arrow grid linear view icon
The College of Arts Sciences Search

Current Courses

Sort by: TitleNumber
Filter by:
NES 1102 : Elementary Modern Hebrew II
Crosslisted as: JWST 1102, JWST 1102 Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 1200 : Accelerated Elementary Arabic Course
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor: Description
NES 1202 : Elementary Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202, ASRC 1202 Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 1312 : Introduction to Urdu Script
Crosslisted as: URDU 1125 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Introduction to Urdu reading and writing. Assumes some knowledge of spoken Hindi-Urdu.  May be taken concurrently with HINDI 1102.
View course details
Description
NES 1321 : Elementary Persian/Farsi II
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 1963 : FWS: That's in the Bible? Archaeology and Religion of Israel
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
A casual reading of the Hebrew Scriptures might lead one to believe that the normative religion of the Israelites was that spelled out in the Torah and Prophets.  However, a more critical appraisal of the Biblical texts, along with an analysis of extra-Biblical texts and archaeological materials, demonstrates that the Israelites were often closer to their pagan neighbors than to modern Judaism or Christianity.  Students will explore these similarities and differences in their essays.  Topics may include: cult prostitution, magic, funerary rites, temple ritual, Hebrew mythology, etc.  Readings will be from the Hebrew Bible, translations of extra-biblical texts, articles on archaeology and modern synthetic treatments of Israelite culture.
View course details
Description
NES 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
Crosslisted as: JWST 2100 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 2200 : Intermediate Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2200, ASRC 2200 Semester offered: Spring 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 NES 1201 and NES 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 NES 1201 and NES 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 NES 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.
View course details
Description
NES 2202 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing II
Crosslisted as: URDU 2226 Semester offered: Spring 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. May be taken concurrently with Intermediate Hindi.
View course details
Description
NES 2204 : Introduction to Quranic Arabic
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2204, RELST 2204 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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).
View course details
Description
NES 2322 : Intermediate Persian/Farsi II
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 2343 : Intermediate Modern Greek II
Crosslisted as: GREEK 2144 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Develops the student's proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading and writing modern Greek. Exposure to contemporary cultural material (newspapers, Greek websites, films, literary and musical material) will be complemented with grammar, vocabulary, and exercises in an effort to expand students' familiarization with modern Greek language and culture.
View course details
Description
NES 2546 : Magic and Witchcraft in the Greco-Roman World
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2846, ARKEO 2846, CLASS 2646 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Modern perceptions of Classical civilizations often stress those aspects of their cultures that are compatible with contemporary concepts of "rational thought." Certainly, Greek and Roman scholars did make great achievements in science, medicine, and philosophy - but these multifaceted societies also had a place for magical amulets, love potions, and curse tablets. Drawing on both archaeological and textual evidence, we will (1) investigate a range of ancient and modern approaches to the concept of "magic," and (2) explore the role of magical practices in ancient Greek and Roman society.
View course details
Description
NES 2565 : Global Heritage
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2465, ARKEO 2465 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
"Heritage" typically conjures images of a glorified human past, and evokes sentiments of care for lost or endangered cultures that symbolize humanity's diversity. But heritage is also the foundation for a multi-billion dollar tourist industry and a basis for claims to national sovereignty. A closer look at heritage reveals institutions, places, and things possessed of extraordinary power. Drawing on case studies from around the world, this course attends to the complexities of heritage today. Topics include heritage ethics, tourism and the marketing of the past, approaches to preservation and management, disputed heritage and violence, heritage ideologies from nationalism to universalism, participation and inequality from the grassroots to the global, "counterheritage", and the practice of public archaeology. Students apply insights gained by designing projects as heritage practitioners, engaged with "heritage-scapes" at Cornell and beyond.
View course details
Description
NES 2575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: JWST 2575, NES 6575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 2668 : Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2668 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 2670 : The History and Politics of Modern Egypt
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2670, GOVT 2673, HIST 2672 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This lecture class will explore the socio-cultural history of modern Egypt from the late 18th century to the 21st century "Arab Spring." We will explore Egyptian history under the Ottomans and the Mamluks, the unsuccessful French attempts to colonize Egypt, and the successful British occupation of the country. We will then examine the development of Egyptian nationalism from the end of the 19th century through Nasser's pan-Arabism to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. We will accomplish this with the aid of a variety of texts and media, including novels and films.
View course details
Description
NES 2688 : Cleopatra's Egypt: Tradition and Transformation
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2688, CLASS 2688 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Under a Greco-Macedonian ruling dynasty, the Ptolemies, Egypt became a crossroads for the entire Mediterranean. Popular culture today remembers Ptolemaic Egypt best for the exploits of the famous queen Cleopatra, but a deeper study of this diverse society provides a unique window onto the ways that Greeks and Egyptians viewed the concepts of "Hellenicity" and "Egyptianness." In this course, we will examine a variety of social, political, economic, and cultural perspectives on Ptolemaic Egypt and its relationships with the rest of the Mediterranean world. Topics include (1) the political and economic history of Ptolemaic Egypt; (2) the multicultural character of Ptolemaic society; (3) the interaction of Greek and Egyptian religious systems, and the creation of "fusion" gods; (4) Ptolemaic relations with the rest of the Hellenistic world and beyond; and (5) the relevance of Ptolemaic Egypt to an understanding of modern phenomena such as globalism, tourism, and colonialism.
View course details
Description
NES 2695 : Introduction to Christian History
Crosslisted as: CLASS 2636, MEDVL 2695, RELST 2695 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course offers an introduction to the history of Christianity from the first century through the seventeenth and perhaps a bit beyond. Our emphasis will be on the diversity of Christian traditions, beliefs, and practices throughout history. We will explore the origins of Christianity within the eastern Mediterranean world, the spread of Christianity, the development of ecclesiastical institutions, the rise and establishment of monasticism, and the various controversies that occupied the church throughout its history. Throughout the course, we will supplement our reading of primary texts with art, archaeology, music, and manuscripts.
View course details
Description
NES 2728 : Introduction to Modern Middle East Literature
Crosslisted as: COML 2728, JWST 2728 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
In their acceptance speeches for the Nobel Prize in Literature, both the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz (1988) and the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk (2006) situate their work between Eastern and Western literary traditions. Pamuk elaborated: "To write, to read, was like leaving one world to find consolation in the other world's otherness, the strange and the wondrous." In this class, we seek the strange and wondrous otherness, along with the familiar and wondrous sameness in modern literature from the Middle East. We proceed thematically across the literary traditions of the Middle East, with a focus on works written in Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Hebrew. The thematic organization permits us to approach critical issues comparatively. In addition to exploring the tension between Eastern and Western influences in this literature, we will also investigate other issues writers confront: How do literary heritage and religious tradition inflect modern texts? What is the relationship between politics and aesthetics? How does literature represent traumatic memories and violence, past and present? All readings are in English.
View course details
Description
NES 3104 : Advanced Hebrew Through Media and Literature
Crosslisted as: JWST 3104 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The course focuses and explores the development and changes of Modern Hebrew in all aspects of Israeli and Jewish culture.  A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, drama in their cultural and historical contexts.  Reading a few modern children stories and discussion of the present-day influence on Israeli children's literature.  During the semester we'll be paying attention to students language skills, interests, building vocabulary, grammar review, and literary analysis of a sampling of modern texts.
View course details
Description
NES 3202 : Advanced Arabic II
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3101 Semester offered: Spring 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 NES 2200 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 NES 2200.  The two-course sequence aims to take the student from the Advanced Mid to the Superior level according to the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.
View course details
Description
NES 3223 : Was US Intervention in Libya To Remove Gaddafi a Mistake?
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3220, GOVT 3223 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Questions have arisen recently about the wisdom of the 2011 Western intervention in Libya, which resulted in the removal and assassination of Colonel Gaddafi, that country's long-time ruler. The question is being asked today in relation to the political chaos that ensued and the rise in today's Libya of political movements and forces favorable or connected to Al-Qaeda and ISIS. This course is not intended to settle that question as is currently formulated. Instead, the course approaches the question of intervention in Libya in terms of the connections between global governance, the responsibility to protect, and political order and democracy in the zones of intervention. In this context, the course has two aims. The first is to contrast the approach of the African Union to the resolution of the Libyan crisis, which was summarily dismissed by the US and its allies, with the preferred approach of the Permanent Western members of the UN Security Council.  The second aim is to examine the manner in which the responsibility to protect was executed in Libya and the lessons that might be gained from it. 
View course details
Description
NES 3414 : Akkadian Language IV: Assyrian Language
Crosslisted as: NES 6414 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Assyrian is a dialect of the Akkadian language spoken and written in northern Mesopotamia from roughly 2000 to 600 B.C.  It is the language used by the traders of Karum Kanesh and the rulers of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.  There is no continuous linguistic record of Assyrian, but scholars have identified three significant dialects (Old, Middle, and Neo-Assyrian) during the two millennia that it was used.  The primary goal of this course is to analyze each of these dialects, the ways that Assyrian differs from the other major branch of Akkadian, Babylonian, and the manners in which the language and script changed over time.  Students are expected to show progress in reading cuneiform script and competence in utilizing reference materials.  We will read the Middle Assyrian Laws, harem edicts, Assyrian letters from Anatolia, a coronation ritual, omen queries to the sun god, letters from the Assyrian state department, and texts involving Urartu, the Levant, and Iran.
View course details
Description
NES 3432 : Hasidism: History, Community, Thought
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3432, ANTHR 6432, JWST 3432, RELST 3432, RELST 6432 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The modern Jewish religious movement known as Hasidism began in Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century and thrives today.  We will approach Hasidism primarily through three avenues: recent critical social history; selections from Hasidic literature; and ethnographic accounts of Hasidic life today. By the end of the semester, students will be able to articulate some ways that Hasidism reflects both broader trends in European religious and moral thought of its time, and some ways that it represents distinctively Jewish developments. You will also gain a deeper appreciation of the various kinds of evidence and disciplinary approaches that need to be brought to bear on the attempt to articulate as broad, deep and varied a phenomenon as modern Hasidic Judaism. 
View course details
Description
NES 3519 : History of State and Society in Modern Iran (Through Literature and Film)
Crosslisted as: HIST 3519 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 3542 : Greece, Turkey, and the Levant, 1800-1950
Crosslisted as: HIST 3542 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course will take the students through the age of reforms in the Ottoman Empire, the rising of nationalism, and the encroachment of colonialism in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans, and the collapse of the empire. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing various historical narratives of ethno-religious nationalism using Turkey, Greece/Cyprus, and Lebanon, as case studies.
View course details
Description
NES 3610 : Humans and the Ancient Mediterranean Environment
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3710, ARKEO 7710, CLASS 3710, CLASS 7710, NES 7710 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Eastern Mediterranean is an ecologically diverse and varied landscape with a rich cultural heritage for studying long-term human-environmental interactions.  In this course we will explore how human activities such as mining, logging, water management, agriculture, and animal husbandry in antiquity impacted the area's environment, as well as how past pollution, disease, and sanitation affected human health.  We will investigate different environmental case studies spanning the last 10,000 years in the East Mediterranean, and their relationship to the area's modern environmental issues.  Particular emphasis will be made on examining how paleoecological, geomorphological, archaeological, and textual evidence may be used together to reconstruct past human-environmental interactions.  Students will also have the opportunity to explore their own topics of interest in Mediterranean environmental history.
View course details
Description
NES 3662 : Sumerian Language and Culture II
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3662, ARKEO 6662, NES 6662 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course continues to expose students to the earliest written language, Sumerian, begun in Sumerian Language and Culture I. It also tackles important historical and cultural questions of third millennium Mesopotamia, especially from 2500-2000 BCE.  Each week will explore the specifics of Sumerian grammar and phonology through increasingly complex Sumerian documents.  This semester focuses on Sumerian business, government, and economic documents as well as the language of Sumerian literature.  Extra readings and discussion will provide a sense of the deep roots of the Sumerian historical memory and the problems and research questions that interest Sumerologists, such as reconstructing trading networks, the working classes, ancient taxation, and scribal training.  Students will also be encouraged to explore the ways that the field of Sumerology has embraced digital technology.
View course details
Description
NES 3700 : Arabic Language Through Film
Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 4352 : Medieval Cosmologies: Text, Image, and Music
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4352, ARTH 6352, CLASS 4753, CLASS 7753, MEDVL 4352, MEDVL 6352, MUSIC 4352, NES 6352, RELST 4352, RELST 6352, STS 4352, STS 6352, VISST 4352 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Cosmology can be understood as the search for order in the universe, for an underlying logic that structures and renders intelligible the raw chaos of sensory experience. In this sense, the production of cosmologies is not only a scientific or theoretical enterprise, but also has direct implications for religion, politics, and social ideology. We will adopt a broad approach to the study of the dominant cosmological models in the medieval Mediterranean (ca. 500-1500 C.E.), considering both their sources (Greco-Roman science, mythology, revealed religion, etc.) and their expressions in literature, art, and music.
View course details
Description
NES 4517 : Saving Synagogues: Architecture, Historic Preservation and Communication
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4517, ARKEO 7517, ARTH 4517, ARTH 6517, JWST 4517, JWST 7517, RELST 4517 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
For almost two thousand years the synagogue has been the focal point of Jewish life and identity. It has been the most prominent of Jewish buildings, for Jews and non-Jews. Thousands of synagogues have been built, but few synagogues are included in the traditional corpus of architectural history. Until recently, there was little systematic information on synagogue history, design and condition. 
View course details
Description
NES 4520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, JWST 4520, JWST 7520, NES 7520 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 4525 : Palestinians in Israel
Crosslisted as: JWST 4525, NES 6525 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course examines the political, intellectual, and cultural expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Referred to by the Arab media as "1948 Arabs" or "Arabs within" and by the Israeli media as "Israeli Arabs" or "the Arab sector," this community is marginalized and often overlooked. Our discussions will be situated within the context of the history of the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts: the events of 1948-9 (Israeli Independence, the Nakba, the first Arab-Israeli War); the transformations wrought by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war; and the impact on Palestinian-Israelis of the first and second Intifada. We will also look at the status of Palestinian citizens within Israeli civil society: from the era of military rule (1948-1966) to the present. Our primary focus will be exploring words and images produced by Palestinian-Israeli writers, intellectuals, filmmakers, and artists to understand how members of this marginalized community assert their identities as both Palestinian and Israeli. All course materials are in English.
View course details
Description
NES 4548 : The Bible and American Ethics
Crosslisted as: JWST 4548, RELST 4548 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course will focus on the array of perspectives offered in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament on such contemporary social issues as: immigration; abortion rights, surrogate childbirth, gay marriage, gender identity, etc.  We will consider the range of voices the Bible preserves on these and other topics, and how biblical texts and biblically-based arguments shape and inform American political discourse. Students will be expected to read biblical texts on their own terms in their ancient Israelite and early Christian contexts, as well as to consider how those texts have been received with Jewish and Christian interpretive traditions, and absorbed into American political thought.  Students will read political theory, Jewish and Christian ethics, recent newspaper and magazine articles and will also consider other forms of media.
View course details
Description
NES 4550 : Archaeology of the Phoenicians
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4550, CLASS 4670, JWST 4550, NES 6550 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Phoenicians have long been an enigma, a people defined by distant voices. Originating from present-day Lebanon, they were Semitic speakers, renowned seafarers and transmitters of an innovative alphabet that transformed how Mediterranean and Near Eastern folk wrote their languages. Having left us virtually no texts of their own, their history has resembled a patchwork of recollections from Old Testament and Hellenistic times. Recent archaeological discoveries, however, reveal patterns of trade, colonization and socioeconomic transformations that make the Phoenicians less enigmatic while raising new questions. Our class explores the third and second millennium Canaanite roots of the Phoenicians, as well as the Biblical and Greco-Roman perceptions of their early first millennium heyday. We will explore the Phoenician homeland and its colonies, and investigate their maritime economy, language, and religion through both archaeological and textual sources. Temporally the focus is on Phoenician rather than Carthaginian or Punic history, thus up to about 550 BCE. The class has a seminar format involving critical discussions and presentations of scholarly readings, and requires a research paper.
View course details
Description
NES 4560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
Crosslisted as: NES 6560 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 highly influential works in Near Eastern Studies.    Special attention to the concept of "orientalism" will run throughout the course.   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, Homi K. Bhabha, Mircea Eliade, Timothy Mitchell, Mary Douglas, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, J. Z. Smith, and Ian Hodder.
View course details
Description
NES 4618 : Seminar in Islamic History: The Beginnings of Islam: 600-750
Crosslisted as: HIST 4614, HIST 6710, MEDVL 4618, NES 6618, RELST 4618, RELST 6618 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
An examination of Islamic history from 600-750, with special attention to historiography and interpretive issues. Topics to be discussed will include: Arabia and the Near East before Islam; the collection of the Qur'an, the biography of Muhammad, the Arab conquests, the Umayyad caliphs, and the Abbasid takeover.
View course details
Description
NES 4623 : Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Middle East (1800-1950)
Crosslisted as: HIST 4546, HIST 6546, JWST 4623, NES 6623 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This seminar utilizes recent research on the concept of minorities in the Middle East during the late Ottoman Period, through the age of European colonialism, and post-colonial nationalisms.  Following a case-study approach and relying on new research, we will focuses on the social and political histories of Armenians, Jews, Kurds, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, and non-Sunni Muslims in the Middle East. The running theme will be the trace the production of the category of "minorities" and how it plays in the geopolitical conflicts of the Modern Middle East. Authors of the works being read will be invited, whenever possible, to lead the seminar discussion.
View course details
Description
NES 4642 : Women in the Modern Middle East
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4640, HIST 4642, NES 6643 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The primary emphasis of this discussion seminar is the historical development of gendered identities and the fluid manner in which different Middle Eastern communities responded to shifting ideas of sexuality, reproduction, and the family. Our focus of inquiry will be on themes that involve and relate to women, both directly and indirectly. We will particularly examine how and why women's status differs from one Middle Eastern country or region to another. From both theoretical and topical points of view, we will consider some of the most recent literature about women and gender. Since this is a history course, we will also examine how women's roles, as well as gendered systems and institutions, have changed over time.
View course details
Description
NES 4652 : Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000)
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4651, FGSS 4652, NES 6652 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 4675 : The First Age of Globalization
Crosslisted as: AMST 4175, HIST 4175 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The period between around 1870 and World War I was an era of unprecedented global interconnectedness. Telegraph wires, steamships, and railways crossed oceans and continental frontiers, fundamentally changing how human beings understood their relationship to each other and to their world. This seminar will explore the period from a variety of vantage points. We will revisit sites on all continents and encounter a diverse cast of characters. Our goal will be to engage worldwide integration, not narrowly in economic terms, but as an array of profound social, political, cultural, and spatial transformations. How was space reordered and governed? What methods were used to mobilize labor? How did global connections shape inequality between and within societies, producing extraordinary prosperity alongside poverty, famine, and war? We will bring these questions to our conversations in a way that would both resonate with current events and enhance our understanding of particular national contexts.
View course details
Description
NES 4711 : The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud
Crosslisted as: JWST 4711, NES 6711, RELST 4711 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Babylonian Talmud is one of the most significant and influential books that the Jews of the ancient world produced. This complex and multi-faceted work comprises over five thousand pages of intricate argumentation on law and ritual; fantastic narratives of ancient rabbis; and practical advice on many diverse topics. Yet, for all of its wide-ranging concerns, the Talmud does not explain its own history. It emerged around the tenth century C.E., but no record was kept of how it came to be composed and written down as a complete text.  How was the Talmud created? Who preserved the teachings of the ancient rabbis that it contains? In this seminar, students will read the Talmud in its original Hebrew and Aramaic in light of modern scholarship in order to understand the emergence and importance of this seminal Jewish work.
View course details
Description
NES 4992 : Independent Study, Undergraduate Level
Semester offered: Spring 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. To apply for independent study, please complete the on-line form at https://data.arts.cornell.edu/as-stus/indep_study_intro.cfm.
View course details
Description
NES 4998 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 4999 : Senior Honors Essay
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 6200 : Arabic Pedagogy Practicum
Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This one-credit course consists of four main components. It starts with a survey of language teaching methodologies ranging from the grammar-translation to the modern communicative. Second, there will be an overview of the Arabic language situation with a focus on diglossia and the issue of which variety of the language to introduce to the foreign learner. Third, students will observe a number of classes taught by instructors in the Arabic Program and write a report about each observation.  And, finally, participants will prepare for and teach a number of classes under the supervision of the course instructor.
View course details
Description
NES 6352 : Medieval Cosmologies: Text, Image, and Music
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4352, ARTH 6352, CLASS 4753, CLASS 7753, MEDVL 4352, MEDVL 6352, MUSIC 4352, NES 4352, RELST 4352, RELST 6352, STS 4352, STS 6352, VISST 4352 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Cosmology can be understood as the search for order in the universe, for an underlying logic that structures and renders intelligible the raw chaos of sensory experience. In this sense, the production of cosmologies is not only a scientific or theoretical enterprise, but also has direct implications for religion, politics, and social ideology. We will adopt a broad approach to the study of the dominant cosmological models in the medieval Mediterranean (ca. 500-1500 C.E.), considering both their sources (Greco-Roman science, mythology, revealed religion, etc.) and their expressions in literature, art, and music.
View course details
Description
NES 6414 : Akkadian Language IV: Assyrian Language
Crosslisted as: NES 3414 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
Assyrian is a dialect of the Akkadian language spoken and written in northern Mesopotamia from roughly 2000 to 600 B.C.  It is the language used by the traders of Karum Kanesh and the rulers of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.  There is no continuous linguistic record of Assyrian, but scholars have identified three significant dialects (Old, Middle, and Neo-Assyrian) during the two millennia that it was used.  The primary goal of this course is to analyze each of these dialects, the ways that Assyrian differs from the other major branch of Akkadian, Babylonian, and the manners in which the language and script changed over time.  Students are expected to show progress in reading cuneiform script and competence in utilizing reference materials.  We will read the Middle Assyrian Laws, harem edicts, Assyrian letters from Anatolia, a coronation ritual, omen queries to the sun god, letters from the Assyrian state department, and texts involving Urartu, the Levant, and Iran.
View course details
Description
NES 6525 : Palestinians in Israel
Crosslisted as: JWST 4525, NES 4525 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course examines the political, intellectual, and cultural expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Referred to by the Arab media as "1948 Arabs" or "Arabs within" and by the Israeli media as "Israeli Arabs" or "the Arab sector," this community is marginalized and often overlooked. Our discussions will be situated within the context of the history of the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts: the events of 1948-9 (Israeli Independence, the Nakba, the first Arab-Israeli War); the transformations wrought by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war; and the impact on Palestinian-Israelis of the first and second Intifada. We will also look at the status of Palestinian citizens within Israeli civil society: from the era of military rule (1948-1966) to the present. Our primary focus will be exploring words and images produced by Palestinian-Israeli writers, intellectuals, filmmakers, and artists to understand how members of this marginalized community assert their identities as both Palestinian and Israeli. All course materials are in English.
View course details
Description
NES 6550 : Archaeology of the Phoenicians
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4550, CLASS 4670, JWST 4550, NES 4550 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Phoenicians have long been an enigma, a people defined by distant voices. Originating from present-day Lebanon, they were Semitic speakers, renowned seafarers and transmitters of an innovative alphabet that transformed how Mediterranean and Near Eastern folk wrote their languages. Having left us virtually no texts of their own, their history has resembled a patchwork of recollections from Old Testament and Hellenistic times. Recent archaeological discoveries, however, reveal patterns of trade, colonization and socioeconomic transformations that make the Phoenicians less enigmatic while raising new questions. Our class explores the third and second millennium Canaanite roots of the Phoenicians, as well as the Biblical and Greco-Roman perceptions of their early first millennium heyday. We will explore the Phoenician homeland and its colonies, and investigate their maritime economy, language, and religion through both archaeological and textual sources. Temporally the focus is on Phoenician rather than Carthaginian or Punic history, thus up to about 550 BCE. The class has a seminar format involving critical discussions and presentations of scholarly readings, and requires a research paper.
View course details
Description
NES 6560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
Crosslisted as: NES 4560 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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 highly influential works in Near Eastern Studies.    Special attention to the concept of "orientalism" will run throughout the course.   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, Homi K. Bhabha, Mircea Eliade, Timothy Mitchell, Mary Douglas, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, J. Z. Smith, and Ian Hodder.
View course details
Description
NES 6575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: JWST 2575, NES 2575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 6618 : Seminar in Islamic History: 600-750
Crosslisted as: HIST 4614, HIST 6710, MEDVL 4618, NES 4618, RELST 4618, RELST 6618 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
An examination of Islamic history from 600-750, with special attention to historiography and interpretive issues. Topics to be discussed will include: Arabia and the Near East before Islam; the collection of the Qur'an, the biography of Muhammad, the Arab conquests, the Umayyad caliphs, and the Abbasid takeover.
View course details
Description
NES 6623 : Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Middle East (1800-1950)
Crosslisted as: HIST 4546, HIST 6546, JWST 4623, NES 4623 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This seminar utilizes recent research on the concept of minorities in the Middle East during the late Ottoman Period, through the age of European colonialism, and post-colonial nationalisms.  Following a case-study approach and relying on new research, we will focuses on the social and political histories of Armenians, Jews, Kurds, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, and non-Sunni Muslims in the Middle East. The running theme will be the trace the production of the category of "minorities" and how it plays in the geopolitical conflicts of the Modern Middle East. Authors of the works being read will be invited, whenever possible, to lead the seminar discussion.
View course details
Description
NES 6638 : Networks in Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 6738, ARKEO 6738, CLASS 6738 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
It has become impossible to conceive of the world in which we live without networks. Our social circles have become so connected that only 'six degrees of separation' stand between you and any other person on earth. Computers and the internet enable instant communication. And both people and goods can travel across the globe in short time spans. Are networks a strictly modern phenomenon, or did they exist in the ancient world as well? Can thinking in terms of networks shed new light on the nature of the ancient world? Or does our modern reliance on relational thought cloud our view of the specificity of the past?
View course details
Description
NES 6643 : Women in the Modern Middle East
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4640, HIST 4642, NES 4642 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The primary emphasis of this discussion seminar is the historical development of gendered identities and the fluid manner in which different Middle Eastern communities responded to shifting ideas of sexuality, reproduction, and the family. Our focus of inquiry will be on themes that involve and relate to women, both directly and indirectly. We will particularly examine how and why women's status differs from one Middle Eastern country or region to another. From both theoretical and topical points of view, we will consider some of the most recent literature about women and gender. Since this is a history course, we will also examine how women's roles, as well as gendered systems and institutions, have changed over time.
View course details
Description
NES 6652 : Bodies and Diseases in the Middle East (1500-2000)
Crosslisted as: BSOC 4651, FGSS 4652, NES 4652 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 6662 : Sumerian Language and Culture II
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3662, ARKEO 6662, NES 3662 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
This course continues to expose students to the earliest written language, Sumerian, begun in Sumerian Language and Culture I. It also tackles important historical and cultural questions of third millennium Mesopotamia, especially from 2500-2000 BCE.  Each week will explore the specifics of Sumerian grammar and phonology through increasingly complex Sumerian documents.  This semester focuses on Sumerian business, government, and economic documents as well as the language of Sumerian literature.  Extra readings and discussion will provide a sense of the deep roots of the Sumerian historical memory and the problems and research questions that interest Sumerologists, such as reconstructing trading networks, the working classes, ancient taxation, and scribal training.  Students will also be encouraged to explore the ways that the field of Sumerology has embraced digital technology.
View course details
Description
NES 6711 : The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud
Crosslisted as: JWST 4711, NES 4711, RELST 4711 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Babylonian Talmud is one of the most significant and influential books that the Jews of the ancient world produced. This complex and multi-faceted work comprises over five thousand pages of intricate argumentation on law and ritual; fantastic narratives of ancient rabbis; and practical advice on many diverse topics. Yet, for all of its wide-ranging concerns, the Talmud does not explain its own history. It emerged around the tenth century C.E., but no record was kept of how it came to be composed and written down as a complete text.  How was the Talmud created? Who preserved the teachings of the ancient rabbis that it contains? In this seminar, students will read the Talmud in its original Hebrew and Aramaic in light of modern scholarship in order to understand the emergence and importance of this seminal Jewish work.
View course details
Description
NES 6992 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
Semester offered: Spring 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.
View course details
Description
NES 7520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, JWST 4520, JWST 7520, NES 4520 Semester offered: Spring 2017 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.
View course details
Description
NES 7710 : Humans and the Ancient Mediterranean Environment
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3710, ARKEO 7710, CLASS 3710, CLASS 7710, NES 3610 Semester offered: Spring 2017 Instructor:
The Eastern Mediterranean is an ecologically diverse and varied landscape with a rich cultural heritage for studying long-term human-environmental interactions.  In this course we will explore how human activities such as mining, logging, water management, agriculture, and animal husbandry in antiquity impacted the area's environment, as well as how past pollution, disease, and sanitation affected human health.  We will investigate different environmental case studies spanning the last 10,000 years in the East Mediterranean, and their relationship to the area's modern environmental issues.  Particular emphasis will be made on examining how paleoecological, geomorphological, archaeological, and textual evidence may be used together to reconstruct past human-environmental interactions.  Students will also have the opportunity to explore their own topics of interest in Mediterranean environmental history.
View course details
Description