Courses - Spring 2021

NES 1312 Introduction to Urdu Script

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Naaz Rizvi (nfr8)
Full details for NES 1312 : Introduction to Urdu Script
NES 1602 Archaeology-Great Discoveries

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for NES 1602 : Archaeology-Great Discoveries
NES 1777 Elementary Yiddish II

Intended for advanced beginners. Builds further competence in reading, writing, oral comprehension, speaking and grammar. Course material is presented and discussed in the context of Ashkenazi Jewish culture.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Forman (drf84)
Full details for NES 1777 : Elementary Yiddish II
NES 1921 FWS: Radical Love: The Mystical Traditions of Islam

The eleventh century Muslim poet Rumi called love "the water of life." While Islam today is often viewed through the lens of politics and violence, this class will provide an introduction to the mystical traditions of Islam with a particular focus on the importance of love.  Other themes will include mystical understandings of the body, the self, the natural world, sexuality, the role of music and art in becoming close to the divine, and more. We will be writing about many of these themes, and will read works of poetry and philosophy, passages from the Quran, and histories of mystical movements past and present. In doing so, we will be able to understand how mystical love operates not just as a metaphor, but a way of life. 

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 1921 : FWS: Radical Love: The Mystical Traditions of Islam
NES 1933 FWS: Ruins of Modernity

Ruins move people to write. They inspire poets and philosophers, archaeologists and anthropologists, geographers and architects to think about the remnants of the worlds humans create, abandon, and destroy. No era in history has produced more ruins than modernity. In this course, we will use the concept of 'the ruin' to examine different ways of writing in the humanities, particularly archaeology and anthropology. We will read and write about ruination and time, materiality and decay, and the livelihoods that take shape in the debris of capitalism, socialism, colonialism and industrialization. You will write a series of short essays, guided by a multi-step process, from planning, to drafting, to revising, to editing. Together, we will dig deep into the art of crafting persuasive, energetic expository prose.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lori Khatchadourian (lk323)
Full details for NES 1933 : FWS: Ruins of Modernity
NES 1960 FWS: Ancient Near East in Modern Science Fiction

Though science fiction is a genre of literature traditionally far removed from the study of the Ancient Near East, they are both united in their efforts to describe cultures (be they real or imaginary), science, technology, and the natural world around them. The literature of the Near East has provided the seeds to many modern works of fiction and through a selection of texts from the eyes of the Hebrew Bible, the Epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis, and other ancient peoples, this class will explore how these ancient traditions appear in our modern world through the medium of science fiction. Students will craft analytical essays exploring these relationships and an original final research paper that will help develop key writing, research, and analytical skills.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cale Staley (cas555)
Full details for NES 1960 : FWS: Ancient Near East in Modern Science Fiction
NES 2167 Israeli Masculinity

Representations of masculinity play important roles in modern Hebrew texts. Through introduction to scholarship on gender and sexuality, students learn to critically analyze Hebrew texts featuring such representations and to synthesize how diverse textual representations of masculinity reflect and seek to influence the changing ways that Jewish and Israeli identities are conceived and performed. The course's tripartite structure aids student perception of masculine representations' diachronic development. In the first section, students analyze traditional depictions of Jewish masculinity and observe how Zionism's emergence brought about Jewish masculinity's reconceptualization; in the second section, students dissect diverse texts depicting and participating in efforts to redefine Jewish masculinity in Palestine; in the third section,  students probe texts written and produced after 1948 that challenge the form of masculine identity dominant at the Israeli state's inception and push for greater diversity in how masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality, are conceived and performed.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip Hollander (ph469)
Full details for NES 2167 : Israeli Masculinity
NES 2202 Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing II

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Naaz Rizvi (nfr8)
Full details for NES 2202 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing II
NES 2522 Drinking through the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 2522 : Drinking through the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History
NES 2599 Medicine, Magic and Science in the Ancient Near East

This course explores the history of medicine and other sciences in the ancient Near East, broadly defined. In addition to medicine, the other scientific disciplines covered in this course include mathematics, astrology, astronomy, alchemy, zoology, among others. Geographically, the course traces the transmission of scientific knowledge in ancient Babylonia, Iran, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and beyond. As such, the course offers students a tour of different ancient civilizations and corpora. Students read selections from cuneiform Akkadian tablets, Egyptian Christian Coptic spellbooks, rabbinic sources such as the Talmud, among many other works. At the same time, students will be required to critically engage recent scholarship in the history of science and medicine as a way to help frame their analyses of the ancient materials. The course interrogates how ancient civilizations transmitted and received scientific knowledge, as well as the relationship between what we today tend to call science, medicine, magic, and religion. This course is intended not only for students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, but also for those majoring in science or medicine.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jason Mokhtarian (jsm467)
Full details for NES 2599 : Medicine, Magic and Science in the Ancient Near East
NES 2601 Introduction to the Ancient Near East

The pyramids and mummies of Egypt, the ziggurats of Babylonia, and the armies of Assyria are all part of the legacy of the ancient Near East. This course serves as a basic introduction to the history, societies, and cultures of the major civilizations of the ancient world from c. 3300-300 B.C., focusing on Egypt and Mesopotamia but including lesser-known groups such as the Hittites in Anatolia and the Elamites in Iran. Students will learn how these states were organized, how each culture related to their gods, and how they chose to be remembered, as well as many other mysteries of the ancient world.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Tenney (jst229)
Full details for NES 2601 : Introduction to the Ancient Near East
NES 2644 Introduction to Judaism

This course is an introduction to Jewish identities, values, and practices from the ancient to modern era. Organized thematically, it examines Judaism as a religious phenomenon, with a particular emphasis on its cultural and textual diversity across three millennia. Themes covered include creation, Sabbath, prayer, Jerusalem, pious customs, magic, reincarnation, revelation, among others. Throughout the semester students perform close readings of a wide selection of Jewish texts from the Bible, Talmud, kabbalah (mysticism), philosophy, liturgy, and modern Jewish thought. In what ways are these various traditions of Judaism interrelated and/or in tension with one another? In the face of the Jewish history's tremendous diversity, what is it that has unified Judaism and the Jewish people over the centuries? By exploring these types of questions, this course examines the appropriateness of defining Judaism as a religion, an ethnicity, a civilization, and/or a culture. Readings include introductory-level textbooks and essays, as well as a range of primary source materials in translation.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jason Mokhtarian (jsm467)
Full details for NES 2644 : Introduction to Judaism
NES 2649 Controversy and Debate in Islam

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chiara Formichi (cf398)
Full details for NES 2649 : Controversy and Debate in Islam
NES 2661 Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology

A survey of the history and development of ships and seafaring as revealed by shipwrecks, boat burials, texts, art, and other evidence. The role of nautical technology and seafaring among the maritime peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world-Canaanites, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans-and the riverine cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt is addressed. The survey stretches from the earliest evidence for Mediterranean seafaring around 10,000 bce to the first transatlantic voyages in the 15th century, including Arab, Viking, and European explorers, and the birth of modern capitalism in the Italian Maritime Republics. Along the way, economics, war, exploration, cult, life at sea, and colonization are discussed.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 2661 : Ancient Ships and Seafaring: Introduction to Nautical Archaeology
NES 2688 Cleopatra's Egypt: Tradition and Transformation

Following the conquests of Alexander, the ancient civilization of Egypt came under Greek rule. This period is best known for its famous queen Cleopatra, the last independent ruler of ancient Egypt. But even before Cleopatra's life and death, the Egypt that she governed was a fascinating place – and a rich case study in cultural interactions under ancient imperialism. This course explores life in Egypt under Greek rule, during the three centuries known as the Ptolemaic period (named after Cleopatra's family, the Ptolemaic dynasty). We will examine the history and culture of Ptolemaic Egypt, an empire at the crossroads of Africa, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. We will explore the experiences of both Egyptians and Greeks living in this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-linguistic society. Finally, we will investigate the ways that Ptolemaic Egypt can shed light on modern experiences of imperialism, colonialism, and globalization.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for NES 2688 : Cleopatra's Egypt: Tradition and Transformation
NES 2695 Introduction to Christian History

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Haines-Eitzen (kjh10)
Full details for NES 2695 : Introduction to Christian History
NES 2790 Jewish Films and Filmmakers: Hollywood and Beyond

What does it mean to call a film is "Jewish"? Does it have to represent Jewish life? Does it have to feature characters identifiable as Jews? If artists who identify as Jews—actors, directors, screenwriters, composers—play significant roles in a film's production does that make it Jewish? Our primary point of entry into these questions will be Hollywood, from the industry's early silent films, through the period generally considered classical, down to the present day. We will also study films produced overseas, in countries that may include Israel, Egypt, France, Italy, and Germany. Our discussions will be enriched by contextual material drawn from film studies, cultural studies, Jewish studies, American studies, and other related fields. Students will be expected to view a significant number of films outside of class—an average of one per week—and engage with them through writing and in-class discussion. The directors, screenwriters, composers, and actors whose work we will study may include: Charlie Chaplin, Irving Berlin, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Billy Wilder, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Aviva Kempner, Joan Micklin Silver, the Marx Brothers, and the Coen Brothers.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Elliot Shapiro (ehs9)
Full details for NES 2790 : Jewish Films and Filmmakers: Hollywood and Beyond
NES 2812 Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing

An introduction to the history and theory of writing systems from cuneiform to the alphabet, historical and new writing media, and the complex relationship of writing technologies to human language and culture. Through hands-on activities and collaborative work, students will explore the shifting definitions of "writing" and the diverse ways in which cultures through time have developed and used writing systems. We will also investigate the traditional divisions of "oral" vs. "written" and consider how digital technologies have affected how we use and think about writing in encoding systems from Morse code to emoji.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Athena Kirk (aek238)
Stephen Sansom (sas688)
Full details for NES 2812 : Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing
NES 3519 History of State and Society in Modern Iran: Through Literature and Film

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Iago Gocheleishvili (ig44)
Full details for NES 3519 : History of State and Society in Modern Iran: Through Literature and Film
NES 3655 Minorities of the Middle East

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 3655 : Minorities of the Middle East
NES 3750 Humanities Scholars Research Methods

This course explores the practice, theory, and methodology of humanities research, critical analysis, and communication through writing and oral presentation. We will study the work and impact of humanists (scholars of literature, history, theory, art, visual studies, film, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies), who pose big questions about the human condition. By reading and analyzing their scholarship—critiquing them and engaging their ideas—we will craft our own methods and voices. Students will refine their research methods (library research, note taking, organizing material, bibliographies, citation methods, proposals, outlines, etc.) and design their own independent research project. Students enrolled in this seminar will have the opportunity to participate in the Humanities Scholars Program.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Durba Ghosh (dg256)
Full details for NES 3750 : Humanities Scholars Research Methods
NES 3887 Understanding Uprising: The Iranian Revolution

This class analyzes the phenomenon of political uprising through the case study of the Iranian Revolution.  Undoubtedly one of the watershed moments of the twentieth century, it was declared by political scientist Richard Cottam as one of "the most popular revolutions in the history of mankind." Rather than employing a strictly historiographical approach, we will utilize a diverse set of methodologies – anthropological, sociological, feminist, neo-Marxist, etc -- in order to better understand not only the Revolution itself, but what unique perspective these disparate schools of thought may offer. Major themes include the relationship between religion and politics, class struggle, economic inequalities, foreign influence and colonialism, the use of violence, the impact of intellectuals, the role of women, tactics of political mobilization, comparisons with the Arab Spring, and more.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 3887 : Understanding Uprising: The Iranian Revolution
NES 4560 Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies

Requirement for NES majors. In this seminar we will read and discuss a 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, we 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.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 4560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
NES 4618 Seminar in Islamic History: The Beginnings of Islam: 600-750

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
Full details for NES 4618 : Seminar in Islamic History: The Beginnings of Islam: 600-750
NES 4628 Gnosticism and Early Christianity

What is "Gnosticism" and why has it come to be so hotly debated among scholars and in our contemporary media? What is the Gospel of Judas and are its ideas "heretical"? Who wrote the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary and why were these Gospels not included in the New Testament canon? To what extent did Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code draw from ancient Christian gnostic sources? This seminar will explore answers to these questions and many others by focusing on the complex array of literary sources from late antiquity-primarily from a cache of manuscripts found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945-that have long been associated with a so-called "Christian Gnosticism". Church Fathers condemned the "movement" on a variety of grounds, but in this course we will not simply read the condemnations written by the opponents of gnostic thought; rather, we will focus our attention on reading (in English translation) substantial portions of the "gnostic" texts written by the adherents themselves. We will give special attention to the ways in which conflicts about Gnosticism connected with conflicts about gender, heresy, power, and authority. To set these texts within a socio-historical context, we will discuss the possible Jewish and hellenistic roots of early Christian Gnosticism and ties to Stoic and other ancient philosophical movements.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Haines-Eitzen (kjh10)
Full details for NES 4628 : Gnosticism and Early Christianity
NES 4659 The Fabrication of Biblical Israel

This course examines the raw materials and discursive processes by which Biblical scribes fabricated a history of ancient Israel that featured static and defensible geographic and genealogical boundaries. We will bring the tools of biblical criticism (philological, archaeological, literary historical) to bear on biblical narrative traditions that in different ways were essential in the process of inventing biblical Israel. We will focus on the modes and materials of textual production and on how modern historians engage biblical narrative in fabricating their own narrative histories of ancient Israel. We will also consider how ancient and modern historical writing on ancient Israel has been put into the service of contemporary political discourse on boundaries and borders in Israel-Palestine. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for NES 4659 : The Fabrication of Biblical Israel
NES 4666 Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East

This reading seminar will explore the expansion and influence of mass media in the Middle East from the late nineteenth to the turn of the twenty-first century.  We will examine how the intersection of popular music, theater, poetry, film, and satellite television shaped culture, ideology, and identities in the modern Middle East.  Topics we will consider include contested media representations of "modernity," gender, and evolving cultural, religious, national, and transnational identities.  Although this seminar focuses upon the Middle East, it aims to locate the region within a larger global context.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for NES 4666 : Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East
NES 4691 Race and Slavery, Old and Modern

What does it mean to live in the aftermath of slavery? How has the human history of slavery contributed to the production of "natural" values that we take for granted—such as community, property, citizenship, gender, individuality, and freedom? This course explores the history of enslavement throughout the human past, from the ancient world to the modern era. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between slavery and the construction of racial blackness. We will explore various institutionalized forms of servitude throughout time and space, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic worlds, from eunuchism to concubinage, from slavery in the Roman Empire to "modern slavery" and sex trafficking. Readings will be in English and will engage a variety of dynamic sources: theoretical, historiographical, anthropological, religious, legal, literary and multimedia.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
Full details for NES 4691 : Race and Slavery, Old and Modern
NES 4700 Methods in Medieval

Topic: The Late Medieval Devotional Image. A commonplace in the scholarly literature surrounding late medieval visual culture in Spain is that it was always "late".  The Spaniards lagged behind the Italians -- so the story goes -- in getting a handle on perspective, and trailed after van Eyck and van der Weyden in mastering the niceties of oil painting and realistic effects.  Spain's visual production, in other words, is generally treated from a standpoint of connoisseurship and "history of styles," producing predictable results:  evaluations of how it does (or does not) conform to the models established for other European contexts whose appropriateness to late medieval Iberia is doubtful to say the least.  We will examine, through the contextually based study of the introduction of the retablo (altarpiece) into Iberian churches, chapels and palaces (these contexts, of course, included a significant consciousness, and often presence, of Jews, Muslims, or recent converts to Christianity from those latter two religions) in the early 15th century, both the problems enumerated above and the problematic culture of the religious image in Iberia.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cynthia Robinson (cr94)
Full details for NES 4700 : Methods in Medieval
NES 4721 Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories

This course focuses on issues of conflict, peace, and reconciliation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Both regions exemplify how issues ranging from nationalism and ethnocentrism to land, water and resource management, climate change and migration, as well as socio-psychological dynamics, can exacerbate conflicts. At the same time, these regions also exemplify how trans-border collaboration and regional integration, civilian peace building efforts, strategies for achieving historical justice, as well as science education and science diplomacy can become crucial tools for long-term peace-building, reconciliation and development. In this course we will work with and discuss issues of peace and conflict with policy-makers and local stakeholders involved in peace-building efforts.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for NES 4721 : Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories
NES 4992 Independent Study, Undergraduate Level

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
Full details for NES 4992 : Independent Study, Undergraduate Level
NES 4998 Senior Honors Essay

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.

Academic Career: UG Full details for NES 4998 : Senior Honors Essay
NES 4999 Senior Honors Essay

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.

Academic Career: UG Full details for NES 4999 : Senior Honors Essay
NES 6560 Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies

Requirement for NES majors. In this seminar we will read and discuss a 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, we 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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 6560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
NES 6618 Seminar in Islamic History: 600-750

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
Full details for NES 6618 : Seminar in Islamic History: 600-750
NES 6628 Gnosticism and Early Christianity

What is "Gnosticism" and why has it come to be so hotly debated among scholars and in our contemporary media? What is the Gospel of Judas and are its ideas "heretical"? Who wrote the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary and why were these Gospels not included in the New Testament canon? To what extent did Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code draw from ancient Christian gnostic sources? This seminar will explore answers to these questions and many others by focusing on the complex array of literary sources from late antiquity-primarily from a cache of manuscripts found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945-that have long been associated with a so-called "Christian Gnosticism". Church Fathers condemned the "movement" on a variety of grounds, but in this course we will not simply read the condemnations written by the opponents of gnostic thought; rather, we will focus our attention on reading (in English translation) substantial portions of the "gnostic" texts written by the adherents themselves. We will give special attention to the ways in which conflicts about Gnosticism connected with conflicts about gender, heresy, power, and authority. To set these texts within a socio-historical context, we will discuss the possible Jewish and hellenistic roots of early Christian Gnosticism and ties to Stoic and other ancient philosophical movements.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kim Haines-Eitzen (kjh10)
Full details for NES 6628 : Gnosticism and Early Christianity
NES 6655 Minorities of the Middle East

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 6655 : Minorities of the Middle East
NES 6659 The Fabrication of Biblical Israel

This course examines the raw materials and discursive processes by which Biblical scribes fabricated a history of ancient Israel that featured static and defensible geographic and genealogical boundaries. We will bring the tools of biblical criticism (philological, archaeological, literary historical) to bear on biblical narrative traditions that in different ways were essential in the process of inventing biblical Israel. We will focus on the modes and materials of textual production and on how modern historians engage biblical narrative in fabricating their own narrative histories of ancient Israel. We will also consider how ancient and modern historical writing on ancient Israel has been put into the service of contemporary political discourse on boundaries and borders in Israel-Palestine. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for NES 6659 : The Fabrication of Biblical Israel
NES 6666 Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East

This reading seminar will explore the expansion and influence of mass media in the Middle East from the late nineteenth to the turn of the twenty-first century.  We will examine how the intersection of popular music, theater, poetry, film, and satellite television shaped culture, ideology, and identities in the modern Middle East.  Topics we will consider include contested media representations of "modernity," gender, and evolving cultural, religious, national, and transnational identities.  Although this seminar focuses upon the Middle East, it aims to locate the region within a larger global context.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for NES 6666 : Mass Media and Identities in the Modern Middle East
NES 6691 Race and Slavery, Old and Modern

What does it mean to live in the aftermath of slavery? How has the human history of slavery contributed to the production of "natural" values that we take for granted—such as community, property, citizenship, gender, individuality, and freedom? This course explores the history of enslavement throughout the human past, from the ancient world to the modern era. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between slavery and the construction of racial blackness. We will explore various institutionalized forms of servitude throughout time and space, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic worlds, from eunuchism to concubinage, from slavery in the Roman Empire to "modern slavery" and sex trafficking. Readings will be in English and will engage a variety of dynamic sources: theoretical, historiographical, anthropological, religious, legal, literary and multimedia.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
Full details for NES 6691 : Race and Slavery, Old and Modern
NES 6700 Methods in Medieval

Topic: The Late Medieval Devotional Image. A commonplace in the scholarly literature surrounding late medieval visual culture in Spain is that it was always "late".  The Spaniards lagged behind the Italians -- so the story goes -- in getting a handle on perspective, and trailed after van Eyck and van der Weyden in mastering the niceties of oil painting and realistic effects.  Spain's visual production, in other words, is generally treated from a standpoint of connoisseurship and "history of styles," producing predictable results:  evaluations of how it does (or does not) conform to the models established for other European contexts whose appropriateness to late medieval Iberia is doubtful to say the least.  We will examine, through the contextually based study of the introduction of the retablo (altarpiece) into Iberian churches, chapels and palaces (these contexts, of course, included a significant consciousness, and often presence, of Jews, Muslims, or recent converts to Christianity from those latter two religions) in the early 15th century, both the problems enumerated above and the problematic culture of the religious image in Iberia.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Cynthia Robinson (cr94)
Full details for NES 6700 : Methods in Medieval
NES 6722 Graduate Colloquium

A series of lectures on a range of themes in the discipline sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Presentations include lectures by invited speakers and works in progress presented by faculty and graduate students.

Academic Career: GR Full details for NES 6722 : Graduate Colloquium
NES 6887 Understanding Uprising: The Iranian Revolution

This class analyzes the phenomenon of political uprising through the case study of the Iranian Revolution.  Undoubtedly one of the watershed moments of the twentieth century, it was declared by political scientist Richard Cottam as one of "the most popular revolutions in the history of mankind." Rather than employing a strictly historiographical approach, we will utilize a diverse set of methodologies – anthropological, sociological, feminist, neo-Marxist, etc -- in order to better understand not only the Revolution itself, but what unique perspective these disparate schools of thought may offer. Major themes include the relationship between religion and politics, class struggle, economic inequalities, foreign influence and colonialism, the use of violence, the impact of intellectuals, the role of women, tactics of political mobilization, comparisons with the Arab Spring, and more.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 6887 : Understanding Uprising: The Iranian Revolution
NES 6992 Independent Study: Graduate Level

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 6992 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
HEBRW 1102 Elementary Modern Hebrew II

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shalom Shoer (ss66)
Full details for HEBRW 1102 : Elementary Modern Hebrew II
HEBRW 2100 Intermediate Modern Hebrew

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shalom Shoer (ss66)
Full details for HEBRW 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
HEBRW 3102 Advanced Modern Hebrew II

This is the second course in our third-year Modern Hebrew language sequence. Like its predecessor, it focuses on developing speech proficiency, reading and listening comprehension, and writing. It does this through reading of a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts; viewing of filmic works and television series selected for their social, political, and cultural relevance; class discussions; presentations and writing about everyday issues in Israel and abroad.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip Hollander (ph469)
Full details for HEBRW 3102 : Advanced Modern Hebrew II
HEBRW 3108 Dynamics and Changes of Israeli Culture Through Language and Literature

The course develops advanced Hebrew language proficiency through study of Israeli culture's diachronic development. Like HEBRW 3105, this course prioritizes reading comprehension through close reading of selected works of Modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama grouped around a central theme and read in their cultural and historical contexts. This course also develops oral and written communication, as well as listening comprehension, through a variety of means, including class discussion, oral presentations, viewing of Israeli films and television, and short analytical papers.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip Hollander (ph469)
Full details for HEBRW 3108 : Dynamics and Changes of Israeli Culture Through Language and Literature
ARAB 1200 Intensive Arabic I

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Makda Weatherspoon (mgw49)
Full details for ARAB 1200 : Intensive Arabic I
ARAB 1202 Elementary Arabic II

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bilal Al-Omar (bma57)
Full details for ARAB 1202 : Elementary Arabic II
ARAB 2202 Intermediate Arabic II

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Abdel-Fattah Shahda (as3859)
Full details for ARAB 2202 : Intermediate Arabic II
ARAB 2204 Introduction to Quranic Arabic

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).

Distribution: (LA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Munther Younes (may2)
Full details for ARAB 2204 : Introduction to Quranic Arabic
ARAB 3202 Advanced Arabic II

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Makda Weatherspoon (mgw49)
Full details for ARAB 3202 : Advanced Arabic II
ARAB 3687 Kalila wa Dimna for Students of Arabic

This course is designed for students who have successfully finished at least one year of Arabic study or its equivalent. It is based on the well-known Arabic literary classic Kalila wa Dimna, an eighth-century translation (from Sanskrit to Persian and from Persian to Arabic) of a collection of fables about people and animals that has long been enjoyed by Arab children and adults alike. The main textbook for the course is Kalila wa Dimna for Students of Arabic, which retells the stories in Modern Standard Arabic and includes a wide variety of exercises and activities to help the development of the four language skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing.  We'll be reading and listening to the stories and retelling and writing about them. The course fulfills the Group A requirement of the Arabic Minor.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Abdel-Fattah Shahda (as3859)
Full details for ARAB 3687 : Kalila wa Dimna for Students of Arabic
TURK 1331 Elementary Turkish II

In this course, learners will continue to develop their reading, listening, speaking, and writing beyond the foundation established in Elementary Turkish I. In this semester, learners will advance towards the Intermediate level as well as beginning to feel comfortable and confident getting around in Turkey, undertaking very basic research, and communicating with native Turkish speakers. The format will continue to focus on introducing subjects through receptive skills (reading/listening/watching) with learners then working on projects and longer writing in order to master applicable language.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Banu Ozer Griffin (bo98)
Full details for TURK 1331 : Elementary Turkish II
TURK 2332 Intermediate Turkish II

At this level, learners will be working on understanding and expressing complex ideas. They will delve into Turkish culture, society, history, and other academic subjects in depth. Upon finishing the course successfully, learners will be able to express themselves clearly and develop arguments both in writing and speaking, as well as understanding films, and reading articles on a wide variety of academic topics.

Distribution: (ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Banu Ozer Griffin (bo98)
Full details for TURK 2332 : Intermediate Turkish II
PERSN 1321 Elementary Persian/Farsi II

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Iago Gocheleishvili (ig44)
Full details for PERSN 1321 : Elementary Persian/Farsi II
PERSN 2322 Intermediate Persian/Farsi II

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Iago Gocheleishvili (ig44)
Full details for PERSN 2322 : Intermediate Persian/Farsi II