Courses - Spring 2019

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 1932 FWS: Conflict and Coexistence: Religion in the Medieval Mediterranean

Many modern ideas – such as the "Clash of Civilizations" and convivencia ("living together") hypotheses – have been applied to the history of interfaith interactions among members of Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities in premodern times. In this class, we will read a variety of primary sources from the 7th-14th centuries with the goal of understanding medieval encounters (both real and imagined) between these three faith communities. We will discuss different types of encounters, such as the Crusades, travelogues, and trade, focusing throughout on the concept of alterity, or otherness. How and why did medieval authors construct a sense of Other? And how were medieval understandings of the Other related to conceptions of Self? Student essays will use primary texts to examine the creation of the self/other dichotomy, analyze different types of encounters, and ultimately evaluate modern theories about these premodern interactions.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kiley Foster (kmf87)
Full details for NES 1932 : FWS: Conflict and Coexistence: Religion in the Medieval Mediterranean
NES 1970 FWS: On Islands: Poetics of the Insular in World Literature

From idealized innocence to invoked fear of the unknown, and through philosophical notions of contingency and geological coincidence: in "Poetics of the Insular" we read and write about islands in world literature. Through writing exercises that focus on close reading of written and visual material, we uncover the multivalent meaning that emanates from the insular form with regards to questions of identity, difference, human existence, knowledge, hope, and despair. Toward that goal, we engage works from the medieval and modern periods, such as the Sinbad Voyages, medieval picaresque narratives, Gulliver's Travels, excerpts from Utopian and Dystopian fiction, in addition to works from philosophy, geography, cartography and literary theory that help us think critically about islands, in literature and beyond. 

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rama Alhabian (ra475)
Full details for NES 1970 : FWS: On Islands: Poetics of the Insular in World Literature
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 2360 Music and Islam

What does Islam "say" about music? This course will trace circulations of this question in scholarly, popular, media, and religious discourses. Why and how does it matter what sound is called music and not, what music is called Islamic and not? We ask both how the thinking and the doing of music and Islam have been entangled in particular moments and places and how and why Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have sought out these entanglements. No prior study of music or Islam is required.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Leila Tayeb (lot7)
Full details for NES 2360 : Music and Islam
NES 2575 Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia

This course will survey the cultic practices and beliefs of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, the two major civilizations of Mesopotamia. We will examine the major myths of this region, e.g., Ishtar's Descent into the Netherworld, Etana, and Gilgamesh, in light of what they reveal about Mesopotamian religion, politics, and understanding of the afterlife. We will also examine the performance of magical rituals and incantations, methods of predicting the future, and the role of sacred marriage, prostitution, and slavery in the ancient temple.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Tenney (jst229)
Full details for NES 2575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
NES 2607 Islam and Politics: Between an Islamic State and Daily Life

In the early twentieth century, a series of movements arose in the Middle East and South Asia, calling Muslims to return to Islam. Today, leaders and members of such groups –now known as Islamists –insist that one cannot live a fully Islamic life in the absence of an Islamic state. How and why did these movements come to focus on building an Islamic state? When did Islam come to be seen as indivisible from Politics, and what does it mean for Islam and Politics to be related? Are contemporary claims to Islam as the basis for political action consistent with the ways in which Muslims have understood their core texts historically? This course will introduce students to the study of Religion and Politics in Islamic History, beginning with the early Islamic community under the rule of the Prophet Muhammad, stretching through a period of rule that saw multiple Islamic Caliphates, and finally, reaching the present day. The bulk of this course, however, will focus on the diverse ways in which Muslims in the twentieth and twenty first centuries have laid claim to their religion as a template for political and social action. In particular, it will push students to consider how Muslim men and women live religion in their daily lives, whether through dress, prayer, or facial hair, and how these claims to religion shape political systems from the ground up.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Aaron Rock-Singer (awr57)
Full details for NES 2607 : Islam and Politics: Between an Islamic State and Daily Life
NES 2640 The Age of Suleiman the Magnificent

Much has been written about the so-called "Golden Age" of the Ottoman Empire, some based on documentary evidence, while other based on the fertile imagination of foreign diplomats, artists, and historians alike. In this seminar, we will explore the myths surrounding the Age of Suleiman the Magnificent, and the role they have played in the telling of the popular history of the Middle East, and the so-called "rise and fall" of Islamic civilization. How do seemingly innocuous stories about the decadence of the court, the loose morality of the "oriental" and the imagined Harem continue to impact our perception of the so-called "East" and in what way do they still define some of the very questions even contemporary researchers and journalists ask? Relying on a combination of popular history books, academic monographs, critiques of the genre of the "history of great men," and works of historical fiction, this seminar is meant to introduce undergraduate students interested in getting a sense of Ottoman popular history between 1500-1700, while being mindful of the power of storytelling in works of history and the perils of myth-making.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mostafa Minawi (mm2492)
Full details for NES 2640 : The Age of Suleiman the Magnificent
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chiara Formichi (cf398)
Full details for NES 2649 : Controversy and Debate in Islam
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 2668 : Ancient Egyptian Civilization
NES 2670 The History and Politics of Modern Egypt

This lecture class will explore the socio-cultural history of modern Egypt from the late 18th century to the 21st century "Arab Spring." We will explore Egyptian history under the Ottomans and the Mamluks, the unsuccessful French attempts to colonize Egypt, and the successful British occupation of the country. We will then examine the development of Egyptian nationalism from the end of the 19th century through Nasser's pan-Arabism to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. We will accomplish this with the aid of a variety of texts and media, including novels and films.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ziad Fahmy (zaf3)
Full details for NES 2670 : The History and Politics of Modern Egypt
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Kaden (dak263)
Full details for NES 2695 : Introduction to Christian History
NES 2793 Middle Eastern Cinema

Film industries in the Middle East, as in much of the rest of the world, emerged out of efforts at the national level. In the Arab world and Israel, the film industries reflect upon struggles of self-determination. The Iranian film industry underwent significant changes following the Islamic Revolution of 1979. By viewing a range of films from the Arab world, including North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as from Turkey, Israel, and Iran, we will consider the significance of these national rubrics and how they have shaped the work of filmmakers throughout the Middle East.   Films also reach beyond the boundaries of the nation, and so, we will consider how these films transcend national borders. On the one hand we will consider limit factors, like censorship, and the role of language and dialect on film viewership and distribution. And, on the other hand, we will consider the influence of external forces, such as the influence of foreign film markets in Europe and North America on filmmakers in the Middle East, as well as the effects of foreign financing—both from Europe and the Gulf States.  All films will be screened with English subtitles.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 2793 : Middle Eastern Cinema
NES 3542 The Ottoman Empire 1800-1922

This course will take the students through the age of reforms in the Ottoman Empire, the rising of nationalism, and the encroachment of colonialism in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans, and the collapse of the empire. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing various historical narratives of ethno-religious nationalism using Turkey, Greece/Cyprus, and Lebanon, as case studies. 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Mostafa Minawi (mm2492)
Full details for NES 3542 : The Ottoman Empire 1800-1922
NES 3588 Biblical Archaeology

The purpose of the course is to place the Bible within the context of a larger ancient world that can be explored by systematic excavation of physical remains. Students will become familiar with archaeological excavations and finds from ancient Syria-Palestine from 10,000 bce to 586 bce. We will explore this archaeological evidence on its own terms, taking into consideration factors such as archaeological method and the interpretive frameworks in which the excavators themselves work, as well as the implications of this body of evidence for understanding the complexity and diversity of biblical Israel.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for NES 3588 : Biblical Archaeology
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Deborah Starr (das86)
Full details for NES 3655 : Minorities of the Middle East
NES 3802 Race and Ethnicity in the Ancient World

We will consider two basic questions: did the ancient Greeks and Romans have a concept of race or racial identity? If not, what were the dominant collective identities they used to classify themselves and others? We will explore the causes and conditions that gave rise to collective identities that can be described as ethnic and (in some cases) possibly as 'racial' and how these identities worked in their given cultural and political contexts. We will start with Greek identity in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, then moving to Macedonian identity and the conquests of Alexander the Great, and finally, to the Roman world, where we will explore the question of race and ethnicity within the context of inclusive citizenship. In each of these cultural contexts, we will briefly focus on slavery, examining whether slave identity was at all racialized.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicole Giannella (njg68)
Full details for NES 3802 : Race and Ethnicity in the Ancient World
NES 4473 Messiah and Modernity

This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School."

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathan Boyarin (jab857)
Full details for NES 4473 : Messiah and Modernity
NES 4533 The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City

American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Elissa Sampson (ejs362)
Full details for NES 4533 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
NES 4560 Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies

Requirement for NES majors.  Seminar offering advanced Near Eastern Studies students the opportunity to read and discuss the range of theories and methods that have been employed by scholars in the interdisciplinary area of Near Eastern Studies. After giving attention to the historical development of area studies programs--and their current status and relevance--students read a wide range of influential works in Near Eastern Studies, with special attention to the concept of "orientalism".   Literary theory, anthropology, historiography, post-colonialism, archaeology, gender theory, and comparative religions are a few of the approaches, methods, and theories we will explore. Authors include Talal Asad, Richard Bulliet, Clifford Geertz, Jon Levenson, Timothy Mitchell, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, and J. Z. Smith.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
Full details for NES 4560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
NES 4634 Muslim Resistance: Shi'a Islam in Asia

With sectarian conflicts and discussions on orthodoxy and heresy dominating the headlines, it becomes important to better understand the relationship between Muslim majorities and minorities. This seminar focuses on Shi'a Muslims, a minority group that has existed alongside the Sunni majority since the first century of Islam. Focussing on the Asian region (e.g. Pakistan, Central Asia, Indonesia) and its transnational connections to the Middle East and Iran, the course will examine the emergence of Shi'a Islam as well as its ongoing transformation in the realm of politics, ritual, literature, the arts and more.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Chiara Formichi (cf398)
Full details for NES 4634 : Muslim Resistance: Shi'a Islam in Asia
NES 4670 Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States

Early states emerged when select groups gained control over wealth and power and institutionalized that control. How this was accomplished is a question of political economy that we can approach from archaeological, anthropological, and sociological perspectives. The course introduces students to the intellectual development of historical materialism in Smith, Marx, and Weber, among others, and traces their influence on later socioeconomic historians such as Polanyi and Finley. More recent approaches deriving from world-systems, gender studies, post-colonial studies, game theory, and network theory are then applied to case studies that include the emergence of a Mesopotamian state ca. 3400 BC, the Akkadian and Ur III empires, Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian trade, pharaonic Egypt, the international Late Bronze Age world, Aegean palatial civilization, and the Phoenicians. Students are welcome to present and write on other topics also. Monroe will provide context and clarification to assist with the specialist literature, but prior coursework in ancient studies will be advantageous in critically evaluating and writing about all the course readings.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 4670 : Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States
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)
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.  Seminar offering advanced Near Eastern Studies students the opportunity to read and discuss the range of theories and methods that have been employed by scholars in the interdisciplinary area of Near Eastern Studies. After giving attention to the historical development of area studies programs--and their current status and relevance--students read a wide range of influential works in Near Eastern Studies, with special attention to the concept of "orientalism".   Literary theory, anthropology, historiography, post-colonialism, archaeology, gender theory, and comparative religions are a few of the approaches, methods, and theories we will explore. Authors include Talal Asad, Richard Bulliet, Clifford Geertz, Jon Levenson, Timothy Mitchell, Zachary Lockman, Edward Said, and J. Z. Smith.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: David Powers (dsp4)
Full details for NES 6560 : Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
NES 6575 Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia

This course will survey the cultic practices and beliefs of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, the two major civilizations of Mesopotamia. We will examine the major myths of this region, e.g., Ishtar's Descent into the Netherworld, Etana, and Gilgamesh, in light of what they reveal about Mesopotamian religion, politics, and understanding of the afterlife. We will also examine the performance of magical rituals and incantations, methods of predicting the future, and the role of sacred marriage, prostitution, and slavery in the ancient temple.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jonathan Tenney (jst229)
Full details for NES 6575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
NES 6588 Biblical Archaeology

The purpose of the course is to place the Bible within the context of a larger ancient world that can be explored by systematic excavation of physical remains. Students will become familiar with archaeological excavations and finds from ancient Syria-Palestine from 10,000 bce to 586 bce. We will explore this archaeological evidence on its own terms, taking into consideration factors such as archaeological method and the interpretive frameworks in which the excavators themselves work, as well as the implications of this body of evidence for understanding the complexity and diversity of biblical Israel.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for NES 6588 : Biblical Archaeology
NES 6642 Topics in Ancient History

Topic: Religion and Authority in Late Antique North Africa. The seminar focuses on the structures of religious authority in the Christian church(es) of North Africa from the end of the second century to the end of the fifth century, and on their interactions with the socio-political structures of authority.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Eric Rebillard (er97)
Full details for NES 6642 : Topics in Ancient History
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 6670 Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States

Early states emerged when select groups gained control over wealth and power and institutionalized that control. How this was accomplished is a question of political economy that we can approach from archaeological, anthropological, and sociological perspectives. The course introduces students to the intellectual development of historical materialism in Smith, Marx, and Weber, among others, and traces their influence on later socioeconomic historians such as Polanyi and Finley. More recent approaches deriving from world-systems, gender studies, post-colonial studies, game theory, and network theory are then applied to case studies that include the emergence of a Mesopotamian state ca. 3400 BC, the Akkadian and Ur III empires, Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian trade, pharaonic Egypt, the international Late Bronze Age world, Aegean palatial civilization, and the Phoenicians. Students are welcome to present and write on other topics also. Monroe will provide context and clarification to assist with the specialist literature, but prior coursework in ancient studies will be advantageous in critically evaluating and writing about all the course readings.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Christopher Monroe (cmm253)
Full details for NES 6670 : Wealth and Power: Political Economy in Ancient Near Eastern States
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 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
NES 7473 Messiah and Modernity

This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School." 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jonathan Boyarin (jab857)
Full details for NES 7473 : Messiah and Modernity
NES 7533 The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City

American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Elissa Sampson (ejs362)
Full details for NES 7533 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shalom Shoer (ss66)
Full details for HEBRW 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
HEBRW 3105 Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Language and Literature

In this advanced Hebrew course we will be reading selected and relevant articles dealing with life in Israel. Students will focus on language skills and interests while paying attention to vocabulary building, grammar review, and literary analysis of modern texts.  We also will be reading stories, poetry; view and discuss Israeli TV programs and news broadcasts. Authors may include: N. Gutman, D. Shahar, O. Kastel-Bloom, E. Keret, and A. Oz.  Poets may include: Y. Amichai, D. Avidan, D. Pagis, D. Rabikovitz, N. Zack.   In addition, we will be reading a few modern children stories and will have a discussion of present-day influences on Israeli children's literature.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nava Scharf (ns21)
Full details for HEBRW 3105 : Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Language and Literature
HEBRW 4102 Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis

From the Garden of Eden to Noah's Ark, from Abraham's journey from Haran to Joseph's coat of many colors, the book of Genesis contains stories that are at once familiar to Western readers, and foreign in their ancient Near Eastern setting.  Through reading the book of Genesis in the original Hebrew, this course will address issues such as how the Israelites understood their origins, and their relationships with their God, Yahweh, their neighbors, and the land of Canaan itself, as well as how these themes are developed in biblical myth and folklore. Close attention will be paid to matters of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary in order to develop students' skills in reading biblical Hebrew prose and to enhance their understanding of the Hebrew language itself as a window on ancient Israelite thought. Students will be expected to utilize commentaries, biblical Hebrew grammars and lexicons in their preparation of assigned texts.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for HEBRW 4102 : Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis
HEBRW 6102 Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis

The books of 1 and 2 Samuel tell the riveting story of the rise to power of Israel's kings Saul and David.  In this class we will read these books in the original Hebrew, paying attention to details of character and plot development, as well as issues of compositional history and the relationship of biblical narrative to ancient Israelite history.  Students' weekly preparation will involve translation with close attention to lexical, grammatical and syntactic issues raised by the Hebrew texts, as well as work with commentaries and other secondary literature.  Students grades will be based on class participation and preparation, an in-class presentation and a final research paper. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Lauren Monroe (lm283)
Full details for HEBRW 6102 : Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis
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)
Munther Younes (may2)
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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: Abdel-Fattah Shahda (as3859)
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Abdel-Fattah Shahda (as3859)
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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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Munther Younes (may2)
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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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bilal Al-Omar (bma57)
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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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Bilal Al-Omar (bma57)
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