Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS) (Division 314)

121(ABS 120)/Rel. 121. Introduction to the Tanakh/Old Testament. (3). (HU).

The course is designed to introduce the student to the modern study of the Tanakh or Old Testament (no prerequisites). Lectures and readings will focus on ancient Israel's religion, literature, and history and their contribution to Western civilization. The approach will be literary, historical, and critical using methods employed by scholars of different religious persuasions. The course is designed to challenge the student with a series of questions and issues often ignored or neglected in spite of the widespread use of the Bible today. The format of the course will be two lectures per week. Student discussion and participation will be encouraged. The course will be graded upon a combination of participation, written assignments, and exams. (LaVallee)

Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Islamic Studies (APTIS) (Division 325)

291. Topics in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Islamic Studies. (3). (Excl).
Section 201 Authority in Islam: From the Medieval to Modern Age.
Who Shall Lead? This course aims to introduce students to the controversial issue of who should lead the Islamic community. As a reading course in Islamic history, this class will endeavor to relate religious, cultural, political, and historical influences on the institutions of authority in Islam, from the Prophet Muhammad to the modern era. Students will learn how the concepts of leadership and authority developed and differed from period and location. The course will be conducted in a seminar format, with students and the teacher engaging in discussion of the weekly readings. Grades will be based on participation (20%), one book report (20%), and brief weekly summary papers (60%). NO prior knowledge of Islamic history is required the instructor will provide the background information necessary, both in lectures and in the readings (one paperback text and course pack) provided, so that the students will be equipped to discuss the issues. Cost:2 (Hanne)

Section 202 Between Near East and Empires: Central Asia in the Modern Era. This course will introduce students to the peoples, cultures and states in Central and Inner Asia (including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakstan, Kirgizstan, Mongolia and bordering regions in China). Cultural, social, and political changes in the 18th-20th centuries will be examined. The course will also look at international relations and competition for these lands (the Great Game). The course will include readings in history and literature, travel accounts and films. There will be midterm and final exams, and one 5-page paper. (Kamp)

Section 203 Contemporary Arabic Novel in Translation: A Critical Approach. Beginning with an introductory discussion of Arab folktales and orality, we will gradually cover a range of literary developments in the Arabic novel. Designed to give students an introduction into Arabic fiction, this course will be a sampling of different voices in Arabic fiction of the later twentieth century. The material in the course is selected to allow students a chance to read Arabic literature from various perspectives and points of view in English translation. Composed of both novels and short fiction, the material read in the class will vary in its range and content. These works of fiction will direct our discussion about Arabic literature and its reflection of trends in Arabic thought and culture in our contemporary world. The main emphasis in this course will be the analysis of Arabic fiction within the scope of literary criticism. In addition to fiction, we will read critical and literary essays by scholars from the Arab World and from the West. The focus of this approach is to develop an understanding of the trends and issues that are of direct relevance in literary production, as well as to create a framework within which we can situate the literature that we read, both historically and theoretically. The course will cover topics such as historical developments in fiction, orality, possibilities of post-modernism in Arabic literature and the implications of the French Maghrebian novel on Arabic literature. We will read writings by Naguib Mahfouz, Yusuf Idris, Elias Khoury, Nawal El Saadawi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Ghassan Kanafani. Critical essays will include works by Adonis, Fadwa Malti-Douglas, Roger Allen, Barbara Harlow, Edward Said, and M.M. Badawi as well as essays on the French North African novel. There will be one short essay (5-8 pages) and a longer essay (10-15 pages) which the student will present to the class. (Salamey)

Section 204 Crisis in Muslim Arab Society: A Literary Review. This course intends to examine the predominant theories of conflict between tradition and modernity in 20th century Muslim Arab societies as portrayed by various cultural texts. Primarily, the class will use Arabic novels to explore the drastic social, economic, and political developments of the Arab world that were a consequence of interaction with the West and modernity. The authors who will be read are M. Haykal, Yahya Haqqi, Neguib Mahfuz, Abd Rahman al-Sharqawi, Tawfiq Awwad, Halim Barakat, Ghassan Kanafani, and Abd al-Rahman al-Munif, representing Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. Also, two Arabic films, Between Two Castles and The Terrorist (both with subtitles), and selections from B. Tibi's The Crisis of Modern Islam, Akbar Ahmad's Islam and Modernity, and Laroui's Crisis of the Arab Intellectual will be discussed and critiqued. The novels under examination, composed between 1910 and the present, are classics in the canon of Modern Arabic literature because they gage profound socio-historical changes of the Arab world in politically and narratively innovative ways. Furthermore, they reveal the anxieties, struggles, and paradoxes found within the many levels of Muslim Arab societies in the aftermath of colonialism and national independence, secularism, technological development, economic transformation, and authoritarian rule. Finally, the significant stylistic and generic developments that these texts illustrate will be discussed and theoretical inquiry will be encouraged. Requirements are two short papers and a final. All readings will be in English. (Sheehi)

Section 205 Palestinian Women's Literature: Self, Family, Nation. Male Palestinian writers such as Mahmoud Darwish and Ghassan Kanafani have long enjoyed a position of prominence in the great tradition of Palestinian Literature. What about Palestinian female writers? Do Fadwa Tuqan, Nuha Samara, Samira Azzam, Salma al-Jayyusi, and Hanan Mikha'il 'Ashrawi disrupt our perception of a codified "canon" of male literature? What have these women to say about self, family, and nation? This lecture/discussion will begin with an introduction to modern Arabic literature, and then address specific questions related to Self, Family, and Nation in the works of Palestinian women writers. Readings will include selections from Opening the Gates edited by Margot Badran and Mirian Cooke and Salma al-Jayyusi's Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature, a course pack of additional short stories and articles, and one novel, Days of Dust, by Sahar Khalifa. Appropriate for all class levels interested in contemporary literature, women's literature, and literature born of crisis, the course requirements include three short (4-6pp.) papers, a midterm quiz, an optional presentation, and a final exam. (Dykgraaf)


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