Courses

The Program of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies offers a comprehensive blend of language and culture courses. Below are the courses scheduled for spring 2020 and fall 2019. For the most up-to-date listings, visit the Registrar's office through InsideND

Fall 2020

Arabic Language Courses (MEAR)

MEAR 10001-10002.  First Year Arabic I and First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10001 01/60001 01
Prof. G. Bualuan

5 credit hours

 

MEAR 10001 02/60001 02
Prof. C. Bronson

5 credit hours

 

MEAR 10002 01
Prof. G. Bualuan

5 credit hours

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

 

Second Year Arabic I

MEAR 20003 01/60003 01
Prof.  G. Bualuan

4 credit hours

This second-year Arabic course builds on the previous two semesters. The emphasis is on speaking and writing for self-expression with continued study of the basic grammatical structures. Proficiency remains the focus through readings and conversations in the language. Students develop skill in the use of the Arabic dictionary.

 

Third Year Arabic I

MEAR 30005/60005
Prof. C. Bronson

3 credit hours

Prerequisite MEAR 20004, 60004 or equivalent.

This third-year Arabic course emphasizes developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interactive settings. Vocabulary building will be the focus of drills; we will cover basic vocabulary in various authentic uses of the language. Special attention will also be given to media Arabic. Basic Arabic grammar should be completed by the end of the year. We will continue with Part 2 of the Kitaab sequence. Supplementary materials, mainly from Arabic media (BBC Arabic News, newspapers, magazines), will be provided. Tests, both oral and written, will cover the textbook material, in addition to the basic grammar and the cumulative vocabulary.

 

 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

 

History University Seminar: Struggle in the Heart of Islam

MELC 13184 01
Prof. H. Abdulsater

3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to the main conflict in Arabic and Islamic culture. It examines sectarianism in the Arab and Islamic world from the sixth century to our present time. Relying on different media (texts, movies, arts, archeological remains…), it studies the formation of the different versions of Shiʿi and Sunni Islam. We will learn about the background of sectarianism and how it shaped identity formation and modern states. We will trace—chronologically and geographically—religious propaganda, mass and individual conversions, confessionalization, and episodes of war and peace. No prior knowledge of Arabic culture, the Middle East, or Islam is required.

 

The 1001 Nights

CSEM 23101 01
Prof. L. Guo

3 credit hours

The Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights, is a collection of tales originated in the Arab lands that has become a masterpiece of world literature. These enchanting stories, framed by the tale of Scheherazade (or Shahrazad), have enjoyed a widespread and varied reputation over the centuries and across cultures. It is said that the Thousand and One Nights is the most read (or heard about) book in human history, second only to Bible. In this class, we will examine these stories from a variety of academic and cultural perspectives, taking advantage of the wealth of material available (both textual and audio-visual). We will examine issues of provenance: where did these stories originate and when? We will study the stories as literary texts as well as historical documents, asking what, if anything, they tell us about the cultures they reflect and the societies in which they are set. We will examine how these tales have been interpreted by later societies, both Arab and Western, and what those interpretations tell us about the interpreters. We will use this class and its content to introduce ourselves to the study of the Middle East, its languages, history, literature, and peoples. We will gain a better understanding of the analytical tools and techniques for the study and appreciation of literature in general.

 

Intro to Islamic Civilization

MELC 20070 01
Prof. L. Guo

3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce students to Islamic civilization and Muslim culture and societies. The course will cover the foundations of Islamic belief, worship, and institutions, along with the evolution of sacred law (al-shari`a) and theology, as well as various aspects of intellectual activities. The Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad will be examined in detail. Both Sunni and Shi`i perspectives will be considered. Major Sufi personalities will be discussed to illuminate the mystical, and popular, tradition in Islam. Topics on arts, architecture, literary culture, and sciences will be covered. Although the course is concerned more with the history of ideas than with modern Islam as such, it has great relevance for understanding contemporary Muslim attitudes and political, social, and cultural trends in the Muslim world today. MMME minors will need to secure an override from the Department office to register.

 

Moral Vocabularies of Contemporary Islam: Islamic Law and Ethics in Perspective

MELC 40702 01
Prof. E. Moosa

3 credit hours

How does one make sense of the moral vocabularies of contemporary Islam? Prominent in the media are debates about Sharia, known as Islamic law. On other occasions people talk about Islamic ethics and values in Muslim societies and communities. These categories are often non self-evident to even the most casual observer. How do we get a better grasp of moral debates in Muslim societies on questions as diverse as suicide terrorism, organ transplantation to democratic politics and fetal life? These ethical debates impact policy questions ranging from gender, democratic citizenship, technology and sexual violence to matters related to issues of Islamic family law and constitutional debates. But of equal importance is the need to give attention to the various contexts in which Muslim ethical discourses and moral vocabularies are deployed. Some of the contexts range from nation-states in-the-making, liberal democracies in the West, societies disintegrating as a result of failed states to countries being occupied by global powers. Hegemonic capitalist globalization, triumphant political liberalism and misrule all contribute to the social context. This course will explore a select sample of questions from an ethical and moral perspective. One of the presumptions that this course makes is that Muslim ethics is not only the site for the renewal of an ethical tradition; in many instances it is also the site of resistance against cultural and political imperialism, as well as that of accommodation. These complicated maneuvers account for the diversity and multiplicity of contemporary Muslim ethical discourses and moral vocabularies. Studying Muslim moral vocabularies do not provide a CT-scan of the Muslim mind as some have egregiously averred, but provide maps of the histories of interpretative communities in the past and present. This approach will enable us s to identify the various typologies as well as trajectories of the Muslim subject over time. In a mediatized world of real-time communication, moral terms are poorly communicated, distorted and often come across as a cacophony of voices, confusing to insiders and outsiders alike. Needless to say, ethics is not neutral to political debates: it is often at the center of fractious and divisive debates. Often the representation of ethical debates are caricatured and manipulated in the media to serve political ends. Students will get an introduction to Muslim moral philosophy, a history of the jurisprudence and a set of case studies dealing with concrete questions. Muslim religious discourses are, of course, essentially regimes of interpretation. Students will get an opportunity to become familiar with the interpretation of the primary religious sources of Islam that result in diverse iterations and accounts of Muslim ethics in various contexts.

 

Modern Arab Thought 

MELC 40703 01
Prof. Hussein Abdulsater

3 credit hours

This course studies a group of texts that cover developments in Arab thought starting with Napoleon's  Egyptian campaign of 1798 and ending with the late twentieth century. It centers on analyzing the positions of Arab intellectuals on the interaction between Arab and Western culture (looking into their positions within their respective contexts, concerns and challenges). The aim of the course is to equip students with a good understanding of the main trends in Arab culture in the last two centuries and encourage a critical examination of the problems that defined public discussion during this period. Because these questions are still very influential in contemporary debates, our knowledge of their origins and developments is essential for understanding current events and studying present Arab societies.

Spring 2020

Arabic Language Courses (MEAR)

First Year Arabic I

MEAR 10001/60001 (Section 1)
G. Bualuan
MW 9:25-10:15 also meets TR 9:30-10:45
5 credits

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.
MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

MEAR 10001/60001 (Section 2)
TBD
MW 12:50-1:40 also meets TR 12:30-1:45
5 credits

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.
MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10002/60002
C. Bronson
MWF 11:30-12:20, TR 11:00-11:50

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East. MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

Second Year Arabic I

MEAR 20003/60003
G. Bualuan
MW 10:30-11:20, TR 11:00-11:50

Second Year Arabic II

MEAR 20004/60004 01
A. Muezzin
MTWTR 2:00-2:50

MEAR 20004/60004 02
A. Muezzin
MTWTR 3:30-4:20

Prerequisite: MEAR 20003/60003 or equivalent
This course is geared to consolidating skills gained in the previous three semesters while enhancing the ability to converse and conduct oneself in Arabic. Reading skills are enhanced by exposure to more sophisticated examples of literature. Original written expression is encouraged through the composition of short essays.

Third Year Arabic II

MEAR 30006/60006
C. Bronson
MWF 9:25-10:15 

Prerequisite MEAR 30005, 60005 or equivalent.
This third-year Arabic course emphasis is on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interactive settings. Vocabulary building will be the focus of drills; we will cover basic vocabulary in various authentic uses of the language. Special attention will also be given to media Arabic. Basic Arabic grammar should be completed by the end of the year. We will continue with Part 2 of the Kitaab sequence. Supplementary materials, mainly from Arabic media (BBC Arabic News, newspapers, magazines), will be provided. Tests, both oral and written, will cover the textbook material, in addition to the basic grammar and the cumulative vocabulary.

Modern Arabic Poetry

MEAR 40029
A. Muezzin
MW 12:30-1:45
 

This course will focus on the close reading and interpretation of modern poetry from 1900 on, including Free Verse, Prose Poem and `Ammiyyah Poetry. Topics and themes include (post)- colonialism, modernism, committed poetry, the influence of the West, poetry and identity, resistance poetry, metapoetry, poetry of the Arab Spring. Final projects will allow students to pursue their individual interests. Except for some translation, class will be conducted in Arabic. The instructor will assist students in choosing readings and project topics appropriate to their levels and interests.

 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

Introduction to Arabic Culture and Civilization

MELC 10101
G. Bualuan
MW 12:30-1:45

This course is an introductory survey of Arabic culture and civilization from the pre-Islamic era to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The course will trace the origins of the Arab people and their distinctive culture and literature. The revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad and subsequent development of Islam will be treated in detail. Following this, the course will focus on the spread of Islamic civilization, its interactions with other cultures, and its contributions to scholarship in the areas of literature, art, and architecture.

The 1001 Nights

MELC 20033
L. Guo
TR 11:00-12:15
The Thousand and One Nights, also known as the Arabian Nights, is a collection of tales originated in the Arab lands that has become a masterpiece of world literature. These enchanting stories, framed by the tale of Scheherazade (or Shahrazad), have enjoyed a widespread and varied reputation over the centuries and across cultures. It is said that the Thousand and One Nights is the most read (or heard about) book in human history, second only to Bible. In this class, we will examine these stories from a variety of academic and cultural perspectives, taking advantage of the wealth of material available (both textual and audio-visual). We will examine issues of provenance: where did these stories originate and when? We will study the stories as literary texts as well as historical documents, asking what, if anything, they tell us about the cultures they reflect and the societies in which they are set. We will examine how these tales have been interpreted by later societies, both Arab and Western, and what those interpretations tell us about the interpreters. We will use this class and its content to introduce ourselves to the study of the Middle East, its languages, history, literature, and peoples. We will gain a better understanding of the analytical tools and techniques for the study and appreciation of literature in general.

Introduction to Islamic Civilization

MELC 20070
L. Guo
TR 2:00-3:15

This course is designed to introduce students to Islamic civilization and Muslim culture and societies. The course will cover the foundations of Islamic belief, worship, and institutions, along with the evolution of sacred law (al-shari‘a) and theology, as well as various aspects of intellectual activities. The Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad will be examined in detail. Both Sunni and Shi‘i perspectives will be considered. Major Sufi personalities will be discussed to illuminate the mystical, and popular, tradition in Islam. Topics on arts, architecture, literary culture, and sciences will be covered. Although the course is concerned more with the history of ideas than with modern Islam as such, it has great relevance for understanding contemporary Muslim attitudes and political, social, and cultural trends in the Muslim world today.

Islamic Ethics of War and Peace

MELC 40700
Omar Abdul
TR 2:00-3:15

Since September 11, 2001, topics related to Islam have inundated the airwaves, aroused the curiosity of many and troubled the minds of some. In order to better understand current events, it is important to have a greater understanding of the world view of Islam. This course on Islamic Ethics of War and Peace will provide students with such an opportunity. It examines the major principles of Islamic ethics and the key theories of classical and contemporary Muslim ethicists. These principles and theories will be applied to analyze contemporary Muslim perspectives on war and peace. Cognizant of the various contexts within which ethical questions are debated, students will be encouraged to explore the impact of modernity, post-modernity, globalization and liberalism on Muslim ethical discourses. Students will also be encouraged to compare the ethical principles and theories of Islam on war and peace with that of other philosophical and religious theories to discover points of difference as well as convergence. Students are not expected to emerge from this course as experts on Islamic ethics or any of its subfields, but rather, they will be exposed to major authors and arguments and be provided with a number of conceptual lenses that can be applied to their analysis of the diverse ways in which Islam is implicated in conflict, violence and peacebuilding on both a global and local level.

Fall 2019

Arabic Language Courses (MEAR)

First Year Arabic I

MEAR 10001/60001 01
Prof. G. Bualuan
MWF 9:25-10:15
TR 9:30-10:20, 5 credits

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

 

MEAR 10001/60001 02
Prof. C. Bronson
MWF 11:30-12:20
TR 11:00-11:50, 5 credits

 

MEAR 10001/60001 03
Prof. A. Muezzin
MWF 3:30-4:20
TR 3:30-4:20, 5 credits

 

First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10002/60002 01
Fulbright Scholar: 
MWF 9:25-10:15
TR 9:30-10:20, 5 credits

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

 

Second Year Arabic I

MEAR 20003/60003 01
Prof. A. Muezzin
MW 2:00-2:50

TR 2:00-2:50, 4 credits

This second-year Arabic course builds on the previous two semesters. The emphasis is on speaking and writing for self-expression with continued study of the basic grammatical structures. Proficiency remains the focus through readings and conversations in the language. Students develop skill in the use of the Arabic dictionary.

 

Third Year Arabic I

MEAR 30005/60005 01
Prof. A. Muezzin
MWF 12:50-1:40, 3 credits

Prerequisite MEAR 20004, 60004 or equivalent.

This third-year Arabic course emphasis is on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interactive settings. Vocabulary building will be the focus of drills; we will cover basic vocabulary in various authentic uses of the language. Special attention will also be given to media Arabic. Basic Arabic grammar should be completed by the end of the year. We will continue with Part 2 of the Kitaab sequence. Supplementary materials, mainly from Arabic media (BBC Arabic News, newspapers, magazines), will be provided. Tests, both oral and written, will cover the textbook material, in addition to the basic grammar and the cumulative vocabulary.

 

Arabic Folk Literature

MEAR 40040 01
Prof. G. Bualuan
TR 11:00-12:15, 3 credits

This is an advanced Arabic language course designed to enhance and develop students’ reading, speaking, and writing skills. The substantial component of this course comprises a close textual study and critical analysis of a variety of selected stories from “The Arabian Nights” designed to evoke aesthetic and intellectual discussions of Arabic folk literature.

 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

MELC 10101 Intro to Arabic Culture/Civilization

Prof. G. Bualuan
MW 12:30-1:45, 3 credits

This course is an introductory survey of Arabic culture and civilization from the pre-Islamic era to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The course will trace the origins of the Arab people and their distinctive culture and literature. The revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad and subsequent development of Islam will be treated in detail. Following this, the course will focus on the spread of Islamic civilization, its interactions with other cultures, and its contributions to scholarship in the areas of literature, art, and architecture.

MELC 13186: Literature University Seminar: The Arabian Nights and World Literature

Prof. L. Guo
TR 11:00-12:15, 3 credits

This course has as its focal point the famous collection of tales, the Thousand and One Nights (better known as The Arabian Nights).  We examine issues of provenance.  We study the stories as literary texts as well as historical documents.  We examine how these tales have been interpreted by later societies.  Finally, we use this course to introduce us to the study of the Middle East, its languages, history, literature, and peoples.

MELC 13186 02: Literature University Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in Islam

Prof. C. Bronson
TR 12:30-1:45, 3 credits

This course offers a topical survey of the relationships between biological sex, culturally bound notions of “masculinity” and “femininity,” and gender in Islam. Herein, we will explore the role of religion in defining gender performativity and sexuality. Students read and interpret religious texts and commentaries, literary and legal texts, comic books, and women’s writing to understand how religion influences gender norms in a variety of contexts in the Muslim World. 

No previous study of Islam is assumed: the first part of the course is designed as a historical survey of the rise of Islam, the career of the Prophet Muhammad, and the texts of Islam. The second part of the course comprises a thorough-going exploration of “lived” issues: Islamic feminism, veiling, masculinities, liminal space, bodies, progressive movements, and the burgeoning LGBQT movement and its reception in Islam(s).
 

MELC 30025: Arabic Literary Heritage

Prof. L. Guo
TR 2:00-3:15, 3 credits

This course introduces students to classical/medieval Arabic literature from its beginnings in the pre-Islamic period to the eve of the Ottoman Empire (600-1517). Its emphasis is on direct examination of Arabic literature through a close reading of the representative texts in English translation. Among the topics to be discussed: the impact of Islam on the Arabic literary tradition, the relationship between convention and invention, the emergence of lyric genres and the development of a concept of fiction. Readings include pre-Islamic Arabian poetry, the Qur'an (as literary text), lyric poetry and Sufi poetry, the Arabian Nights and medieval Arabic narrative romances. No knowledge of Arabic is required. 

MELC 40702 (Cross-listed with IIPS 40610): Moral Vocabularies of Contemporary Islam: Islamic Law and Ethics in Perspective

Prof. E. Moosa
MW 2:00-3:15, 3 credits

How does one make sense of the moral vocabularies of contemporary Islam? Prominent in the media are debates about Sharia, known as Islamic law. On other occasions people talk about Islamic ethics and values in Muslim societies and communities. These categories are often non self-evident to even the most casual observer. How do we get a better grasp of moral debates in Muslim societies on questions as diverse as suicide terrorism, organ transplantation to democratic politics and fetal life? These ethical debates impact policy questions ranging from gender, democratic citizenship, technology and sexual violence to matters related to issues of Islamic family law and constitutional debates. But of equal importance is the need to give attention to the various contexts in which Muslim ethical discourses and moral vocabularies are deployed.  Some of the contexts range from nation-states in-the-making, liberal democracies in the West, societies disintegrating as a result of failed states to countries being occupied by global powers.  Hegemonic capitalist globalization, triumphant political liberalism and misrule all contribute to the social context.  This course will explore a select sample of questions from an ethical and moral perspective.

Spring 2019

Arabic Language Courses (MEAR)

 

First Year Arabic I

MEAR 10001/60001 01

Prof. G. Bualuan

MWF 9:25-10:15

TR 9:30-10:20, 5 credits

 

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

 

 

First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10002/60002 01

Prof. A. Muezzin

MWF 9:25-10:15

TR 9:30-10:20, 5 credits

 

MEAR 10002/60002 02

Prof. C. Bronson

MWF 11:30-12:20

TR 11:00-11:50, 5 credits

 

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

 

 

Second Year Arabic II 

MEAR 20004/60004 01 

Prof. A. Muezzin

MW 10:30-11:20

TR 11:00-11:50, 4 credits

 

MEAR 20004/60004 02

Prof. A. Muezzin

MW 11:30-12:20

TR 12:30-1:20, 4 credits

 

Prerequisite:  MEAR 20003/60003 or equivalent

This course is geared to consolidating skills gained in the previous three semesters while enhancing the ability to converse and conduct oneself in Arabic.  Reading skills are enhanced by exposure to more sophisticated examples of literature.  Original written expression is encouraged through the composition of short essays.

 

 

Third-Year Arabic II

MEAR 30005/60005 01

Prof. C. Bronson

MWF 9:25-10:15, 3 credits

 

Prerequisite MEAR 20004, 60004 or equivalent.

This third-year Arabic course emphasis is on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interactive settings. Vocabulary building will be the focus of drills; we will cover basic vocabulary in various authentic uses of the language. Special attention will also be given to media Arabic. Basic Arabic grammar should be completed by the end of the year. We will continue with Part 2 of the Kitaab sequence. Supplementary materials, mainly from Arabic media (BBC Arabic News, newspapers, magazines), will be provided. Tests, both oral and written, will cover the textbook material, in addition to the basic grammar and the cumulative vocabulary.

 

 

Intro to Classical/Quranic Arabic I

MEAR 40027/60027 (Cross-list MI 40667/60667)

Prof. L. Guo

TR 12:30-1:45, 3 credits

 

The goal of this course is to develop a basic knowledge of the Classical/Koranic Arabic, with emphasis on an overview of grammar and syntax, vocabulary acquisition, and serial readings of Islamic texts. We read selections from Qur’an, Qur’anic exegeses, hadith (Prophetic tradition), and other related material. We learn how to use Arabic dictionary and bibliographical references (in print and online). 

 

 

Arabic Folk Literature

MEAR 40040/60040

Prof. G. Bualuan

TR 11:00-12:15, 3 credits

This is an advanced Arabic language course designed to enhance and develop students’ reading, speaking, and writing skills. The substantial component of this course comprises a close textual study and critical analysis of a variety of selected stories from “The Arabian Nights” designed to evoke aesthetic and intellectual discussions of Arabic folk literature.

 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

 

 

Introduction to Arabic Culture and Civilization- Canceled

MELC 10101

Prof. H. Abdulsater

TR 3:30-4:45, 3 credits

 

This course is an introductory survey of Arabic culture and civilization from the pre-Islamic era to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The course will trace the origins of the Arab people and their distinctive culture and literature. The revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad and subsequent development of Islam will be treated in detail. Following this, the course will focus on the spread of Islamic civilization, its interactions with other cultures, and its contributions to scholarship in the areas of literature, art, and architecture.

 

 

History University Seminar: Struggle in the Heart of Islam

MELC 13184

Prof. H. Abdulsater
TR 3:30-4:45

 

This course is an introduction to the main conflict in Arabic and Islamic culture. It examines sectarianism in the Arab and Islamic world from the sixth century to our present time. Relying on different media (texts, movies, arts, archeological remains…), it studies the formation of the different versions of Shiʿi and Sunni Islam. We will learn about the background of sectarianism and how it shaped identity formation and modern states. We will trace—chronologically and geographically—religious propaganda, mass and individual conversions, confessionalization, and episodes of war and peace. No prior knowledge of Arabic culture, the Middle East, or Islam is required.

 

The Arabic Literary Heritage

MELC 30025

Prof. L. Guo

TR 3:30-4:45, 3 credits

 

This course introduces students to classical/medieval Arabic literature from its beginnings in the pre-Islamic period to the eve of the Ottoman Empire (600-1517). Its emphasis is on direct examination of Arabic literature through a close reading of the representative texts in English translation. Among the topics to be discussed: the impact of Islam on the Arabic literary tradition, the relationship between convention and invention, the emergence of lyric genres and the development of a concept of fiction. Readings include pre-Islamic Arabian poetry, the Qur’an (as literary text), lyric poetry and Sufi poetry, the Arabian Nights and medieval Arabic narrative romances. No knowledge of Arabic is required.

 

 

Miracles in Arabic Literature and Islamic Theology: Sorcerers, Poets, and Saints
MELC 30072
Prof. H. Abdulsater
TR 11:00-12:15, 3 credits

Miracles and wonders are ubiquitous in most religious and literary traditions; they satisfy diverse functions in terms of both the self-image and worldview. This course covers the idea of miracles in Arabic Literature and Islamic Theology. As such, it first discusses the concept of miracles in the broad philosophical tradition, then moves on to the cultural context that gave rise to Arabic literature and Islam. Then the discussion will proceed to cover the miracles  ascribed to the Prophet and investigate their roots in the earliest sources, comparing them with the wonders described in Arabic poetry and miracles in other religions. There will be detailed case-studies concerning specific miracles, looking both at the aesthetic and religious significance of such occurrences. Finally, the miraculous nature of the Quran will be treated extensively, ranging from theological works that rely on its literary value to those ascribing to it healing powers. The expected outcomes include: (1) the development of a more robust concept of the function of miracles in classical Islamic theology and (2) a more nuanced understanding of the Quran’s miraculous status.

 

Fall 2018

Arabic Language courses (MEAR)

 

First Year Arabic I

MEAR 10001/60001 01

Prof. G. Bualuan

MWF 9:25-10:15

Also meets TR 9:30-10:20

 

MEAR 10001/60001 02

Prof. C. Bronson

MWF 11:30-12:20

Also meets TR 11:00-11:50

 

MEAR 10001/60001 03

TBA

MWF 3:30-4:20

Also meets TR 3:30-4:20

 

5 credits

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

MEAR 10001 is offered each spring semester and MEAR 10002 is offered each fall semester.

 

 

First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10002/60002 01

TBA

MWF 9:25-10:15

Also meets TR 9:30-10:20

 

This two-semester sequence of courses is a basic introduction to all aspects of the Arabic language through a comprehensive and integrated method. The focus is on language proficiency in all areas of the language including speaking, reading, and writing. The course also introduces students to aspects of Arabic culture and everyday life in the Middle East.

 

 

First Year Arabic II

MEAR 10002/60002 01

Prof. G. Bualuan

MWF 9:25-10:15

Also meets TR 9:30-10:20

 

 

Second Year Arabic I 

MEAR 20003/60003 01

Prof. G. Bualuan

MW 10:30-11:20

Also meets TR 11:00-11:50, 4 credits

 

MEAR 20003/60003 02

TBA

MWF 11:30-12:20

Also meets R 11:00-11:50, 4 credits

 

 

Second Year Arabic II

MEAR 20004/60004 02

TBA

MWF 2:00-2:50

Also meets R 2:00-2:50, 4 credits

Prerequisite:  MEAR 20003/60003 or equivalent

 

This course is geared to consolidating skills gained in the previous three semesters while enhancing the ability to converse and conduct oneself in Arabic.  Reading skills are enhanced by exposure to more sophisticated examples of literature.  Original written expression is encouraged through the composition of short essays.

 

 

Third-Year Arabic I

MEAR 30005/60005 01

Prof. C. Bronson

MWF 9:25-10:15, 3 credits

Prerequisite:  MEAR 30005/60005

 

This third-year Arabic course emphasis on developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in interactive settings. Vocabulary building will be the focus of drills; we will cover basic vocabulary in various authentic uses of the language. Special attention will also be given to media Arabic. Basic Arabic grammar should be completed by the end of the year. We will continue with Part 2 of the Kitaab sequence. Supplementary materials, mainly from Arabic media (BBC Arabic News, newspapers, magazines), will be provided. Tests, both oral and written, will cover the textbook material, in addition to the basic grammar and the cumulative vocabulary.

 

 

Advanced Conversational Arabic

MEAR 30303/60303 01

Prof. G. Bualuan

T 12:30-1:20, 1 credit

 

This course is intended to increase spoken Arabic proficiency and socio-cultural competence by focusing on the development and enhancement of intermediate skills in speaking and listening through the use of texts and multimedia materials in Modern Standard Arabic. It also takes into consideration dialectical diversity. Class time will be spent in conversation and discussions after students read chosen texts and prepare assignments on audio-visual materials outside of class.

 

 

Media Arabic I

MEAR 40020/60020 01

TBA

MWF 12:50-1:40, 3 credits

 

This course aims to help the student acquire the skills needed to read and listen to Arabic Media at the advanced level, and to communicate in Arabic on contemporary political, social, and cultural issues relating to the Middle East and North Africa. Through media material, the student will solidify and build on the Arabic skills already acquired in previous years of study, and s/he will be trained to read and listen to different forms of Arabic Media, and speak and write about a wide range of topics related to contemporary events.

 

 

Intro to Classical/Quranic Arabic II

MEAR 40028/60028 (Cross-list MI 40668/60668)

Prof. L. Guo

TR 12:30-1:45, 3 credits

 

The goal of this course is to continue to develop a basic knowledge of the Classical/Qur’anic Arabic, with an emphasis on an overview of grammar and syntax, vocabulary acquisition, and serial readings of Islamic texts. We will read selections from Qur’an, Qur’anic exegeses, hadith (Prophetic tradition), and other related material, such as Islamic legal texts. We will learn how to use Arabic/Islamic bibliographical references (in print and online).  No prerequisite.

 


 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

 

 

Literature University Seminar: The Arabian Nights and World Literature

MELC 13186 01

Prof. Li Guo

TR 3:30-4:45, 3 credit

 

This course has as its focal point the famous collection of tales, the Thousand and One Nights (better known as The Arabian Nights).  We examine issues of provenance.  We study the stories as literary texts as well as historical documents.  We examine how these tales have been interpreted by later societies.  Finally, we use this course to introduce us to the study of the Middle East, its languages, history, literature, and peoples.

 

 

Gendered Bodies in the Islamic Tradition

MELC 30023 (Cross-list GSC 30596)

Prof. C. Bronson

TR 12:30-1:45, 3 credits

 

This interdisciplinary course offers a topical survey of the relationships between biological sex, culturally bound notions of "masculinity" and "femininity," and the gendered body in the Islamic tradition. The primary aim of the course is to explore the intersection of religion and social constructions of gender and the body in a variety of historical and cultural contexts in the Muslim World. Students read and interpret religious texts and commentaries, literary and legal texts, women's writings, and media in English translation. Coursework focuses on increasing students' understanding of the diversity of scholarly views on women's bodies as sites of piety and sites of political and social contestation (reproductive rights, public vs. private space, etc.). 

 

 

Sunni and Shi'i Muslims: Common Legacy, Multiple Narratives CANCELLED

MELC 30052 01

Prof. H. Abdulsater

TR 11:00-12:15, 3 credit hours

 

News coverage of Middle East developments is replete with references to Shiʿi and Sunni Muslims. Their differences are often presented as a millenarian conflict, and as the cause of the discord that ravages the region. This course examines the formation of the different versions of Shiʿi and Sunni Islam. While studying the common Islamic legacy shared by both, we will look into the multiple narratives that are based on this legacy. As such, the course investigates the political developments, intellectual currents, legal positions and ritual practices that provided Shiʿi and Sunni Muslims with their rich variations on the story of Islam. Students are expected to actively participate in discussions based on te assigned weekly readings and material presented in class lectures. It is strongly recommended that students have prior knowledge of Arabic culture, the Middle East, or Islam.

 

 

Modern Arab Thought

MELC 40703 01

Prof. Hussein Abdulsater

TR 3:30-4:45, 3 credit hours

 

This course studies a group of texts that cover developments in Arab thought starting with Napoleon's Egyptian campaign of 1798 and ending with the late twentieth century. It centers on analyzing the positions of Arab intellectuals on the interaction between Arab and Western culture (looking into their positions within their respective contexts, concerns and challenges). The aim of the course is to equip students with a good understanding of the main trends in Arab culture in the last two centuries and encourage a critical examination of the problems that defined public discussion during this period. Because these questions are still very influential in contemporary debates, our knowledge of their origins and developments is essential for understanding current events and studying present Arab societies.