Courses - Fall 2020

NES 1776 Elementary Yiddish I

Provides an introduction to reading, writing, aural comprehension, speaking and grammar, as well as to some of the basic elements of Ashkenazi Jewish culture.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Forman (drf84)
Full details for NES 1776 : Elementary Yiddish I
NES 1880 Intermediate Yiddish
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Forman (drf84)
Full details for NES 1880 : Intermediate Yiddish
NES 2201 Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing I

This course is designed to develop competence in Urdu reading and writing for students with a first-year knowledge of Hindi and knowledge of Urdu script. The goal of this course is to improve listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities in Urdu. By the end of the course, students will have the ability to read articles, write short stories and translate Urdu writings. May be taken concurrently with Intermediate Hindi.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Naaz Rizvi (nfr8)
Full details for NES 2201 : Intermediate Urdu Reading and Writing I
NES 2515 Anthropology of Iran

This course explores the major debates that define the study of contemporary Iran. Drawing from ethnographic works, literary criticism, intellectual histories and more, we will examine historical events and cultural developments from a diverse set of theoretical approaches. Topics include the Iranian revolution in comparative perspective, the Iran-Iraq war and its continued legacy, media forms and practice, contemporary film and literature, women's movements, youth culture, religious diversity, legal systems, techniques of governance, and more. Of particular interest will be the intersections of religion and secularism in Iranian society. Ultimately, it is the objective of the course to explore the diverse cultural, political, and material worlds that shape collective life and individual subjectivity in Iran today.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 2515 : Anthropology of Iran
NES 2546 Magic and Witchcraft in the Greco-Roman World

This introductory course explores the roles of amulets, love potions, curse tablets, and many other magical practices in ancient Greek and Roman societies. In this course, you will learn how to invoke the powers of Abrasax, become successful and famous, get people to fall desperately in love with you, and cast horrible curses on your enemies! We will also examine a range of ancient and modern approaches to "magic" as a concept: what exactly do we mean by "magic," and how does it relate to other spheres of activity, like religion, science, and philosophy? When people (in ancient times or today) label the activities of others as "magic," what are the social and political consequences of that act? As we investigate the practices that Greeks and Romans considered "magical," we will also explore what those practices can teach us about many other aspects of life in the past, such as social class, gender, religion, and ethnic and cultural identity.

Distribution: (CA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for NES 2546 : Magic and Witchcraft in the Greco-Roman World
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 2655 Introduction to Islamic Civilization

At the beginning of the 7th century, a new religion, Islam, appeared in Arabia and by the end of the century, Muslims had defeated the Byzantines and Persians and created an empire that stretched from Spain to India. For the next millennium, Islam glittered. Its caliphs, courts, and capitals were grander, more powerful, and more sophisticated than those of any medieval king, duke or prince. In this course, we will trace the emergence and development of Islamic civilization from the birth of Muhammad ca. 570 to the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. We will read the Qur'an and listen to its recitation; examine the career of the Prophet Muhammad; follow the course of the Arab conquests; explore the nature of the conflict between Sunnis and Shi'is; learn about the five pillars of Islam, sharia law, theology, and Sufism; and assess the achievements of Muslim intellectuals in literature, art, architecture, science, and philosophy.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
Full details for NES 2655 : Introduction to Islamic Civilization
NES 2668 Ancient Egyptian Civilization

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.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 2668 : Ancient Egyptian Civilization
NES 2700 Race and Sex: Arabian Nights

What does the representation of sexual encounter in the Arabian Nights ('Alf layla-wa layla) have to do with a politics of race and gender? This course explores the millenia-long history of mediations and translations of this ancient Perso-Arabic text across literature, film, and popular culture, in the Middle East and in Europe. We will pay attention to the transmission of phobic tropes about female sexuality and miscegenation, or "interracial" sex as they manifest in various versions of 1001 Nights across time and space.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Parisa Vaziri (pv248)
Full details for NES 2700 : Race and Sex: Arabian Nights
NES 2750 Introduction to Humanities

This seminar offers an introduction to the humanities by exploring the historical, cultural, social and political stakes of the Society for the Humanities annual focal theme. Students will explore the theme in critical dialogue with a range of texts and media drawn from the arts, humanities, and/or humanistic social sciences. Guest speakers, including Cornell faculty and Society Fellows, will present from different disciplines and points of view. Students will make field trips to local sites relevant to the theme, and visit Cornell special collections and archives. Students enrolled in this seminar will have the opportunity to participate in additional programming related to the Society's theme and the Humanities Scholars Program for undergraduate humanities research.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lori Khatchadourian (lk323)
Full details for NES 2750 : Introduction to Humanities
NES 2754 Wondrous Literatures of the Near East

This course examines Near East's rich and diverse literary heritage. We will read a selection of influential and wondrous texts from ancient to modern times, spanning geographically from the Iberian peninsula to Iran. We will trace three major threads: myths of creation and destruction; travel narratives; and poetry of love and devotion. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Song of Songs,' as well as selections from medieval works such as the 'Travels' of Ibn Battuta, the 'Shahnameh' of Ferdowsi, poetry of Yehuda HaLevi, and The Thousand and One Nights. The modern unit will include work by Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz. Students will also have the opportunity to research and analyze primary source materials in the collections of Cornell Rare Books and Manuscript Collection, and the Johnson Art Museum. All material is in English translation.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
NES 3325 Literary Reading and Writing in Advanced Urdu

Designed for those students who have either taken Intermediate Urdu or are at the same level of competency in reading and writing skills. The goals of this class are to improve Urdu literary reading and writing abilities, primarily through reading various forms of Urdu prose. In addition, students learn about various genres of Urdu poetry and watch video clips and lectures that enhance listening and speaking abilities as well as the understanding and appreciation of Urdu culture.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Naaz Rizvi (nfr8)
Full details for NES 3325 : Literary Reading and Writing in Advanced Urdu
NES 3511 Performing Islam in Southeast Asia

What role does Islam take in the politics, history, arts and rituals of Southeast Asia? Structured as a seminar, this course takes you on a journey through Southeast Asia, home to almost a quarter of the global Muslim population, to explore how centuries of cultural mixing and layering have shaped the regions' religious outlook. How are local traditions and universal Islamic precepts reconciled? How is this manifested in the performative arts and rituals? How does Islam play out in governance and the law? How is Islam deployed in the transnational sphere? Previous knowledge of Islam is an advantage, but not a requisite to succeed in this course. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of Islam as a religious system as well as a historical phenomenon throughout the course.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chiara Formichi (cf398)
Full details for NES 3511 : Performing Islam in Southeast Asia
NES 3687 The US and the Middle East

This seminar examines the history of the United States' involvement with Middle East beginning with evangelical efforts in the 19th century and President Wilson's engagement with the colonial powers in the early 20th century during and after WWI. The discovery of vast Middle Eastern oil reserves and the retreat of the colonial powers from the region following WWII drew successive US administrations ever deeper into Middle Eastern politics. In due course the US became entrenched in the post-colonial political imagination as heir to the British and the French especially as it challenged the Soviet Union for influence in the region during the Cold War. And that only takes the story to the mid-1950s and the Eisenhower administration. Our discussions will be based on secondary readings and primary sources as we interrogate the tension between realist and idealist policies toward the Middle East and trace how these tensions play out in subsequent developments including the origins and trajectory of the US strategic alliances with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey and conflict with Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the two Gulf Wars.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
Full details for NES 3687 : The US and the Middle East
NES 3805 Israeli Politics

We are all the living dead – alive but bound to die, and know it. In this course we will learn how existential fears and anxieties shape our politics, partly through moral meaning-making. While the politics of fear is on the rise worldwide, Israel has seen it long ago. Throughout its existence, Israel has grown strong, but its existential fears have not subsided. Israel, moreover, can teach us about the role of freedom and morality in politics. Israel's existential fears, alongside the realization of choice, has prompted Zionists to seek existential legitimation. In recent years, however, a growing frustration at attainting such legitimacy has fostered "bad faith politics," substituting freedom with a sense of "no choice."

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
Full details for NES 3805 : Israeli Politics
NES 3888 Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity

This course explores the interactions between Jews, Christians, and other religious groups in late antiquity, especially in Sasanian Persia circa the first through seventh century C.E. Students pay particular attention to the portrayals of Christians in Jewish rabbinic literature, including Midrash and Talmud, but also draw from early Christian, Zoroastrian, Manichaean, and other sources. There will be an emphasis on the reading of primary texts in translation in their appropriate historical contexts, and in comparison with one another. Students engage such questions as: How did Jews define themselves in relation to Christians, and vice versa? In what ways did Jews and Christians part ways with one another, as scholars often maintain, and what were the factors at play in their separation? And, lastly, what role did other religious and political groups, such as Gnostics, Zoroastrians, Romans, Mandaeans, Manichaeans, and early Muslims play in these developments?

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jason Mokhtarian (jsm467)
Full details for NES 3888 : Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity
NES 4337 Labor and Employment in the Middle East and North Africa

This course introduces students to the history, evolution and trajectory of state-labor relations, labor activism, and the politics of unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As the region with the highest concentration of non-democratic regimes in the world, the MENA provides a rich context for examining state efforts to control interest representation, and workers' struggles for freedom of association. In addition, the region features diverse political economic systems, making it ideal for examining the interaction between resource endowments and labor market dynamics. Finally, the region is ripe for the study of youth activism and the mobilization of the unemployed given that youth unemployment rates are higher in the MENA than any other world region.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dina Bishara (db833)
Full details for NES 4337 : Labor and Employment in the Middle East and North Africa
NES 4365 From Existential Conflict to Coexistence? The Case of Israel-Palestine

Throughout human history, and its modern incarnation, communities have clashed just as often as states. This course sheds light on ethnic communities and conflicts, explicating their historical dynamics and social intricacies. What are ethnic identities and how do they emerge? What distinguishes ethnic identity from other social identities, such as religious and ideological identities? When does ethnicity mature into ethnonationalism, and why and how does it propel conflict and political violence? What are the possible ways to prevent, manage, transform and resolve ethnic conflicts? We shall address these and related questions drawing on key insights from various disciplines, focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, probing the resonance and dissonance of key theoretical arguments with the reality of that clash and of comparative conflicts.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Uriel Abulof (ua42)
Full details for NES 4365 : From Existential Conflict to Coexistence? The Case of Israel-Palestine
NES 4471 Jewish Diasporas

Jewish communities have thrived in diaspora since long before the destruction of the Second Temple. What binds and divides those communities? Diaspora may be the product of exile, but can also be a sign of group energy and creativity. And while a liturgical focus on Jerusalem and the Holy Land remains the lodestar for most diaspora Jewish communities, in the course of that long history many other places have served as homelands gained and lost. The interaction of ancient and modern Jewish diasporas with their contemporary empires provides insight into the comparison of empires old and new. Today debates rage about the desirability of sustaining Jewish life in diaspora versus the ingathering of Jews into the Jewish state. We will explore these issues and more.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Boyarin (jab857)
Full details for NES 4471 : Jewish Diasporas
NES 4537 Shi'ism: Poetics and Politics

This course offers a broad survey of contemporary Shi'i beliefs, practices, and politics with a focus on Twelver or Imami Shi'ism. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual and political histories, theological writings, and more we will investigate the themes which define the politics and cultural practices of contemporary Shi'ism. In particular, we will highlight the ways in which Shi'is utilize their theological beliefs to negotiate and respond to the socio-political context of the times in which they live. The course begins by examining the early days of what would later be called "Shi'ism." We then examine the key theological concepts which distinguish Shi'ism from Sunnism, including themes of adalat (divine justice), shahadat (martyrdom), the Karbala paradigm, and the role of the imamate and clerical class. The rest of course is devoted to investigating the ways that Shi'ism informs and interacts with the social realm and vice versa, ranging from negotiations of the everyday to responding to moments of great civil and society unrest and to that which is called "sectarianism". Travelling from South Asia to the Middle East, from Africa to America, we will ultimately examine how Shi'i beliefs and identity act as a dynamic force for shaping the worlds in which they live today.

Distribution: (CA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 4537 : Shi'ism: Poetics and Politics
NES 4550 Archaeology of the Phoenicians

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.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 4550 : Archaeology of the Phoenicians
NES 4605 Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt

This seminar examines the dynamics of modern collective identities which dominated the Egyptian public sphere in the long twentieth century. We will explore the underpinnings and formation of territorial Egyptian nationalism, pan-Arabism and Islamism through close readings and class discussions of important theoretical, historiographical and primary texts.

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for NES 4605 : Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt
NES 4626 Reinventing Biblical Narrative

Narratives, particularly sacred narratives, are not static or fixed but rather infinitely flexible and malleable.   Subject to multiple retellings—elaborations, modifications, and deletions—stories take on lives of their own even after they come to be written down. What happens to sacred stories when they are heard and read by different communities of interpreters? This is the broad question at the heart of this course, which will explore the diverse interpretations of biblical narratives (e.g., stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and his disciples, Joseph and Mary) found in Jewish and Christian literature from the second century BCE through the 6th century and beyond.  Writers like the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo and the Jewish historian Josephus, Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha and apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, gnostic literature, early rabbinic literature, and Christian patristic writers—these are some of the sources that we will study in this class.    At the conclusion of the seminar, we will explore briefly the retellings of biblical stories and use of biblical characters in the early Islamic materials, especially the Qur'an.    Throughout the semester, we will consider the historical contexts of biblical interpretation and the production, transmission, and use of texts in antiquity, including questions about literacy and orality, education, and the physical forms of ancient books.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Haines-Eitzen (kjh10)
Full details for NES 4626 : Reinventing Biblical Narrative
NES 4991 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. 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 4991 : 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 6112 Medieval Hebrew Poetry

Critical readings in medieval Hebrew lyrical and liturgical poetry and imaginative rhymed prose from tenth-century Islamic Spain to Renaissance and Baroque Italy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ross Brann (rb23)
Full details for NES 6112 : Medieval Hebrew Poetry
NES 6337 Labor and Employment in the Middle East and North Africa

This course introduces students to the history, evolution and trajectory of state-labor relations, labor activism, and the politics of unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As the region with the highest concentration of non-democratic regimes in the world, the MENA provides a rich context for examining state efforts to control interest representation, and workers' struggles for freedom of association. In addition, the region features diverse political economic systems, making it ideal for examining the interaction between resource endowments and labor market dynamics. Finally, the region is ripe for the study of youth activism and the mobilization of the unemployed given that youth unemployment rates are higher in the MENA than any other world region.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Dina Bishara (db833)
Full details for NES 6337 : Labor and Employment in the Middle East and North Africa
NES 6537 Shi'ism: Poetics and Politics

This course offers a broad survey of contemporary Shi'i beliefs, practices, and politics with a focus on Twelver or Imami Shi'ism. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual and political histories, theological writings, and more we will investigate the themes which define the politics and cultural practices of contemporary Shi'ism. In particular, we will highlight the ways in which Shi'is utilize their theological beliefs to negotiate and respond to the socio-political context of the times in which they live. The course begins by examining the early days of what would later be called "Shi'ism." We then examine the key theological concepts which distinguish Shi'ism from Sunnism, including themes of adalat (divine justice), shahadat (martyrdom), the Karbala paradigm, and the role of the imamate and clerical class. The rest of course is devoted to investigating the ways that Shi'ism informs and interacts with the social realm and vice versa, ranging from negotiations of the everyday to responding to moments of great civil and society unrest and to that which is called "sectarianism". Travelling from South Asia to the Middle East, from Africa to America, we will ultimately examine how Shi'i beliefs and identity act as a dynamic force for shaping the worlds in which they live today.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
Full details for NES 6537 : Shi'ism: Poetics and Politics
NES 6550 Archaeology of the Phoenicians

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 6550 : Archaeology of the Phoenicians
NES 6605 Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt

This seminar examines the dynamics of modern collective identities which dominated the Egyptian public sphere in the long twentieth century. We will explore the underpinnings and formation of territorial Egyptian nationalism, pan-Arabism and Islamism through close readings and class discussions of important theoretical, historiographical and primary texts.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for NES 6605 : Contesting Identities in Modern Egypt
NES 6626 Reinventing Biblical Narrative

Narratives, particularly sacred narratives, are not static or fixed but rather infinitely flexible and malleable.   Subject to multiple retellings—elaborations, modifications, and deletions—stories take on lives of their own even after they come to be written down. What happens to sacred stories when they are heard and read by different communities of interpreters? This is the broad question at the heart of this course, which will explore the diverse interpretations of biblical narratives (e.g., stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and his disciples, Joseph and Mary) found in Jewish and Christian literature from the second century BCE through the 6th century and beyond.  Writers like the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo and the Jewish historian Josephus, Jewish and Christian pseudepigrapha and apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, gnostic literature, early rabbinic literature, and Christian patristic writers—these are some of the sources that we will study in this class.    At the conclusion of the seminar, we will explore briefly the retellings of biblical stories and use of biblical characters in the early Islamic materials, especially the Qur'an.    Throughout the semester, we will consider the historical contexts of biblical interpretation and the production, transmission, and use of texts in antiquity, including questions about literacy and orality, education, and the physical forms of ancient books.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kim Haines-Eitzen (kjh10)
Full details for NES 6626 : Reinventing Biblical Narrative
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 6888 Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity

This course explores the interactions between Jews, Christians, and other religious groups in late antiquity, especially in Sasanian Persia circa the first through seventh century C.E. Students pay particular attention to the portrayals of Christians in Jewish rabbinic literature, including Midrash and Talmud, but also draw from early Christian, Zoroastrian, Manichaean, and other sources. There will be an emphasis on the reading of primary texts in translation in their appropriate historical contexts, and in comparison with one another. Students engage such questions as: How did Jews define themselves in relation to Christians, and vice versa? In what ways did Jews and Christians part ways with one another, as scholars often maintain, and what were the factors at play in their separation? And, lastly, what role did other religious and political groups, such as Gnostics, Zoroastrians, Romans, Mandaeans, Manichaeans, and early Muslims play in these developments?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jason Mokhtarian (jsm467)
Full details for NES 6888 : Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity
NES 6991 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: Ross Brann (rb23)
Full details for NES 6991 : Independent Study: Graduate Level
NES 7471 Jewish Diasporas

Jewish communities have thrived in diaspora since long before the destruction of the Second Temple. What binds and divides those communities? Diaspora may be the product of exile, but can also be a sign of group energy and creativity. And while a liturgical focus on Jerusalem and the Holy Land remains the lodestar for most diaspora Jewish communities, in the course of that long history many other places have served as homelands gained and lost. The interaction of ancient and modern Jewish diasporas with their contemporary empires provides insight into the comparison of empires old and new. Today debates rage about the desirability of sustaining Jewish life in diaspora versus the ingathering of Jews into the Jewish state. We will explore these issues and more.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jonathan Boyarin (jab857)
Full details for NES 7471 : Jewish Diasporas
NES 7743 Archaeology of the Hellenistic Mediterranean

The conquests and death of Alexander served as catalysts for major cultural transformation. Throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, Greco-Macedonian dynasties came to rule over foreign populations in places as diverse as Egypt, the Near East, Central Asia, and northwestern India. The resulting interactions, conflicts, collaborations, and entanglements produced new practices, new forms of material culture, and new constructions of "Hellenicity."

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Caitlin Barrett (ceb329)
Full details for NES 7743 : Archaeology of the Hellenistic Mediterranean
HEBRW 1101 Elementary Modern Hebrew I

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 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
HEBRW 1103 Elementary Modern Hebrew III

Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shalom Shoer (ss66)
Full details for HEBRW 1103 : Elementary Modern Hebrew III
HEBRW 3101 Advanced Modern Hebrew I

This constitutes the first course in our third year of the Modern Hebrew language sequence.  Development of speech proficiency will be emphasized. Over the course of the semester, students will develop reading comprehension through reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts, listening comprehension through screening of filmic works and episodes drawn from popular television series, writing through communication about what is read and screened, as well as more personal topics, and speech through in class discussion and oral presentations.  Readings will include authentic and partially adapted contemporary short stories, poems and newspaper articles.  

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip Hollander (ph469)
Full details for HEBRW 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew I
HEBRW 3104 Advanced Hebrew Through Language, Media and Literature

This course develops oral and written communication, as well as reading and listening comprehension, through engagement with Israeli media (newspapers, radio reports, and television and internet news) and literature. Through study of course materials, students will also gain a broader understanding of the State of Israel necessary for advanced Hebrew proficiency.  

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Philip Hollander (ph469)
Full details for HEBRW 3104 : Advanced Hebrew Through Language, Media and Literature
HEBRW 3105 Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Language and Literature

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 3105 : Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Language and Literature
ARAB 1201 Elementary Arabic I

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 Full details for ARAB 1201 : Elementary Arabic I
ARAB 1203 Intermediate Arabic I

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 1203 : Intermediate Arabic I
ARAB 2201 Arabic for Heritage Speakers

This course is designed for students who can speak and understand a spoken Arabic dialect (Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, etc.) but have little or no knowledge of written Arabic, known as Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, or Fusha. The focus of the course will be on developing the reading and writing skills through the use of graded, but challenging and interesting materials. As they develop their reading and writing skills, students will be learning about Arab history, society, and culture. Classroom activities will be conducted totally in Arabic. Students will not be expected or pressured to speak in Classical Arabic, but will use their own dialects for speaking purposes. However, one of the main goals of the course will be to help the development of the skills to communicate and understand Educated Spoken Arabic, a form of Arabic that is based on the spoken dialects but uses the educated vocabulary and structures of Fusha.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Munther Younes (may2)
Full details for ARAB 2201 : Arabic for Heritage Speakers
ARAB 3201 Advanced Arabic I

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: Bilal Al-Omar (bma57)
Full details for ARAB 3201 : Advanced Arabic I
ARAB 4200 Modern Arabic Literature

The course is an introductory survey to different genres in Modern Arabic Literature (Poetry and prose). It aims at improving the four language skills at an advanced level, as well as appreciating Arabic literature. All readings will be in Arabic. The readings are selected from among the most salient literary texts by major writers form the 20th century.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bilal Al-Omar (bma57)
Full details for ARAB 4200 : Modern Arabic Literature
TURK 1330 Elementary Turkish I

In this course, learners will develop a basic foundation in reading, writing, listening, and beginning conversation skills in contemporary Turkish. In this introductory semester, learners will read short texts on Turkish culture, handle non-complex social conversations, understand sentence-level statements and write simple paragraphs on familiar topics. The course format will focus on initially exploring a subject through listening, video, and reading short pieces or excerpts, before moving into practice and application through informal presentations, discussions, short writing, and role play. This course is for new learners of Turkish.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Banu Ozer Griffin (bo98)
Full details for TURK 1330 : Elementary Turkish I
TURK 1332 Intermediate Turkish I

In this course, learners will advance their reading, writing, listening and conversation skills in contemporary Turkish as they move towards extended conversation, written communication, academic listening/watching, and research. The format of this program will focus on reading authentic materials, talking about topics of interest, giving presentations, writing short essays, and understanding the main points of a lecture and certain media, such as TV programs, interviews, and talk shows. Learners will start to actively determine the direction of their development via input on subjects for group work, presentations and further reading and research.

Distribution: (ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Banu Ozer Griffin (bo98)
Full details for TURK 1332 : Intermediate Turkish I