Arabic Language, Literature and Culture

Last updated: December 7, 2018 at 2:32 p.m.

The minor in Arabic Language, Literature, and Culture aims to bring students to an advanced level of proficiency in the Arabic language, combined with meaningful cultural competence in contemporary and/or classical Arabic culture and literature. The electives may be chosen from a range of courses specializing in both the modern and classical periods. The program allows students the flexibility to choose all of their electives from the modern courses, all of them from the classical courses, or to combine modern and classical offerings as suits their personal goals and interests.

Students are encouraged to begin working toward the minor in Arabic Language, Literature and Culture in their first or second year of undergraduate studies, and to complete the sequence of Arabic language courses in 4 consecutive semesters.

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui, Director, Arabic Languages
Arabic Language. Classical Islam.

The minor in Arabic Language, Literature and Culture consists of five courses including three core requirements and two electives. If a student passes out any of the core requirements by a placement exam, other electives from parts D or E must be taken in their place for a total of five courses.

Core requirements

A. ARBC 30a Intermediate Arabic I

B. ARBC 40b Intermediate Arabic II

C. ARBC 103a Lower Advanced Arabic

Electives

D. One upper-level language course.
Modern
ARBC 103b Middle Advanced Arabic: Contemporary Arab Media or ARBC 106a Advanced Arabic I: Contemporary Arabic Literature.
Classical
ARBC 106b Advanced Arabic II: Readings in Classical Arabic & Islamic Literature or NEJS 177b Judeo-Arabic Literature.

E. Another course from part D or a course that deals with the historical or cultural context of Arabic among the following courses:
IMES 104a Islam: Civilization and Institutions
NEJS 104a Comparative Semitic Languages
NEJS 144a Jews in the World of Islam
NEJS 186a Introduction to the Qur’an
NEJS 186b The Qur’an: Composition, Collection, and Commentary
NEJS 195a Muhammad: From Early Accounts to Modern Biographies
NEJS 198a Islam and the West
ANTH 118b Culture and Power in the Middle East
FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
HIST 111a History of the Modern Middle East
POL 133a Contemporary Politics of the Middle East
POL 145b Muslims in the West: Politics, Religion, Law
SQS 145b Sexuality and Gender in the Middle East
WMGS 140a Diversity of Muslim Women’s Experience
or any other approved course dealing directly with Arabic culture or literature.

F. No grade below a C- will be given credit toward the minor.

G. No course taken pass/fail may count toward the minor requirements.

Students may double count up to two courses with another major or minor. IMES 104a may not be double counted for students doing the Arabic minor and the IMES minor or major. Students may transfer up to two courses taken at other universities, pending approval by the Director of the Arabic Language Program. Students are encouraged to seek advance approval from the Arabic language director for all courses intended for transfer credit.

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

ARBC 10a Beginning Arabic I
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation. Six class hours per week.
A first course in literary Arabic, covering essentials of grammar, reading, pronunciation, translation, and composition. A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 10a is required to take ARBC 20b. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ARBC 20b Beginning Arabic II
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 10a or the equivalent. Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation. Six class hours per week.
Continuation of ARBC 10a. A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 20b is required to take a 30-level ARBC course. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ARBC 30a Intermediate Arabic I
[ fl ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 20B or the equivalent. Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation. Six class hours per week.
Continuation of ARBC 10a and 20b. Study of more advanced grammatical and syntactical forms, reading, speaking, composition and translation. A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 30a is required to take any higher-level course. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ARBC 40b Intermediate Arabic II
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 30a or the equivalent. Four class hours per week.
Continuation of ARBC 30a. A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 40b is required to take ARBC 103a. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ARBC 98a Independent Study
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

ARBC 103a Lower Advanced Arabic
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: ARBC 40b or the equivalent. Four class-hours per week.
Designed to help the student attain advanced proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding. The syllabus includes selections from modern texts representing a variety of styles and genres, advanced composition, and sustained development of oral-aural proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic. A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 103a is required to take ARBC 103b. Usually offered every year.
Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

ARBC 103b Middle Advanced Arabic: Contemporary Arab Media
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 103a or the equivalent. Four class hours per week.
Continuation of ARBC 103a. Intensive honing primarily of oral-aural skills and vocabulary building with concentration on the spoken media of the contemporary Arab world. Review and reinforcement of major grammatical topics as needed. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ARBC 106a Advanced Arabic I: Contemporary Arabic Literature
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 103b or the equivalent. Four class hours per week. May be repeated for credit.
Develops advanced reading competence through a variety of modern literary texts focusing on contemporary Arab society, culture, and intellectual life. Continued solidification of advanced grammar and style with application through frequent writing assignments, both analytical and creative. Class conducted entirely in Arabic. Usually offered every year.
Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

ARBC 106b Advanced Arabic II: Classical Arabic & Islamic Literature
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in ARBC 106a or the equivalent. Four class hours per week. May be repeated for credit.
Continuation of ARBC 106a. Develops advanced competence in reading and understanding classical texts, including a systematic introduction to some of the grammatical features typical of this genre. Readings include a variety of materials – including poetry – related to classical Arabic and Islamic literature, religion, history, and culture. Class conducted entirely in Arabic. Usually offered every year.
Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

Electives in Historical or Cultural Context of Arabic

ANTH 118b Culture and Power in the Middle East
[ ss ]
Examines the peoples and societies of the Middle East from an anthropological perspective. Explores problems of cross-cultural examination, the notion of the Middle East as an area of study, and the role of anthropology in the formation of the idea of the “Middle East.” To this end, the course is divided into sections devoted to understanding and problematizing key concepts and themes central to our understanding of the region, including tribe and state, family and kinship, gender and sexuality, honor and shame, tradition and modernity, and religion and secularism. Course materials will include critical ethnographies based on field work in the region as well as locally produced materials such as literature, music, film and other visual arts. Usually offered every fourth year.
Pascal Menoret

FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
[ ca nw ]
Through case studies of cities, sites, and monuments, the course presents an overview of the art and the architecture of the Islamic world beginning from the seventh century up to the present. Some of the themes include, but are not limited to, Islamic material culture, orientalist imaginations, systems of governance and the colonial present, search for the local identity, urban modernity and nationalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Muna Guvenc

HIST 111a History of the Modern Middle East
[ djw nw ss ]
An examination of the history of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to contemporary times. Focuses on political events and intellectual trends, such as imperialism, modernity, nationalism, and revolution, that have shaped the region in the modern era. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

IMES 104a Islam: Civilization and Institutions
[ hum nw ]
Provides a disciplined study of Islamic civilization from its origins to the modern period. Approaches the study from a humanities perspective. Topics covered will include the Qur'an, tradition, law, theology, politics, Islam and other religions, modern developments, and women in Islam. Usually offered every year.
Carl El-Tobgui

NEJS 104a Comparative Semitic Languages
[ hum nw ]
An introduction to and description of the Semitic languages, the internal relationships within this linguistic family, and the distinctive grammatical and lexical features of the individual languages. Usually offered every second year.
David Wright

NEJS 144a Jews in the World of Islam
[ hum nw ]
Examines social and cultural history of Jewish communities in the Islamic world. Special emphasis is placed on the pre-modern Jewish communities. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 186a Introduction to the Qur'an
[ hum nw ]
Traces the history of the Qur'an as text, its exegesis, and its role in inter-religious polemics, law, theology, and politics. Examines the role of the Qur'an in Islamic teachings and its global impact. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

NEJS 186b The Quran: Composition, Collection, and Commentary
[ hum ]
Prerequisites: IMES 104a or NEJS 186a or permission of the instructor.
Examines the historical development and collection of the Quran, and the emergence of the different schools of Quranic commentary within various branches of Islam throughout the Islamic world and the central themes upon which they focus. Emphasis is placed upon the guiding principles of Quranic commentary and the way in which they give rise to a hermeneutical tradition that is particular to Islam and has shaped the lives of Muslims around the globe. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

NEJS 195a Muhammad: From Early Muslim Accounts to Modern Biographies
[ hum ]
Studies the life of Muhammad based upon the earliest biographical accounts and the academic analyses in both Islamic and non-Islamic sources, accompanied by an examination of his legacy in different aspects of Islam, such as Shi'ism and Sufism. Usually offered every third year.
Suleyman Dost

NEJS 198a Islam and the West
[ hum ]
Explores the major political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in the Middle East from the rise of Islam to present times with emphasis on Islam's encounter with The West. Focuses on common roots and mutual influences and analysis of (mis)perceptions as historically constructed cultural categories and of their legacy in the modern world. Usually offered every second year.
Carl El-Tobgui

POL 133a Contemporary Politics in the Middle East
[ nw ss ]
Introduces the politics of the region through the study of regimes in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel. Themes include the political legacy of colonialism, the challenge of ethnic pluralism, the rise of political Islam, the politics of gender, the role of the military in politics, the dynamics of regime survival, the persistence of authoritarianism and the prospects for democratization, and the implications of the Arab spring for the future of the region. Usually offered every third year.
Eva Bellin

POL 145b Seminar: Muslims in the West: Politics, Religion, and Law
[ ss ]
Few issues have caused more public furor than the accommodation of Islam in Europe and the United States. It is often overlooked that Muslims are developing the institutions of their faith in societies that offer everyone the freedom of choice and expression. This seminar looks at religious discrimination as a barrier to the civic and political inclusion of Muslim immigrants, the responses of governments, courts, and the general public, and what we know about the balance among "fundamentalist, " "moderate," and "progressive" Muslim viewpoints. Usually offered every year.
Jytte Klausen

SQS 145b Sexuality and Gender in the Middle East
[ ss ]
Explores historical and contemporary debates regarding the construction and organization of gender and sexuality in the Arab world, Turkey and Iran. It aims to simulate genders and sexualities in the region within a complex and multidimensional analytical framework. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

WMGS 140a Diversity of Muslim Women's Experience
[ nw ss ]
A broad introduction to the multidimensional nature of women's experiences in the Muslim world. As both a cultural and religious element in this vast region, understanding Islam in relation to lives of women has become increasingly imperative. Usually offered every second year.
Mitra Shavarini