Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Spring 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
NES1312 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.

Full details for NES 1312 - Introduction to Urdu Script

Spring.
NES1777 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.

Full details for NES 1777 - Elementary Yiddish II

Spring.
NES1960 FWS: Seeing the Past in the Future: The 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.

Full details for NES 1960 - FWS: Seeing the Past in the Future: The Ancient Near East in Modern Science Fiction

Spring.
NES2204 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).

Full details for NES 2204 - Introduction to Quranic Arabic

NES2461 History of Minorities in Ottoman West Asia and North Africa This seminar utilizes recent research on the concept of "minorities" in West Asia and North Africa during the late Ottoman period, through the age of European colonialism, and the rise of nationalism.  Relying on new research on the topic, we will focus on the social and political histories of the notion of a Millets, or "nations" in the Ottoman Empire, and the late development of the idea of "minority" vs. "majority" population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Case studies will focus on ethnic and religious groups and how their relationship to an imperial state and emerging ideas of "race" and nationalism produced new challenges and concepts of identification in the case of the Armenian population of Anatolia, Jews in Turkey and Iraq, Maronites in Lebanon, Palestinians in Israel, and non-Sunni Muslims like the Alevis of Turkey and Alawites of Syria, and Sub-Saharan Africans in the Maghreb.  Authors and subject matter specialists will be invited, whenever possible, to lead the seminar discussion via Zoom or in person (if health conditions allow).

Full details for NES 2461 - History of Minorities in Ottoman West Asia and North Africa

Spring.
NES2546 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.

Full details for NES 2546 - Magic and Witchcraft in the Greco-Roman World

Spring.
NES2565 Global Heritage Heritage typically conjures images of a glorified human past, and evokes sentiments of care for lost or endangered cultures that symbolize humanity's diversity. But heritage is also the foundation for a multi-billion dollar tourist industry and a basis for claims to national sovereignty. A closer look at heritage reveals institutions, places, and things possessed of extraordinary power. Drawing on case studies from around the world, this course attends to the complexities of heritage today. Topics include heritage ethics, tourism and the marketing of the past, approaches to preservation and management, disputed heritage and violence, heritage ideologies from nationalism to universalism, participation and inequality from the grassroots to the global, counterheritage, and the practice of public archaeology. Students apply insights gained by designing projects as heritage practitioners, engaged with heritage-scapes at Cornell and beyond.

Full details for NES 2565 - Global Heritage

Spring.
NES2644 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.

Full details for NES 2644 - Introduction to Judaism

Spring, Summer.
NES2668 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.

Full details for NES 2668 - Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Spring.
NES2674 History of the Modern Middle East This course examines major trends in the evolution of the Middle East in the modern era. Focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries and ending with the  "Arab Spring," we will consider Middle East history with an emphasis on five themes: imperialism, nationalism, modernization, Islam, and revolution.  Readings will be supplemented with translated primary sources, which will form the backbone of class discussions.

Full details for NES 2674 - History of the Modern Middle East

Spring.
NES2701 The Aegean and East Mediterranean Bronze Age c. 3000-1000 BCE An exploration of the archaeology and art of the Aegean region and of its neighbors during the Bronze Age, ca. 3000-1000 BCE: the origins and precursors of the Classical World. The course will investigate the emergence of the first complex societies in the Aegean region in the third millennium BCE, and then the development and story of the Minoan and Mycenaean worlds and their neighbors in the second millennium BCE. Topics will include: the Early Bronze Age and the first complex societies in the Aegean (Cyclades, Crete, Greece, Anatolia); the collapse and reorientation around 2200BCE and links with climate change; the first palace civilization of (Minoan) Crete; the Santorini (Thera) volcanic eruption and its historical impact in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean; the rise of the Mycenaean Greek palaces and the shift into proto-history; the development of an international east Mediterranean trade system; Ahhiyawa and the Hittites; the 'Trojan War'; and the collapse of the Late Bronze Age societies and links with climate change.

Full details for NES 2701 - The Aegean and East Mediterranean Bronze Age c. 3000-1000 BCE

Spring.
NES2790 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.

Full details for NES 2790 - Jewish Films and Filmmakers: Hollywood and Beyond

Spring.
NES2812 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.

Full details for NES 2812 - Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing

Spring.
NES2985 Egyptomania? Egypt and the Greco-Roman World This course explores the multifaceted interactions between ancient Egypt and the Classical world, from the Bronze Age to the Roman Empire. We will look at both archaeological and textual evidence (in English translation) to ask what this entangled history can tell us about life in the ancient Mediterranean. Among many other topics, we will consider Greek merchants and mercenaries in Egypt; Egyptian influences on Greek and Roman art; the famous queen Cleopatra, and her seductive but threatening reputation in Roman literature; the appearance of Egyptian underworld gods on Greek and Roman "magical gems" and curse tablets; and the ways that Greco-Roman representations of Egypt have shaped modern conceptions of Egyptian civilization, from 19th-century Romanticism to 21st-century pop culture.

Full details for NES 2985 - Egyptomania? Egypt and the Greco-Roman World

Spring.
NES3519 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.

Full details for NES 3519 - History of State and Society in Modern Iran: Through Literature and Film

Spring.
NES3542 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. 

Full details for NES 3542 - The Ottoman Empire 1800-1922

Spring.
NES3717 Modern Sephardi and Mizrahi Identities This class examines modern articulations of identity by and about two distinct Jewish diasporas: Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Sephardic Jews trace their origins to the Iberian Peninsula prior to the end of the 15th century. Mizrahim are Jews who lived in the Middle East and North Africa until the mid-20th century, and their descendants. We will explore Sephardic and Mizrahi identities in works of fiction, memoirs, essays, poetry and films produced from the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will trace routes of migration across generations, paying particular attention to how texts construct identity in relation to language and place. Works will be drawn from wide geographic distribution including the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and produced in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Ladino, and Spanish.

Full details for NES 3717 - Modern Sephardi and Mizrahi Identities

Spring.
NES3720 Women in Biblical Israel This course focuses on how Biblical texts represent women in ancient Israel, and how the Bible's representations constitute both a fabrication and a manifestation of social life on the ground.  We will use biblical, archaeological, and ancient Near Eastern textual evidence to consider the complicated relationship between ancient society and the textual and material records from which we reconstruct it. In addition, this course will examine how women's roles in the Hebrew Bible have been understood and integrated in later Jewish and Christian thought, and how these discourses shape contemporary American attitudes towards women, sexuality, and gender.

Full details for NES 3720 - Women in Biblical Israel

Spring.
NES3750 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.

Full details for NES 3750 - Humanities Scholars Research Methods

Spring.
NES3888 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?

Full details for NES 3888 - Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity

Spring.
NES4008 Literature and Relationality In recent years, scholars in Indigenous studies, Black studies, Asian American studies, Latinx studies, and Arab American studies have discussed variant dispossessions that influence their own cultural contexts and implicate the United States and the world at large. This course brings critical concerns in comparative ethnic studies to the field of comparative literature to study the patterns that underlie the former and their insights about national violence, race and racism, and contemporary forms of social control and marginalization. The course's secondary purpose is to craft "relationality," a theory of cultural and geographic relatability, as a comparative methodology that illuminates the similarities and affinities between Indigenous, refugee, and people of color narratives. In class discussions and assignments, students will rehearse a relational analysis as they connect the assigned readings to each other while crafting overarching observations about the dispossessive and exclusionary nature of the nation-state today.

Full details for NES 4008 - Literature and Relationality

Spring.
NES4334 Media and Experience Continental philosophy fuels contemporary media theory. The connection runs so deep, critics have accused media theorists of producing nothing intellectually new. From Edmund Husserl's phenomenological experiments to Heidegger's reflections on technology and time, to Derrida's suspicions of immediacy, a clear philosophical lineage shapes the way media theory thinks about history, subjectivity, and experience. Through engagements with media theory and the inheritance that informs it, we explore the genealogy of thought on media and experience, reflecting on the technological shifts that could not have been anticipated by early 20th century philosophers: social media, and the digital's current saturation of all levels of human communication. We also explore those areas of thought that the Eurocentricism and presumed universality of Western philosophy rendered invisible or unthinkable: the relationship between media and race, media and gender and sexuality, geopolitical and cultural differences.

Full details for NES 4334 - Media and Experience

Spring.
NES4351 Problems in Byzantine Art Topic Spring 22: Spiral Relief Columns. In this seminar, we will consider the Roman medium of the spiral relief column (beginning with the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius) and its reception in Constantinople (the Columns of Theodosius and Arcadius, and perhaps the Joshua Roll) and beyond (the Bernward Column in Hildesheim and the Vendôme Column in Paris, for example). Seminar topics rotate each semester. Previous topics include: Ravenna, Hagia Sophia, Byzantine Iconoclasm.

Full details for NES 4351 - Problems in Byzantine Art

Spring.
NES4560 Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies 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. Literary theory, anthropology, historiography, archaeology, visual studies, gender theory, and political science are a few of the approaches, methods, and theories we will explore. Mid-Semester, we will turn our attention to

Full details for NES 4560 - Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies

Spring.
NES4721 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.

Full details for NES 4721 - Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories

Spring.
NES4767 Natural History of Religion How does nature and the environment shape religious traditions?   And what impacts do religious thought and practice have on the environment?   These two questions are at the heart of this seminar in which we will explore the many relationships between religion and the environment throughout history and in our present time.   Water, weather, trees, stones, fire, mountains, deserts, and animals are some of the ecological features we will discuss in connection with religious traditions across time and space.   Readings will include scriptural texts from world religions, archival sources like historical newspapers and documents, and ancient and modern poetry and fiction in dialogue with writings by eco-critics, environmental historians, and naturalists.   Material culture will also be important for our work together.

Full details for NES 4767 - Natural History of Religion

Spring.
NES4795 Looking for Love: Visual and Literary Cultures of Love in the Medieval Mediterranean, 1100 - 1400 AD A comparative and interdisciplinary seminar whose focus is the visual world created by the pan-Mediterranean (Iberian Peninsula, Maghreb, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and Persia) culture of "Courtly Love" beginning during the 11th century ad, and continuing as a principle factor in medieval cultural production for the remainder of the period. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which the visual dimensions of this culture nuance, compliment, contradict, or at times even exist independently of, its oral and written spheres. Reading knowledge of any Romance or Semitic language and/or Persian, in addition to English, is highly advantageous.

Full details for NES 4795 - Looking for Love: Visual and Literary Cultures of Love in the Medieval Mediterranean, 1100 - 1400 AD

Spring.
NES4922 Archaeological Ethics What is the role of ethics in archaeology today? What principles shape the discipline's response to serious dilemmas? What is the relationship between ethics and politics in archaeology? This seminar provides an in-depth exploration of these questions across a range of subfields, from indigenous, public, and postcolonial archaeologies, to critical heritage studies, conflict archaeology and the archaeology of the contemporary past. We will learn the normative ethics of Western archaeology, with its concern for best practices, multiculturalism, and the politics of identity, as well as radical alternatives centered on hard politics, oppression, and justice. We will also explore the ethics of the profession, as it pertains to equity and inclusion. This course traverses the terrain of moral right and wrong in archaeology.

Full details for NES 4922 - Archaeological Ethics

Spring.
NES4992 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.

Full details for NES 4992 - Independent Study, Undergraduate Level

Spring.
NES4998 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.

Full details for NES 4998 - Senior Honors Essay

Multi-semester course: (Fall, Spring).
NES4999 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.

Full details for NES 4999 - Senior Honors Essay

Fall, Spring.
NES6334 Media and Experience Continental philosophy fuels contemporary media theory. The connection runs so deep, critics have accused media theorists of producing nothing intellectually new. From Edmund Husserl's phenomenological experiments to Heidegger's reflections on technology and time, to Derrida's suspicions of immediacy, a clear philosophical lineage shapes the way media theory thinks about history, subjectivity, and experience. Through engagements with media theory and the inheritance that informs it, we explore the genealogy of thought on media and experience, reflecting on the technological shifts that could not have been anticipated by early 20th century philosophers: social media, and the digital's current saturation of all levels of human communication. We also explore those areas of thought that the Eurocentricism and presumed universality of Western philosophy rendered invisible or unthinkable: the relationship between media and race, media and gender and sexuality, geopolitical and cultural differences.

Full details for NES 6334 - Media and Experience

Spring.
NES6351 Problems in Byzantine Art Seminar topics rotate each semester.

Full details for NES 6351 - Problems in Byzantine Art

Spring.
NES6519 History of State and Society of Modern Iran: Through Literature and Film

Full details for NES 6519 - History of State and Society of Modern Iran: Through Literature and Film

NES6560 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.

Full details for NES 6560 - Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies

Spring.
NES6642 Topics in Ancient History Topic: Late Antiquity.

Full details for NES 6642 - Topics in Ancient History

Spring.
NES6668 Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Full details for NES 6668 - Ancient Egyptian Civilization

NES6720 Women in Biblical Israel This course focuses on how Biblical texts represent women in ancient Israel, and how the Bible's representations constitute both a fabrication and a manifestation of social life on the ground.  We will use biblical, archaeological, and ancient Near Eastern textual evidence to consider the complicated relationship between ancient society and the textual and material records from which we reconstruct it. In addition, this course will examine how women's roles in the Hebrew Bible have been understood and integrated in later Jewish and Christian thought, and how these discourses shape contemporary American attitudes towards women, sexuality, and gender. 

Full details for NES 6720 - Women in Biblical Israel

Spring.
NES6722 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.

Full details for NES 6722 - Graduate Colloquium

Fall, Spring.
NES6767 Natural History of Religion How does nature and the environment shape religious traditions?   And what impacts do religious thought and practice have on the environment?   These two questions are at the heart of this seminar in which we will explore the many relationships between religion and the environment throughout history and in our present time.   Water, weather, trees, stones, fire, mountains, deserts, and animals are some of the ecological features we will discuss in connection with religious traditions across time and space.   Readings will include scriptural texts from world religions, archival sources like historical newspapers and documents, and ancient and modern poetry and fiction in dialogue with writings by eco-critics, environmental historians, and naturalists.   Material culture will also be important for our work together.

Full details for NES 6767 - Natural History of Religion

Spring.
NES6777 Modern Sephardi and Mizrahi Identities This class examines modern articulations of identity by and about two distinct Jewish diasporas: Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Sephardic Jews trace their origins to the Iberian Peninsula prior to the end of the 15th century. Mizrahim are Jews who lived in the Middle East and North Africa until the mid-20th century, and their descendants. We will explore Sephardic and Mizrahi identities in works of fiction, memoirs, essays, poetry and films produced from the mid-twentieth century to the present. We will trace routes of migration across generations, paying particular attention to how texts construct identity in relation to language and place. Works will be drawn from wide geographic distribution including the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and produced in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Ladino, and Spanish.

Full details for NES 6777 - Modern Sephardi and Mizrahi Identities

Spring.
NES6888 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?

Full details for NES 6888 - Jews, Christians, and Others in Late Antiquity

Spring.
NES6922 Archaeological Ethics What is the role of ethics in archaeology today? What principles shape the discipline's response to serious dilemmas? What is the relationship between ethics and politics in archaeology? This seminar provides an in-depth exploration of these questions across a range of subfields, from indigenous, public, and postcolonial archaeologies, to critical heritage studies, conflict archaeology and the archaeology of the contemporary past. We will learn the normative ethics of Western archaeology, with its concern for best practices, multiculturalism, and the politics of identity, as well as radical alternatives centered on hard politics, oppression, and justice. We will also explore the ethics of the profession, as it pertains to equity and inclusion. This course traverses the terrain of moral right and wrong in archaeology.

Full details for NES 6922 - Archaeological Ethics

Spring.
NES6992 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.

Full details for NES 6992 - Independent Study: Graduate Level

Spring.
NES7701 The Aegean and East Mediterranean Bronze Age c. 3000-1000 BCE An exploration of the archaeology and art of the Aegean region and of its neighbors during the Bronze Age, ca. 3000-1000 BCE: the origins and precursors of the Classical World. The course will investigate the emergence of the first complex societies in the Aegean region in the third millennium BCE, and then the development and story of the Minoan and Mycenaean worlds and their neighbors in the second millennium BCE. Topics will include: the Early Bronze Age and the first complex societies in the Aegean (Cyclades, Crete, Greece, Anatolia); the collapse and reorientation around 2200BCE and links with climate change; the first palace civilization of (Minoan) Crete; the Santorini (Thera) volcanic eruption and its historical impact in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean; the rise of the Mycenaean Greek palaces and the shift into proto-history; the development of an international east Mediterranean trade system; Ahhiyawa and the Hittites; the 'Trojan War'; and the collapse of the Late Bronze Age societies and links with climate change.

Full details for NES 7701 - The Aegean and East Mediterranean Bronze Age c. 3000-1000 BCE

Spring.
HEBRW1102 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.

Full details for HEBRW 1102 - Elementary Modern Hebrew II

Spring.
HEBRW2100 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.

Full details for HEBRW 2100 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew

Spring.
HEBRW3102 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.

Full details for HEBRW 3102 - Advanced Modern Hebrew II

Spring.
HEBRW4102 Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose Seminar covering a topic in Biblical Hebrew prose.

Full details for HEBRW 4102 - Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose

Spring.
HEBRW5510 Graduate Studies in Hebrew

Full details for HEBRW 5510 - Graduate Studies in Hebrew

HEBRW6102 Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose Seminar covering a topic in Biblical Hebrew prose.

Full details for HEBRW 6102 - Topics in Biblical Hebrew Prose

Spring.
ARAB1202 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.

Full details for ARAB 1202 - Elementary Arabic II

Spring, Summer.
ARAB2202 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.

Full details for ARAB 2202 - Intermediate Arabic II

Spring.
ARAB2204 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).

Full details for ARAB 2204 - Introduction to Quranic Arabic

Spring.
ARAB3202 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.

Full details for ARAB 3202 - Advanced Arabic II

Spring.
ARAB4203 Current Events in Arabic Media In this four-credit, one semester, topic based course, students will be introduced to authentic, unedited Arabic language materials from Arabic newspapers, magazines, TV broadcasts and interviews, and other on-line media. The topics covered will include, among other things,  politics, economics, business, sports, and women's issues. Students can suggest other topics that interest them to the teacher.  Emphasis will be on developing fluency in oral and written expression through discussions, debates, presentations, and written work. The order of activities for each topic will be: reading or listening to a selection before coming to class, class discussion and/or debate, an oral presentation by the students, and, finally, a written homework assignment about the same topic. All activities are conducted entirely in Arabic.  There will be more focus on the development of native-like pronunciation and accurate use of grammatical structures than at the lower levels.

Full details for ARAB 4203 - Current Events in Arabic Media

Spring.
ARAB5510 Graduate Studies in Arabic

Full details for ARAB 5510 - Graduate Studies in Arabic

TURK1331 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.

Full details for TURK 1331 - Elementary Turkish II

Spring.
TURK2332 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.

Full details for TURK 2332 - Intermediate Turkish II

Spring.
TURK5510 Graduate Studies in Turkish

Full details for TURK 5510 - Graduate Studies in Turkish

PERSN1321 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.

Full details for PERSN 1321 - Elementary Persian-Farsi II

Spring.
PERSN2322 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.

Full details for PERSN 2322 - Intermediate Persian-Farsi II

Spring.
PERSN5510 Graduate Studies in Persian

Full details for PERSN 5510 - Graduate Studies in Persian

AKKAD1411 Elementary Akkadian II: Historical and Literary Texts This course continues basic instruction in the Akkadian language by translating some of the most important documents of Ancient Iraq, such as Sargon's Eighth Military Campaign, the Cyrus Cylinder, the Descent of Ishtar, and the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Full details for AKKAD 1411 - Elementary Akkadian II: Historical and Literary Texts

Spring.
AKKAD6411 Elementary Akkadian II: Historical and Literary Texts This course continues basic instruction in the Akkadian language by translating some of the most important documents of Ancient Iraq, such as Sargon's Eighth Military Campaign, the Cyrus Cylinder, the Descent of Ishtar, and the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Full details for AKKAD 6411 - Elementary Akkadian II: Historical and Literary Texts

Spring.
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