92-93 LS&A Bulletin

Near Eastern Studies

3074 Frieze Building


Professor Piotr Michalowski, Chair

May be elected as a departmental program in Ancient and Biblical Studies, Islamic Studies, Arabic, Hebrew, Iranian, or Turkish


James A. Bellamy, medieval Arabic literature, Arabic textual criticism, Arabic papyrology

Edna Amir Coffin, modern Hebrew language and literature

David Noel Freedman, Hebrew Bible

John Kolars, Geography and Ecology of the Near East and North Africa

Charles Krahmalkov, ancient Near Eastern languages

Trevor LeGassick, Arabic writings: imaginative, poetic, and non-fictional, 19th and 20th centuries

K. Allin Luther, Iranian history and civilization, classical Persian literature

Ernest N. McCarus, Arabic and Kurdish linguistics

Piotr Michalowski, Sumerian and Akkadian languages, literatures, and history; literary theory

Raji M. Rammuny, elementary Arabic instruction, advanced Arabic composition, colloquial levantine Arabic, Arabic language teacher training

Gene Schramm, semitic languages and linguistics

James Stewart-Robinson, modern Turkish and Ottoman (Turkish) language and literature

Gernot L. Windfuhr, Persian and Iranian linguistics and literature

Associate Professors

Jarl Fossum, New Testament, gnosticism, Samaritan studies, Jewish mysticism, Coptic

Elliot Ginsburg, Jewish Thought

Assistant Professor

Michael Bonner, Medieval Islamic History

Mustansir Mir, Islamic Studies

Brian Schmidt, Hebrew Bible, Israelite religion and historiography

Visiting Professor

Hayim Tadmor, Hebrew Bible and Israelite history

Visiting Associate Professor

Gary Beckman, Ancient Near Eastern history and Hittite language

Gabriele Boccaccini, Middle Judaism

Visiting Assistant Professor

Salim Khaldieh, Arabic language


Giora Etzion, Hebrew Language

Professors Emeriti Andrew S. Ehrenkreutz, George E. Mendenhall and Louis L. Orlin.

The department offers instruction in the languages and literatures of the ancient, medieval, and modern Near East and in the geography and ecology, history, religions, and civilizations of the Near East in ancient, biblical, and medieval times.

The modern languages normally offered are Arabic, Hebrew, Kurdish, Persian, and Turkish. These language courses develop skills and provide graded work in speaking, reading, and writing. Extensive use is made of recordings by native speakers, available in the language laboratory (2002 MLB).

Ancient language offerings include Akkadian, Aramaic, Avestan, Biblical Hebrew, Egyptian, Sumerian, and Ugaritic. The department's history, religions, and civilization courses, which trace the developments of Near Eastern peoples (Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Hebrews, Iranians, etc.), are based primarily on materials written in the various languages. They provide insight into the nature of the historical process as revealed through the study of archaeological evidence.

Courses are designed to meet the needs of non-concentrators, including businessmen, missionaries, teachers, librarians, and government personnel, as well as to provide a basis for advanced study of the languages, literatures, religions, and civilizations of the Near East. Students should realize that courses which focus on the languages and literatures of the Near East represent only a part of the total number of University offerings devoted to the area comprising Iran, Israel, North Africa, Turkey, and the Arab lands. For related courses, students should consult course listings in anthropology, economics, history, history of art, linguistics, philosophy, and political science. These listings are summarized in a brochure available from the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (144 Lane Hall, 764-0350).

Concentration Programs. Near Eastern Studies offers concentrations in Ancient and Biblical Studies, Arabic, Hebrew, Islamic Studies, Persian, and Turkish. These program concentrations are a minimum of 30 credits; and are described below. A double concentration is possible for students interested in both Near Eastern Studies and another academic department.

Honors Concentration. The Honors concentration is open to second-term juniors who have obtained the permission of the concentration and Honors advisors. Candidates for Honors in Near Eastern Studies must meet all requirements for a regular concentration. In each of the last two terms they will take Near East 497 (Senior Honors Thesis) leading to the writing of a thesis. Further details are available in the departmental office.

Ancient and Biblical. A concentration in ancient Near Eastern Studies fits within the context of a broad liberal arts education. The program focuses on Near Eastern and early Eastern Mediterranean antiquity, emphasizing the study of language, literature, history, and culture within both their Near Eastern and Classical Studies contexts. Interdisciplinary connections are made, and courses are normally elected from relevant offerings of other departments, both for the substance of the concentration and cognates. Near Eastern antiquity is studied with reference to historical, intellectual, and cultural themes of Western civilization. Individual programs are tailored to fit the backgrounds and interests of students; independent studies courses may be elected if no regularly offered course meets a particular need.

The Ancient and Biblical Studies concentration is currently being re-designed. Further information can be obtained by contacting the department.

Hebrew. The modern Hebrew program educates students in modern Hebrew language and literature, and also in earlier periods of literature, including Aramaic texts. The program is supported by courses in the Program of Judaic Studies, in linguistics, comparative literature, political science, and history. Professional and research interests of the faculty in Hebrew include literary history and criticism, linguistics, translation, and several aspects of culture. The program prepares students for academic, government, and business careers as well as employment in Jewish community activities.

Prerequisites to the concentration in Hebrew are Hebrew 201 and 202; recommended are History 383, 384, and Political Science 353 or Religion 201. Concentration requirements: a minimum of 30 credits, including Hebrew 301, 302, 401, 402, Near Eastern Studies 445 and 446, four courses from the following areas: Near Eastern History/Jewish History, Hebrew Linguistics 431, Hebrew Literature 451, 554, Hebrew 403, 404. In addition two Near Eastern cognate courses are required. Concentration courses are to be elected after consultation with the concentration advisor.

Islamic Studies. In the area of Islamic studies the department offers a number of courses and advanced seminars pertaining to the rise and development of the Islamic religion, Islamic intellectual history, and the essential world-view, values, and ideas which inform Muslim civilization. In addition to a general survey course on Islam, offerings will be available in areas such as Islamic law, dialectical theology, mysticism, philosophy, Qur'ânic exegesis, pre-Islamic Arab culture, and so forth. Seminars in Islamic studies require extensive use of original, classical Arabic sources and, hence, develop in the student essential philological skills required for research, such as the ability to understand and work with the technical terminologies of the Islamic religious and intellectual sciences.

Prerequisites to the concentration in Islamic Studies are NES 101 and Arabic 201 and 202. Concentration requirements: a minimum of 30 credits, including Arabic 401, 402, Near Eastern Studies 204, 488, 489, and one course from each of the following areas or three courses from two of the areas: Religion 201; Near Eastern Studies 472, 570, 571; Near Eastern Studies 445. Concentration courses are to be elected after consultation with the concentration advisor.

Arabic. The Arabic program leads to the A.B. in Arabic literature and linguistics of the contemporary and medieval periods. It is linked with offerings in Islamic Studies and Near Eastern history and cooperates with other disciplinary units such as linguistics and comparative literature. Professional and research interests of the faculty in Arabic include modern Arabic literature and its role in Arab society; medieval Arabic literature and its role in Islam; literary analysis; translation; Arabic linguistics and dialectology; and the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language. Every attempt is made to design programs of study to fit the particular needs of individual students, as well as to prepare them for academic, government, business, and other professional employment.

Iranian. The Iranian program involves in-depth study of classical and contemporary Persian literature, Persian history, Persian and Iranian linguistics, and Kurdish. Independent study courses are available in Old Persian, Avestan, and other areas not offered on a regular basis. This program is supported by courses in the departments of anthropology, history, political science, history of art, and economics. Professional and research interests of the faculty include literary history, literary theory and criticism, historiography, linguistics and dialectology, and Iranian religion. While the program chiefly prepares students for an academic career, multidisciplinary programs of study can be arranged for students interested in business and government employment.

Turkish. This program educates students in Ottoman or modern Turkish language and culture. Supplementary instruction is given in related dialects of Azeri and Chagatay. Appropriate courses in the departments of anthropology, comparative literature, history, history of art, linguistics, and political science support the program. Students may also choose independent study courses to ensure complete coverage of a particular program of studies when established courses are not offered on a regular basis. Literary history and criticism, translation, and several aspects of cultural study are among the research interests of the faculty. The program prepares students for academic, government, and business employment.

Prerequisites to the concentrations in Arabic, Iranian, and Turkish: NES 101; Arabic 201 and 202; Iranian 201 and 202; or Turkish 201 and 202. Religion 201 is recommended. Concentration requirements: a minimum of 30 credits, including Arabic 401 and 402, or Iranian 401 and 402, or Turkish 401 and 402; Near Eastern Studies 445 and 446; four courses from at least two of the following areas: Near Eastern Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, and Islamic Studies, and two Near Eastern cognate courses.

Advising and Counseling. Appointments are scheduled at 3074 Frieze Building. Students who wish to declare a concentration in one of the areas of Near Eastern Studies should see the administrative assistant in 3074 Frieze Building to schedule an appointment with the appropriate concentration advisor.

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