Elementary Arabic I
Students in this course will develop their skills in speaking, hearing, reading, and writing Modern Standard Arabic, the form of the Arabic language shared by all Arab countries. The course covers phonics, the alphabet and numerals, as well as noun-adjective agreement and how to form sentences using past and present tense verbs. Also covered: greetings and courtesy phrases in spoken Arabic. Five classes, one hour of drill. No credit is given for ARA 101 unless followed by ARA 102.
Elementary Arabic II
Continuation of 101. Students will expand their language skills through conversational and grammatical exercises based on the audio-visual approach. Students will be able to speak and write simply and accurately about topics such as daily activities, studies, family members, and hopes and plans for the future. Five classes, one hour of drill.
Intermediate Arabic I
Building upon the skills gained in 101 and 102, this course offers further practice in speaking and listening and increases proficiency in reading and writing. Topics to be covered include use of dual and feminine plural forms; conditional sentences; use of superlatives and comparatives; and the study of case markings in formal written Arabic. Five classes, one hour of drill.
Intermediate Arabic II
Continuation of 105. Students will expand their reading, writing, speaking, and oral comprehension skills through oral and written exercises involving more sophisticated texts derived from authentic newspaper and journal sources. Five classes, one hour of drill.
Colloquial Arabic I
Professor/InstructorNancy A. Coffin
An introduction to a specific spoken dialect of the Arabic language. This course currently focuses on the Arabic dialects used in the Levant, especially Palestinian and Lebanese dialects. The material of the course is designed to promote functional usage of the language stressing vocabulary and grammar in conversation of everyday life. Four classes.
Colloquial Arabic II
Professor/InstructorNancy A. Coffin
A continuation of ARA 111. Focusing on Arabic dialects used in the Levant, especially Palestinian and Lebanese dialects, the material of the course further develops functional usage of the language stressing vocabulary and grammar in conversation of everyday life.
Advanced Arabic I
Reading and accurate translation of numerous selections from modern Arabic works as well as reading for general understanding of simple prose, mostly from newspapers and magazines. Review of morphology, introduction to the systematic study of syntax. Speaking about the readings and about other assigned topics. English to Arabic translation. Emphasis on building vocabulary. Two 90-minute classes, two periods of drill.
Advanced Arabic II
Continuation of 301. Class reading of more sophisticated discursive prose and short stories. Class discussion in Arabic of assigned texts not translated in class. Emphasis on the systematic study of syntax. Increased emphasis on speaking about a variety of topics. Arabic composition. Two 90-minute classes, two periods of drill.
Advanced Arabic Skills Workshop
This course develops to a more advanced and natural level the linguistic skills of listening, speaking, and reading through the reading and class discussion of lengthy texts, primarily literary ones. Term papers written in Arabic provide the opportunity to improve composition, and aural comprehension is honed through the use of tapes of Arabic broadcasts, and through viewing films from various parts of the Arab world. Prerequisite: 302 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Topics in Arabic Language and Culture
Professor/InstructorTarek Farag Elsayed
This course is designed as an advanced, fourth-year course in Arabic language and culture which may be repeated up to two times, provided the topic is different each time. The course is intended to appeal to students who prefer to study in an Arabic immersion environment, and all aspects of the course will be conducted in Arabic.
Topics in Arabic Language and Culture
Professor/InstructorThomas Henry Hefter
Introduces the conventions of major genres of history, belles-lettres and religious thought of the Abbasid era (750-1258 CE). Primary emphasis on reading comprehension and developing confidence in approaching classical sources. Conducted in Arabic, apart from translation exercises, and will also develop skills in writing, through projects, and speaking, through discussions and presentations. Course is divided into one or two-week units, focusing on excerpts from major texts. Students to complete major reading/writing project on a text of choosing.
Elementary Hebrew I
Introductory course develops skills of reading, speaking, comprehension, and writing through various techniques, with an emphasis on a solid grammatical basis and awareness of idiomatic usage of the language. Teaching materials include ones developed in Israel. Five classes. No credit is given for HEB 101 unless followed by HEB 102.
Elementary Hebrew II
A continuation of 101, with emphasis on the development of all skills. The course will expose students to contemporary Israeli culture by using authentic material such as films, TV series, newspaper articles, and Web-based material. Class activities include role-playing, drills, group discussion, and oral presentations. Five classes.
Intermediate Hebrew I
Expansion of reading, oral, aural, and written skills, as well as coverage of more advanced grammar. Students will be gradually introduced to contemporary Israeli prose and poetry. Maximum participation by students is encouraged through discussion of readings and films. Five classes.
Intermediate Hebrew II
A continuation of 105, covering remainder of grammar. Further explores contemporary Israeli prose, poetry, and more complex essays from textbooks and photocopied material. Five classes.
Advanced Hebrew Language and Style I
For advanced students, this course seeks to improve further the active command of written and spoken Hebrew through work with a variety of literary texts, styles, and artistic expressions, including film. Topics are selected to explore fundamental issues of Israeli culture and society. Prerequisite: 107 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Advanced Hebrew Language and Style II
Continuation of 301. Growing emphasis on individual and small group work. Students prepare final project of their choosing in consultation with instructor. Prerequisite: 301 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Introduction to the Middle East
Professor/InstructorMichael Allan Cook
An overview of the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day with a focus on the "core" of the Middle East, i.e., the region defined by present-day Turkey and Egypt to the west, Iran to the east, and Arabia to the south. Issues raised include difficulties in the study of foreign cultures, religion and society, the interplay between local and global processes, identity formation, and the Middle East in the broader world. One lecture, two classes.
Contemporary Arabic Literature in Translation
Professor/InstructorNancy A. Coffin
A survey of the literature of the modern Arab world, starting with the late 19th century and continuing up to within the last five years. Narrative (novel and short story), theater, poetry, as well as (briefly) folk literature will be treated. Works are assigned in English translation, but students who are able to read them in Arabic are welcome to do so. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Offered in alternate years.
The Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
The art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Egypt from the end of the prehistoric period, ca. 3000 B.C., to the beginning of the Iron Age, ca. 650 B.C. Focus on the rise of complex societies and the attendant development of architectural and artistic forms that express the needs and aspirations of these societies. Occasional readings in original texts in translation will supplement the study of art and architecture. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 1 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Masterworks of Hebrew Literature in Translation
An introduction to modern Hebrew literature, represented by selected translations from major works of the last hundred years, in prose (Agnon, Almog, Izhar, Kahana-Carmon, Mendele, Oz, and Yehoshua) and in poetry (Alterman, Amichai, Bialik, Rabikovitch, Zach, and others). Two 90-minute classes.
Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages
An introduction to the history and culture of the Jews in the Middle Ages (under Islam and Christendom) covering, comparatively, such topics as the interrelationship between Judaism and the other two religions, interreligious polemics, political (legal) status, economic role, communal self-government, family life, and cultural developments. Two 90-minute classes.
Early Islamic Art and Architecture
A survey of art in the Islamic world from 600 through 1200. The course examines the formation of Islamic art and its roots in the art of late antiquity. Emphasis will be on the development of various types of religious and secular architecture and their decoration (wall-painting, carved stucco and wood, mosaic and epigraphy) in the central regions of the early Islamic world. Topics such as textiles, metalwork, and ceramics will be considered. For department majors, this course satisfies either the Group 1 or 2 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Arts of the Islamic World
A survey of the architecture and the arts of various Islamic cultures between northern Africa and the Indian subcontinent from the seventh to the 20th century. Emphasis will be on major monuments of religious and secular architecture, architectural decoration, calligraphy, and painting. Background in Islam or Middle Eastern languages is not a prerequisite. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 1, 2, or 3 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
In the Shadow of Swords: War, Martyrdom and the Afterlife in Islam
Professor/InstructorShaun Elizabeth Marmon
This course is an examination of the changing concepts of martyrdom, holy war, and suicide in both Sunni and Shi'i Islam. How are war and martyrdom presented in the sacred texts of these traditions? Historically, how have Sunni and Shi'i Islam constructed, idealized, and also questioned the concept of the Islamic martyr and/or the holy warrior? In what ways have modern religious revivalism, revolutionary movements, and struggles for nationhood created a new and still contested understanding of the Islamic martyr? Course materials include sources in translation, films, Internet sites, and journals. Two lectures, one preceptorial.