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Middle Eastern Studies

Courses

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Courses

Middle Eastern Studies Courses

CAMS 405

“This course is an overview of the legal and economic texts and institutions in the Ancient Near East. CAMS 405 Law & Economy in the Ancient Near East (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course will introduce the students to the legal and economic institutions of the Ancient Near East, as well as to the many theoretical issues raised by their study, such as: the matter of land tenure; the role played by the temple and the palace in the economic structure; the nature of law within political theology and kingship; and the legal and economic status of specific social groups (women, the elderly, slaves, children). Since most of the topics to be examined are widely debated, the course will provide the students with a broad overview of scholarly theories and intellectual schools. In order to accomplish such an objective, the readings for the class will include both introductory works (taken, for instance, from Sasson, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East) and more advanced and specific articles and works (e.g., R. Westbrook, A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law). Students will be asked to prepare these readings, which will be available in the library or in electronic format, so they will be ready to take part in class discussions. The source book for the basic legal texts will be M.T. Roth’s edition of law collections. Moreover, students will be expected to give a presentation based on some of the optional readings listed on the syllabus. Thus, every class will consist of lecture on the topic and a critical and open discussion of the assigned readings. Every lecture will take into account the assigned readings and will be accomplished by some handouts. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (including a class presentation), as well as on writing assignments. The writing assignments will include take-home examinations. This course complements other existing courses in areas such as Ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, Classics, Ancient History, and Linguistics. Moreover, this is one of the several history and culture courses in CAMS that provide detailed overviews of major civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.

ANTH 60N

Israel is often portrayed in media and popular society in incomplete or distorted terms. In some cases, it is presented as a troubled, violent, dangerous place, as a place permeated by long-standing hatred between Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. In others, the focus is on the state’s role as the center of Judsiam–a home of the “chosen people” and the source of inspiration for one of the world’s great monotheistic religions. Some present it as a model for how a democracy can succeed under trying demographic, historic, and geopolitical circumstances. Others frame Israel as a place of conflagration (armageddon) that will usher in a messianic period or as a nation-state with a discriminatory regime that privileges its majority population over its minority and administers oppressive policies over Palestinians in the occupied territories it captured in the 1967 War. While there are elements of truth in each of these presentations, the full picture of Israeli society is much richer and more complex. This course teaches students to cut through the mythology, and develop a more accurate understanding of what Israel is in the 21st century. Since Israel is a culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse society, it is only possible to understand the true nature of modern Israel through exploring the many sub-groups that comprise the Israeli citizenry. The course looks at Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews (both religious and secular), Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, Ethiopian-Israelis, Russian-Israelis, Bedouins, and Druze. For each group, it looks at demographics, background histories, migration patterns, institutions, cultural norms, values, and practices. We will look at what is important to each group, how they see and organize themselves, and how they understand and experience the world around them. The course aims to convey an understanding of the geographic, demographic, and social-historical context in which Israelis live as well as the diversity of Israeli culture. Students will be challenged to be critical readers of Israeli society and the way it is represented and to strive for measured, evidence-based analyses.

HIST 140

This course covers the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how the issues at stake changed over time, up to the present day. The course situates the conflict in the history of the Middle East and the larger context of international relations, including the Cold War and the end of the Cold War. Topics include regional warfare and its significance, efforts at peacemaking, and social, economic, and cultural developments among Israelis and Palestinians.

ARAB 402

Sixth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 402 Advanced Language & Cultures II (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will build upon previous courses in the Arabic curriculum and offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language, an exploration of several aspects of Arab culture in a range of contexts, and the exploration of current issues and topics of interest in Middle Eastern media. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: the achievements of Arab Nobel Prize winners, holiday traditions, colloquial Arabic, love, social and economic conditions of the poor and the middle-class, practical and psychological problems arising from belonging to a certain social class, ways in which the state (in different countries) relates to the needs of the people, Arab cultures in various parts of the world including the U.S., and a variety of the most recent social and political newspaper and magazine articles.All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course course may also involve popular media via the reading of comics, relevant headlines, music and songs, and computer practice for students to learn how to type in Arabic and benefit from available resources to equip students with this useful Arabic tool. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Themes will often be examined comparatively and will draw on students’ personal experience to connect with the material presented.The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 401 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. At University Park the course will be offered every semester or every other semester, according to enrollment patterns and the availability of staff. At other locations, course-offering patterns will be determined by their needs.

JST 401

Social and intellectual development in the Ancient Levant as they affected and were affected by technological development.

CAMS 470

“This course is an overview of the languages and cultures that populated the Ancient Near East. CAMS 470 Languages and Cultures of the Ancient Near East (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course aims to provide students with a wide overview of the languages spoken in the Ancient Near East. The goal is to go beyond the merely linguistic sketches of the main grammatical features of these languages. In fact, the focus will be placed on historical, literary, social, anthropological, and ethnic matters: language contact settings; relations between language and ethnicity; sociolinguistic aspects of language evolution, language variation, bilingualism, and diglossia; relations between historical and social patterns and the literary, bureaucratic, and popular uses of language; etc. In order to address this ample variety of issues, the students will be introduced first to the essential set of facts needed to comprehend the sociolinguistic history of each region, i.e., basic overviews of the languages in question, their linguistic affiliation, the main periods of their history as evolving linguistic realities, and their different writing systems. These overviews will immediately open the door to the discussion of a tapestry of topics concerning the realities behind these languages, especially their speakers and their ethnic, historical, and political identity. This inquiry into the facets of language as an inherently human reality will lead to a miscellaneous constellation of problems, such as, for instance, the construction of a national identity through the use, revival, or vindication of a concrete language or dialect. Students will be required to do a number of readings before each class. These readings will include basic historical sketches of the languages and linguistic traditions with which the course will deal. Moreover, students will be expected to give a presentation based on some of the optional readings listed on the syllabus. Thus, every class will consist of a lecture on the topic and a critical and open discussion of the assigned readings. Every lecture will take into account the assigned readings and will be accompanied by some handouts. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (including a class presentation), as well as on writing assignments. The writing assignments will include take-home examinations. This course complements other existing courses in areas such as Ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, Classics, Ancient History, and Linguistics. Moreover, this is one of the several history and culture courses in CAMS that provide overviews of major civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.

ANTH 420

Culture of the Near East and India from Paleolithic times through the Bronze Age.

HIST 190

This course introduces students to the peoples and places of the contemporary Middle East. The course engages students in discussion of themes that are pertinent to the region and to contemporary issues, including demographic change, youth culture and university life, human rights issues and activism, the trauma of war, effects of globalization, ecology, and the environment. Exploring the Middle East in the present with attention to historical context, students will examine a variety of sources, including news media, novels, stories, poetry, films, soap operas, blogs and vlogs.

CAMS 10

This course will introduce students to the history of the civilization and the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq), which contributed to shape both the Western world and the modern Middle East. Ancient Mesopotamia was a land of contrasts between city and countryside, between sedentary and nomadic populations, between official cult and popular religion, between royal ideology and political skepticism. This course will encompass the variegated nature of this civilization and all the cultures that determine the nature of the historical records (written texts and material culture), through which one can reconstruct the history of Mesopotamia, and, in general, the whole Syro-Mesopotamian region. Furthermore, the connections between this region and other areas of the Ancient near East (Iran, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt) will be explored.

PLSC 267N

This course provides an introductory overview of the politics of the Middle East. It introduces students to the political development of Middle Eastern countries and the construction of the Middle Eastern state system through a historical examination of the period of Islamic Empires through Colonialism and Independence. It discusses the major political ideological factors that have influenced political development in the Middle East. It examines the political economy of Middle Eastern states as well as the political economy of development of the region. The course studies the politics of gender, ethnicity and other identities in the region. It also covers major political conflicts within the Middle East and between Middle Eastern countries and the outside world.

CMLIT 449

Comparative discussion of the literary cultures of Islam from the seventh century to the present. CMLIT 449 Literary Cultures of Islam (3-6) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course is an advanced introduction to the literary cultures of the Islamic world, from the seventh century to the present. No prior knowledge is required. Works will be read in translation. Students will study the foundational text of Islam, the Quran, as a literary text, and learn about major genres of Islamic literatures (ghazal, masnavi, and maqamah, among others). They will also examine how these genres have been adapted in modern literature and media (novels, memoirs, and film). Supplementary historical readings will be provided to contextualize the primary texts. CMLIT 449 is one of the many courses which count toward the Comparative Literature major and the World Literature minor.

ART H 442

Survey of the architecture and visual culture of Christian society from the beginning of the mid-sixth century.

HIST 181

The course offers a survey of the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day. The course introduces students to structures of power, society, and economy in three distinctive periods: 1) the rise of Islam and the caliphal era; 2) the pre-modern Ottoman era; 3) the modern era. The course also introduces students to some of the art, architecture, and literature of each period. Students will thus gain some depth in each period of history and acquire a broad view of change over time.

CAMS 20

This course will introduce the student to a number of basic problems inherent in the advent and nature of complex society which resonate in all world cultures, and for which Egypt can be used as the most revealing case study. The themes to be addressed include: the appearance of monarchy and civil service, the invention of writing and the needs it fulfilled, the concept of the nation state, the technological advancement of ancient river valley civilizations, civic religion, systems collapse, the concept of empire, and the relationship of Egypt to the surrounding Mediterranean world.

PLSC 467

The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

COMM 208N

This course is an introduction to the visual culture, the visual experience and sociological/historical context of images of the Middle East in the US mass media. The focus of the course will be on reading and interpreting visual images (painting, photography, film, illustration, digital media) and analyzing the larger social and cultural forces that shape the production, distribution and consumption of these media forms. We will explore these issues by focusing on a series of images/case studies located in a specific historical context, allowing us to introduce some of the major movements in visual culture, explore the social contexts of these images, and the ways in which the visual experience shapes our social lives and personal identities. Course evaluations will include exams, writing assignments, a class blog, and a final art project. The course examines visual representations of cultures over time, providing students with the artistic, historical, political and sociological context of their production. This integrative framework will enable students to understand how the creation of visual media and its interpretations both influence and are influenced by social context. It will introduce students to integrative thinking by providing them with interpretive techniques of the social sciences and the arts to increase their powers of visual analysis so that they can discuss an image’s medium, composition, style and iconography. The course will examine the ways that the arts can be an expression of cultural values, helping students to comprehend the hegemonic aspects of image composition, production, exhibition and distribution. The course will explore the social milieus in which media is created, often depicting stereotypical images that poorly represent the complexity of the myriad cultural groups in the Middle East.

ART H 452

Monumental and minor arts of Byzantium and related areas from the reign of Justinian to the Turkish conquest of Constantinople.

HIST 416

History of Zionist thought and politics to the foundation of Israel 1948.

CAMS 44

This course provides a survey of all major Ancient Near Eastern mythological traditions in their cultural and historical context. The course also addresses the relation between myth and religion, as well as the relation between these mythological corpora and those of Ancient Greece and Rome and the tapestry of cultic traditions reflected in the Hebrew Bible.

RLST 107

An introduction to the basic history of the Islamic tradition and also to Muslim beliefs and practices, this course will give students insight into the diverse world of Islam. From its origin in Arabia in the seventh century, Islam today is professed by more than 1.5 billion people all over the world. This course includes an outline of that history, including the early Muslim community and the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an. It touches on major institutions, such as Islamic law, philosophy, theology, and mysticism, and covers key rituals in Muslim daily life. The impact of modernity will be considered, including Muslim life in the United States.

HEBR 1

An introduction to modern Hebrew in its written and spoken forms; oral and aural work stressed.

ARAB 1

Introduction to reading, writing, pronunciation, and aural comprehension of modern standard Arabic; simple grammatical forms; basic vocabulary.

RLST 423

Examines Orthodox Christianity from origins to present using critical historical analysis of primary and secondary sources. RLST 423 / HIST 423 Orthodox Christianity: History and Interpretations (3) (GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. This course examines Orthodox Christianity from its origins to the present by focusing on a series of four major problems using critical historical analysis of primary and secondary sources.1) The course provides students with the means to examine Orthodox self-understanding:Orthodox doctrine of God, its anthropology. 2)The issue of a world religion and the relationship of Orthodoxy to other world religions and secular authorities and other forms of Christianity, especially “western”Christians. 3) The challenge of alternate world religions–Judaism, Islam, western Christianities. 4)The challenge of modern Orthodoxy in the context of twentieth and twenty-first century developments and issues.

RLST 70

This course will introduce students to the prophetic traditions of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. The course will explore the development of prophetic circles in the ancient Near East (including Egypt, Syria-Palestine, and Mesopotamia), and then focus on the major prophetic traditions of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Daniel). It will also look at how these traditions were understood in early Judaism and nascent Christianity. Special attention will be paid to the roles of priests, kings, and prophets in ancient Israel to better understand Israelite and Judaean prophetic traditions in ancient Israelite society. The course will then examine the rise of apocalypticism and its medieval and modern manifestations including a brief look at Islam. Additional emphasis will be placed on the religious and political interactions which manifest themselves in prophetic movements – then and now – including the rhetoric of ideology and propaganda. Important figures and events illustrate these cultural and political trends.

HEBR 2

Continued study of grammar; emphasis on improving oral-aural facility, with increased attention to reading and writing.

ARAB 2

Continuation of ARAB 1 ; development of additional skills in conversation, reading, and writing; grammar and vocabulary building; cultural components. ARAB 2 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which counts towards the language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the second semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 2 is the continuation of ARAB 1 , an elementary course designed to introduce learners of Arabic as a second/foreign language to the basic structures of Arabic and to its uses in common situations of everyday communication. ARAB 2 begins with a review of the basics learned in ARAB 1 , and, as in some sections of ARAB 1, the course may follow the story of an Arab American family. ARAB 2 expands on vocabulary, goes into more complex grammar structures, and further introduces Arab culture. The “multiplicity” of the Arabic language and the coexistence of spoken (colloquial) and written standard forms of Arabic continue to be addressed in order to prepare the student for the complex reality of the language. This course underscores all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing) and uses audio and video material to take the learner to native speakers in their natural environment; introducing invaluable listening segments and various cultural aspects of the Arab world. The course may also have recourse to popular media such as films, comics, newspaper headlines, websites, music, and songs. Students are reminded through their oral presentations that Arabic is spoken as an official language in 22 countries with diverse and rich historical, political, economical, religious, artistic, and literary venues, and Arabic is also used in many additional parts of the world. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active, creative participants, and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 001 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, this course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 3. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

JST 443

Jews have been part of Middle Eastern societies for thousands of years. They flourished at times and endured hardships at others, but they have been part of every significant social and cultural transformation of the Middle East. In this class, students will discuss the significant contribution of the Jewish community to the development of various Middle Eastern societies throughout the centuries. Students will critically read and analyze primary sources and secondary literature. We will delve into national historiographies of places such as Morocco, Egypt, and Iran-to name a few-and seek to discover a nuanced narrative of Jewish histories of the region. We will also analyze popular culture products, such as documentaries, television, and literature. The course will follow a chronological and thematic order, and will examine Jewish history in conjunction with global and interregional processes in the Middle East and beyond, such as colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, relations with the West, the formation of the modern nation states of the Middle East, and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

JST 90

Jerusalem, a city sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is often depicted as the spiritual and physical center of the world. Throughout its 5000-year history, Jerusalem has attracted diverse cultures, empires, and peoples who have vied for control of this holy city. Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future surveys the cultural, religious, political, archaeological, and historical record of Jerusalem, beginning with its earliest settlement during the third millennia BCE; through its expansion as a second millennium Canaanite urban center; its role as the capital of Israel and Judah during the first millennium BCE biblical periods; the influence of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman empires; and its development under Jewish, Christian, and Islamic control. The significance of Jerusalem’s past, its impact on contemporary society and politics in the modern Middle East, and differing visions for this contested city’s future are examined in light of various interpretations of the textual and archaeological evidence.

HEBR 3

Grammar, reading, composition, and oral and aural exercises.

ARAB 3

More complex grammatical forms; vocabulary building principles; continued development of skills in conversation, reading, writing; culturally-oriented readings and films. ARAB 3 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which completes the 12th-credit-level language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the third semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 3 is an intermediate course designed as a continuation of ARAB 2 and a basis for further study of Arabic as a second or foreign language. The course intends to alert students to the wealth and intricacies involved in learning the Arabic language and its many cultures. In addition to being the official language of 22 countries, with great ancient civilizations, complex modern histories, and intense political situations, Arabic is also the language of the Islamic religion; the language of a booming music and film industry, and the language of a significant body of literature. The multiplicity of the Arabic language, as well as the coexistence of colloquial and modern standard Arabic, is addressed in this course. The course emphasizes all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing). Vocabulary and grammar are expanded. Students become involved in the Arabic language and its cultures through various activities, which may be designed around a serialized and audio-visually enhanced story set in an Arabic environment, as well as through an oral report presented in class. The course may use popular media such as films, comics, newspaper articles, music, websites, and songs. Themes relating to contemporary experience are treated, such as relationships with family members and friends, the decision to immigrate, daily life within a residence, how a child of an Arab immigrant feels, the cultural importance of hospitality, and the month of Ramadan. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 2 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, ARAB 3 course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 110. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

HIST 471Y

Pre-Islamic Arabia; Muhammad; Arab conquests; Islamic beliefs and institutions; literary, artistic, and scientific achievements; relations with Europe; breakdown of unity.

CAMS 102

This course is an overview of the ancient history and cultures of Canaan (the Mediterranean Levant of Syria-Palestine) and the emergence of Israel. It involves a critical view of biblical texts (especially the Hebrew Bible, aka Old Testament) in light of other ancient texts, archaeology, and historical methods, in order to explain the nature and the evolution of society, religion, and thought in the prebiblical and biblical era. We will be especially interested in the period from the end of the Late Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the Persian period (539-332 BCE), and will examine ongoing debates about the Bible and history, as well as the development of Israelite religion from polytheism toward monotheism and a distinctive worldview.

HEBR 401

Development of oral proficiency through discussions focusing on issues in contemporary Jewish culture.

ARAB 110

Fourth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: study of cultures through authentic discourse, texts, film; development of reading, writing, listening, speaking skills. ARAB 110 Arab Language, Cultures, and Current Topics (3) (GH;IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arabic cultures, such as the religious and cultural traditions of the month of Ramadan, the differences between American and Arab relationships, preparing for a trip to the Middle East, and an introduction and brief exposition of the Palestinian problem. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 003 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. Students will develop listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, and will be introduced to a range of Arabic cultures and encouraged to see both commonalities and differences among them. The material is always presented through culturally rich texts. The course offers opportunities for students to increase their knowledge and appreciation of not only the language, in its Modern Standard form, but also the varieties of cultural production in the Arabic-speaking world, in their many facets and diverse manifestations. Along with continuation of language learning, students are exposed to Web sites, film, music, comics, literature etc. Students’ assignments use a combination of reading, writing, listening, and researching skills. Students often work in groups, performing oral and written class activities. This course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 401.

HIST 472

This course examines the history of the Ottoman Empire from its origins to the rise of the Turkish Republic, an historical time period covering approximately 1300 to 1923. Each week, the class will focus on a major turning point or theme using a combination of regional case studies and primary sources. In the process, students will be exposed to ongoing historiographical debates about a variety of events and trends in Ottoman history. Topics covered include war, diplomacy, gender, architecture, science, religion, technology, and slavery. This course focuses on and examines how the Ottoman state evolved in a changing global context.

CAMS 104

This course will track the history of Egypt, the first nation state in the world, covering a time span of over 3,000 years. The investigation of the history will focus primarily on the major players (i.e. the pharaohs themselves) and the political events that shaped their reigns. Its history involves not only the Nile Valley, but also that of the entire northeast African continent and lands of Western Asia. The magnificent ruins and artifacts that have survived offer the student a visual examination of the ancients and will provide illustration to a great extent of the specific time periods and dramatic incidents. The student will also be confronted at every turn by textual sources (in translation) and the archaeological evidence. The latter will be addressed at length with introduction to archaeological expeditions. This will serve to teach the student the contribution of archaeological method and interpretation in the knowledge and understanding of the history of the Near East.

HEBR 402

Readings in representative works of traditional and modern literature; practice in composition; study of aspects of Jewish culture.

ARAB 164

The Qur’an is the sacred text of Islam. Revered by over a billion Muslims today, it is little understood by non-Muslims. This course will introduce students to the literary and religious meanings of this important text, which is seen as both the very word of God as well as the premier example of Arabic style. Attention will be given to the many cultures which have been influenced by this text, especially the Middle Eastern world. All readings will be in English translation.

HIST 305Y

The course is a research seminar for undergraduates majoring in Middle East Studies and for students interested in pursuing a sustained research project on a topic related to the Middle East. Course topics on the Middle East will vary according to the interests of the instructor. This course is writing-intensive with attention to developing, drafting, and producing a quality research paper over the course of the semester.

CAMS 105

“History of the Ancient Near East from the end of the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period. CAMS 105 History of the Ancient Near East (3) (GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the history of Ancient Near Eastern societies. The geographic areas to be covered include Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt. This course will stress the variegated nature of civilizations in those geographic areas and focus on the written texts and material culture through which we can reconstruct the history of the Ancient Near East. This course complements similar introductory courses in ancient Mediterranean history and civilizations. This course satisfies major and minor requirements for programs of study in the Dept. of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. A special emphasis will be placed on those aspects that permit us to relate to the seemingly arcane mechanisms lying behind the social, religious, and political interactions which characterize the history of these civilizations, especially ideology, economy, and propaganda. Major figures and events will be presented as being as symptomatic of cultural or political trends.

HIST 105

This course examines the development and history of the Byzantine Empire from the decline of the Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453. As the Roman Empire disintegrated, the West slowly developed into smaller kingdoms, while the East survived in a unified empire centered on Constantinople. Modern scholars call this eastern empire, and its culture, Byzantine. This course examines the process by which the Latin imperial culture of Rome was transformed into a profoundly Greek culture, which for centuries represented the model against which other civilizations ¿ the various kingdoms of the Latin West, the Islamic caliphates of Damascus and Baghdad, and the Slavic chieftaincies of eastern Europe ¿ measured themselves.

ARAB 165

This course introduces students to the history and culture(s) of the Islamic world from c. 600-1500. The course develops a historical framework for understanding developments in religious and legal thought and practice, science, medicine, and technology, philosophy, and the arts. Students will learn about culture through lecture and discussion and through examination and analysis of a variety of texts and examples of material culture from different periods and regions.

HIST 473

Political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; Arab-Israeli conflict.

CAMS 115

Reading and study of literary works from the Ancient Near East, especially from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. This course is designed to provide the student with both a basic knowledge of Ancient Near Eastern literature and the tools to appreciate it. It will present a wide sample of literary compositions from Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, along with some parallels from Ancient Anatolian and Syro-Palestinian traditions. Although mythology is not the main focus of the course, some mythological compositions will be read because of their literary fabric and epic structure. The course will be divided into two main sections: Mesopotamian and Egyptian literatures. Students will read some of the most famous literary compositions from the Ancient Near East (such as Gilgamesh and the Babylonian story of creation), as well as a representative sample of works from a wide variety of genres (love poetry, mythological narratives, laments, religious hymns, tales, wisdom literature). These compositions will be approached from a literary and aesthetic point of view, without neglecting the inherently problematic relation with their historical context (as in the case of compositions that mention actual historical characters, such as the legends of the Sargonic kings in Mesopotamia). Moreover, the works related to both official cult and popular religion (hymns, prayers, incantations, prophecies) will be read in their political, social, and religious context. In the limits between sacred and profane, our approach to love poetry will address some issues of ritual, gender, and sexuality. More strictly mundane genres (wisdom literature and humor) will show that some basic human concerns have remained unchanged. The course will provide students with a detailed overview of the main literary traditions and genres from the Ancient Near East, which played an essential role in the origins and shaping of the Bible as well as in some aspects of the Greek literary tradition Ci.e., the foundations of the Western understanding of literature and religious discourse.

HIST 108

The course examines the social and political history of the “Crusades”, one form of holy war in medieval Europe, the Levant, and North Africa, focusing primarily on the period from the 11th through the 14th centuries, but also offering background to, as well the history of later repercussions of, the “Crusades”. This warfare of the Central and Late Middle Ages, later called “Crusades”, were fought in many geographical regions, including the Levant, the Baltic, the Iberian peninsula, southern France, and North Africa. The course addresses various elements of this kind of medieval warfare, and examines how such “crusading” evolved with complex political, religious, and economic origins.

ARAB 401

Fifth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 401 Advanced Language & Cultures I (3)(IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirement.This language and culture course, which fulfills International Cultures requirement or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. Language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) are further developed through the exploration of several culturally important themes that illustrate a range of cultural situations and contexts. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: new opportunities and also persistent problems facing Arab youth; social and economic conditions in which fundamentalist and other groups present their agendas; the condition of women and the pressures often exerted by society’s norms and traditions to keep women out of the public scene; cultural, emotional, and literary reactions to the tragedy of displaced peoples; Islam and other religions among Arab cultures; love and the images and symbolism used to describe it; the writings of one or more well-known authors, including the evolution within the works of the author(s) and the influence of these writings on Arab thought; Arabic cultures in various parts of the world, including the U.S. All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course may also involve popular media such as comics, newspaper headlines, music and songs, and a visit to the library. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Students will be asked to conduct research using authentic material, and to write a short paper in Arabic as a wrap up of their final presentation

HIST 260

Through the medium of film, HIST/JST 260 examines the contemporary and historical transformation of the Middle East from the Ottoman period, through the British and French mandates, and the eventual establishment of the modern nation-states. This course analyzes the political-religious-social tensions of this region, and through film illuminates many of the conflicts in a different light. This course engages in specific film define certain moments in the contemporary history of the Middle East. The films reveal the culture perception of politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, views on and of religious and ethic minorities, women and gender issues, carious elements of political Islam, and the generational shift in politics and culture. The course will watch, analyze and engage in films (with subtitles) from – among other states – Iran before and after the revolution, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Tunisia.

Middle Eastern Studies Minor

HEBR 402

Readings in representative works of traditional and modern literature; practice in composition; study of aspects of Jewish culture.

ARAB 164

The Qur’an is the sacred text of Islam. Revered by over a billion Muslims today, it is little understood by non-Muslims. This course will introduce students to the literary and religious meanings of this important text, which is seen as both the very word of God as well as the premier example of Arabic style. Attention will be given to the many cultures which have been influenced by this text, especially the Middle Eastern world. All readings will be in English translation.

HIST 305Y

The course is a research seminar for undergraduates majoring in Middle East Studies and for students interested in pursuing a sustained research project on a topic related to the Middle East. Course topics on the Middle East will vary according to the interests of the instructor. This course is writing-intensive with attention to developing, drafting, and producing a quality research paper over the course of the semester.

CAMS 105

“History of the Ancient Near East from the end of the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period. CAMS 105 History of the Ancient Near East (3) (GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the history of Ancient Near Eastern societies. The geographic areas to be covered include Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt. This course will stress the variegated nature of civilizations in those geographic areas and focus on the written texts and material culture through which we can reconstruct the history of the Ancient Near East. This course complements similar introductory courses in ancient Mediterranean history and civilizations. This course satisfies major and minor requirements for programs of study in the Dept. of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. A special emphasis will be placed on those aspects that permit us to relate to the seemingly arcane mechanisms lying behind the social, religious, and political interactions which characterize the history of these civilizations, especially ideology, economy, and propaganda. Major figures and events will be presented as being as symptomatic of cultural or political trends.

HIST 105

This course examines the development and history of the Byzantine Empire from the decline of the Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453. As the Roman Empire disintegrated, the West slowly developed into smaller kingdoms, while the East survived in a unified empire centered on Constantinople. Modern scholars call this eastern empire, and its culture, Byzantine. This course examines the process by which the Latin imperial culture of Rome was transformed into a profoundly Greek culture, which for centuries represented the model against which other civilizations ¿ the various kingdoms of the Latin West, the Islamic caliphates of Damascus and Baghdad, and the Slavic chieftaincies of eastern Europe ¿ measured themselves.

ARAB 165

This course introduces students to the history and culture(s) of the Islamic world from c. 600-1500. The course develops a historical framework for understanding developments in religious and legal thought and practice, science, medicine, and technology, philosophy, and the arts. Students will learn about culture through lecture and discussion and through examination and analysis of a variety of texts and examples of material culture from different periods and regions.

HIST 473

Political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; Arab-Israeli conflict.

CAMS 115

Reading and study of literary works from the Ancient Near East, especially from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. This course is designed to provide the student with both a basic knowledge of Ancient Near Eastern literature and the tools to appreciate it. It will present a wide sample of literary compositions from Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, along with some parallels from Ancient Anatolian and Syro-Palestinian traditions. Although mythology is not the main focus of the course, some mythological compositions will be read because of their literary fabric and epic structure. The course will be divided into two main sections: Mesopotamian and Egyptian literatures. Students will read some of the most famous literary compositions from the Ancient Near East (such as Gilgamesh and the Babylonian story of creation), as well as a representative sample of works from a wide variety of genres (love poetry, mythological narratives, laments, religious hymns, tales, wisdom literature). These compositions will be approached from a literary and aesthetic point of view, without neglecting the inherently problematic relation with their historical context (as in the case of compositions that mention actual historical characters, such as the legends of the Sargonic kings in Mesopotamia). Moreover, the works related to both official cult and popular religion (hymns, prayers, incantations, prophecies) will be read in their political, social, and religious context. In the limits between sacred and profane, our approach to love poetry will address some issues of ritual, gender, and sexuality. More strictly mundane genres (wisdom literature and humor) will show that some basic human concerns have remained unchanged. The course will provide students with a detailed overview of the main literary traditions and genres from the Ancient Near East, which played an essential role in the origins and shaping of the Bible as well as in some aspects of the Greek literary tradition Ci.e., the foundations of the Western understanding of literature and religious discourse.

HIST 108

The course examines the social and political history of the “Crusades”, one form of holy war in medieval Europe, the Levant, and North Africa, focusing primarily on the period from the 11th through the 14th centuries, but also offering background to, as well the history of later repercussions of, the “Crusades”. This warfare of the Central and Late Middle Ages, later called “Crusades”, were fought in many geographical regions, including the Levant, the Baltic, the Iberian peninsula, southern France, and North Africa. The course addresses various elements of this kind of medieval warfare, and examines how such “crusading” evolved with complex political, religious, and economic origins.

ARAB 401

Fifth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 401 Advanced Language & Cultures I (3)(IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirement.This language and culture course, which fulfills International Cultures requirement or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. Language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) are further developed through the exploration of several culturally important themes that illustrate a range of cultural situations and contexts. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: new opportunities and also persistent problems facing Arab youth; social and economic conditions in which fundamentalist and other groups present their agendas; the condition of women and the pressures often exerted by society’s norms and traditions to keep women out of the public scene; cultural, emotional, and literary reactions to the tragedy of displaced peoples; Islam and other religions among Arab cultures; love and the images and symbolism used to describe it; the writings of one or more well-known authors, including the evolution within the works of the author(s) and the influence of these writings on Arab thought; Arabic cultures in various parts of the world, including the U.S. All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course may also involve popular media such as comics, newspaper headlines, music and songs, and a visit to the library. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Students will be asked to conduct research using authentic material, and to write a short paper in Arabic as a wrap up of their final presentation

HIST 260

Through the medium of film, HIST/JST 260 examines the contemporary and historical transformation of the Middle East from the Ottoman period, through the British and French mandates, and the eventual establishment of the modern nation-states. This course analyzes the political-religious-social tensions of this region, and through film illuminates many of the conflicts in a different light. This course engages in specific film define certain moments in the contemporary history of the Middle East. The films reveal the culture perception of politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, views on and of religious and ethic minorities, women and gender issues, carious elements of political Islam, and the generational shift in politics and culture. The course will watch, analyze and engage in films (with subtitles) from – among other states – Iran before and after the revolution, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, and Tunisia.

CAMS 405

“This course is an overview of the legal and economic texts and institutions in the Ancient Near East. CAMS 405 Law & Economy in the Ancient Near East (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course will introduce the students to the legal and economic institutions of the Ancient Near East, as well as to the many theoretical issues raised by their study, such as: the matter of land tenure; the role played by the temple and the palace in the economic structure; the nature of law within political theology and kingship; and the legal and economic status of specific social groups (women, the elderly, slaves, children). Since most of the topics to be examined are widely debated, the course will provide the students with a broad overview of scholarly theories and intellectual schools. In order to accomplish such an objective, the readings for the class will include both introductory works (taken, for instance, from Sasson, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East) and more advanced and specific articles and works (e.g., R. Westbrook, A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law). Students will be asked to prepare these readings, which will be available in the library or in electronic format, so they will be ready to take part in class discussions. The source book for the basic legal texts will be M.T. Roth’s edition of law collections. Moreover, students will be expected to give a presentation based on some of the optional readings listed on the syllabus. Thus, every class will consist of lecture on the topic and a critical and open discussion of the assigned readings. Every lecture will take into account the assigned readings and will be accomplished by some handouts. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (including a class presentation), as well as on writing assignments. The writing assignments will include take-home examinations. This course complements other existing courses in areas such as Ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, Classics, Ancient History, and Linguistics. Moreover, this is one of the several history and culture courses in CAMS that provide detailed overviews of major civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.

ANTH 60N

Israel is often portrayed in media and popular society in incomplete or distorted terms. In some cases, it is presented as a troubled, violent, dangerous place, as a place permeated by long-standing hatred between Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. In others, the focus is on the state’s role as the center of Judsiam–a home of the “chosen people” and the source of inspiration for one of the world’s great monotheistic religions. Some present it as a model for how a democracy can succeed under trying demographic, historic, and geopolitical circumstances. Others frame Israel as a place of conflagration (armageddon) that will usher in a messianic period or as a nation-state with a discriminatory regime that privileges its majority population over its minority and administers oppressive policies over Palestinians in the occupied territories it captured in the 1967 War. While there are elements of truth in each of these presentations, the full picture of Israeli society is much richer and more complex. This course teaches students to cut through the mythology, and develop a more accurate understanding of what Israel is in the 21st century. Since Israel is a culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse society, it is only possible to understand the true nature of modern Israel through exploring the many sub-groups that comprise the Israeli citizenry. The course looks at Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews (both religious and secular), Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, Ethiopian-Israelis, Russian-Israelis, Bedouins, and Druze. For each group, it looks at demographics, background histories, migration patterns, institutions, cultural norms, values, and practices. We will look at what is important to each group, how they see and organize themselves, and how they understand and experience the world around them. The course aims to convey an understanding of the geographic, demographic, and social-historical context in which Israelis live as well as the diversity of Israeli culture. Students will be challenged to be critical readers of Israeli society and the way it is represented and to strive for measured, evidence-based analyses.

HIST 140

This course covers the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how the issues at stake changed over time, up to the present day. The course situates the conflict in the history of the Middle East and the larger context of international relations, including the Cold War and the end of the Cold War. Topics include regional warfare and its significance, efforts at peacemaking, and social, economic, and cultural developments among Israelis and Palestinians.

ARAB 402

Sixth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 402 Advanced Language & Cultures II (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will build upon previous courses in the Arabic curriculum and offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language, an exploration of several aspects of Arab culture in a range of contexts, and the exploration of current issues and topics of interest in Middle Eastern media. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: the achievements of Arab Nobel Prize winners, holiday traditions, colloquial Arabic, love, social and economic conditions of the poor and the middle-class, practical and psychological problems arising from belonging to a certain social class, ways in which the state (in different countries) relates to the needs of the people, Arab cultures in various parts of the world including the U.S., and a variety of the most recent social and political newspaper and magazine articles.All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course course may also involve popular media via the reading of comics, relevant headlines, music and songs, and computer practice for students to learn how to type in Arabic and benefit from available resources to equip students with this useful Arabic tool. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Themes will often be examined comparatively and will draw on students’ personal experience to connect with the material presented.The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 401 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. At University Park the course will be offered every semester or every other semester, according to enrollment patterns and the availability of staff. At other locations, course-offering patterns will be determined by their needs.

JST 401

Social and intellectual development in the Ancient Levant as they affected and were affected by technological development.

CAMS 470

“This course is an overview of the languages and cultures that populated the Ancient Near East. CAMS 470 Languages and Cultures of the Ancient Near East (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course aims to provide students with a wide overview of the languages spoken in the Ancient Near East. The goal is to go beyond the merely linguistic sketches of the main grammatical features of these languages. In fact, the focus will be placed on historical, literary, social, anthropological, and ethnic matters: language contact settings; relations between language and ethnicity; sociolinguistic aspects of language evolution, language variation, bilingualism, and diglossia; relations between historical and social patterns and the literary, bureaucratic, and popular uses of language; etc. In order to address this ample variety of issues, the students will be introduced first to the essential set of facts needed to comprehend the sociolinguistic history of each region, i.e., basic overviews of the languages in question, their linguistic affiliation, the main periods of their history as evolving linguistic realities, and their different writing systems. These overviews will immediately open the door to the discussion of a tapestry of topics concerning the realities behind these languages, especially their speakers and their ethnic, historical, and political identity. This inquiry into the facets of language as an inherently human reality will lead to a miscellaneous constellation of problems, such as, for instance, the construction of a national identity through the use, revival, or vindication of a concrete language or dialect. Students will be required to do a number of readings before each class. These readings will include basic historical sketches of the languages and linguistic traditions with which the course will deal. Moreover, students will be expected to give a presentation based on some of the optional readings listed on the syllabus. Thus, every class will consist of a lecture on the topic and a critical and open discussion of the assigned readings. Every lecture will take into account the assigned readings and will be accompanied by some handouts. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation (including a class presentation), as well as on writing assignments. The writing assignments will include take-home examinations. This course complements other existing courses in areas such as Ancient Near Eastern studies, biblical studies, Classics, Ancient History, and Linguistics. Moreover, this is one of the several history and culture courses in CAMS that provide overviews of major civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern regions.

ANTH 420

Culture of the Near East and India from Paleolithic times through the Bronze Age.

HIST 190

This course introduces students to the peoples and places of the contemporary Middle East. The course engages students in discussion of themes that are pertinent to the region and to contemporary issues, including demographic change, youth culture and university life, human rights issues and activism, the trauma of war, effects of globalization, ecology, and the environment. Exploring the Middle East in the present with attention to historical context, students will examine a variety of sources, including news media, novels, stories, poetry, films, soap operas, blogs and vlogs.

CAMS 10

This course will introduce students to the history of the civilization and the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq), which contributed to shape both the Western world and the modern Middle East. Ancient Mesopotamia was a land of contrasts between city and countryside, between sedentary and nomadic populations, between official cult and popular religion, between royal ideology and political skepticism. This course will encompass the variegated nature of this civilization and all the cultures that determine the nature of the historical records (written texts and material culture), through which one can reconstruct the history of Mesopotamia, and, in general, the whole Syro-Mesopotamian region. Furthermore, the connections between this region and other areas of the Ancient near East (Iran, Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, and Egypt) will be explored.

PLSC 267N

This course provides an introductory overview of the politics of the Middle East. It introduces students to the political development of Middle Eastern countries and the construction of the Middle Eastern state system through a historical examination of the period of Islamic Empires through Colonialism and Independence. It discusses the major political ideological factors that have influenced political development in the Middle East. It examines the political economy of Middle Eastern states as well as the political economy of development of the region. The course studies the politics of gender, ethnicity and other identities in the region. It also covers major political conflicts within the Middle East and between Middle Eastern countries and the outside world.

CMLIT 449

Comparative discussion of the literary cultures of Islam from the seventh century to the present. CMLIT 449 Literary Cultures of Islam (3-6) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This course is an advanced introduction to the literary cultures of the Islamic world, from the seventh century to the present. No prior knowledge is required. Works will be read in translation. Students will study the foundational text of Islam, the Quran, as a literary text, and learn about major genres of Islamic literatures (ghazal, masnavi, and maqamah, among others). They will also examine how these genres have been adapted in modern literature and media (novels, memoirs, and film). Supplementary historical readings will be provided to contextualize the primary texts. CMLIT 449 is one of the many courses which count toward the Comparative Literature major and the World Literature minor.

ART H 442

Survey of the architecture and visual culture of Christian society from the beginning of the mid-sixth century.

HIST 181

The course offers a survey of the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day. The course introduces students to structures of power, society, and economy in three distinctive periods: 1) the rise of Islam and the caliphal era; 2) the pre-modern Ottoman era; 3) the modern era. The course also introduces students to some of the art, architecture, and literature of each period. Students will thus gain some depth in each period of history and acquire a broad view of change over time.

CAMS 20

This course will introduce the student to a number of basic problems inherent in the advent and nature of complex society which resonate in all world cultures, and for which Egypt can be used as the most revealing case study. The themes to be addressed include: the appearance of monarchy and civil service, the invention of writing and the needs it fulfilled, the concept of the nation state, the technological advancement of ancient river valley civilizations, civic religion, systems collapse, the concept of empire, and the relationship of Egypt to the surrounding Mediterranean world.

PLSC 467

The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

COMM 208N

This course is an introduction to the visual culture, the visual experience and sociological/historical context of images of the Middle East in the US mass media. The focus of the course will be on reading and interpreting visual images (painting, photography, film, illustration, digital media) and analyzing the larger social and cultural forces that shape the production, distribution and consumption of these media forms. We will explore these issues by focusing on a series of images/case studies located in a specific historical context, allowing us to introduce some of the major movements in visual culture, explore the social contexts of these images, and the ways in which the visual experience shapes our social lives and personal identities. Course evaluations will include exams, writing assignments, a class blog, and a final art project. The course examines visual representations of cultures over time, providing students with the artistic, historical, political and sociological context of their production. This integrative framework will enable students to understand how the creation of visual media and its interpretations both influence and are influenced by social context. It will introduce students to integrative thinking by providing them with interpretive techniques of the social sciences and the arts to increase their powers of visual analysis so that they can discuss an image’s medium, composition, style and iconography. The course will examine the ways that the arts can be an expression of cultural values, helping students to comprehend the hegemonic aspects of image composition, production, exhibition and distribution. The course will explore the social milieus in which media is created, often depicting stereotypical images that poorly represent the complexity of the myriad cultural groups in the Middle East.

ART H 452

Monumental and minor arts of Byzantium and related areas from the reign of Justinian to the Turkish conquest of Constantinople.

HIST 416

History of Zionist thought and politics to the foundation of Israel 1948.

CAMS 44

This course provides a survey of all major Ancient Near Eastern mythological traditions in their cultural and historical context. The course also addresses the relation between myth and religion, as well as the relation between these mythological corpora and those of Ancient Greece and Rome and the tapestry of cultic traditions reflected in the Hebrew Bible.

RLST 107

An introduction to the basic history of the Islamic tradition and also to Muslim beliefs and practices, this course will give students insight into the diverse world of Islam. From its origin in Arabia in the seventh century, Islam today is professed by more than 1.5 billion people all over the world. This course includes an outline of that history, including the early Muslim community and the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an. It touches on major institutions, such as Islamic law, philosophy, theology, and mysticism, and covers key rituals in Muslim daily life. The impact of modernity will be considered, including Muslim life in the United States.

HEBR 1

An introduction to modern Hebrew in its written and spoken forms; oral and aural work stressed.

ARAB 1

Introduction to reading, writing, pronunciation, and aural comprehension of modern standard Arabic; simple grammatical forms; basic vocabulary.

RLST 423

Examines Orthodox Christianity from origins to present using critical historical analysis of primary and secondary sources. RLST 423 / HIST 423 Orthodox Christianity: History and Interpretations (3) (GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. This course examines Orthodox Christianity from its origins to the present by focusing on a series of four major problems using critical historical analysis of primary and secondary sources.1) The course provides students with the means to examine Orthodox self-understanding:Orthodox doctrine of God, its anthropology. 2)The issue of a world religion and the relationship of Orthodoxy to other world religions and secular authorities and other forms of Christianity, especially “western”Christians. 3) The challenge of alternate world religions–Judaism, Islam, western Christianities. 4)The challenge of modern Orthodoxy in the context of twentieth and twenty-first century developments and issues.

RLST 70

This course will introduce students to the prophetic traditions of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. The course will explore the development of prophetic circles in the ancient Near East (including Egypt, Syria-Palestine, and Mesopotamia), and then focus on the major prophetic traditions of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Daniel). It will also look at how these traditions were understood in early Judaism and nascent Christianity. Special attention will be paid to the roles of priests, kings, and prophets in ancient Israel to better understand Israelite and Judaean prophetic traditions in ancient Israelite society. The course will then examine the rise of apocalypticism and its medieval and modern manifestations including a brief look at Islam. Additional emphasis will be placed on the religious and political interactions which manifest themselves in prophetic movements – then and now – including the rhetoric of ideology and propaganda. Important figures and events illustrate these cultural and political trends.

HEBR 2

Continued study of grammar; emphasis on improving oral-aural facility, with increased attention to reading and writing.

ARAB 2

Continuation of ARAB 1 ; development of additional skills in conversation, reading, and writing; grammar and vocabulary building; cultural components. ARAB 2 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which counts towards the language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the second semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 2 is the continuation of ARAB 1 , an elementary course designed to introduce learners of Arabic as a second/foreign language to the basic structures of Arabic and to its uses in common situations of everyday communication. ARAB 2 begins with a review of the basics learned in ARAB 1 , and, as in some sections of ARAB 1, the course may follow the story of an Arab American family. ARAB 2 expands on vocabulary, goes into more complex grammar structures, and further introduces Arab culture. The “multiplicity” of the Arabic language and the coexistence of spoken (colloquial) and written standard forms of Arabic continue to be addressed in order to prepare the student for the complex reality of the language. This course underscores all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing) and uses audio and video material to take the learner to native speakers in their natural environment; introducing invaluable listening segments and various cultural aspects of the Arab world. The course may also have recourse to popular media such as films, comics, newspaper headlines, websites, music, and songs. Students are reminded through their oral presentations that Arabic is spoken as an official language in 22 countries with diverse and rich historical, political, economical, religious, artistic, and literary venues, and Arabic is also used in many additional parts of the world. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active, creative participants, and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 001 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, this course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 3. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

JST 443

Jews have been part of Middle Eastern societies for thousands of years. They flourished at times and endured hardships at others, but they have been part of every significant social and cultural transformation of the Middle East. In this class, students will discuss the significant contribution of the Jewish community to the development of various Middle Eastern societies throughout the centuries. Students will critically read and analyze primary sources and secondary literature. We will delve into national historiographies of places such as Morocco, Egypt, and Iran-to name a few-and seek to discover a nuanced narrative of Jewish histories of the region. We will also analyze popular culture products, such as documentaries, television, and literature. The course will follow a chronological and thematic order, and will examine Jewish history in conjunction with global and interregional processes in the Middle East and beyond, such as colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, relations with the West, the formation of the modern nation states of the Middle East, and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

JST 90

Jerusalem, a city sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is often depicted as the spiritual and physical center of the world. Throughout its 5000-year history, Jerusalem has attracted diverse cultures, empires, and peoples who have vied for control of this holy city. Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future surveys the cultural, religious, political, archaeological, and historical record of Jerusalem, beginning with its earliest settlement during the third millennia BCE; through its expansion as a second millennium Canaanite urban center; its role as the capital of Israel and Judah during the first millennium BCE biblical periods; the influence of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Mamluk, and Ottoman empires; and its development under Jewish, Christian, and Islamic control. The significance of Jerusalem’s past, its impact on contemporary society and politics in the modern Middle East, and differing visions for this contested city’s future are examined in light of various interpretations of the textual and archaeological evidence.

HEBR 3

Grammar, reading, composition, and oral and aural exercises.

ARAB 3

More complex grammatical forms; vocabulary building principles; continued development of skills in conversation, reading, writing; culturally-oriented readings and films. ARAB 3 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which completes the 12th-credit-level language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the third semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 3 is an intermediate course designed as a continuation of ARAB 2 and a basis for further study of Arabic as a second or foreign language. The course intends to alert students to the wealth and intricacies involved in learning the Arabic language and its many cultures. In addition to being the official language of 22 countries, with great ancient civilizations, complex modern histories, and intense political situations, Arabic is also the language of the Islamic religion; the language of a booming music and film industry, and the language of a significant body of literature. The multiplicity of the Arabic language, as well as the coexistence of colloquial and modern standard Arabic, is addressed in this course. The course emphasizes all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing). Vocabulary and grammar are expanded. Students become involved in the Arabic language and its cultures through various activities, which may be designed around a serialized and audio-visually enhanced story set in an Arabic environment, as well as through an oral report presented in class. The course may use popular media such as films, comics, newspaper articles, music, websites, and songs. Themes relating to contemporary experience are treated, such as relationships with family members and friends, the decision to immigrate, daily life within a residence, how a child of an Arab immigrant feels, the cultural importance of hospitality, and the month of Ramadan. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 2 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, ARAB 3 course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 110. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

HIST 471Y

Pre-Islamic Arabia; Muhammad; Arab conquests; Islamic beliefs and institutions; literary, artistic, and scientific achievements; relations with Europe; breakdown of unity.

CAMS 102

This course is an overview of the ancient history and cultures of Canaan (the Mediterranean Levant of Syria-Palestine) and the emergence of Israel. It involves a critical view of biblical texts (especially the Hebrew Bible, aka Old Testament) in light of other ancient texts, archaeology, and historical methods, in order to explain the nature and the evolution of society, religion, and thought in the prebiblical and biblical era. We will be especially interested in the period from the end of the Late Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the Persian period (539-332 BCE), and will examine ongoing debates about the Bible and history, as well as the development of Israelite religion from polytheism toward monotheism and a distinctive worldview.

HEBR 401

Development of oral proficiency through discussions focusing on issues in contemporary Jewish culture.

ARAB 110

Fourth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: study of cultures through authentic discourse, texts, film; development of reading, writing, listening, speaking skills. ARAB 110 Arab Language, Cultures, and Current Topics (3) (GH;IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arabic cultures, such as the religious and cultural traditions of the month of Ramadan, the differences between American and Arab relationships, preparing for a trip to the Middle East, and an introduction and brief exposition of the Palestinian problem. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 003 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. Students will develop listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, and will be introduced to a range of Arabic cultures and encouraged to see both commonalities and differences among them. The material is always presented through culturally rich texts. The course offers opportunities for students to increase their knowledge and appreciation of not only the language, in its Modern Standard form, but also the varieties of cultural production in the Arabic-speaking world, in their many facets and diverse manifestations. Along with continuation of language learning, students are exposed to Web sites, film, music, comics, literature etc. Students’ assignments use a combination of reading, writing, listening, and researching skills. Students often work in groups, performing oral and written class activities. This course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 401.

HIST 472

This course examines the history of the Ottoman Empire from its origins to the rise of the Turkish Republic, an historical time period covering approximately 1300 to 1923. Each week, the class will focus on a major turning point or theme using a combination of regional case studies and primary sources. In the process, students will be exposed to ongoing historiographical debates about a variety of events and trends in Ottoman history. Topics covered include war, diplomacy, gender, architecture, science, religion, technology, and slavery. This course focuses on and examines how the Ottoman state evolved in a changing global context.

CAMS 104

This course will track the history of Egypt, the first nation state in the world, covering a time span of over 3,000 years. The investigation of the history will focus primarily on the major players (i.e. the pharaohs themselves) and the political events that shaped their reigns. Its history involves not only the Nile Valley, but also that of the entire northeast African continent and lands of Western Asia. The magnificent ruins and artifacts that have survived offer the student a visual examination of the ancients and will provide illustration to a great extent of the specific time periods and dramatic incidents. The student will also be confronted at every turn by textual sources (in translation) and the archaeological evidence. The latter will be addressed at length with introduction to archaeological expeditions. This will serve to teach the student the contribution of archaeological method and interpretation in the knowledge and understanding of the history of the Near East.

Middle Eastern Studies Major

HIST 181

The course offers a survey of the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day. The course introduces students to structures of power, society, and economy in three distinctive periods: 1) the rise of Islam and the caliphal era; 2) the pre-modern Ottoman era; 3) the modern era. The course also introduces students to some of the art, architecture, and literature of each period. Students will thus gain some depth in each period of history and acquire a broad view of change over time.

HIST 252

The “Arab Spring” of 2011 that spread rapidly across the region and featured movements for democratization, social justice, and minority rights collapsed into authoritarian military rule, struggles over the role of political Islam, sectarian and civil violence, massive refugee flight and urban destruction, and outside intervention. This course places the 21st century Middle Eastern revolutions and their aftermath in a broader historical perspective. What were the political, economic, religious, social, and geopolitical factors that contributed to the outbreak of revolution throughout the region? In which ways were these revolutions new, and in which ways were they extensions of earlier, unresolved struggles? How can we understand the distinct trajectories of revolution and counter-revolution across the region? We will focus on several country case studies framed against their late 19th and 20th century histories. The class integrates extensive interdisciplinary and multi-media sources, including novels and memoirs, movies and songs, websites and twitter feeds.

HIST 305Y

The course is a research seminar for undergraduates majoring in Middle East Studies and for students interested in pursuing a sustained research project on a topic related to the Middle East. Course topics on the Middle East will vary according to the interests of the instructor. This course is writing-intensive with attention to developing, drafting, and producing a quality research paper over the course of the semester.

HIST 473

Political, economic, and social changes in Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the Arab countries in the twentieth century; Arab-Israeli conflict.

PLSC 267N

This course provides an introductory overview of the politics of the Middle East. It introduces students to the political development of Middle Eastern countries and the construction of the Middle Eastern state system through a historical examination of the period of Islamic Empires through Colonialism and Independence. It discusses the major political ideological factors that have influenced political development in the Middle East. It examines the political economy of Middle Eastern states as well as the political economy of development of the region. The course studies the politics of gender, ethnicity and other identities in the region. It also covers major political conflicts within the Middle East and between Middle Eastern countries and the outside world.

PLSC 467

The international relations of the Middle East, stressing national security policies of regional and outside actors, and major contemporary conflicts.

Arabic Minor

ARAB 1

Introduction to reading, writing, pronunciation, and aural comprehension of modern standard Arabic; simple grammatical forms; basic vocabulary.

ARAB 2

Continuation of ARAB 1 ; development of additional skills in conversation, reading, and writing; grammar and vocabulary building; cultural components. ARAB 2 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which counts towards the language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the second semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 2 is the continuation of ARAB 1 , an elementary course designed to introduce learners of Arabic as a second/foreign language to the basic structures of Arabic and to its uses in common situations of everyday communication. ARAB 2 begins with a review of the basics learned in ARAB 1 , and, as in some sections of ARAB 1, the course may follow the story of an Arab American family. ARAB 2 expands on vocabulary, goes into more complex grammar structures, and further introduces Arab culture. The “multiplicity” of the Arabic language and the coexistence of spoken (colloquial) and written standard forms of Arabic continue to be addressed in order to prepare the student for the complex reality of the language. This course underscores all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing) and uses audio and video material to take the learner to native speakers in their natural environment; introducing invaluable listening segments and various cultural aspects of the Arab world. The course may also have recourse to popular media such as films, comics, newspaper headlines, websites, music, and songs. Students are reminded through their oral presentations that Arabic is spoken as an official language in 22 countries with diverse and rich historical, political, economical, religious, artistic, and literary venues, and Arabic is also used in many additional parts of the world. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active, creative participants, and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 001 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, this course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 3. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

ARAB 3

More complex grammatical forms; vocabulary building principles; continued development of skills in conversation, reading, writing; culturally-oriented readings and films. ARAB 3 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic (4) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which completes the 12th-credit-level language requirement for B.A. (and some other) degrees, presents the third semester of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. ARAB 3 is an intermediate course designed as a continuation of ARAB 2 and a basis for further study of Arabic as a second or foreign language. The course intends to alert students to the wealth and intricacies involved in learning the Arabic language and its many cultures. In addition to being the official language of 22 countries, with great ancient civilizations, complex modern histories, and intense political situations, Arabic is also the language of the Islamic religion; the language of a booming music and film industry, and the language of a significant body of literature. The multiplicity of the Arabic language, as well as the coexistence of colloquial and modern standard Arabic, is addressed in this course. The course emphasizes all four communication skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing). Vocabulary and grammar are expanded. Students become involved in the Arabic language and its cultures through various activities, which may be designed around a serialized and audio-visually enhanced story set in an Arabic environment, as well as through an oral report presented in class. The course may use popular media such as films, comics, newspaper articles, music, websites, and songs. Themes relating to contemporary experience are treated, such as relationships with family members and friends, the decision to immigrate, daily life within a residence, how a child of an Arab immigrant feels, the cultural importance of hospitality, and the month of Ramadan. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 2 in Penn State’s language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. In turn, ARAB 3 course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 110. Placement within the Arabic language sequence follows the University’s foreign language placement policy; for example, students whose native language is Arabic are not eligible to receive credit in this course.

ARAB 110

Fourth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: study of cultures through authentic discourse, texts, film; development of reading, writing, listening, speaking skills. ARAB 110 Arab Language, Cultures, and Current Topics (3) (GH;IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arabic cultures, such as the religious and cultural traditions of the month of Ramadan, the differences between American and Arab relationships, preparing for a trip to the Middle East, and an introduction and brief exposition of the Palestinian problem. The course is designed for students who have completed ARAB 003 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. Students will develop listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, and will be introduced to a range of Arabic cultures and encouraged to see both commonalities and differences among them. The material is always presented through culturally rich texts. The course offers opportunities for students to increase their knowledge and appreciation of not only the language, in its Modern Standard form, but also the varieties of cultural production in the Arabic-speaking world, in their many facets and diverse manifestations. Along with continuation of language learning, students are exposed to Web sites, film, music, comics, literature etc. Students’ assignments use a combination of reading, writing, listening, and researching skills. Students often work in groups, performing oral and written class activities. This course serves as a prerequisite for ARAB 401.

ARAB 401

Fifth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 401 Advanced Language & Cultures I (3)(IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirement.This language and culture course, which fulfills International Cultures requirement or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language and an exploration of several aspects of Arab cultures. Language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) are further developed through the exploration of several culturally important themes that illustrate a range of cultural situations and contexts. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: new opportunities and also persistent problems facing Arab youth; social and economic conditions in which fundamentalist and other groups present their agendas; the condition of women and the pressures often exerted by society’s norms and traditions to keep women out of the public scene; cultural, emotional, and literary reactions to the tragedy of displaced peoples; Islam and other religions among Arab cultures; love and the images and symbolism used to describe it; the writings of one or more well-known authors, including the evolution within the works of the author(s) and the influence of these writings on Arab thought; Arabic cultures in various parts of the world, including the U.S. All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course may also involve popular media such as comics, newspaper headlines, music and songs, and a visit to the library. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Students will be asked to conduct research using authentic material, and to write a short paper in Arabic as a wrap up of their final presentation

ARAB 402

Sixth-semester Modern Standard Arabic: reading more complex texts, films, further development of conversation, composition skills, Arab cultures, current issues. ARAB 402 Advanced Language & Cultures II (3) (IL) (BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.This language and culture course, which fulfills the Humanities or the International Cultures requirement within General Education or the Other Cultures requirement within the Bachelor of Arts degree, will build upon previous courses in the Arabic curriculum and offer a continuation of the study of the Modern Standard Arabic language, an exploration of several aspects of Arab culture in a range of contexts, and the exploration of current issues and topics of interest in Middle Eastern media. Among the themes that may be discussed are the following: the achievements of Arab Nobel Prize winners, holiday traditions, colloquial Arabic, love, social and economic conditions of the poor and the middle-class, practical and psychological problems arising from belonging to a certain social class, ways in which the state (in different countries) relates to the needs of the people, Arab cultures in various parts of the world including the U.S., and a variety of the most recent social and political newspaper and magazine articles.All themes are presented in the target language and represent a wide range of Arabic culture and current issues. The course course may also involve popular media via the reading of comics, relevant headlines, music and songs, and computer practice for students to learn how to type in Arabic and benefit from available resources to equip students with this useful Arabic tool. Class activities and projects are designed to enable students to become active and creative participants and transmitters of new knowledge to their peers. Themes will often be examined comparatively and will draw on students’ personal experience to connect with the material presented.The course is designed for students who have completed Arabic 401 in our language sequence or have the equivalent level of language proficiency. At University Park the course will be offered every semester or every other semester, according to enrollment patterns and the availability of staff. At other locations, course-offering patterns will be determined by their needs.

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