Special Departmental Requirements
Master of Arts Degree
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
College of Arts and Sciences
Jamsheed K. Choksy
Ruth N. Halls Professor
Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych
Salman Al-Ani, Salih Altoma (Emeritus), Henry Fischel (Emeritus), Wadie Jwaideh (Emeritus), Consuelo Lopez-Morillas
Jamsheed Choksy, Stephen Katz, Kemal Silay, John Walbridge
Henry Glassie (Folklore)
James Ackerman (Emeritus, Religious Studies), Ilhan Basgöz (Emeritus, Central Eurasian Studies), Gustav Bayerle (Emeritus, Central Eurasian Studies), Christopher Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies), Hasan El-Shamy (Folklore), Iliya Harik (Emeritus, Political Science), W. Eugene Kleinbauer (Fine Arts), M. Nazif Shahrani (Anthropology, Central Eurasian Studies)
Herbert Marks (Comparative Literature)
Director of Graduate Studies
Kemal Silay, Goodbody Hall 102, (812) 855-5227
Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Doctor of Philosophy in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Return to Top
Special Departmental Requirements
(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)
The Graduate Record Examination General Test is required for all applicants. Students with a B.A. should apply for admission to the M.A. program.
Return to Top
Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
The department specializes in four languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Ottoman and Modern Turkish. All master’s students must gain third-year proficiency in one of these languages, and either second-year proficiency in another of them or reading proficiency in an appropriate European language, as stipulated in the “General Requirements” section of the bulletin. In consultation with the director of graduate studies, other Semitic or Iranian languages may be used to satisfy the major or minor language requirement.
In departmental language tracks that have a two-year sequence, graduate level courses using the appropriate language may, with the approval of the director of graduate studies, count toward the third-year requirement. Biblical and Modern Hebrew may be combined to make up the three years, with the approval of the director of graduate studies.
A minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate work. Of these 36 credit hours, a minimum of 18 credit hours must be in courses involving use of the major language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Ottoman and Modern Turkish).
36 credit hours plus written M.A. examinations. The exams will consist of three two-hour exams: one in the student’s major language and two in fields chosen with the M.A. advisor. Students must notify the director of graduate studies and M.A. advisor no later than July 31 for the following fall examinations, and November 30 for the following spring examinations. The examining committee will be composed of a minimum of two faculty members. The student may retake a failed exam once. On the basis of the student’s performance, the student’s M.A. examination committee will prepare a recommendation for possible admission to the Ph.D. program that will be submitted along with the student’s dossier, if the student requests admission to the Ph.D. program.
Return to Top
Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
The Graduate Record Examination General Test is required. Students should hold an M.A. for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students holding an M.A. from another institution should include a writing sample as part of their application for admission. Students with an M.A. from the Indiana University Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures will be asked to submit a statement of their Ph.D. plans as part of their admission dossier to the Ph.D. program.
A minimum of 75 credit hours of graduate work (including credits earned for the M.A.) plus dissertation. For details regarding courses, consult the director of graduate studies.
All candidates will be required to demonstrate proficiency in three languages: (1) fifth-year standing in the major language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Ottoman and Modern Turkish); (2) third-year standing in the minor language (Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Ottoman or Modern Turkish); and (3) a European research language (normally, French, German, or Spanish), chosen in conjunction with the director of graduate studies and tested according to the graduate school’s rules. In consultation with the director of graduate studies, other Semitic or Iranian languages may be used to satisfy the major or minor language requirement. Biblical and Modern Hebrew may also be combined to satisfy it with the approval of the director of graduate studies.
Students are required to minor in an outside department or program. This minor should be selected so that it enriches and logically supports the student’s major field. Students must fulfill the relevant department’s rules for outside minors.
Students will be examined on one major and two minor fields. A complete list of major and minor fields is available from the director of graduate studies. These fields are organized within the three general departmental areas of: (1) civilizations and religions, (2) linguistics, and (3) literature. A student’s three fields must be taken from within at least two of the three general areas listed above.
Written examinations will be given by at least two professors; the major field lasting for three hours, and the minor field exams for two hours each. Upon successful completion of the written examinations, a student will take the oral examination within four weeks of the written examination. These examinations may be retaken once in whole or in part at the discretion of the examination committee.
Oral defense of the dissertation.
Ph.D. Minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Students from other departments are welcome to minor in the study of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures as part of their doctoral program. To do so, they are required to take at least 12 credit hours of graduate-level course work, to be approved by the director of graduate studies so as to form a coherent program. Students must maintain a 3.0 average for the minor as a whole.
Termination of Enrollment in the Doctoral Program
If a doctoral student fails the written qualifying examinations twice, fails the oral qualifying exam twice, falls below a 3.5 average, or fails to complete the written and oral examinations by the end of the approved length of time, the director of graduate studies, in consultation with the research committee, can initiate steps to terminate the student’s enrollment in the program.
Return to Top
Arabic Language and Literature
A500-A550 Elementary Arabic I-II (2-2 cr.) This course is an introduction to Modern Standard Arabic as it is used in contemporary literature, newspapers, and radio. The course will focus on grammar, reading, dictation, composition, penmanship, conversation, and translation.
A600-A650 Intermediate Arabic I-II (3-3 cr.) P: A500-A550. This course emphasizes grammar, reading, composition, conversation, and translation using materials from medieval classical and modern literary Arabic.
A660-A670 Advanced Arabic I-II (3-3 cr.) P: A600-A650. This course focuses on the continued development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in modern standard Arabic. Materials drawn from classical prose will be introduced for study.
N510 Arabic Composition I (3 cr.) P: consent of instructor. This course is designed to focus on instruction and practice in writing and reading Arabic. It is intended to develop skills in writing correct Arabic sentences, paragraphs, and themes related to a variety of subjects.
N512 Classical Arabic Grammar (3 cr.) P: consent of instructor. This course provides a systematic treatment (in Arabic) of the principal features of classical Arabic grammar. The technical Arabic terms and the concepts associated with them will be introduced, analyzed, and illustrated.
N523 Conversational Arabic I (3 cr.) Formal spoken or “polite” Arabic, with attention to divergences in Arabic dialects.
N529 Arabic Phonetics and Phonology (3 cr.) This course presents a systematic study of Arabic phonetics and phonology utilizing scientific phonetics, both practical and theoretical, and the phonological processes of generative phonological theory.
N555 Multimedia Arabic (3 cr.) Modern literary Arabic as found in printed and non-printed contemporary media. Materials selected from leading newspapers and magazines from the Arab world covering a variety of current political and cultural topics. Documentaries and live and taped television newscasts will also be utilized.
N570 Koranic Studies (3 cr.) The Koran in its historical role as the Islamic revelation. Particular attention will be paid to its formation and compilation, the structural and stylistic characteristics of the text, and its role and function in Islam as well as the different schools of interpretation throughout history, and comparative studies between the Koran and the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
N590 Directed Readings in Arabic (1-6 cr.) In this course students will read and analyze Arabic or translated texts that are selected in accordance with the student’s level and interests.
N598 Individual Readings in Arabic Language and Linguistics (1-6 cr.) Analysis of materials in the fields of Arabic language and linguistics. Students may register to research certain aspects of these fields that are not covered by the regular sequence of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures courses.
N690 Research in Classical Arabic Texts (3 cr.) This course provides intensive training in classical Arabic. Emphasis is placed on the accurate reading and translation of classical texts, their grammatical and stylistic features, and the use of modern and classical lexical. The course also includes a survey of relevant bibliographic and secondary sources. Variable topic; may be repeated for credit.
N701 Topics in Arabic Literature (2-3 cr.) Examination of translated Arabic literature of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as relevant modern Western works. All works read in English. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.
N707 Seminar in Classical Arabic Literature (4 cr.) P: ability to read classical Arabic texts. Intensive study of selected literary movements, periods, or genres. Individual research papers required.
N709 Seminar in Modern Arabic Literature (4 cr.) P: ability to read classical Arabic, study classic Arabic literature during nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with special emphasis on Western influence.
N710 M.A. Thesis (cr. arr.)*
N810 Ph.D. Thesis (cr. arr.)*
Hebrew Language and Literature
H500-H550 Elementary Hebrew I-II (2-2 cr.) Introduction to Hebrew as it is used in conversation, radio, press, and popular literature. Emphasis is given to phonetic and structural drills, grammar, reading, writing, and composition.
H600-H650 Intermediate Hebrew I-II (3-3 cr.) P: H500-H550 or equivalent. Continuation of H500-H550. The course is designed to enable students to add classical and medieval Hebrew at a later stage.
H670-H680 Advanced Hebrew I-II (3-3 cr.) P: H600-H650 or other sufficient preparation. The course focuses on the completion of grammar and introduction to literature of all ages (biblical, midrashic, medieval, and modern), including grammar, style, vocabulary, technical terms, and literary forms.
N471-N472 Biblical Hebrew I-II (3-3 cr.) This course is an accelerated introduction to Biblical Hebrew. Emphasis is placed on grammar, morphology and syntax.
N473-N517 Biblical Hebrew III-IV (3 cr.) In this course students will study various genres of biblical writings through a careful examination of such passages in the original language.
N587 Modern Hebrew Literature in English (3 cr.) This course examines nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, poetry, and essays, under such headings as assimilation (ideal or aberration); ghetto and world, secularism vs. tradition; ethnicity, land and universalism; nation, religion, state; utopias and revolution; nostalgia, self-hate, rejuvenation; and portrayal of anti-Semitism in literature.
N588 Recent Hebrew Literature in English (3 cr.) In this course students will analyze contemporary Hebrew fiction, poetry and essays with relevance to contemporary issues, such as the past (burden or asset?); the meaning of Europe and Near East; the kibbutz; ideal and reality; Jews, Arabs, Canaanites; diaspora and center; the personal and collective; inwardness or realism; wars, holocaust, and peace.
N591 Directed Readings in Hebrew (1-6 cr.) In this course students will read and analyze Hebrew or translated texts that are selected in accordance with the student’s level and interests.
N691 Research in Medieval Hebrew Texts (3 cr.) This course provides intensive training in the use of medieval Hebrew as a research tool. Emphasis will be placed on the accurate reading and translating of medieval texts, on grammatical and stylistic characteristics of the texts, and on the use of appropriate lexical. Variable topic; may be repeated for credit.
N708 Seminar in Judaic Literature (4 cr.) P: consent of instructor. This course emphasizes the study of selected representative literary works of classical, medieval, and modern periods; original texts or translation.
Persian Language and Literature
P500-P550 Elementary Persian I-II (2-2 cr.) Covers the basic grammar of modern Persian, along with conversation, composition, reading, and translating from selected materials dealing with Iranian civilization.
P600-P650 Intermediate Persian I-II (3-3 cr.) Continuation of the elementary Persian level. Review of grammatical structures and vocabulary, reading, and translating short literary and expository texts.
P565 Introduction to Persian Literature in English (3 cr.) Covers development of Persian literature from its earliest stages in the tenth century A.D. to the present. Although the course covers a period of some 1,000 years, it does so in a way that seeks to provide background information for graduate students who may have an interest in Persian literature.
N592 Directed Readings in Persian (1-6 cr.) Readings in Persian or translated texts selected in accordance with the student’s level and interests.
N685 Persian Mystical Literature in Translation (3 cr.) Examines the Persian literature of Islamic mysticism in English translation. Following an introduction to the history and doctrines of Sufism, the class will turn to detailed readings and discussions of works in several prose and poetic genres: hagiography, biography, allegorical epic, mystical lyric, and gnostic meditation.
N692 Research in Classical Persian Texts (3 cr.) P: P550 or reading knowledge of Persian. Intensive training in classical Persian. Emphasis on the accurate reading and translation of classical texts, their grammatical and stylistic features, and the use of modern and classical lexica. Survey of relevant bibliographic and secondary sources. Variable topic; may be repeated for credit.
Other Iranian Languages
P660 Middle Iranian Languages (3 cr.) This course provides an introduction to the alphabets, grammar, vocabulary, and texts of various Iranian languages. It emphasizes reading, transcription, and translation. Religious, commercial, and political documents are examined. Variable topic; may be repeated for credit.
Ottoman and Modern Turkish Language and Literature
T500-T550 Elementary Turkish I-II (3-3 cr.) This introductory course covers the basic grammar of modern Turkish, along with conversation, composition, reading, and translating from selected materials dealing with Turkish civilization.
T600-T650 Intermediate Turkish I-I (3-3 cr.) P: T500-T550. This course continues the work begun in Elementary Turkish. It emphasizes the review of grammatical structures and vocabulary, reading, and translating short literary and expository texts.
T660-T670 Advanced Turkish I-II (3-3 cr.)
N599 Directed Readings in Turkish (1-6 cr.) In this course students will read and analyze Turkish or translated texts selected in accordance with the student’s level and interests.
N600 Topics in Turkish Literature (3 cr.) This course focuses on the reading and analysis of some of the most representative literary texts of Ottoman and Modern Turkey. Previous topics include “Literature of the Ottoman Court in Translation.”
N800 Seminar in Turkish Literature (3 cr.) P: T650 or equivalent. The goals of this seminar are the following: 1) to provide graduate students of NELC majoring in Turkish literature with some of the most fundamental sources of Ottoman literary studies, 2) to introduce historical and contemporary scholarship on Ottoman upper-class literature, 3) to learn the major verse and prose forms of Ottoman literature, 4) to study the rhetorical structure of Ottoman poetry, and 5) to read the assigned passages in Ottoman focusing on the philological methods for Turkish Studies.
N511 Foreign Study in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (2-8 cr.)*
N545 Introduction to the Ancient Near East (3 cr.) Introduces ancient Near Eastern cultures from early farmers around 8000 B.C. to the iron-age kingdom of the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Iranians. Places emphasis on agriculture, literacy, state formation, socio-political and religious institutions; legal and economic developments. Archaeological and textual information will be utilized in conjunction with visual aids.
N565 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (3 cr.) Covers basics of Islamic religion and literature in historical context. Topics include the life of Mohammad, Koranic and other teachings of Islam, conquests and caliphates, early successor states, law, sects, theology, philosophy, and the relationship between the state and religion.
N625 Cultural History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (3 cr.) Students with little or no background in Turkish studies will be introduced to the rich and varied cultures of Turkey, from Ottoman times to the present.
N640 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (3 cr.) Traces the culture, society, and beliefs within Iran from ancient times through the Muslim conquest until 1800. Focuses on politics, religions, administrative/social institutions, secular/ecclesiastic relations, status of minorities, devotional/communal changes, and Iranian influence on Islamic culture. Dynasties covered include Achaemenian through Safavid. Analysis of primary texts in translation.
N650 Khomeini: The Roots of Revolution (3 cr.) Examines the Iranian revolution using Khomeini as an organizing figure. Covers Shi’ism as a political force, the impact of the West on Iran, secularization, Shi’ite clergy as a class, and the conflict between Islamic and Iranian identity.
N680 Islamic Philosophy (3 cr.) Islamic philosophy, a link between classical and medieval European philosophy, has influenced the development of the western philosophical tradition. Its contributions to the philosophy of religion reflect its contemporary value today as a living tradition in Iran. The course will introduce the major philosophers, schools, and issues of Islamic philosophy.
N695 Graduate Topics in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (1-4 cr.) Special readings in Near Eastern issues and problems within an interdisciplinary format. Variable topics; may be repeated under different topics for credit. Previous topics include, “Modern Middle East,” “Texts and Authors,” “Cultural History of Turkey,” “Classical Arabic Rhetoric,” and “Modern Perisan Literature in Translation.”
N710 M.A. Thesis (cr. arr)*
N720 M.A. Thesis (cr. arr.)*
N810 Ph.D. Thesis (cr. arr.)*
Return to Top