and sexuality, we will probe the meaning of gender equality, how the Jewish experience compares to that of members of other faiths in America, and the challenge that these diverse Jewish projects pose to the American project of secularism.
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NES 2607 : Islam and Politics: Between an Islamic State and Daily Life
Crosslisted as: GOVT 2807, HIST 2607, RELST 2617 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In the early twentieth century, a series of movements arose in the Middle East and South Asia, calling Muslims to return to Islam. Today, leaders and members of such groups –now known as Islamists –insist that one cannot live a fully Islamic life in the absence of an Islamic state. How and why did these movements come to focus on building an Islamic state? When did Islam come to be seen as indivisible from Politics, and what does it mean for Islam and Politics to be related? Are contemporary claims to Islam as the basis for political action consistent with the ways in which Muslims have understood their core texts historically? This course will introduce students to the study of Religion and Politics in Islamic History, beginning with the early Islamic community under the rule of the Prophet Muhammad, stretching through a period of rule that saw multiple Islamic Caliphates, and finally, reaching the present day. The bulk of this course, however, will focus on the diverse ways in which Muslims in the twentieth and twenty first centuries have laid claim to their religion as a template for political and social action. In particular, it will push students to consider how Muslim men and women live religion in their daily lives, whether through dress, prayer, or facial hair, and how these claims to religion shape political systems from the ground up.
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NES 2610 : Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2010, ARKEO 2010 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The Near East is often defined by "firsts": the first cities, writing, and complex societies. Archaeology has long looked to the region for explanations of the origins of civilization. The Middle East has also long been a place where archaeology and politics are inextricably intertwined, from Europe's 19th century appropriation of the region's heritage, to the looting and destruction of antiquities in recent wars in Syria and Iraq. This introductory course moves between past and present. It offers a survey of 10,000 years of human history, from the appearance of farming villages to the dawn of imperialism, while also engaging current debates on the contemporary stakes of archaeology in the Middle East. Covering Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus, our focus is on past material worlds and the modern politics in which they are entangled.
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NES 2620 : Modern European Jewish History, 1789 - 1948
Crosslisted as: HIST 2910, JWST 2920 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Jewish life in Europe experienced a profound transformation as a result of the process of Jewish emancipation which began at the end of the eighteenth century.  While emancipation offered Jews unprecedented social, economic and political opportunities, it also posed serious challenges to traditional Jewish life and values by making available new avenues of integration.  This course will examine the ways in which Jewish and non-Jewish society responded to these new developments from the eighteenth century Enlightenment to the post-World War II era.  Topics will include Jewish responses to emancipation, including assimilation and new varieties of religious accommodation; the development of modern antisemitism; the rise of Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel; the modernization of Eastern European Jewry; the impact of mass immigration; and the Nazi era.
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NES 2626 : Modern Islam
Crosslisted as: RELST 2626 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte led a French expedition to Egypt, fighting a campaign that would extend to Syria and last three years. Napoleon's journey, however, signalled far more than the beginning of a military exercise: over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Muslims throughout the Middle East and South Asia came to engage with the ideas, technologies, and political power of Europe in unprecedented ways that deeply shaped the path of Islamic history. This course, in turn, explores these shifts over the past two centuries. It is designed to introduce students not only to the leading ideas and movements among Muslims over the past two hundred years, but also to how these ideas have shaped the lives of Muslims living in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim-minority countries alike. It will push students to consider how Islam has changed over the past two centuries and how these changes are similar to and different from the transformations that have emerged in other religious traditions. Topics will include: Gender and Modesty; Prayer and Ritual; Ethics; Constitutionalism; Sufism; and Modern Islamic Movements. Through these topics, students will examine the diverse contexts in which and methods by which Muslims have interpreted their foundational texts, and more generally, their often-competing understandings of Islam what it means to be a Muslim.
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NES 2629 : New Testament/Early Christian Literatures
Crosslisted as: CLASS 2613, JWST 2629, RELST 2629 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course provides a literary and historical introduction to the earliest Christian writings, most of which eventually came to be included in the New Testament. Through the lens of the gospel narratives and earliest Christian letters, especially those of Paul, the course explores the rich diversity of the early Christian movement, from its Jewish roots in first-century Palestine through its development and spread to Asia Minor and beyond. Careful consideration is given to the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious circumstances that gave rise to the Jesus movement, as well as those that facilitated the emergence of various manifestations of early Christian beliefs and practices. (Students who have had at least one year of Greek and would like to participate in a 1-credit weekly reading seminar should also enroll in NES 3629.)
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NES 2644 : Introduction to Judaism
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2644, JWST 2644, RELST 2644 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2649 : Controversy and Debate in Islam
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 2247, RELST 2247 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Whether it is politics, society, the law, sexuality, popular culture or minorities' rights, the media are saturated with news on Islam. This course introduces topical issues in Islam as a religious, historical, cultural and political phenomenon. We will discuss this religion's manifold interpretations and investigate its multiple manifestations across the globe, giving special attention to Asia (from Iran to China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Thailand, etc.). Key themes include religious devotion, the arts, Islamic law, gender, statehood, jihad, and sectarianism. No previous knowledge of Islam is required as the course covers the fundamentals of Islam as a religious system as well as a historical phenomenon.
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NES 2655 : Introduction to Islamic Civilization
Crosslisted as: HIST 2530, MEDVL 2655, RELST 2655 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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. Friday sections are devoted to the analysis of primary sources in English translation. No previous knowledge required.
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NES 2662 : Daily Life in the Biblical World
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2662, JWST 2662, RELST 2662 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course will survey the common and not-so-common daily activities of the world of ancient Israel, with supplementary material from its neighbors in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan. Many courses cover aspects of ancient political history or ancient literature, but these often focus on the activities of members of social elites (who produced most of the writing), at the expense of the activities of more average citizens. The focus of this class is on ancient technologies, human interactions with the environment and how these play into the creation and maintenance of social systems. It will provide a broad spectrum, spanning all social classes, and many different kinds of resources and activities. Material to be covered will include topics such as food production and processing, pottery production, metallurgy, glass making, cloth production and personal adornment, implements of war, medicine, leisure time (games and music), and others.
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NES 2668 : Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2668 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course surveys the history and culture of pharaonic Egypt from its prehistoric origins down to the early first millennium bce. Within a chronological framework, the following themes or topics will be considered: the development of the Egyptian state (monarchy, administration, ideology), social organization (class, gender and family, slavery), economic factors, and empire and international relations.
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NES 2674 : History of the Modern Middle East
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2674, GOVT 2747, HIST 2674 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course examines major trends in the evolution of the Middle East in the modern era. Focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries and ending with the  "Arab Spring," we will consider Middle East history with an emphasis on five themes: imperialism, nationalism, modernization, Islam, and revolution.  Readings will be supplemented with translated primary sources, which will form the backbone of class discussions.
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NES 2676 : Holy War, Crusade, and Jihad from Antiquity to Present
Crosslisted as: JWST 2676, RELST 2676 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Articulating and elaborating religious justifications for war is a cultural practice unique to the three monotheistic traditions and their respective textual communities. This notion and its practice have had profound historical consequences in the past that extend to and inform present-day global socio-political conflicts. The first part of this course will examine the origins of the concept of holy war, crusade and jihad and trace their cultural histories. The second part of the course will be devoted to discussing the ways in which contemporary discourses such as a "clash of civilizations," "the Evil Empire," "The Great Satan," and the "Axis of Evil" draw upon these respective cultural histories and explicitly or implicitly positing political conflict as a "battle for God."
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NES 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: COML 2754, JWST 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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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NES 2985 : Egyptomania: Imagining Egypt in the Greco-Roman World
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2285, ARKEO 2285, CLASS 2685 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Throughout Greek and Roman history, the idea of Egypt inspired powerful imaginative responses ranging from fascination to fear. This course investigates Egyptian interactions with the Greco-Roman world and the changing Greek and Roman attitudes towards Egypt. Readings will cover subjects including the earliest Egyptian-Aegean trade, Herodotus' accounts of Egypt, Greco-Macedonian kings on the throne of the pharaohs, Roman perceptions of the notorious Cleopatra, the worship of Egyptian gods in the Greco-Roman world, and the incorporation of Egypt into the Roman empire (among other topics). Through an examination of Greek and Roman representations of Egypt, we will investigate how Greeks and Romans conceived of their own societies and cultural identities. Finally, we will also address images of Egypt in modern popular culture; how have Greco-Roman portrayals of Egypt helped shape today's view of the Pharaonic world?
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HEBRW 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: JWST 3101 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Successful completion of NES 3101 fulfills Option 1 language requirement. 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 3102 : Advanced Modern Hebrew II: Hebrew in a Changing World
Crosslisted as: JWST 3102 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students will be practicing and enhancing conversational skills. The course aims to improve the four language skills while stressing listening comprehension and various forms of discussions including practical situations. A close reading of selected works of Modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama in their cultural and historical contexts.  In addition we'll be Reading Newspaper articles relating to Middle-Eastern and European aspects of Israeli literature and culture.
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HEBRW 3108 : Israeli Culture Through Literature
Crosslisted as: JWST 3108 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course is intended to examine current Israeli culture and Society through reading and discussion of literary works.  Students will practice and enhance their conversational skills and will be using practical and real daily life situations.  Readings include edited as well as authentic literary texts.  Authors may include:  Amos Oz, Savion Liebrechet, H. Levin, Yaakov Shabtai,  Etgar Keret, Meir Shavit.  In addition, we will explore special themes and issues in the language and it's  literature. We will continue the development and improve all aspects of the language skills.
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ARAB 3201 : Advanced Arabic I
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3100 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 3202 : Advanced Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3101 Semester offered: Spring 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 2017 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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NES 3325 : Literary Reading and Writing in Advanced Urdu
Crosslisted as: URDU 3325 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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: Spring 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 3519 : History of State and Society in Modern Iran (Through Literature and Film)
Crosslisted as: HIST 3519 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In the conditions of strict censorship and numerous limitations on various forms of political organization and activism, literature and cinema, especially Iran's internationally acclaimed art cinematography, have been the major outlets through which the social and political concerns of the Iranian society have been voiced throughout the modern period. The course explores major themes and periods in Iran's transition from the secular state of the Pahlavi dynasty to the religious state of the Islamic Republic in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will focus on social as well as political themes including the Anglo-Russo-American Occupation of Iran, the 1979 Islamic Revolution, U.S.-Iranian relations, Iraq-Iran War, the Green Movement and the crisis of Islamic government, Images of the West in Iran, Modern Youth Culture, Gender segregation, and the struggle between modernity and traditionalism in contemporary Iran. We will watch selected Iranian documentary and feature films and draw on modern Persian literature but will approach them not as art forms but as reflections of major socio-economic, political, and religious phenomena in Iran's modern history. We will read and watch what the Iranians wrote and produced, read and watched, in order to view and explain Iran and its relations with the West through the Iranian eyes. We will examine how the Iranians perceived themselves and the others, how they viewed their own governments and the West, what issues inspired and shaped their outlook outside the official censorship during the period in question. All readings are in English translation and the films are with English subtitles. The course includes lectures deconstructing political, religious, and social evolution of modern Iran as well as regular class discussions where we will address the issues in question from a variety of perspectives.
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NES 3625 : Ancient Iraq: Cities, Migrations, and Kings
Crosslisted as: JWST 3625 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course surveys the history and cultures of ancient Mesopotamia (e.g., Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria) from the beginnings of civilization to the death of Alexander the Great. It will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective and will rely on approaches and evidence drawn from branches of history, archaeology, world literature, and ethno-historical comparisons. Discussion centers on a number of recurrent themes: urban versus nonurban residence, population dynamics and cultural interaction, the birth of literature, and centralizing versus decentralizing political forces.
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NES 3629 : Greek New Testament Readings
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3629, JWST 3629, RELST 3629 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A weekly seminar that may be taken in addition to NES 2629. The seminar will provide an opportunity to read portions of the New Testament and other early Christian writings in Greek. We will work on grammatical and textual issues as well as other problems related to translations.
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NES 3655 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: COML 3743, JWST 3655, NES 6655 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the historic diversity of the modern Middle East, exploring histories of inter-communal contact and conflict. We begin by investigating the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the impact of its dissolution. We will focus our attention on commercial centers that fostered inter-communal relations, as well as investigating sites of strife and cases of minority repression. We will read histories, memoirs, and fiction, and view films that help us better understand inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict. We will also interrogate the terms for exploring a range distinctions among majority and minority populations including: religious difference (Muslims, Christians, and Jews); divisions of religious rite (Sunni and Shi'a); entho-linguistic minorities (Armenians and Kurds); national identities (Israelis and Palestinians); cultures of origin (Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi Jews). We will explore how these divisions inform urgent current conflicts: the civil war in Syria and the refugee crisis; the civil war in Iraq and the campaign by ISIS against minorities; as well as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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NES 3677 : The Search for the Historical Muhammad
Crosslisted as: HIST 3677, MEDVL 3677, NES 6677, RELST 3677 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
As the founder of Islam Muhammad is one of the most influential figures in world history. An important source for his life is the Sira of Ibn Ishaq (d. ca. 761), a biography that opens with Muhammad's birth ca. 570 and ends with his death in 632. If we take the narrative reports in this text at face-value, then Muhammad appears to have been born in the full light of history. But is the Sira a reliable source for the historical Muhammad? In this seminar, we will read this text in its entirely and analyze selected episodes from a critical historical perspective, with special attention to biblical and post-biblical models for the writing of sacred history.
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ARAB 3700 : Arabic Language Through Film
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The objective of this course is to help students develop all four communicative skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) through the use of Arabic films coupled with other structured materials such as study guides, short readings and other authentic resources. Each lesson focuses on student-centered and interactive activities that include pair or group work, role-play, debates, and class presentations.
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NES 3920 : The Trans-Sahara Anti-Terrorist Campaign: Chasing AQMI, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS in an African Desert
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3420, GOVT 3423 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Since the events of September 11, 2001, the war on terrorism has been the focus of US foreign policy in Africa. This focus has led to major adjustments in US priorities in Africa, including the pairing of diplomacy, defense, and development into new forms of cooperation and intervention. One of the framework for the new approach is the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) under which the US has associated ten African countries in its global fight against terrorism. The TSCTP is predicated on the idea that significant areas of Africa, peopled as they are by weak states, could become a safe haven for terrorist groups linked with al-Qaeda, the Salafists, and other radical Islamic groups including ISIL today. This course explores the operations of the TSCTP and points of friction between the US and the populations of the zone of implementation. We will place special emphasis on African suspicions of some key tenets of the war on terrorism and skepticism of the methods adopted in the war on terrorism. Key among these are the principle of securing the primary of counterterrorism and the necessary institutional frictions that arise when considering development and good governance.
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NES 4140 : Israeli Cinema: Center and Periphery
Crosslisted as: JWST 4140, NES 6140 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
An annual film festival held in Sderot, calls itself "Cinema South." While the town is indeed in the south of Israel, the organizers adopted the term to refer to artistic creation that emerges from the periphery "with ambitions to spark off a critical dialogue with the hegemonic center." This class will explore recent Israeli films that explore relations between the geographic periphery and center, as well as relations between marginalized groups and the centers of power. We will view both feature films and documentaries. Screenings will be paired with short readings in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBRW 3101 or HEBRW 3102 or equivalent.
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ARAB 4203 : Current Events in Arabic Media
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this four-credit, one semester, topic based course, students will be introduced to authentic, unedited Arabic language materials from Arabic newspapers, magazines, TV broadcasts and interviews, and other on-line media. The topics covered will include, among other things,  politics, economics, business, sports, and women's issues. Students can suggest other topics that interest them to the teacher.  Emphasis will be on developing fluency in oral and written expression through discussions, debates, presentations, and written work. The order of activities for each topic will be: reading or listening to a selection before coming to class, class discussion and/or debate, an oral presentation by the students, and, finally, a written homework assignment about the same topic. All activities are conducted entirely in Arabic.  There will be more focus on the development of native-like pronunciation and accurate use of grammatical structures than at the lower levels.
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NES 4520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, HIST 4520, HIST 6520, JWST 4520, JWST 7520, NES 7520 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Jews and cities have been shaping each other for thousands of years. Studying those interactions involves urbanism, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and the idea of "the ghetto." This course ranges through time and space as we examine those fruitful and sometimes painful interactions by looking at labor, "ethnicity" and the built environment. Topics include contemporary Brooklyn, where Hasidic areas bump into hipster and black Caribbean communities; the place of Jews in medieval European cities; North African Jewish spaces between French colonizers and Muslim neighbors; the formation of the shtetl and the industrial town in Eastern Europe; memoirs of the golden age of Berlin Jewry; and the immigrant "ghetto" of the Lower East Side. We will focus closely on the involvement of urban Jewish communities in modernization and colonialism. Course materials include visual resources as well as historical, ethnographic and literary materials.
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NES 4530 : The Caucasus: Captives, Cultures, Crossroads
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4030, ANTHR 7030, ARKEO 7030, NES 6530 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The Caucasus occupies a distinctive place within both the ancient and modern imagination. It is a region long anchored to tropes of disobedience, punishment, and redemption. It is also a place in which liminality, betwixt and between Europe and Asia, endures as both a perceived geographic imaginary and an experienced condition in the detritus of imperialisms past. The Caucasus's extraordinary diversity in languages and ethnicities has generated a deep suspicion of it by those surrounding the region, and has sparked profound social tragedies. But it has also stimulated a curiosity that has generated meditations on culture, identity, and social life. This course explores the Caucasus through its archaeology, anthropology, history, literature, music, and film. We will examine the entanglement of the region's history with its internal and external representations in order to get a sense of the array of forces shaping the Caucasus today.
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NES 4544 : Ceramic Analysis for Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4211, ANTHR 6211, ARKEO 4211, ARKEO 6211, NES 6544 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Ceramics are among the most ubiquitous materials in the archaeological record. From prehistory to the present, the manipulation of clay to form pottery and other synthetic objects has transformed domains of human experience from the quotidian to the consequential. This course addresses the theories and methods that equip archaeologists to make deductions about past societies on the basis of ceramic evidence. We will examine such topics as methods of organizing and classifying ceramic data, aspects of pottery production, pottery style, form, and function, techniques of instrumental analysis, and frameworks for the interpretation of pottery that allow archaeologists to arrive at some understanding of social, political, and economic lifeways. This course entails both seminar-based instruction and hands-on laboratory skills.
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NES 4547 : The Middle East in Africa, Africa in the Middle East
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4547, ASRC 6547, HIST 4547, HIST 6547, NES 6547 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this seminar we will explore the Ottoman Empire's presence in the continent, and the continent's influence on the rest of the Ottoman Empire.  In addition to the focus on the history of Ottoman North Africa, we will explore the role Istanbul played in the history of the Red Sea Basin (today's Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia) and vice versa. A special focus will be placed on the role sub-Saharan African slave trade played in Ottoman society, from the ruling elite households of Istanbul to the day-to-day formulation of ideas of difference making across the Turkish and Arabic speaking parts of the Ottoman Empire. Emphasis will be placed on reading new literature on race and slavery in the Ottoman world, borrowing theoretical and analytical formulations around this topic form better-developed historiographies of other parts of the world. This seminar targets a senior and graduate students interested in the history of empire, the Middle East and Africa trans-imperial histories, and south-south relations. 
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NES 4557 : Desert Monasticism
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4677, MEDVL 4557, NES 6557, RELST 4557 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
How and why do landscapes come to inspire the religious imagination? And how do sensory landscapes, more specifically-territories of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell-inform, inflect, and engage the religious imagination? When and why do religious practices, rituals, traditions, and beliefs inhabit particular landscapes? This seminar treats these questions by focusing on a particular landscape-the "desert," both imagined and real-as it has shaped religious ascetic practice. Biblical notions of howling desert wastelands and subsequent ideas about deserts inhabited by terrifying and grotesque demons; paradise, a garden where angels' wings whir and pure light shines; valleys of rattling dry bones, sinews, and skins that breathe with new life; heavens clanging with the sound of war between seven-headed dragons and angels; demons coming in the forms of roaring lions and hissing serpents-the religious imaginary is shaped in striking ways by sensory landscapes. We will read widely from desert Christian monastic literatures, mostly from late ancient Egypt, to explore both the historical development of monasticism in Christianity and examine why the monastic impulse seems so closely tied to the "desert." In addition to reading saints lives, we will read early monastic rules, the desert fathers, and we will draw from archaeological sources to examine the varieties of ascetic practices in the deserts of late ancient Egypt, Gaza, Sinai, Palestine, and Syria. Throughout the course we will explore ancient and modern ideas about "wilderness" and we will explore parallels between ancient Near Eastern literatures and their nineteenth- and twentieth-century parallels in the American frontier and environmental literatures.
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NES 4560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
Crosslisted as: NES 6560 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Requirement for NES majors.  Seminar offering advanced Near Eastern Studies students the opportunity to read and discuss the range of theories and methods that have been employed by scholars in the interdisciplinary area of Near Eastern Studies. After giving attention to the historical development of area studies programs--and their current status and relevance--students read a wide range of influential works in Near Eastern Studies, with special attention to the concept of "orientalism".   Literary theory, anthropology, historiography, post-colonialism, archaeology, gender theory, and comparative religions are a few of the approaches, methods, and theories we will explore. Authors include Talal Asad, Richard Bulliet, Clifford Geertz, Jon Levenson, Timothy Mitchell, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, and J. Z. Smith.
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NES 4644 : Late Bronze Age World of Ugarit
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4644, ARKEO 6644, CLASS 4744, CLASS 7744, JWST 4644, JWST 6644, NES 6644 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this seminar we will look at archaeological and textual evidence from one of the longest-running excavations in the Near East: the ancient city of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra in northwestern Syria. Students will review the archaeological history of this coastal kingdom that has its roots deep in Levantine prehistory. Then we will study the textual material emerging from the thousands of clay tablets inscribed in alphabetic Ugaritic and cuneiform Babylonian that vividly illuminate matters of cult, economy, law, and daily life in a Late Bronze Age city during the 14th -12th centuries BCE. Students will read a sample of these texts, in translation or the original (for credit in 6644), to gain insights into the life of a cosmopolitan center that managed to thrive while surrounded by territorial empires during history's first truly international age.
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NES 4652 : Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000)
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4651, FGSS 4652, NES 6652 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000) will explore the history of medicine and science in the Middle East from early modern period to the present. It covers the main topics and questions regarding bodies, diseases, and medical institutions within the framework of major historical developments in world and region's history. The course investigates how medicine and knowledge about diseases and bodies changed political and social conditions as well as how the latter defined and transformed the ways in which people imagined health, life, and environment. Scholars have often analyzed history of medicine in the Middle Eastern societies either in relation to Islamic culture in the early modern period or in relation to more recent Westernization. This course seeks to challenge these fixed paradigms and shed light onto questions and research agendas that will unearth the encounters, connections and mobility of bacteria, bodies, and medical methods among various communities by locating the history of medical knowledge and practices of the Middle East within global history.  It will highlight that the history of medicine in the colonial world itself is varied and wide ranging, investigating how medical missions intersected with civilizing missions, how colonial discourses were used to explain disease prevalence, and the relationship between the metropole and colony in propagating certain medical theories and practices. The course seeks to facilitate student engagement with various primary and secondary sources and new technologies to teach both historiographical methods and the content of the history of medicine in the Middle East.
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NES 4660 : Global Religious Revival of the 1970’s
Crosslisted as: NES 6650, RELST 4660 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In the 1960s, religiosity was said to be a mere byproduct of tradition, increasingly marginalized by modernization. Yet, in an unexpected turn, the 1970s saw religious revival swept across the globe as societies from the Middle East to Latin America to the United States turned to their divine texts. In the four decades since, religious movements across the world have gained increasingly prominent positions in society and government. How do these mass movements happen? What exactly is the relation between specific revivals, their holy texts and the societies in which they arise? How do they affect politics? Are contemporary religious revivals broadly similar or do they contain geographical or religious particularities? In this seminar, we will begin to examine these questions through the prism of social movement theory, covering the Islamic Revival in Egypt, Religious Zionism in Israel, the rise of Liberation Theology in Latin America and the "Moral Majority" in the United States.  Drawing on texts, audio recordings, and video, we will explore how and why men and women turned to religion since the 1970s and how the practices of individual believers have shaped the relationship between religion and politics globally. Courses in varied religious traditions would be helpful, but are not a requirement, to succeed in this seminar.
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NES 4708 : Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Coexistence
Crosslisted as: COML 4521, COML 6521, JWST 4708, NES 6708 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What does it mean to call individuals, cities, or societies "cosmopolitan?" What are the implications when one invokes tolerance to resolve conflict? Do appeals for "tolerance" and "coexistence" redefine or reinforce existing power relations? To address these questions, we will begin by reading and discussing Kant's writings on hospitality, and then consider writings of contemporary theorists such as Martha Nussbaum, Bruce Robbins, David Harvey, Wendy Brown and others.   To further our understanding of the implications of these terms, in the second half of the course, we will examine representations of modern "cosmopolitan" Alexandria. The Egyptian port city, has a long history of rich cultural interaction, immortalized in literature and film. Readings and discussions will interrogate the relationship between the city's cosmopolitan character and its colonial history. We will read works by: E. M. Forster, Constantin Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell, Edwar al-Kharrat, Yitzhak Gormezano Goren and Randa Jarrar. We will also discuss Youssef Chahine's semi-autobiographical Alexandria film, Alexandria Again and Forever.
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NES 4745 : Colonial Intersections: Jews and Native Americans
Crosslisted as: AMST 4740, ANTHR 4745, ANTHR 7745, JWST 4745, JWST 7745, NES 7745 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The colonial expansion of Christian Europe continues to leave its mark on the world of the twenty-first century. Two of the peoples caught up in that colonial project, in very different ways, are Jews and Native Americans. Indeed, these two groups were often conflated in the colonial imagination, with Native Americans imagined as the "lost tribes," and missionary rhetorics first aimed at Jews (and Muslims) being adapted for Native Americans. This course looks at the differing structural positions of Jews (the "other within" Christian Europe) and Native Americans (the "other without"). It also considers these peoples' varying responses to colonialism, and their relations with each other, to ask how we can compare forms of difference while retaining the richness of their distinctive formations.  
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ARAB 4867 : In Search of the Original Quran
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Certain verses in the Quran have challenged Muslim interpreters as well as modern scholars. In some cases, the verses do not seem to fit the context; in others, they violate standard rules of Arabic grammar. Some in the Muslim tradition take these verses as evidence of the miraculous nature of the language of the Quran whose secrets only Allah knows. A number of modern scholars, particularly in the West, have tried to understand them by reference to Semitic languages, particularly Syriac and Hebrew, or by reference to Christian and Jewish traditions, which had a substantial influence on the language of the Quran. Some scholars have gone so far as to offer alternative readings of the Quranic text or to propose emendations.  Applying the tools of modern linguistic analysis, we will examine a sample of these passages, read their standard Muslim interpretation (tafsiir), identify grammatical and textual problems and propose alternative interpretations that arguably produce a semantically more coherent and grammatically sounder text.
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NES 4913 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 4413, GERST 6413, JWST 4913, JWST 7913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death  is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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NES 4914 : Liminality in Near Eastern and World History
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4614, ANTHR 6614, ARKEO 4614, ARKEO 6614, NES 6914 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this seminar students apply Victor Turner's conceptions of liminality and anti-structure to early civilizations, network formation, Mediterranean connectivity, ethnicity, and various cross-cultural interactions from the Bronze Age to the present. We will illuminate the transformative roles played by foreigners, travelers, frontiers, borders, and bodies of water by interpreting the materials and texts of history through a liminal lens that reveals potent forces harnessed for political and economic ends. We pay special attention to bodies of water, which historically have created highly transformative thresholds--full of opportunities and risks--for experts to exploit in an almost shamanistic manner. We look at rites of passage on a political level, and see how liminal agents foster emergence, complexity, internationalism, and collapse. By observing past attitudes toward the marginalized, we hope to gain insight into how present and future cultures might embrace liminal agents and conditions in a more cooperative spirit than has occurred.
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NES 4991 : Independent Study, Undergraduate Level
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 4992 : Independent Study, Undergraduate Level
Semester offered: Spring 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.
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NES 4998 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Spring 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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Description
NES 4998 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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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Description
NES 4999 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 4999 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 6140 : Israeli Cinema: Center and Periphery
Crosslisted as: JWST 4140, NES 4140 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
An annual film festival held in Sderot, calls itself "Cinema South." While the town is indeed in the south of Israel, the organizers adopted the term to refer to artistic creation that emerges from the periphery "with ambitions to spark off a critical dialogue with the hegemonic center." This class will explore recent Israeli films that explore relations between the geographic periphery and center, as well as relations between marginalized groups and the centers of power. We will view both feature films and documentaries. Screenings will be paired with short readings in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBRW 3101 or HEBRW 3102 or equivalent.
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NES 6530 : The Caucasus: Captives, Cultures, Crossroads
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4030, ANTHR 7030, ARKEO 7030, NES 4530 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The Caucasus occupies a distinctive place within both the ancient and modern imagination. It is a region long anchored to tropes of disobedience, punishment, and redemption. It is also a place in which liminality, betwixt and between Europe and Asia, endures as both a perceived geographic imaginary and an experienced condition in the detritus of imperialisms past. The Caucasus's extraordinary diversity in languages and ethnicities has generated a deep suspicion of it by those surrounding the region, and has sparked profound social tragedies. But it has also stimulated a curiosity that has generated meditations on culture, identity, and social life. This course explores the Caucasus through its archaeology, anthropology, history, literature, music, and film. We will examine the entanglement of the region's history with its internal and external representations in order to get a sense of the array of forces shaping the Caucasus today.
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NES 6544 : Ceramic Analysis for Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4211, ANTHR 6211, ARKEO 4211, ARKEO 6211, NES 4544 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Ceramics are among the most ubiquitous materials in the archaeological record. From prehistory to the present, the manipulation of clay to form pottery and other synthetic objects has transformed domains of human experience from the quotidian to the consequential. This course addresses the theories and methods that equip archaeologists to make deductions about past societies on the basis of ceramic evidence. We will examine such topics as methods of organizing and classifying ceramic data, aspects of pottery production, pottery style, form, and function, techniques of instrumental analysis, and frameworks for the interpretation of pottery that allow archaeologists to arrive at some understanding of social, political, and economic lifeways. This course entails both seminar-based instruction and hands-on laboratory skills.
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NES 6547 : The Middle East in Africa, Africa in the Middle East
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4547, ASRC 6547, HIST 4547, HIST 6547, NES 4547 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this seminar we will explore the Ottoman Empire's presence in the continent, and the continent's influence on the rest of the Ottoman Empire.  In addition to the focus on the history of Ottoman North Africa, we will explore the role Istanbul played in the history of the Red Sea Basin (today's Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia) and vice versa. A special focus will be placed on the role sub-Saharan African slave trade played in Ottoman society, from the ruling elite households of Istanbul to the day-to-day formulation of ideas of difference making across the Turkish and Arabic speaking parts of the Ottoman Empire. Emphasis will be placed on reading new literature on race and slavery in the Ottoman world, borrowing theoretical and analytical formulations around this topic form better-developed historiographies of other parts of the world. This seminar targets a senior and graduate students interested in the history of empire, the Middle East and Africa trans-imperial histories, and south-south relations. 
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NES 6557 : Desert Monasticism
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4677, MEDVL 4557, NES 4557, RELST 4557 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
How and why do landscapes come to inspire the religious imagination? And how do sensory landscapes, more specifically-territories of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell-inform, inflect, and engage the religious imagination? When and why do religious practices, rituals, traditions, and beliefs inhabit particular landscapes? This seminar treats these questions by focusing on a particular landscape-the "desert," both imagined and real-as it has shaped religious ascetic practice. Biblical notions of howling desert wastelands and subsequent ideas about deserts inhabited by terrifying and grotesque demons; paradise, a garden where angels' wings whir and pure light shines; valleys of rattling dry bones, sinews, and skins that breathe with new life; heavens clanging with the sound of war between seven-headed dragons and angels; demons coming in the forms of roaring lions and hissing serpents-the religious imaginary is shaped in striking ways by sensory landscapes. We will read widely from desert Christian monastic literatures, mostly from late ancient Egypt, to explore both the historical development of monasticism in Christianity and examine why the monastic impulse seems so closely tied to the "desert." In addition to reading saints lives, we will read early monastic rules, the desert fathers, and we will draw from archaeological sources to examine the varieties of ascetic practices in the deserts of late ancient Egypt, Gaza, Sinai, Palestine, and Syria. Throughout the course we will explore ancient and modern ideas about "wilderness" and we will explore parallels between ancient Near Eastern literatures and their nineteenth- and twentieth-century parallels in the American frontier and environmental literatures.
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NES 6560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
Crosslisted as: NES 4560 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Requirement for NES majors.  Seminar offering advanced Near Eastern Studies students the opportunity to read and discuss the range of theories and methods that have been employed by scholars in the interdisciplinary area of Near Eastern Studies. After giving attention to the historical development of area studies programs--and their current status and relevance--students read a wide range of influential works in Near Eastern Studies, with special attention to the concept of "orientalism".   Literary theory, anthropology, historiography, post-colonialism, archaeology, gender theory, and comparative religions are a few of the approaches, methods, and theories we will explore. Authors include Talal Asad, Richard Bulliet, Clifford Geertz, Jon Levenson, Timothy Mitchell, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, and J. Z. Smith.
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NES 6575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: JWST 2575, NES 2575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will survey the cultic practices and beliefs of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, the two major civilizations of Mesopotamia. We will examine the major myths of this region, e.g., Ishtar's Descent into the Netherworld, Etana, and Gilgamesh, in light of what they reveal about Mesopotamian religion, politics, and understanding of the afterlife. We will also examine the performance of magical rituals and incantations, methods of predicting the future, and the role of sacred marriage, prostitution, and slavery in the ancient temple.
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NES 6644 : Late Bronze Age World of Ugarit
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4644, ARKEO 6644, CLASS 4744, CLASS 7744, JWST 4644, JWST 6644, NES 4644 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this seminar we will look at archaeological and textual evidence from one of the longest-running excavations in the Near East: the ancient city of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra in northwestern Syria. Students will review the archaeological history of this coastal kingdom that has its roots deep in Levantine prehistory. Then we will study the textual material emerging from the thousands of clay tablets inscribed in alphabetic Ugaritic and cuneiform Babylonian that vividly illuminate matters of cult, economy, law, and daily life in a Late Bronze Age city during the 14th -12th centuries BCE. Students will read a sample of these texts, in translation or the original (for credit in 6644), to gain insights into the life of a cosmopolitan center that managed to thrive while surrounded by territorial empires during history's first truly international age.
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NES 6650 : Global Religious Revivals of the 1970’s
Crosslisted as: NES 4660, RELST 4660 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In the 1960s, religiosity was said to be a mere byproduct of tradition, increasingly marginalized by modernization. Yet, in an unexpected turn, the 1970s saw religious revival swept across the globe as societies from the Middle East to Latin America to the United States turned to their divine texts. In the four decades since, religious movements across the world have gained increasingly prominent positions in society and government. How do these mass movements happen? What exactly is the relation between specific revivals, their holy texts and the societies in which they arise? How do they affect politics? Are contemporary religious revivals broadly similar or do they contain geographical or religious particularities? In this seminar, we will begin to examine these questions through the prism of social movement theory, covering the Islamic Revival in Egypt, Religious Zionism in Israel, the rise of Liberation Theology in Latin America and the "Moral Majority" in the United States.  Drawing on texts, audio recordings, and video, we will explore how and why men and women turned to religion since the 1970s and how the practices of individual believers have shaped the relationship between religion and politics globally. Courses in varied religious traditions would be helpful, but are not a requirement, to succeed in this seminar.
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NES 6652 : Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000)
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4651, FGSS 4652, NES 4652 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000) will explore the history of medicine and science in the Middle East from early modern period to the present. It covers the main topics and questions regarding bodies, diseases, and medical institutions within the framework of major historical developments in world and region's history. The course investigates how medicine and knowledge about diseases and bodies changed political and social conditions as well as how the latter defined and transformed the ways in which people imagined health, life, and environment. Scholars have often analyzed history of medicine in the Middle Eastern societies either in relation to Islamic culture in the early modern period or in relation to more recent Westernization. This course seeks to challenge these fixed paradigms and shed light onto questions and research agendas that will unearth the encounters, connections and mobility of bacteria, bodies, and medical methods among various communities by locating the history of medical knowledge and practices of the Middle East within global history.  It will highlight that the history of medicine in the colonial world itself is varied and wide ranging, investigating how medical missions intersected with civilizing missions, how colonial discourses were used to explain disease prevalence, and the relationship between the metropole and colony in propagating certain medical theories and practices. The course seeks to facilitate student engagement with various primary and secondary sources and new technologies to teach both historiographical methods and the content of the history of medicine in the Middle East.
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NES 6655 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: COML 3743, JWST 3655, NES 3655 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This examines the historic diversity of the modern Middle East, exploring histories of inter-communal contact and conflict. We begin by investigating the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the impact of its dissolution. We will focus our attention on commercial centers that fostered inter-communal relations, as well as investigating sites of strife and cases of minority repression. We will read histories, memoirs, and fiction, and view films that help us better understand inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict. We will also interrogate the terms for exploring a range distinctions among majority and minority populations including: religious difference (Muslims, Christians, and Jews); divisions of religious rite (Sunni and Shica); entho-linguistic minorities (Armenians and Kurds); national identities (Israelis and Palestinians); cultures of origin (Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi Jews). We will explore how these divisions inform urgent current conflicts: the civil war in Syria and the refugee crisis; the civil war in Iraq and the campaign by ISIS against minorities; as well as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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NES 6677 : The Search for the Historical Muhammad
Crosslisted as: HIST 3677, MEDVL 3677, NES 3677, RELST 3677 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
As the founder of Islam Muhammad is one of the most influential figures in world history. An important source for his life is the Sira of Ibn Ishaq (d. ca. 761), a biography that opens with Muhammad's birth ca. 570 and ends with his death in 632. If we take the narrative reports in this text at face-value, then Muhammad appears to have been born in the full light of history. But is the Sira a reliable source for the historical Muhammad? In this seminar, we will read this text in its entirely and analyze selected episodes from a critical historical perspective, with special attention to biblical and post-biblical models for the writing of sacred history.
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NES 6708 : Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Coexistence
Crosslisted as: COML 4521, COML 6521, JWST 4708, NES 4708 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What does it mean to call individuals, cities, or societies "cosmopolitan?" What are the implications when one invokes tolerance to resolve conflict? Do appeals for "tolerance" and "coexistence" redefine or reinforce existing power relations? To address these questions, we will begin by reading and discussing Kant's writings on hospitality, and then consider writings of contemporary theorists such as Martha Nussbaum, Bruce Robbins, David Harvey, Wendy Brown and others.  To further our understanding of the implications of these terms, in the second half of the course, we will examine representations of modern "cosmopolitan" Alexandria. The Egyptian port city, has a long history of rich cultural interaction, immortalized in literature and film. Readings and discussions will interrogate the relationship between the city's cosmopolitan character and its colonial history. We will read works by: E. M. Forster, Constantin Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell, Edwar al-Kharrat, Yitzhak Gormezano Goren and Randa Jarrar. We will also discuss Youssef Chahine's semi-autobiographical Alexandria film, Alexandria Again and Forever.
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NES 6914 : Liminality in Near Eastern and World History
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4614, ANTHR 6614, ARKEO 4614, ARKEO 6614, NES 4914 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this seminar students apply Victor Turner's conceptions of liminality and anti-structure to early civilizations, network formation, Mediterranean connectivity, ethnicity, and various cross-cultural interactions from the Bronze Age to the present. We will illuminate the transformative roles played by foreigners, travelers, frontiers, borders, and bodies of water by interpreting the materials and texts of history through a liminal lens that reveals potent forces harnessed for political and economic ends. We pay special attention to bodies of water, which historically have created highly transformative thresholds--full of opportunities and risks--for experts to exploit in an almost shamanistic manner. We look at rites of passage on a political level, and see how liminal agents foster emergence, complexity, internationalism, and collapse. By observing past attitudes toward the marginalized, we hope to gain insight into how present and future cultures might embrace liminal agents and conditions in a more cooperative spirit than has occurred.
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NES 6991 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
Semester offered: Fall 2017 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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NES 6992 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
Semester offered: Spring 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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NES 7520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, HIST 4520, HIST 6520, JWST 4520, JWST 7520, NES 4520 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Jews and cities have been shaping each other for thousands of years. Studying those interactions involves urbanism, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and the idea of "the ghetto." This course ranges through time and space as we examine those fruitful and sometimes painful interactions by looking at labor, "ethnicity" and the built environment. Topics include contemporary Brooklyn, where Hasidic areas bump into hipster and black Caribbean communities; the place of Jews in medieval European cities; North African Jewish spaces between French colonizers and Muslim neighbors; the formation of the shtetl and the industrial town in Eastern Europe; memoirs of the golden age of Berlin Jewry; and the immigrant "ghetto" of the Lower East Side. We will focus closely on the involvement of urban Jewish communities in modernization and colonialism. Course materials include visual resources as well as historical, ethnographic and literary materials.
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NES 7743 : Archaeology of the Hellenistic Mediterranean
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 7743, CLASS 7743 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The conquests and death of Alexander served as catalysts for major cultural transformation. Throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, Greco-Macedonian dynasties came to rule over foreign populations, establishing elements of Greek culture in places as diverse as Egypt, the Near East, Central Asia, and northwestern India. The resulting cultural interactions led not only to the creation of new, hybrid practices, but also new definitions of "Hellenicity." This seminar will provide an in-depth exploration of the cultural and historical developments of the Hellenistic period, with a particular emphasis on settlement archaeology and material culture. Chronologically, we will cover the period from Alexander's death in 323 BCE to the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, when Octavian defeated Cleopatra VII to conquer the last remaining Hellenistic kingdom. We will examine the interactions between Greek and local cultures throughout the Hellenistic Mediterranean, considering material culture and iconography from both elite and popular contexts.
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NES 7745 : Colonial Intersections: Jews and Native Americans
Crosslisted as: AMST 4740, ANTHR 4745, ANTHR 7745, JWST 4745, JWST 7745, NES 4745 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The colonial expansion of Christian Europe continues to leave its mark on the world of the twenty-first century. Two of the peoples caught up in that colonial project, in very different ways, are Jews and Native Americans. Indeed, these two groups were often conflated in the colonial imagination, with Native Americans imagined as the "lost tribes," and missionary rhetorics first aimed at Jews (and Muslims) being adapted for Native Americans. This course looks at the differing structural positions of Jews (the "other within" Christian Europe) and Native Americans (the "other without"). It also considers these peoples' varying responses to colonialism, and their relations with each other, to ask how we can compare forms of difference while retaining the richness of their distinctive formations.  
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NES 7913 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 4413, GERST 6413, JWST 4913, JWST 7913, NES 4913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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