As the Center does not offer its own courses, listed is a selection of courses at Princeton that may be of interest and relevant to the broader themes with which the Center is concerned.
*Please visit the Office of the Registrar for complete information and enrollment.
This course will examine the complex relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For 36 years the two countries' interaction has consisted mostly of trading insults, threats, and accusations. In the last two years there has been a partial thaw, but deep differences remain. We will examine how the relationship between the U.S. and Iran affects domestic politics in both capitals and will consider alternatives to the current enmity, prospects for change, and policy choices for both sides.
A broad background that could help you understand the complicated relationship between the United States and the Middle East. We reach back into the Middle Eastern past--the rise of Islam, the Caliphate, the coming of the Turks, the European expansion, the discovery of oil--and use these developments to explain the unsettled political, social, economic, and religious landscape of the region today. Thus we will set ourselves to explain why Turkey is a secular republic whereas Iran is an Islamic one, why religious extremism has increased, why democratic aspirations erupted in an "Arab Spring," and what role oil plays in all this.
Begins with the formation of the traditional Islamic world in the 7th century and ends with the first signs of its transformation under Western impact in the 18th century. The core of the course is the history of state formation in the Middle East, but other regions and themes make significant appearances. The course can stand on its own or serve as background to the study of the modern Islamic world.
The course will examine the experiences of young people as a lens onto the texture of everyday life in the Middle East, including during the historical upheavals of decolonization, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Lebanese Civil War, and the Arab Spring. We will also look at a variety of oppositional youth movements over the past century; political and cultural, secular and Islamic, reformist and revolutionary; to explore questions around generational ruptures and affinities, as well as how these might relate to other affiliations such as those of nation, class, and gender.
This course focuses on reading texts that are illustrative of various issues in Muslim religious thought. The texts are selected according to students' needs.
This course provides a broad-ranging survey of the study of women and gender in the Middle East and North Africa. Its aim is two-fold: to introduce beginners to the main concepts and themes of scholarly research in the humanities and social sciences during the last century, focusing on women and gender in regions where there are significant Muslim communities; and, to examine how human beings in a variety of historical and cultural contexts in the Middle East and North Africa experience or have experienced gender - what it means to be or become a man or a woman, and the power relations that inhere in gender as a social institution.
Topics include: Women and the Law; Women and Sexuality; Gender and Seclusion; Women and Modernity; Gender and Post-Colonial Societies; Women's Voices; Women and Film; Politics of Women's Bodies; Women and Modern Islamic Revivalism. No prior background in Islam or Gender Studies required. Readings from fields of history, religious studies, anthropology, sociology and politics. Weekly primary sources in translation include: religious texts, popular literature, court records, letters, novels, poetry, autobiography, newspapers and films with subtitles.
This two-term exploration of Classical Persian literature in the original acquaints students with the principal authors of chronicles, epics, imaginative tales, and stories of spiritual initiation throughout the Persian-speaking world (Iran and Central Asia and also medieval India and Anatolia) from the 10th to 19th centuries. Part I, ca. AD 900 - ca. AD 1200, addresses the formation and gradual Islamization of the ancient epic tradition, the writing of "mirrors for kings" for the Ghaznavid and Seljuk sultans, and the impact of Neoplatonic mysticism.
This course is an introduction to linguistics decipherment. We will survey cases of successful - and unsuccessful - decipherment, beginning with Ancient Egyptian and covering such languages as Old Persian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Mycenean Greek and Mayan. Throughout the focus will be on the methodologies employed, and on the conditions that need to be present for decipherment to be possible.
Persian Language Study
Persian Language Courses, Fall 2015
Persian Language Table
The Program in Near Eastern Studies offers a Persian Language Table, alongside other languages including Turkish and Arabic, to offer opportunity for building conversational skills.