Courses Offered

Fall 2020

MTWRF 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM || Elham Alzoubi

This intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at students without any (or only little) background in Arabic; not suitable for heritage learners. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MTWR 12:30 PM – 1:50 PM || Ghayda Al Ali

This intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at students without any (or only little) background in Arabic; not suitable for heritage learners. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MTWRF 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM || TBA

This intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at students without any (or only little) background in Arabic; not suitable for heritage learners. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MTWRF 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM || Hanaa Kilany

This intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at students without any (or only little) background in Arabic; not suitable for heritage learners. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MTWRF 8:45 AM – 9:45 AM || Huda Al-Mufti

This intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at students without any (or only little) background in Arabic; not suitable for heritage learners. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MW 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM || Hanaa Kilany

This non-Intensive Beginning Arabic I course in Modern Standard Arabic is aimed at heritage students with background in Arabic. This is an accelerated course that builds on the students background and brings them to the level necessary to transition into the next intensive course. Using multi-media tools, the course is devoted to the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a progression throughout the semester from learning of script and phonology to understanding a wide range of texts and topics that build vocabulary, grammar, and general communicative and cultural competence.

MTWRF 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM || Huda Al-Mufti

The intensive Intermediate Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 012 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course expands students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic through a variety of texts and topics that aim at promoting students’ acquisition of vocabulary and grasp of grammar to achieve general communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 012, or equivalent placement.

MTWRF 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM || Hanaa Kilany

The intensive Intermediate Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 012 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course expands students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic through a variety of texts and topics that aim at promoting students’ acquisition of vocabulary and grasp of grammar to achieve general communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 012, or equivalent placement.

MTWRF 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM || Belkacem Baccouche

The intensive Intermediate Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 012 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course expands students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic through a variety of texts and topics that aim at promoting students’ acquisition of vocabulary and grasp of grammar to achieve general communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 012, or equivalent placement.

MTWR 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM || Elham Alzoubi

The intensive Intermediate Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 012 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course expands students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic through a variety of texts and topics that aim at promoting students’ acquisition of vocabulary and grasp of grammar to achieve general communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 012, or equivalent placement.

TR 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM || Rodrigo Adem

This course is designed as an introduction to Islamic civilization and thought and requires no prior knowledge of Islam or Middle Eastern History. It will focus on the political, social and religious institutions that shaped Islamic civilization as well as on the intellectual and scholarly traditions which characterized the Arab and Muslim world from the pre-Islamic time onwards. Beginning with the geographical, cultural and historical context of the rise of Islam, the life of the Prophet, the Qur’an, it will extend through the pre-modern time, with a special emphasis on texts. The readings consist of a selection of translated primary sources as well as complementary background essays. In addition to the political history of this period, we will discuss a wide range of social and cultural themes including the translation movement, science and literature, art and architecture as well as gender issues. Films and Audios will be also solicited. This course fulfills the College HALC (Humanities, Arts, Literature, Culture) requirements for undergraduate students. Required Session: one hour/week discussion session, which will be arranged at the beginning of the semester. Optional Session: one hour/week discussion session in Arabic.

TR 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM || Ghayda Al Ali

This course focuses on authentic Arabic media, including print media, video, and computer-based materials. Activities include reading/listening for comprehension, and discussion of topics related to current events, politics, economics, society, and culture. Taught in Arabic. Prerequisite: two years of Arabic, or permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: ARAB 112 or placement by exam.

MTWRF 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM || Belkacem Baccouche

The intensive advanced Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 112 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course advances students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic. Through building vocabulary and grasp of grammar the course aims at enabling students to comfortably access a wide variety of texts and media that allows them to reach advanced communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 112, or equivalent placement.
There is no pass/fail option for this course.

MTWR 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM || Ghayda Al Ali

The intensive advanced Arabic I course is for students who successfully completed ARAB 112 (or equivalent placement). Using multi-media tools, the course advances students’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Standard Arabic. Through building vocabulary and grasp of grammar the course aims at enabling students to comfortably access a wide variety of texts and media that allows them to reach advanced communication skills and cultural competence. Prerequisite: ARAB 112, or equivalent placement.
There is no pass/fail option for this course.

TR 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM || Sara Omar

This course traces the historical roots of contemporary Muslim discourses over issues pertaining to women and gender. We examine how perceptions of women and gender have been shaped and represented vis-à-vis changing and competing discourses. We read Islamic texts as sites of cultural production, which are shaped by social contexts and communal attitudes. Topics include conflicting representations of Muslim women; questions surrounding feminism and equality; the history and politics of veiling; women’s interpretations of the Qur’an; debates over female-led prayer; and perceptions of same-sex desires and practices. Throughout the course, we reflect on several questions: How does gender shape social and religious authority? In what ways do Muslims’ views of gender and sexuality mirror their cultural fabric and social contexts across time and space? And, how do Muslims use scripture and their intellectual heritage in their attempt to reform laws and deeply rooted practices? By the end of this course you should have an understanding of the complex ways in which Islamic texts address key issues and the diverse ways through which Muslim scholars have interpreted them throughout Muslim history.

TR 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM || Felicitas Opwis

What is justice perceived by Muslims and how do Muslim writers articulate their vision of justice throughout the ages? These questions are a common thread in this course which introduces students to wide variety of writings within the Islamic tradition, with an emphasis on the period from the 7th to the 16th century, though also touching on modern Muslim articulations. The course explores the theoretical and practical dimension of how to achieve justice, looks at the way conceptions of justice may change over time, and what factors drive changes in articulation. After situating the Islamic tradition into general conceptions of justice, ranging from Aristotle and Kant to MacIntyre and Walzer, the course focuses on original writings in English translation drawn from different fields of Islamicate writings, covering religious scripture, literary texts, philosophical treatises, historical writings, and legal works that address and reflect conceptions of justice. Students learn how to situate these texts into their intellectual and historical contexts and interpret their authors’ understanding of justice and the world in which they live. The course readings and discussions explore the dynamic interaction between the realm of the religious with literature, politics, law, and philosophy. The course is based on close reading and in-class discussion of these texts, and requires students to write throughout the semester three short papers (5 pages each) on questions raised by the course material as well as a final research paper (15-20 pages).

W 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM || Elliott Colla

This course will examine various instances of contemporary Egyptian cultural production (memoirs, novels, stories, songs, video, visual arts) produced under the banner of revolution. At the same time, we will consider the enduring memory of previous revolutionary moments in Egyptian history as well as the place of culture within social movement theory. While many of the theoretical and secondary readings for this course will be in English, most primary sources will be in MSA and Egyptian colloquial Arabic. Discussion and writing assignments can be in Arabic or in English.

MW 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM || Ahmad Alqassas

This course explores the syntactic structures of the major topics in modern Arabic varieties. Topics include the syntax of nominals, adjective phrases, prepositional phrases, verb phrases, subjects, verbless sentences, subordinate clauses, coordination and ellipsis, negation, questions, displacement.

T 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM || Sara Omar

This course surveys the various theories, methods and approaches to the Qur’an employed by modern scholars as well as its textual history and vast interpretative tradition. We will explore the Qur’an from multiple perspectives including classical exegesis, history, translation, Islamic law, and spirituality. Students will gain an understanding of the Qur’an’s genesis as an oral revelation and its compilation and transformation into a written and canonized text. We will also spend much of the course discussing major themes, including creation; the phenomenon of prophecy; the relationship between Muhammad and biblical prophets; the varying interpretations of key verses related to women and gender; and classical and modern interpretations of jihad and violence. Qur’anic verses will be examined in their historical context in addition to how they have been interpreted and appropriated by various claimants to religious authority. Throughout the course, we will gauge the subjective values and assumptions of interpreters that contribute to their interpretation of the Qur’an.

R 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM || Belkacem Baccouche

The purpose of this course is to give students who have passed the MAAS Arabic proficiency exam another opportunity to further develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The focus will be on current issues in Arab society and politics featured in the Arab media and social network sites. The materials to be tapped will be primary and secondary, most of which will not be translated, such as film clips, articles, opinion pieces, interviews, statements, government and non-government reports, editorials, blogs, songs, slogans, posters and graffiti. One key feature of the course will be individual or group class presentations and their discussions. It is also the objective of the course that by the end of the semester, students will reach the Superior level rating on the ACTFL scale, i.e. “they can support opinions, hypothesize, discuss topics concretely and abstractly, and handle a linguistically unfamiliar situation”; that their vocabulary will be enriched, their debating skills enhanced.

M 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM || Jonathan Brown

This course will focus on exploring the Quran as the main source or vector for the elaboration of Islamic law, using a mixture of primary source texts and secondary source scholarship on the Quran and Islamic law. The course will also focus on building up primary-source research skills and how to design and carry out research projects.

MW 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM || Ahmad Alqassas

This course introduces the linguistics methodology of the major domains of Arabic linguistics. It covers traditional and current approaches to Arabic linguistic research. The course explores the state of the art of the major domains such as the traditional grammar theory, the current morphological and syntactic theory, the contemporary approaches to studying Arabic sociolinguistic, and the most recent approaches.

R 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM || Felicitas Opwis

This course introduces students to the main concepts of Islamic law and points out controversies among Muslim jurists as well as scholars of Islamic law. The first part of the course covers the historical development of Islamic law, its sources, and tools of law-finding. The second part, which concentrates on the modern period, gives an overview of different areas of law, such as commercial law, criminal law, family law and the position of women, law and the state, and human rights.

T 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM || Suzanne Stetkevych

Poetry and the Performance of Empire will focus on the study of selected Arabic poems ranging from pre-Islamic Arabic, to the classical and post-classical Islamic periods, and up through the modern neo-classical and modern anti-(Western) imperialist poetry. It will combine the close reading and translation of selected poetic passages with readings in contemporary critical theory on Performance, Speech Acts, the Rhetoric of Empire, and Post-/Anti-Colonial Theory. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of poetry to negotiate rank and status, to perform rituals of swearing and retracting allegiance, to recognize or challenge political and religious legitimacy.