Courses

  • 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 2017 · Zaki A Haidar
  • 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 2018 · Zaki A Haidar
  • 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 2018 · Zaki A Haidar
  • ARBC 144: Arabic Literature at War

    Arabic literature is a vibrant and humane tradition. At the same time, several Arab societies have experienced periods of exceedingly violent conflict throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries. In this course, we will investigate the ways these two currents—war and the literary—converge in several Arab societies. As members of societies at war, but also as literary artists, how do authors represent these conflicting narratives? What sorts of war stories do they tell, how do they tell them, and what sort of literary practice is produced? We will study the birth of the Lebanese Civil War novel as a bona fide genre in the 1970s and 80s, how literature informed anti-colonial struggles in Palestine and Algeria from the 1950s to the present, and read some works of genre-bending horror and science fiction that have appeared in the wake of Iraq’s recent destruction. Taught in English, no knowledge of Arabic is required.

    6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2018 · Zaki A 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; offered Spring 2018 · Yaron Klein
  • 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 equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2017 · Zaki A 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 equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2018 · Yaron 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 or equivalent 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2018 · Zaki A Haidar
  • 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; not offered 2017–2018
  • 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; not offered 2017–2018
  • ARBC 223: Arab Music Workshop

    Through music making, this workshop introduces students to Arab music and some of its distinctive features, such as microtonality, modality (maqam), improvisation (taqsim) and rhythmic patterns (iqa'at). Students may elect to participate playing on an instrument they already play, or elect to study the oud (the Arab lute). Ouds and percussion instruments will be provided. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Arabic 222 1 credit; Arts Practice; not offered 2017–2018
  • 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 2018 · Zaki A 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 206 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2017–2018
  • ARBC 371: Readings in Pre-Modern Arabic Science

    It is difficult to overstate Arab scientists' contribution to science. A translation movement from Greek, Persian and Sanskrit into Arabic initiated in the eighth century, led to centuries of innovative scientific investigation, during which Arab scientists reshaped science in a variety of disciplines: from mathematics to astronomy, physics, optics and medicine. Many of their works entered Latin and the European curriculum during the Renaissance. In this reading course we will explore some of the achievements and thought processes in pre-modern Arabic scientific literature by reading selections from several seminal works. We will examine these in the cultural contexts in which they emerged and to which they contributed, and reflect on modern Western perceptions of this intellectual project. Readings and class discussions will be in both Arabic and English.

    Prerequisites: Arabic 206 or equivalent 3 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2017–2018
  • ARBC 387: The One Thousand and One Nights

    This course is an exploration of the world of the Thousand and One Nights, the most renowned Arabic literary work of all time. The marvelous tales spun by Shahrazad have captured and excited the imagination of readers and listeners--both Arab and non-Arab--for centuries. In class, we will read in Arabic, selections from the Nights, and engage some of the scholarly debates surrounding this timeless work. We will discuss the question of its origin in folklore and popular culture and the mystery of its "authorship," as well as the winding tale of its reception, adaptation and translation. Readings and class discussions will be in both Arabic and English.

    Prerequisites: Arabic 206 6 credit; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; offered Spring 2018 · Yaron Klein