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 2019 and fall 2018. For the most up-to-date listings, visit the Registrar's office through InsideND

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

 

 

Middle Eastern Courses (MELC)

 

 

Introduction to Arabic Culture and Civilization

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.

 

 

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.