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College of Arts
and Sciences (College)
2006-2008
Academic Bulletin

College Programs
College of Arts and Sciences (College) 
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Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Faculty
Introduction
Major in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Departmental Honors Program
Course Descriptions

Faculty

Chair

Professor John Walbridge

Professors

Salman Al-Ani, Salih Altoma (Emeritus), Christopher Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies), Devin DeWeese (Central Eurasian Studies), Hasan El-Shamy (Folklore and Ethnomusicology), John Hanson (African Studies), Iliya F. Harik (Emeritus, Political Science), W. Eugene Kleinbauer (Emeritus, Fine Arts), Consuelo López-Morillas (Spanish and Portuguese), Thomas J. Mathiesen (Distinguished Professor of Musicology, Jacobs School of Music), Christine Ogan (Journalism), Karen Rasler (Political Science), M. Nazif Shahrani (Central Eurasian Studies, Anthropology), Suzanne Stetkevych, Ruth Stone (Folklore and Ethnomusicology), John Walbridge

College Professor

Henry Glassie (Folklore and Ethnomusicology)

Associate Professors

Jane Goodman (Communication and Culture), Stephen Katz (Jewish Studies), Paul Losensky (Central Eurasian Studies), Herbert Marks (Comparative Literature), Frances Trix (Visiting, Linguistics), Martha P. Vinson, Steven Phillip Weitzman (Religious Studies)

Assistant Professors

Christiane Gruber (Fine Arts), Kevin Jaques (Religious Studies), Matthias Lehmann (History), Abdulkader Sinno (Political Science)

Lecturers

Zainab S. Istrabadi, Erdem Çipa

Undergraduate and Honors Advisor

John Radez, Weatherly 112, (812) 856-7039

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Introduction

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC) offers a major leading to the B.A. degree, and minors in Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies, and Near Eastern Civilization. Courses are also available to students in other disciplines who wish to acquire a working knowledge of a Near Eastern language or satisfy a foreign language requirement. Courses in Near Eastern literatures and cultures, many of which are open to students with no knowledge of these languages, may be used in conjunction with other disciplines such as linguistics, English, comparative literature, and folklore to satisfy distribution requirements. All courses can also be taken as electives.

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Major in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

Purpose

The major is designed to provide basic training in the languages of the Near East and to introduce students to Near Eastern cultures.

Requirements

Students must select either the Language Track or the Culture Track. Students must complete a minimum of 25 credit hours in department-approved courses. Students with language proficiency who are not eligible for special credit in the major language will need to take department-approved advanced language courses or additional culture courses to meet the 25 credit hour minimum required for the major.

Language Track (Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian)

  1. Three years of Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian language (or the equivalent)
  2. Five additional courses (minimum of 15 credit hours) chosen with the consent of the undergraduate advisor

Culture Track

  1. Two years of Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian language (or the equivalent)
  2. Seven additional courses (minimum of 21 credit hours) chosen with the consent of the undergraduate advisor

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Related Fields

Anthropology, Central Eurasian studies, classics, comparative literature, economics, fine arts, folklore, gender studies, geography, history of art, Jewish studies, linguistics, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

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Minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures offers a minor in four different tracks: Arabic, Persian, Islamic Studies, and Near Eastern Civilization.

Requirements

15 credit hours are required for each minor track in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The minor is to be completed with a minimum average grade of C+.

  1. 9 credit hours must be taken in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures or relevant courses in affiliated departments on the Bloomington campus. Up to 6 credit hours of transfer or foreign-study credits can be accepted for a minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with the approval of the undergraduate advisor. College of Arts and Sciences Topics courses taught by NELC faculty can count toward the minor in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
  2. For the minor tracks in Arabic and Persian, two courses are required in the appropriate language. Note: This requirement cannot be satisfied through testing. For complete information regarding credit in beginning foreign language courses, consult "Foreign Language." (See "Index.") In addition, at least 3 credit hours are required in a course related in content to the student’s primary language of study but not a language course per se.
  3. For the minor tracks in Islamic studies and Near Eastern civilization, students will take 15 credit hours, selected from the broad array of departmental courses.

Each student’s course work must be approved by the department’s undergraduate advisor.

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Departmental Honors Program

The departmental honors program is designed to provide outstanding students with an in-depth training in Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian. Such students are encouraged to enroll in this program in their junior or senior year. Honors students must complete a minimum of two courses: N399 Reading for Honors (3 cr.) and N499 Honors Thesis (3 cr.) Students interested in enrolling in N399 should consult the departmental honors advisors and the appropriate language supervisor for Arabic, or Persian. In N399 students will do advanced readings in Arabic or Persian in preparation for work on a research project. N499 involves a research project leading to the completion of the student’s honors thesis. This course should be taken under the supervision of the faculty tutor who guided the student in N399.

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Course Descriptions

Arabic Language and Literature
Persian Language and Literature
History, Civilization, and Religion
Other Courses

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Arabic Language and Literature

A100-A150 Elementary Arabic I-II (4-4 cr.) Modern standard Arabic as in contemporary literature, newspapers, and radio. Grammar, reading, dictation, composition, penmanship, conversation, translation. I Sem., II Sem.

A200-A250 Intermediate Arabic I-II (3-3 cr.) P: A100-A150. Grammar, reading, composition, conversation, and translation, using materials from medieval classical and modern literary Arabic. A200, I Sem.; A250, II Sem.

A300-A350 Advanced Arabic I-II (3-3 cr.) P: Consent of department. Continuation of A200-A250. A300, I Sem.; A350, II Sem.

A310 Arabic Dialects I (3 cr.) P: A200 or N182. Focuses on a particular regional dialect (Egyptian, Iraqi, North African), teaching students to speak the everyday language. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

A320 Arabic Dialects II (3 cr.) P: A310 or equivalent. Language course which focuses on a particular regional dialect (Egyptian, Iraqi, North African) and teaches students to speak the everyday language. May be repeated with a different language for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N181 Qur’anic Arabic I (5 cr.) Qur’anic Arabic I is an intensive introduction to the language of the Qur’an—its vocabulary and grammar. The course will also deal with related materials such as Qur’anic commentary, history and Hadith. It aims to teach students to read classical and Qur’anic Arabic through a foundation in syntax and morphology.

N182 Qur’anic Arabic II (5 cr.) P: N181. Qur’anic Arabic II is an intensive introduction to the language of the Qur’an—its vocabulary and grammar. The course will also deal with related materials such as Qur’anic commentary, history and Hadith. It aims to teach students to read classical and Qur’anic Arabic through a foundation in syntax and morphology.

N223 Conversational Arabic (3 cr.) Formal spoken or "polite" Arabic, with attention to divergences in Arabic dialects.

N255 Multimedia Arabic (3 cr.) P: A200. Modern literary Arabic as found in newspapers, magazines, television, and radio will be the main source of material for this course. Focuses on speaking, reading, and vocabulary in this genre. Language laboratory materials, computer programs, and SCOLA will be utilized.

N310 Arabic Composition (3 cr.) P: A100-A150. Readings from Arabic essayists and practice in writing of essays.

N312 Arabic Grammar (3 cr.) P: A100-A150, A200, or consent of instructor. This course will present, in Arabic, the principal features of traditional classical Arabic grammar. A treatise on Arabic grammar will be utilized to constitute a base and guide for student reading.

N324 Introduction to Arabic Linguistics (3 cr.) Concise history and description of the structure of Arabic. Special emphasis on the written and selected spoken varieties of modern Arabic phonology, grammar, and basic vocabulary.

N329 Arabic Phonetics and Phonology (3 cr.) Systematic study of Arabic phonetics/phonology utilizing scientific phonetics both practical and theoretical and the phonological processes of generative phonological theory.

N393 Individual Readings in Classical Arabic (1-6 cr.) Linguistic and literary analysis of selected classical Arabic texts.

N394 Individual Readings in Modern Arabic (1-6 cr.) Linguistic and literary analysis of selected modern Arabic texts.

N398 Individual Readings in Arabic Language and Linguistics (1-6 cr.) Focuses on reading and analyzing 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 departmental courses. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

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Persian Language and Literature

P100-P150 Elementary Persian I-II (4-4 cr.) Covers the basic grammar of modern Persian, along with conversation, composition, reading, and translation from selected materials dealing with Iranian civilization.

P200-P250 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.

P360 Topics in Studies of Iranian Languages (3 cr.) An introduction to selected works of Iranian languages in relation to social history and religious and political developments. Topics will vary from semester to semester. May be taken for a total of 9 credit hours with different topics.

P365 Introduction to Persian Literature in Translation (3 cr.) A & H Intended to provide coverage of the development of Persian literature from its earliest stages in the tenth century A.D. to the present. Although the course covers a broad period of about 1,000 years, it does so in a general way, and seeks to provide background information for students who may have an interest in Persian literature.

N240 Directed Readings in Persian Language (1-4 cr.) Readings in Persian texts selected in accordance with the student’s level and interest. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours.

N380 Topics in Persian Literature in Translation (3 cr.) A & H, CSA Study and analysis of selected readings from Persian literature in English translation. May concentrate on a particular theme, period, or author. Special attention paid to the historical and cultural contexts of the works, as well as problems in translation, critical analysis, and interpretation. May be repeated once for credit with different topics.

N385 Persian Mystical Literature in Translation (3 cr.) A & H, CSA 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: hagiographic biography, allegorical epic, mystical lyric, and gnostic meditation.

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History, Civilization, and Religion

N204 Topics in Near Eastern Culture and Society (3 cr.) S & H Analysis of selected Near Eastern cultural or social issues. Topics will vary. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N205 Topics in Near Eastern Culture and Literature (3 cr.) A & H Selected works of Near Eastern literature in relation to a single cultural problem or theme; for example, "Turning Point in the Religion of Israel"; or "History of the Modern Middle East." Topics will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N220 Muhammad: Life of the Prophet (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Study, from an historical perspective, of the career of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad b. Abd Allah, from pre-Islamic times through his call to prophethood; his campaigns against the opposition; the establishment of the Muslim community at Medinah; the conquest of Mecca; and his death.

N245 Introduction to the Ancient Near East (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Introduction to ancient Near Eastern cultures from early farmers around 8000 B.C. to the Iron Age kingdoms of the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Iranians; emphasis on agriculture, literacy, urbanization, state formation, sociopolitical, and religious institutions, and legal and economic developments. Archaeological and textual information will be utilized in conjunction with visual aids.

N265 Introduction to Islamic Civilization (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Survey of Islamic civilization in the classical period. Topics include the life of Muhammad, Koranic and other teachings of Islam, conquests and caliphates, early successor states, law, sects, theology, philosophy, and the relationship between state and religion.

N305 Topics in Near Eastern Studies (3 cr.) CSA Selected works of Near Eastern literature in relation to a singular cultural problem or theme. Topics will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N340 Prophets, Poets, and Kings: Iranian Civilization (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Traces the culture, society, and beliefs of Iran from ancient times through the Muslim conquest to the eighteenth century. Focuses on politics, religions (Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Islam), administrative and social institutions, relationship between secular and ecclesiastic hierarchies, status of minorities, devotional and communal change, and Iranian influences on Islamic culture. Visual aids used in class.

N350 Modern Iran (3 cr.) S & H, CSA The history and culture of Iran from 1500 to the present, with an emphasis on developments in the last century, in particular the role of Shiism in shaping the history of modern Iran. Readings will deal with the historical, religious, and cultural background, the two great revolutions of the 20th century, and the role of Iran in recent events in the Middle East. We will also follow current events in Iran on a regular basis.

N365 Islamic Philosophy (3 cr.) A & H This course introduces the chief philosophers, schools, and issues of Islamic philosophy. Issues discussed include the relationship between religion and philosophy, philosophy and society; the essence/existence and necessary/contingent distinctions; basis of rational knowledge; relationship between mysticism and philosophy.

N370 Koranic Studies (3 cr.) A & H, CSA The Koran in its historical role as the Islamic revelation. Its formation and compilation, the structural and stylistic characteristics of the text, and its role and function in Islam. The different schools of interpretation throughout history, and comparative studies between the Koran and the Judeo-Christian scriptures.

N397 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (3 cr.) S & H, CSA General anthropological introduction to social institutions and cultural forms of the Arab countries of North Africa and the Near East, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. Topics include ecology, development of Islam and Muslim empires, traditional adaptive strategies, consequences of colonialism, independence and rise of nation-states, impact of modernization, changing conceptions of kinship, ethnicity, and gender. Credit given for only one of ANTH E397, CEUS U397, or NELC N397.

N399 Readings for Honors (3 cr.) P: Approval of the departmental honors advisor. Individual readings for outstanding students in Arabic, Hebrew, or Persian in preparation for the honors thesis (N499) supervised by a member in the appropriate field.

N492 Research in Classical Persian Texts (3 cr.) P: P250 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. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N495 Directed Readings in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (3-4 cr.) Study and analysis of selected Near Eastern Languages and Cultures issues and problems within an interdisciplinary format. Topics will vary and will ordinarily cut across fields, regions, or periods. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

N499 Honors Thesis (3 cr.) P: N399 and approval of honors advisor. A specialized research project conducted under the supervision of a staff member in the appropriate field.

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Other Courses

Central Eurasian Studies
U161 Introductory Turkish I
U162 Introductory Turkish II
U261 Intermediate Turkish I
U262 Intermediate Turkish II

Comparative Literature
C370 Arabic-Western Literary Relations (3 cr.) A & H, CSA

Folklore and Ethnomusicology
F307 Middle Eastern Folklore/Folklife/Folk Music (3 cr.) A & H, CSA

Jewish Studies
B100 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I (4 cr.)
B150 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew II (4 cr.)
B200 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I (3 cr.)
B250 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II (3 cr.)
C240 Contemporary Israeli Culture (3 cr.) A & H, CSA
H100-H150 Introduction to Elementary Hebrew I-II (4-4 cr.)
H190 Intensive Elementary Hebrew (6 cr.)
H200-H250 Intermediate Hebrew I-II (3-3 cr.)
H296 Foreign Study in Hebrew (1-6 cr.)
H300-H350 Advanced Hebrew I-II (3-3 cr.)
H365 Advanced Hebrew Conversation and Composition (3 cr.)
H375 Introductory Readings in Hebrew Literature (3 cr.) A & H
H396 Foreign Study in Hebrew (1-6 cr.)
H497 Individual Readings in Hebrew (1-4 cr.)
L380 Modern Hebrew Literature in English (3 cr.) A & H, CSA
L385 Recent Hebrew Literature in English (3 cr.) A & H, CSA
L390 Biblical Themes in Modern Hebrew Literature (3 cr.) A & H
L395 S. Y. Agnon and the Jewish Experience (3 cr.) A & H, CSA

Religious Studies
R356 The Religion of Islam (3 cr.) A & H, CSA

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