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COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES
NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES & CIVILIZATION

Detailed course offerings (Time Schedule) are available for

To see the detailed Instructor Class Description, click on the underlined instructor name following the course description.

NEAR E 150 Israel: Dynamic Society and Global Flashpoint (5) I&S Barzilai, Burstein, Migdal, Pianko, Sokoloff
Introduces the people, institutions, and culture of Israel is the context of larger global forces. Examines domestic, regional, and international elements, both historically and in the contemporary period, that have shaped Israel's culture, politics, and special role in world affairs. Topics include nationalism, ethnicity, politics, religion, film, literature, and culture. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 101.
Instructor Course Description: Joel S Migdal Naomi B. Sokoloff

NEAR E 199 Study Abroad (1-15, max. 15)
Credit for lower division NEAR E courses in an approved Study Abroad program. Requires credit evaluation by department or faculty. Does not automatically apply to major or minor requirements. Offered: AWSpS.

NEAR E 205 Religion, Violence, and Peace: Patterns Across Time and Tradition (5) I&S, DIV Noegel, Wellman
Investigates the complex relationship between violence and peace in a variety of religious traditions. Examines case studies from the ancient Near East, medieval East Asia, and the contemporary West from the standpoint of lived experiences and contemporary theories derived from several academic disciplines. Offered: jointly with HUM 205/JSIS C 205; W.

NEAR E 210 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (5) VLPA/I&S
Major developments in Islamic civilization from advent of Islam in seventh century to present. Islamic history, law, theology, and mysticism, as well as the politics, cultures, and literatures of the various Islamic societies. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 210.
Instructor Course Description: Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 211 Islam (5) VLPA/I&S
Introduction to important cultural and historical aspects of Islam, focusing on basic concepts and developments such as prophethood, Quran and Hadith, canon and law, ritual, social theory, Sufism, theology, and sectarianism. Special attention to comparison of varied Muslim practices and beliefs, and their relation to textual and personal authority. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 211.
Instructor Course Description: Alyssa Gabbay

NEAR E 212 Introduction to the Quran (5) VLPA/I&S
Emphasis on the historical context of the Quran, the history of the text, its collection, organization, and interpretation. In English. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 212.
Instructor Course Description: Alyssa Gabbay Terri Lynn Deyoung

NEAR E 213 Introduction to the Modern Middle East (5) I&S
Major social and political trends in the Middle East during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Basic principles of Islam and its diversity, changing balance of power during the early modern period; European colonialism and withdrawal; pan-Arabism, nationalism, feminism and religious resurgence. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 215.
Instructor Course Description: Denis Basic

NEAR E 220 Introduction to the Ancient Near East (5) VLPA/I&S Noegel
Surveys the peoples, places, and events of the ancient Near East. Examines the cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel with an eye to each culture's cultural contributions. Pays special attention to shared cultural elements as well as distinguishing characteristics of the peoples of these regions.

NEAR E 230 Themes in Near Eastern Literature (5) VLPA/I&S
Significant and interesting aspects of Near Eastern culture and society as represented by literary themes. Aspects of Near Eastern life and art such as women, minority groups, mysticism, and modern literature. Content varies.

NEAR E 240 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: Old Testament (5) VLPA/I&S
Examines the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in translation and its relationship with literatures of ancient Near East. Comparisons drawn between Biblical text and literary works of Canaan, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia. Emphasis on the sophisticated literary techniques employed by Biblical writers. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 240.

NEAR E 242 Cultural History of Turkey: From Empire to Nation (5) VLPA/I&S
Topics include: social, economic, and political structures of Ottoman and Turkish Anatolia; language, literature, and artistic tradition; social status of women, literacy and illiteracy, the secular enterprise of Kemal Ataturk; Islamic fundamentalism, educational institutions, Kurdish nationalism. Offered: W.
Instructor Course Description: Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 250 Iranian Culture and Civilization (5) VLPA/I&S
Explores the culture and civilization of this Middle Eastern society through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes such manifestations as architecture, carpet-weaving, story-telling, and the composition of poetry.
Instructor Course Description: Susan E Benson

NEAR E 251 Jewish Life in Literature and Film (3) VLPA/I&S
Major themes of Jewish life treated in modern narrative and cinema. Topics include religious tradition and modernity. Jewish immigration to America, responses to the Holocaust and Zionism.

NEAR E 253 Voices of the Iranian Revolution (3) VLPA/I&S
Includes critical readings of the 1979 Iranian Revolution as represented in essays, fiction, poetry, memoir, speeches, film, and other arts. Examines the ways that writers, artists, politicians, and intellectuals have depicted the origins and development of the Islamic Republic and the legacy of the revolution in Iranian society and culture today.

NEAR E 260 Death and Afterlife in the Ancient World (3) VLPA/I&S
Explores human yearnings, obsessions, fears, and aspirations associated with death and afterlife by examining major political, military, social, economic, religious, literary, artistic, and architectural phenomena directly connected to the way ancient cultures, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, and the Levant, have conceptualized death.

NEAR E 280 Introduction to Central Asian Turkic Literature in Translation (5) VLPA Cirtautas
Provides an overview of the major periods of Central Asian Turkic literature including: the Pre-Islamic Period (eighth-tenth centuries), the Islamic Period (tenth-twentieth centuries), the Modern Period (1905-1991), and the Post-Colonial period (1991-present). Centers on the Turkic peoples who lived under Russia and Soviet colonial rule.

NEAR E 310 Modern Near Eastern Literatures in English Translation (3) VLPA
Contemporary cultures of the Middle East studied through exposure to a representative sample of their literary work. Texts selected address major issues in Middle Eastern societies, e.g., tradition versus modernity, national identity and the challenge of the West, Arab-Israeli conflict.

NEAR E 325 Modern Hebrew Literature in English (3) VLPA Sokoloff
Major developments in Hebrew literature from the Enlightenment to the current Israeli literature.
Instructor Course Description: Naomi B. Sokoloff

NEAR E 326 Israeli Identities (5) VLPA Sokoloff
Examines fiction and film, as well as selected poetry, popular songs, and essays, to explore diverse groups within contemporary Israeli society. Topics include the sabra ideal, holocaust survivors, Sephardic/Mizrahi communities, religious and secular Jews, Israel's Arab minority, and questions of gender.
Instructor Course Description: Naomi B. Sokoloff

NEAR E 363 Oral Literature of the Turkic Peoples of Central Asia I: the Heroic Epos (3) VLPA Cirtautas
Representative heroic poems of Central Asian Turkic peoples now living in the Central Asian Republics and China. Origin of the heroic epos, its relation to the romantic epos and other oral literary genres. Art of the singer and his role in nomadic Turkic society. Emphasis on Manas, the monumental epos of Kirghiz.

NEAR E 364 Islam and Muslims in China (5) I&S
Introduces the lived experiences of Muslims in contemporary China. Examines Muslims' understanding of their faith; the relationship of Islam to the political, economic, and social lives of Muslims; how Islam shapes people's sense of culture and identity; and unity and diversity of various Chinese Muslim communities.

NEAR E 375 Turkic Peoples of Central Asia (3) I&S
History of the Turkic peoples, AD 552 to present. Emphasis on current status of Turkic peoples in Central Asia. Geographical distribution, demographic data, reactions and adaptations to changes resulting from the 1917 revolution. Turkic viewpoint on past and present developments. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 379.

NEAR E 399 Study Abroad (1-15, max. 15)
Credit for NEAR E 200-400-level courses in an approved Study Abroad program. Requires credit evaluation by department or faculty. Does not automatically apply to major or minor requirements. Offered: AWSpS.

NEAR E 402 Classical Arabic Literature in Translation (3) VLPA DeYoung
Examines development of Arabic literature from its beginnings through the fall of the Abbasid dynasty to the Mongols. Coincides with period when Arabic language and literature were dominant forces in Islamic civilization. Topics include: impact of Islam on the literature, courtly love, mystical poetry, the Thousand-and-One Nights, and Hispano-Arabic literature.

NEAR E 403 Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Modern Arabic Novel (3) VLPA/I&S DeYoung
Examines how representative novels from the modern canon in Arabic have both endorsed and critiqued aspects of nationalism and colonialist ideology. Prerequisite: either NEAR E 211 or NEAR E 212.

NEAR E 404 Language Conflict and Identity in the Middle East and North Africa (5) VLPA/I&S
Explores social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the relationship between language and national/ethnic identity from the perspective of group conflict. Considers language policies in colonial and post-colonial states, and individual strategies of accommodation and resistance to these policies.

NEAR E 410 Middle East Through Cinema (3, max. 12) VLPA
Analyzes the function of cinema in shaping communal and individual identities in Middle Eastern cultures. Examines topics including religious transformation, violence, identity, gender, immigration, and exile through film screenings, discussions, and supplementary readings.
Instructor Course Description: Firoozeh Papan-Matin Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 411 Digital Media: The Middle East and Central Asia (5) VLPA Waters
Hands-on, project-based approach to imaging, new media, electronic text, databases, metadata and accessibility, rights management, and other issues central to contemporary humanities research on the Middle East and Central Asia.

NEAR E 414 Moses, Muhammad, and Malcolm X: Prophecy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (3) I&S
Examines the phenomenon of prophecy in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought and writing from antiquity to modernity. Traces the development of prophetic expression in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran. Surveys major themes and covers various eras, including prophecy in the American context.

NEAR E 415 Islam in Jewish Contexts, Judaism in Muslim Contexts (3) VLPA/I&S
An introduction to the Jewish-Muslim encounter: a look at exchange, symbiosis, liminality, and confrontation between these two kindred religio-cultural systems, from the rise of Islam, to the end of its Classical Age - six centuries wherein the majority of the world's Jews lived among Muslim majorities.

NEAR E 420 Islamic Theological Literature in English (3) VLPA
Readings from Mu' tazilite and Ash' arite works and from traditionalist works opposed to theology.

NEAR E 421 Islamic Mystical Literature in English (3) VLPA
Readings from the works of principal Sufi writers and poets. Prerequisite: either NEAR E 211 or NEAR E 212.

NEAR E 422 Islamic Philosophical and Scientific Literature in English (3) VLPA
Readings in philosophy, the physical sciences, and medicine.

NEAR E 423 Persian Literature in Translation (3) VLPA
Designed to familiarize students with an expanding collection of works translated from Persian literature, both classical and modern, into English. Focuses on a few representative texts and offers interpretations of the culture through close readings. Prior acquaintance with Iranian culture not required.

NEAR E 424 Classical Persian Literature in Translation (3) VLPA/I&S
Introduces themes, forms, and historical development of Persian literature from the 10th to 19th centuries CE. Topics includes lyric and epic forms, Sufism, premodern poetics, and reception history of English translations. Reading include Rumi, Hafez, Khayyam, Ferdowsi, Sa'di among others. No prior knowledge of Persian language or literature required.

NEAR E 425 Current Trends in Modern Near Eastern Literature and Criticism (3) VLPA
Modern literary tradition of the Near East with emphasis on major literary movements and/or genres and literary criticism in the modern period. The literatures of the Arab world, Persia, Turkey, and Israel are considered in alternate quarters.

NEAR E 426 Modern Persian Literature in Translation (3) VLPA/I&S
Introduces Persian literature from early modernizing projects in the 19th century up to today. Includes poetry, fiction, essays, and film. Examines various ways that Persian writers define modernity in their own works and respond to writers in other languages and traditions. No prior knowledge of Persian language or literature required.

NEAR E 430 Scripture and Law in Islam (5) VLPA/I&S
Examines concept and use of scripture in Islam, with special attention to issues of canon and commentary, heavenly books, talismanic uses, and the place of scripture in ritual. In English. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 430.
Instructor Course Description: Jonathan Ac Brown

NEAR E 432 Ritual and Territory in Islam (5) VLPA/I&S
Comparative study of Islamic ritual practices and related development of jurisprudence and law. Focus on sacrifice, political and social legal theory, pilgrimage, regulation of the body, and the diversity of contemporary practices. In English. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 432.

NEAR E 433 Life of Prophet Muhammad (5) VLPA/I&S
Examines historical and religious traditions associated with the life of the Prophet Muhammad with particular attention to the biography in classical Islam. Focuses on Muhammad as prophet, holy man, law-giver, mystic, and statesman. Comparison with other religious figures such as Jesus and the Buddha. In English. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 435.

NEAR E 435 Major Trends in Modern Arabic Fiction (3) VLPA DeYoung
Development of Arabic prose fiction from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. Prerequisite: either NEAR E 211 or NEAR E 212.

NEAR E 436 Arab American Writers (3) VLPA/I&S DeYoung
Explores the influence of Arab American writing both in the United States and the Arab world during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discusses issues of emigration to the United States from the Arab world and its impact on the formation of a distinctive Arab American identity. Prerequisite: either NEAR E 211 or NEAR E 212.

NEAR E 437 Thousand and One Nights (3) VLPA DeYoung
An examination of the major story cycles of the Thousand-and-One-Nights collection, in its social and historical context.

NEAR E 440 Calligraphy in Islamic Culture (3) VLPA
Survey of the esthetics, uses, interpretations of artistic writing in Islamic culture with a "hands on" approach to recognizing, appreciating, and creating Arabic script calligraphy. Students need not know Arabic script nor have calligraphic talents, although some familiarity with Islamic civilization is helpful.

NEAR E 441 Literature and the Holocaust (5) VLPA, DIV Sokoloff
Examines fiction, poetry, memoir, diaries, monuments, film, and pop culture from several languages and cultural milieus, with emphases on English and Hebrew. Topics include survivor testimony, shaping of collective memory, the second generation, Holocaust education and children's literature, gender and the Holocaust, and fantasy and humor as responses to catastrophe. Offered: jointly with C LIT 441.

NEAR E 442 Turkish Literature in Translation (3) VLPA
Covers major theoretical issues concerning Ottoman court literature and Turkish epic and troubadour poetry. Major writers and works of modern Turkish literature read and analyzed in their social, political, and theoretical contexts. Previous study of Turkish literature not required.

NEAR E 443 The Word and the Empire: Reading Ottoman Literature (3-5) VLPA/I&S Kuru
Approaches Ottoman literature through translations and scholarly articles in English. Evaluates this particular literary tradition as an imperial production, through an analysis and critical reading of course materials.
Instructor Course Description: Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 450 Survey of the Cultures of the Turkic Peoples of Central Asia (3) VLPA/I&S Cirtautas
Nomadic and sedentary cultures of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Emphasis on languages, literature, and adherence to traditional modes of life. Offered: jointly with JSIS D 440.

NEAR E 452 The Biblical Song of Songs (3) VLPA Noegel
Examines the erotic and beautiful Song of Songs within the context of ancient (and medieval) Near Eastern love poetry and correlates close readings of the book with various interpretations it has received from antiquity until today. No knowledge of Hebrew or the Bible required. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 451.

NEAR E 453 The Biblical Prophets (3) VLPA/I&S Noegel
Explores the Biblical prophets (in translation) within their Near Eastern contexts. Historicity, literary and rhetorical sophistication, and ideological agendas. Seeks to uncover the meaning and distinctiveness of Israelite prophecy within the context of the larger Near East. No knowledge of the Bible required. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 449.

NEAR E 454 Israel: The First Six Centuries BCE (3) VLPA/I&S Noegel
Traces the Israelites, from the Babylonian destruction of the Jerusalemite Temple (586 BCE) to events following the destruction of the second Temple (first century CE). Focuses on primary historical and literary sources as well as archaeological and artistic evidence. No knowledge of Hebrew or the Bible required. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 454.

NEAR E 455 The Kings of Monarchic Israel (3) VLPA/I&S Noegel
Examines the Biblical accounts (in translation) concerning the formation and collapse of the united Israelite monarchy. Investigates the archaeological and textual evidence for their historicity, the literary sophistication of these accounts, and Israelite kingship within the wider context of the ancient Near East. No knowledge of the Bible is required. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 455.

NEAR E 457 The History of Biblical Interpretation (3) VLPA/I&S Noegel
Traces Biblical interpretation and translation technique from the earliest translations of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) to the various historical literary, deconstructionist, and holistic strategies of more recent times. Adopts a "hands-on" approach to the material and explores various hermeneutics by applying them in class. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 457.

NEAR E 458 The Babylonian Talmud (3/5) VLPA/I&S Jaffee
Introduction to the Babylonian Talmud, the classic collection of rabbinic literature. Literary and historic methodologies contextualize the Talmud in the setting of other ancient religious literatures and track the processes of its literary development. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 458.
Instructor Course Description: Martin S. Jaffee

NEAR E 472 Peoples and Cultures of Central and Inner Asia (5) I&S Mawkanuli
Introduces Central and Inner Asia with a multidisciplinary, comparative survey of the cultures and societies of contemporary China's Inner Asia (Mongolia, Xinjiang - Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Manchuria), the contemporary Muslim Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), and the adjacent areas of Afghanistan and Iran. Offered: jointly with ANTH 422/JSIS D 472.

NEAR E 490 Supervised Study (1-6, max. 18)
Special work in Near Eastern studies for graduates and undergraduates.

NEAR E 491 Methodologies in Near Eastern Studies (5)
Investigates prevalent approaches through a survey of scholarship on Near and Middle Eastern civilizations across time periods, cultures, and communities. Examines discourses developed on polytheistic and monotheistic religions, imperial and nationalist social systems, and ideological frameworks, such as Orientalism. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 491.

NEAR E 495 Trends in the Contemporary Middle East (3) I&S Bacharach, De Young
Perspectives on cultural, political, and other aspects of Middle Eastern societies. Focuses on background complexities rather than immediate political-military confrontations. Topics vary. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 410.

NEAR E 496 Special Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (3-5, max. 15) VLPA/I&S
Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.
Instructor Course Description: Firoozeh Papan-Matin Gary D. Martin Ilse D Cirtautas Michael E. Meeker Selim Sirri Kuru Walter G Andrews

NEAR E 498 Senior Essay (5) VLPA/I&S
Supervised individual research and writing of a major paper during the senior year. Offered: AWSp.

NEAR E 499 Undergraduate Research (1-6, max. 18)

Instructor Course Description: Walter G Andrews

NEAR E 510 Middle East Through Cinema (3, max. 12)
Analyzes the function of cinema in shaping communal and individual identities in Middle Eastern cultures. Examines topics including religious transformation, violence, identity, gender, immigration, and exile through film screenings, discussions, and supplementary readings.
Instructor Course Description: Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 511 Digital Media: The Middle East and Central Asia (5) Waters
Hands-on, project-based approach to imaging, new media, electronic text, databases, metadata and accessibility, rights management, and other issues central to contemporary humanities research on the Middle East and Central Asia.

NEAR E 515 Islam in Jewish Contexts, Judaism in Muslim Contexts (3)
An introduction to the Jewish-Muslim encounter: a look at exchange, symbiosis, liminality, and confrontation between these two kindred religio-cultural systems, from the rise of Islam, to the end of its Classical Age - six centuries wherein the majority of the world's Jews lived among Muslim majorities.

NEAR E 518 Foreign Language Teaching Methodology (2) Brandl
Current foreign language teaching methods and approaches. Learning and teaching strategies and techniques for the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) including cultural notions. Current and future trends in pedagogy and technology. Offered: jointly with GERMAN 518/SCAND 518/SLAV 518.

NEAR E 520 Seminar on Near Eastern Civilization and Thought (3-5, max. 30)
Content varies.

NEAR E 521 Research Methods (3)
Introduction to research in Islamic civilization. Research methods, primary sources, evidence and documentation, reference works, transliteration systems, scholarly writing style.

NEAR E 522 Islamic Theology (3)
Various schools of Islamic theology.

NEAR E 523 Islamic Philosophy (3)
Various topics and problems dealt with by the Islamic philosophers.

NEAR E 524 Islamic Law (2-5)
Selected topics in Islamic law that highlight major aspects of Islamic civilization. Offered: jointly with LAW B 556.

NEAR E 525 Islamic Institutions (3)
Islamic institutions of the caliphate, the sultanate, the bureaucracy, taxation, mosques, and madrasahs, as well as theories of government.

NEAR E 530 Seminar on Near Eastern Literature (3, max. 27)
Content varies. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of at least one Near Eastern language.

NEAR E 531 Proseminar in Literary Analysis (3, max. 9)
Introduction to the theory and techniques of the study of literature in general and Near Eastern literatures in particular. Content varies. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of at least one Near Eastern language.

NEAR E 532 Theory and Practice in Modern Near Eastern Literature (3)
Application of literary theory to works of modern Near Eastern literature. Concentrates on one major theory each year. Content varies.

NEAR E 533 Islamic Poetry and Poetics (3)
Detailed introduction to prosody and rhyme in classical Arabic and Persian, followed by critical analysis of selected texts. Prerequisite: advanced level of Arabic or Persian; recommended: some knowledge of the other language.

NEAR E 564 Islam and Muslims in China (5)
Introduces the lived experiences of Muslims in contemporary China. Examines Muslims' understanding of their faith; the relationship of Islam to the political, economic, and social lives of Muslims; how Islam shapes people's sense of culture and identity; and unity and diversity of various Chinese Muslim communities.

NEAR E 572 Peoples and Cultures of Central and Inner Asia (5)
Offered: jointly with ANTH 522/JSIS D 572.

NEAR E 591 Methodologies in Near Eastern Studies (5)
Investigates prevalent approaches through a survey of scholarship on Near and Middle Eastern civilizations across time periods, cultures, and communities. Examines discourses developed on polytheistic and monotheistic religions, imperial and nationalist social systems, and ideological frameworks, such as Orientalism.
Instructor Course Description: Selim Sirri Kuru

NEAR E 596 Special Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (3-5, max. 15)
Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.
Instructor Course Description: Ilse D Cirtautas Michael E. Meeker Selim Sirri Kuru Walter G Andrews

NEAR E 600 Independent Study or Research (*-)

NEAR E 700 Master's Thesis (*)