Near Eastern Studies

General Near East (Division 439)

204/Rel. 204. Islamic Religion: An Introduction. (3). (HU).

This course is designed to be a well-rounded introduction to Islam in theory and practice, and will deal with the following subjects: fundamental of Islam; principal intellectual pursuits of Muslims, with emphasis on the formative phase; and modern religious developments in the Muslim world. Two exams and a short paper. (Mir)

260. Ancient Egypt and its World. (3). (HU).

This course is a freshman-sophomore general introduction to the culture of ancient Egypt. Our purpose will be to acquire an intimate glimpse of the life of the Egyptians and an insight into their thinking. We shall explore topics such as Egyptian religious beliefs, views on the meaning of life and death, ethics and values, notions of racial superiority, attitudes towards other races, immigrants and foreigners, war and peace. Focus will be on the ideas that made Egypt great and at the same time led to its humiliation and decline. The Egyptian experience will be related to our own so that we may come better to understand how and why cultures rise and flourish, decay and disappear. We shall also examine the influence of Egyptian forms and ideas on the cultures and religions of the peoples with whom they came in contact, with special emphasis on the role of Egypt in the birth of monotheism in ancient Israel, the Egyptian background of Moses and Joseph and the contribution of the Egyptians to the religious, ethical and moral thought of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In order to acquire a unique perspective on the world of the Egyptians, the student will be introduced to the rudiments of Egyptian writing and literature, learning to appreciate the special place of literacy in the culture and the profound impact of this on our own modern civilization, whose alphabets (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic) are direct descendants of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. (Krahmalkov)

361. Gods, Men, and History in the Ancient Near East: Evolution and Transformations of Society and Culture in the Lands of the Fertile Crescent. Part I: From the Beginnings to Alexander the Great (ca. 5000-323 B.C.) Sophomore standing. (4). (HU).

This course, specifically for undergraduates, attempts a combination of approaches to Ancient Near Eastern History, one which stresses cultural and intellectual concerns against the backdrop of necessary political history. Beginning with the decipherment of the first writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the study explores the first organizations of human life and activity in recorded history. The course is as much interested in "capturing" the human perspectives of the era (3000-323 B.C.) as in setting in order consecutive events. We shall be looking at politics, religion, subsistence issues, literature and world-views of ancient Semitic peoples. The course requires no previous background, and is introductory in nature. It will be taught through a combination of lecture and discussion techniques. Grading in the course will be based on two papers of about six pages each, and final examination. Texts will include a collection of paperbacks, such as: S.N. Kramer, The Sumerians; A.L. Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia; John Wilson, The Culture of Ancient Egypt; and Frankfort, Wilson, The Culture of Ancient Egypt; and Frankfort, Wilson, and Jacobson, Before Philosophy. (Orlin)

398. Undergraduate Reading Course. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

This course is an independent study reading course which must be supervised by a Near Eastern Studies faculty member. It is normally taken by a student who would like to study some aspect of a subject within a course already taken in further detail. Arrangements for the course are made directly with the faculty member.

423/Geography 423. Geography of the Near East. (3). (SS).

This course presents a systematic view of the environments and ecologies of the Near East and North Africa. It discusses how different subsistence patterns interact with each other and modern development places additional strains on the overall system. Rather than attempting a country by country survey, examples are drawn throughout the region with particular emphasis on those areas familiar to the instructor. Lectures, outside readings, movies and seminar-type discussions constitute the body of the course. There will be a midterm and a final examination. Graduate students are expected to write a term paper. Text: Beaumont, Blake, and Wagstaff, The Middle East- A Geographical Study (John Wiley, 1976). (Kolars)

446. Modern Near Eastern Literature. (3). (HU).

An introduction to the modern literature of the Arab Lands, Iran, Israel and Turkey. The course is taught by four professors, each of whom will examine the literature in which he/she specializes. Lectures introduce major literary figures and their works within the framework of the historical and social circumstances of their lives. Materials in English translation are reviewed wherever possible and discussions relate particularly to genre development and external influences on the literatures of the modern Near East. (Stewart-Robinson)

450. Near Eastern Issues. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001.
The purpose of this course is to enable the student to acquire interpretive skills in the reading of diverse textual and non-textual (archaeological) materials from the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. The majority of weekly assignments will be on the reading of primary texts. Lectures and readings will introduce the student to the scholarly discussions and problems of interpretation. The various topics covered will include the Hellenization process and syncretism, various media for political and religious propaganda, Roman attitudes toward foreign cults, the mystery religions, the oracles, astrology, diverse types of early Christianity, gnosticism, hellenistic Judaism, Isis, and Serapis, Asklepios, Mithras, Dionysos, ruler and emperor cults, Cynicism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism. There is no requirement, but a working knowledge of Greek, Latin, and/or Coptic would be useful for some students. Evaluation will be made on the basis of two exams (30% x 2), class discussion (10%) and a research paper (30%). (Mirecki)

Section 002 Coptic Language: Grammar and Reading. The purpose of this course is to enable the student to acquire reading skills in Sahidic Coptic. Emphasis will be on phonology, the acquisition of a functional vocabulary, and a firm grasp of both morphology and syntax. To give the course some historical perspective, students will also read short selections from diverse Coptic texts in English translation and will be introduced to the Coptic papyri and ostraka in the University of Michigan collection. Weekly assignments will include translation exercises and preparation for a short exam. Student evaluation will also be based on midterm and final exams. There is no language or course prerequisite. (Mirecki)

488. Islamic Law. (3). (HU).

This course will deal with Islamic legal theory as it developed in the formative centuries of Islamic history. The principal schools of law, both Sunni and Shi'i, will be examined, and the major concerns and preoccupations of Muslim legists discussed. Recent legal developments in the Muslim world will be reviewed. One of the main aims of the course is to bring out the distinctive ethos of Islamic law. English texts will be used. Two exams and a paper. No Prerequisites. (Mir)

497. Senior Honors Thesis. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

The Senior Honors thesis is for students who have been approved by the Near Eastern Studies concentration advisor, honor's advisor, and the LSA Honor's Council. This course should be taken both terms of the senior year, for not less than three or more than six credits per term. The length of the thesis may vary, but 50-60 pages is common. Two advisors should be chosen. The principal advisor will be a member of the faculty in whose field of expertise the thesis topic lies, and he or she will oversee the student's research and the direction taken by the thesis. The deadline for submission of a draft of the thesis is the end of the week following spring break. The completed thesis must be submitted by the beginning of the exam period. Upon completion of the Honors thesis (and maintenance of a minimum overall grade point average of 3.5), Honors candidates may be recommended by the two advisors and Honors advisor for a degree "with highest Honors," or with "with Honors," in Near Eastern Studies (followed by the area of specialization). A notation is made on the diploma and the transcript.

Ancient and Biblical Studies (ABS: Division 317)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

280/Rel. 280. Jesus and the Gospels. (4). (HU).

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the major issues in the analysis of early Christian gospel traditions and literature from the Renaissance to the present. Some of the classic issues which will be discussed include the early biographical approach popularly known as "the quest for the historical Jesus," the comparative literary analyses which have sought to explain literary relations between early Christian gospels (the synoptic problem), and the rise of scientific historical-criticism which has culminated in the standard methodologies known as form-criticism and redaction-criticism. The course will also introduce the student to current discussions such as the study of the aphoristic tradition (Crossan), the significance of newly discovered gospels and gospel traditions (papyrology), literary-critical analyses, (Propp, Barthes, Kermode), and recent studies in modern folkloristic traditions (Albert Lord) and their contributions toward a recognition of the interplay between orality and textuality in the transmission of traditions by early Christians. There is no language requirement, but a working knowledge of German, Greek, and/or Coptic would be useful for some students. Evaluation will be made on the basis of two exams (35% x 2) and a research paper (30%). (Mirecki)

Literature and Civilization Courses

441. Ancient Near Eastern Literature. (3). (HU).

This course will attempt a close reading of the classics of Biblical wisdom literature: Proverbs (in part), Job, and Ecclesiastes, against a background furnished by several similar works from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. We shall be particularly interested in comparing how these compositions deal with the problems of order and justice in the universe, and whether such problems have anything to do with men and the gods. In the final segment of the course, we shall go forward to two works recasting the Book of Job, the Testament of Job and Archibald MacLeish's J.B., in order to see what transformations of the ancient themes later ages brought. The reading will be done in English translation, though those students able to see the original languages, especially Hebrew, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Greek, will be encouraged to do so. There are, however, no prerequisites for the course either in language (other than English, of course!) or in history or religious studies. The class sessions will emphasize discussions, with occasional lectures from the instructor to supply the necessary perspective and detail. The texts to be used include English translations of the original works and a variety of secondary discussions, such as R.B.Y. Scott, The Way of Wisdom. Student evaluation will be based on two examinations and a paper (10-15 pp. for undergrads; 20-25 for graduates) with some consideration of performance in class discussions. (Machinist)

Arabic (and Berber) Studies (Arabic: Division 321)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

101. Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Through Self-Instruction. Permission of instructor. (2-6). (FL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

This course provides an introduction to the phonology and script of modern literary Arabic and to the language's basic vocabulary and fundamental grammatical constructions. It offers combined training in listening, speaking, reading, writing and using the Arabic dictionary. Students have access to a tutor for as many as four hours a week plus two hours per week for review and oral practice. Amount of credit awarded depends on number of lessons satisfactorily completed. Students should consult instructor or course coordinator in advance for the schedule of lessons per credit hour and general instructions. Arabic 101 may be taken for two to six credits. Course grade is based on review tests completed by students at the end of each lesson (50%) and scheduled and comprehensive tests (50%). Textbooks: (1) A Programmed Course in Modern Arabic Phonology and Script by E. N. McCarus and R. Rammuny; (2) Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Part One, by P. Abboud et al. (Staff, Rammuny)

102. Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Through Self-Instruction. Permission of instructor. (2-6). (FL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

This course may not be taken until six hours of Arabic 101 have been completed. It is a continuation of Arabic 101 and includes continued drill practice on the phonological system, on basic vocabulary and morphology, and on Arabic syntactic patterns. The course stresses oral practice with increasing emphasis on reading selections based on Arab culture, and on producing Arabic orally and in writing. Students have access to a tutor for as many as four hours a week plus two hours per week for review and oral practice. Amount of credit awarded depends on number of lessons and tests satisfactorily completed. Course grade is based on review tests completed by students at the end of each term (50%) and scheduled comprehensive tests (50%). Textbook: Elementary Modern Standard Arabic, Part Two by P. Abboud et al. (Rammuny)

202. Elementary Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic 201 or equivalent. (6). (FL).

This course is especially recommended for students concentrating in Arabic or those who expect to have some immediate use of Arabic. It is the second of a year-long course whose primary goals are to enable the student to (1) understand familiar spoken literary Arabic, (2) converse with a native speaker of Arabic using simple terms, (3) read and understand the specific content of an elemental level and (4) write correct short responses within the scope of his/her vocabulary and experience. The method of instruction puts equal emphasis on the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is conducted in Arabic except for grammatical explanations. It meets six hours weekly and requires approximately ten hours every week for outside of class preparation including listening to lesson tapes in the laboratory or at home, writing assignments and review of material covered in class. Course grade is based on classroom preparation including written assignments and performance (25%), tests and quizzes (50%), and a final examination (25%). Required texts: Peter Abboud et al.,Elementary Modern Standard Arabic. part One and Two. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan, 1975. (Staff, Rammuny)

Literature, Civilization, and Advanced Language Courses

416. Syrian Colloquial Arabic. Arabic 415. (3). (Excl).

This is a continuation of Arabic 415. In Arabic 415 the basic principles of pronunciation and grammar are emphasized through oral and pattern practice drills. In Arabic 416 the emphasis shifts to practical use of the dialect based on expanded vocabulary and texts containing more cultural and idiomatic content than the texts taught in the previous term. The course is accompanied by tape recordings of the pronunciation drills, the basic texts, the vocabulary, the conversations and the listening comprehension selections. Regular use of the language laboratory is required to reinforce class work and also to do the assignments which need to be recorded. The course grade is based on classroom performance, assignments, tests and the final examination. Textsbooks: Colloquial Levantine Arabic by Ernest McCarus et al. (Rammuny)

434. Arabic Historical Linguistics and Dialectology. Arabic 402 and 430 or equivalent, or competence in general linguistics. (2-3). (Excl).

Development of Arabic from Proto-Semitic and Proto-Arabic origins to interrelationships of contemporary literary and dialectual forms of Arabic. Classroom procedure: lecture-discussion. Grade based on class participation, homework problems and term paper. (McCarus)

502. Advanced Arabic Composition. Arabic 501 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

The objectives of this course are to develop fluency and accuracy in understanding, speaking and writing modern standard Arabic, and to expand students' awareness of Arab-Islamic life and culture, The course is based on a variety of literary texts and authentic cultural audiovisual materials including slides, videocassettes, and films. There is a special emphasis on active mastery of useful idiomatic and cultural expressions and the use of Arabic for oral and written communication. Occasionally, students are required to select their own topics and give brief presentations. Requirements include daily preparations, two weekly written compositions, occasional tests, and a final paper in Arabic. Course grade is based on classroom preparation and performance (10%), written compositions (25%), occasional tests (25%) and a final paper (40%). The course textbooks are Advanced Arabic Conversations and Composition by Raji M. Rammuny, and Advanced Arabic Composition. Student's Guide by Raji M. Rammuny. (Rammuny)

Hebrew Studies (Hebrew: Division 387)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Modern Hebrew. Hebrew 201 or equivalent. (5). (FL).

Continuation of the development of basic communication skills of reading, writing and speaking modern standard Hebrew. Class drills, class discussions in Hebrew, language laboratory drills.

302(402). Intermediate Modern Hebrew. Hebrew 301 or equivalent. (5). (FL).

The focus of instruction will be on the four language skills, with a continued emphasis on oral work and writing. In addition to continued study of morphology and syntax, some reading selections in fiction and non-fiction prose will be introduced. (Coffin)

Literature, Civilization and Advanced Language Courses

304. Hebrew Conversation. Hebrew 302 or equivalent. (1). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit.

Advanced conversation on current events. (Coffin)

402(502). Advanced Hebrew. Hebrew 401. (3). (HU).

The object of the course is to enhance the student's Hebrew reading and writing skills. In addition, emphasis is placed on expanding the students' vocabulary. (Balaban)

461. Modern Hebrew Poetry: 1900-1948. Hebrew 402. (3). (HU).

The course will be focused on the founders of modern Hebrew poetry. Major poets to be discussed are: Shlonsky, Alterman and Lea Goldberg. (Balaban)

541. Hebrew Legendary (Tannaitic) Literature. Hebrew 402 or equivalent. (2). (HU).

Readings and interpretations of texts from the Tannaitic corpus of literature, including Mishnah and Midrash. (Schramm)

552. Modern Hebrew Literature. Hebrew 502 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be elected for credit more than once with permission of instructor.

Reading and discussion of fiction by Israeli authors: S.Y. Agnon, A.B. Yeshoshna, and others. Reading selections include short stories and novellas by the authors above. (Coffin)


Literature, Civilization, and Advanced Language Courses

541. Classical Persian Texts. Iranian 402 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor.

This course involves the reading and literary analysis of texts from major authors of the classical period (ca. 950-1500) and includes basic skills in reading aloud and the use of the rules of prosody in scansion and interpretation of poetry texts. It will include shorter or longer passages from such writers as Ferdowski, Nezami, Rumi, Sa'di, Hafez, Bayhaqi, Nezamiye Aruzi, and others, according to the interests of the class and instructor. There are midterm and final exams. The texts are in the form of a photocopied course pack. (Luther)

Turkish Studies (Turkish: Division 493)

Elementary and Intermediate Language Courses

202. Elementary Turkish. Turkish 201 or equivalent. (4). (FL).

This course is the sequel to Turkish 201 and is the second half of Elementary Turkish. We will focus on speaking and writing the language of Modern Turkey. Course topics include the phonological structure of Turkish, basic sentence patterns, and basic vocabulary. The aural-oral approach is emphasized and serves as the basic course format. There are tapes which accompany the text, Turkish for Foreigners. Student evaluation is based on written and oral quizzes, and a final examination. (Stewart-Robinson)

402. Intermediate Turkish. Turkish 401 or equivalent. (4). (FL).

Part of the departmental sequence in Modern Turkish. The course is designed for students who have completed Turkish 202 or its equivalent as determined by the instructor. It provides further study of Turkish grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Comprehension and oral and written expression will be developed through translations and compositions. Readings will be emphasized. Special needs of the students as to subject matter will be taken into consideration. Reading material will be provided. Evaluation will be determined on the basis of class quizzes and performance, a midterm and final examination. (Stewart-Robinson)

412. Introductory Ottoman. Turkish 411. (3).

Second half of first year Ottoman intended to sharpen skills in the handling of a variety of styles, topics and scripts through the reading and analysis of specially selected texts. Quizzes and a final examination required. (Stewart-Robinson)

Literature, Civilization, and Advanced Language Courses

551. Modern Turkish Prose Literature. Turkish 402 or permission of instructor. (2). (HU).

Part of sequence in required language courses for majors, M.A. and Ph.D. candidates. The objective is to continue to develop comprehension ease in modern Turkish through the reading of the literary products of modern Turks. Recitation type course includes reading, translation, and discussion of content and style. Quizzes and a final exam are required. The texts are: A. Tietze, Turkish Literary Reader; and specially selected xeroxed material. (Stewart-Robinson)

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