Courses

  • HEBR 100: Personal and National Identity in Israeli and Palestinian Literature

    In this course we will study the role played by prose fiction in filling the daily outlook of Israeli Jews, and Palestinians living in Lebanon, West Bank - Gaza and inside Israel, with distinct impressions and memories of "home." We will focus on pictures of the land, one's self and others that emerge from a selection of short stories, novels, and excerpts by Israeli and Palestinian authors of both genders, from 1948 to the present. We will also incorporate a number of films and documentaries that confront questions of identity and co-existence from Israeli Jewish and Palestinian perspectives.¬† 6 credit; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2014 · S. Beckwith
  • ARBC 101: Elementary Arabic

    This course sequence introduces non-Arabic speakers to the sounds, script, and basic grammar of Arabic-the language of 200 million speakers in the Arab world and the liturgical language of over a billion Muslims. Students will develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic. Classes will incorporate readings and audio-visual material from contemporary Arabic media, as well as popular music. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014 · Y. Klein, Z. Haidar
  • HEBR 101: Elementary Modern Hebrew

    Think beyond the Bible! Modern Hebrew is a vital language in several fields from religion and history to international relations and the sciences. This course is for students with no previous knowledge of Modern Hebrew or whose test scores indicate that this is an appropriate level of placement. We continually integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Hebrew, incorporating materials from the Israeli internet and films into level appropriate class activities and assignments. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014 · S. Beckwith, M. Reinberg
  • ARBC 102: Elementary Arabic

    This course sequence introduces non-Arabic speakers to the sounds, script, and basic grammar of Arabic--the language of 200 million speakers in the Arab world and the liturgical language of over a billion Muslims. Students will develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic. Classes will incorporate readings and audio-visual material from contemporary Arabic media, as well as popular music. Prerequisites: Arabic 101 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2015 · Z. Haidar
  • HEBR 102: Elementary Modern Hebrew

    This course is for students who have completed Hebrew 101 or whose test scores indicate that this is an appropriate level of placement. We continue expanding our vocabulary and grammar knowledge, integrating listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Hebrew. We also continue working with Israeli films and internet, particularly for a Karaoke in Hebrew group project which involves learning and performing an Israeli pop song and researching the artists' background and messages for a class presentation. Prerequisites: Hebrew 101 or the equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2015 · S. Beckwith, M. Reinberg
  • HEBR 103: Elementary Modern Hebrew

    This course is for students who have completed Hebrew 102 or whose test scores indicate that this is an appropriate level of placement. We continue expanding our vocabulary and grammar knowledge, integrating listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Hebrew. We also continue working with Israeli films and internet, particularly to publish in-class magazines in Hebrew on topics related to Israel, the Middle East, and Judaic Studies. Prerequisites: Hebrew 102 or the equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014, Spring 2015 · S. Beckwith, M. Reinberg
  • ARBC 103: Elementary Arabic

    This course sequence introduces non-Arabic speakers to the sounds, script, and basic grammar of Arabic--the language of 200 million speakers in the Arab world and the liturgical language of over a billion Muslims. Students will develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic. Classes will incorporate readings and audio-visual material from contemporary Arabic media, as well as popular music. Prerequisites: Arabic 102 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2015 · Z. Haidar
  • ARBC 185: The Creation of Classical Arabic Literature

    In this course we will explore the emergence of Arabic literature in one of the most exciting and important periods in the history of the Islamic and Arab world; a time in which pre-Islamic Arabian lore was combined with translated Persian wisdom literature and Greek scientific and philosophical writings. We will explore some of the different literary genres that emerged in the New Arab courts and urban centers: from wine and love poetry, historical and humorous anecdotes, to the Thousand and One Nights, and discuss the socio-historical forces and institutions that shaped them. All readings are in English. No Arabic knowledge required. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • HEBR 204: Intermediate Modern Hebrew

    In this course students will strengthen their command of modern conversational, literary and newspaper Hebrew. As in the elementary sequence, we will continually integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Hebrew. Popular Israeli music, broadcasts, internet sources, and films will complement the course's goals. Class projects include a term long research paper on a topic related to Israel, the Middle East, or Judaic Studies. Students will create a poster in Hebrew to illustrate their research. They will discuss this with other Hebrew speakers on campus at a class poster session toward the end of the course. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2015 · S. Beckwith
  • ARBC 204: Intermediate Arabic

    In this course sequence students will continue to develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, while building a solid foundation of Arabic grammar (morphology and syntax). Students will develop their ability to express ideas in Modern Standard Arabic by writing essays and preparing oral presentations. Classes will incorporate readings and audio-visual material from contemporary Arabic media, as well as popular music. Prerequisites: Arabic 103 or placement test indication. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014 · Y. Klein, Z. Haidar
  • ARBC 205: Intermediate Arabic

    In this course sequence students will continue to develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, while building a solid foundation of Arabic grammar (morphology and syntax). Students will develop their ability to express ideas in Modern Standard Arabic by writing essays and preparing oral presentations. Classes will incorporate readings and audio-visual material from contemporary Arabic media, as well as popular music. Prerequisites: Arabic 204 or placement test indication. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2015 · Y. Klein
  • ARBC 206: Arabic in Cultural Context

    In this course students will continue to develop their Arabic language skills, including expanding their command of Arabic grammar, improving their listening comprehension, reading and writing skills. In addition to more language-focused training, the course will introduce students to more¬†advanced readings, including literary texts (prose and poetry, classical and modern) and op-ed articles from current media. Class discussions will be in Arabic. Prerequisites: Arabic 205. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2015 · Y. Klein
  • ARBC 211: Colloquial Levantine Arabic

    In this course we will focus on acquiring conversational and listening comprehension skills, and building vocabulary in the Levantine/Shami dialect of spoken Arabic, spoken throughout bilad al-Sham or "Greater Syria." Building upon the foundation of Modern Standard Arabic, we will focus upon points of grammatical and semantic convergence and divergence, and work to develop strategies for fluidly navigating our way between and within these two linguistic registers. We will study the language systematically, but we will also incorporate a range of written and audiovisual materials--music, films, television and web series--as well as other popular culture from the region. Prerequisites: Arabic 204. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2015 · Z. Haidar
  • ARBC 215: Readings in Medieval Arabic Anthologies

    The concept of adab as the "liberal arts education" of the medieval Arab world presents itself most vividly in the "Adab anthology." In this genre, medieval Arab authors collected and classified the knowledge of their time, representing a variety of disciplines: literature (poetry, proverbs, historical-anecdotal material), Religion (Qur'an, hadith, jurisprudence, theology), linguistics, as well as philosophy and the sciences. In the class we will read excerpts from the works of some of the major medieval anthology writers: Ibn Abd Rabbihi, Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, al-Nuwayri and al-Ibshihi. All readings are in Arabic. Prerequisites: Arabic 205 or the equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • HEBR 221: Israeli Literature in the Middle East

    Since it began to develop in the early twentieth century, Israeli literature has encompassed diverse reflections of Middle Eastern landscapes and lifestyles. Such images range from typecast to groundbreaking, depending on authors' personal experiences, socio-cultural inclinations, and attitudes toward what makes Israel a nation. We will examine tensions and synergies between Western and Eastern elements in Hebrew fiction by authors of European and Middle Eastern Jewish backgrounds circa Israeli independence in 1948, and by diverse second and third generation writers since then. We will also include some Israeli-Palestinian fiction. In translation; some coursework in Hebrew for advanced students. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • ARBC 222: Music in the Middle East

    The Middle East is home to a great number of musical styles, genres, and traditions. Regional, ideological, and cultural diversity, national identity, and cross-cultural encounters--all express themselves in music. We will explore some of the many musical traditions in the Arab world, from early twentieth century to the present. Class discussions based on readings in English and guided listening. No prior music knowledge required, but interested students with or without musical background can participate in an optional, hands-on Arab music performance workshop, on Western or a few (provided) Middle Eastern instruments throughout the term. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2015 · Y. Klein
  • HEBR 222: Discovering Literary Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

    This course delves into Israel's two major cities, comparing their history and character. How are Tel Aviv's founding Zionist ideals and the Middle Eastern realities that challenged them portrayed in Hebrew literature? Our literary and cultural studies engagement with Tel Aviv will prepare students for our similar exploration of Jerusalem with its much longer multicultural history. How have places in both cities inspired literary reflections on national identity and memory? How have Israeli authors reciprocally influenced people's views of these urban spaces and their national resonance? This course is part of the OCS Winter Break program, which involves two linked classes in fall and winter terms; this class is the first class in the sequence. In translation. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • HEBR 223: Faith and Fiction: Exploring Israeli National Identity

    This course is the second part of a two-term sequence begining with Hebrew 222. Israel research on-site in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during winter break. It is anticipated that research projects will be shared in a public symposium at the end of the term. Prerequisites: Hebrew 222 or Religion 222. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • MELA 230: Jewish Collective Memory

    Judaism emphasizes transmitting memory from one generation to the next. How have pivotal events and experiences in Jewish history lived on in Jewish collective memory? How do they continue to speak through artistic/literary composition and museum/memorial design? How does Jewish collective memory compare with recorded Jewish history? We will study turning points in Jewish history including the Exodus from Egypt, Jewish expulsion from medieval Spain, the Holocaust, and Israeli independence, as Jews in different times and places have interpreted them with lasting influence. Research includes work with print, film, and other visual/ performative media. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • HEBR 241: Israel in A. B. Yehoshua's Literature

    Since 1962 A.B. Yehoshua has been one of Israel's most prolific, politically engaged, and internationally significant authors. A combination of Middle Eastern and Sephardic (medieval Spanish) Jewish family roots and a Western Zionist education has fueled provocative literary interpretations of the Jewish State's historical origins and many internal fault lines. We will examine Yehoshua's portrayals of Jewish ethnic and religious diversity and of Zionist national consciousness in medieval through modern Mediterranean and European contexts pre-1948. We will then view Israel's domestic East/ West, Jewish/ Palestinian, and religious/ secular divides through an artistic lens of exceptional, debatable historical scope. In English translation. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015
  • ARBC 286: Narratives of Arab Modernity

    In this course, we will read formative works of modern Arabic literature from Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. We will trace the processes of societal and literary transformation, from the texts of the nahda or Arabic literary and intellectual renaissance, to contemporary works written in the era of Arab "springs" and revolutions. We will approach these literary texts--poetry, fiction, and graphic novels-- as works of literature with aesthetic claims upon us as readers, even as we treat the contentious relationship between the literary and the political in a period marked by colonialism, nationalism, war, revolution, Islamism and secularism. All readings are in English. 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Winter 2015 · Z. Haidar
  • ARBC 310: Advanced Media Arabic

    Readings of excerpts from the Arabic press and listening to news editions, commentaries and other radio and TV programs from across the Arab world. Emphasis is on vocabulary expansion, text comprehension strategies, and further development of reading and listening comprehension. Class includes oral discussions and regular written assignments in Arabic. Prerequisites: Arabic 205 or the equivalent 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2014–2015