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Course Descriptions

Courses primarily for:

Courses Primarily for Undergraduate Students

ARABIC 111-1,2,3 – Arabic I

Three-course introduction to modern standard Arabic primarily, along with some exposure to and familiarization with the main regional spoken varieties. Speaking, reading, listening comprehension, and basic writing skills developed.

ARABIC 114 – Conversation and Culture in the Arab World

Introduction to spoken colloquial Arabic of a country or region—for example, Egyptian, Levantine, or Moroccan. Emphasis on spoken language and conversation. May be repeated for credit with different dialect. Prerequisite: 111-2 or equivalent.

ARABIC 125 – Media Arabic

Introduction to vocabulary, expressions, and terminology used in Arab print and broadcast media. Supplements study in modern standard Arabic. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. Prerequisite: 121-2 or equivalent.

ARABIC 211-1,2,3 – Arabic III

Continued skills development through reading and discussion of Arabic writings from both textbooks and media resources. Prerequisite: 121-3 or equivalent.

ARABIC 311-1,2,3 – Arabic IV

Continuation of instruction in Arabic using textbooks and supplemental materials from literary sources (prose and poetry) and broadcast and print media. Emphasis on developing more advanced writing skills. Prerequisite: 211-3 or equivalent.

ARABIC 316-1 – Reading Arabic Poetry (in Arabic)

Introduction to classical and modern Arabic poetry in both traditional meter and free verse, including selections from the Umayyad, Abbasid, and modern periods. Prerequisite: 311-3 or equivalent.

ARABIC 316-2 – Reading Classical Arabic Texts (in Arabic)

Samples of adab and classical branches of learning are used to introduce students to classical Arabic literature and continue to strengthen their skills. Prerequisite: 311-3 or equivalent.

ARABIC 316-2 – Reading Classical Arabic Texts (in Arabic)

Samples of modern Arabic short stories and novels are used to introduce students to modern Arabic literature and continue to strengthen their skills. Prerequisite: 311-3 or equivalent.

ARABIC 399 – Independent Study

For students who have advanced with distinction beyond the regular course offerings in Arabic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

HEBREW 111-1,2,3 – Hebrew I

Understanding, speaking, reading, and writing of mainly conversational Hebrew. Hebrew used as language of instruction. Drill in language laboratory.

HEBREW 121-1,2,3 – Hebrew II

From language to literature: review of grammar; reading and discussing Hebrew literary works (prose and poetry) and newspaper articles. Compositions and oral presentations. Prerequisite: 111-3 or equivalent.

HEBREW 216-1,2,3 – Hebrew III: Topics in Hebrew Literature

Reading Hebrew literature, some biblical but mostly modern prose. Compositions and oral presentations. Prerequisite: 121-3 or equivalent.

HEBREW 316-1,2,3 – Hebrew IV: Advanced Topics in Hebrew Literature

Reading 20th-century Hebrew literature. Presentations, discussion, and essays in Hebrew. Prerequisite: 216-3 or consent of instructor.

HEBREW 399 – Independent Study

For students who have advanced with distinction beyond the regular course offerings in Hebrew. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

HISTORY 372-2-1 – The Ottomans: From "Second Empire" to the Age of Nationalism, 1622-1918

No description available.

HISTORY 392-0-22 – Environment and Energy in the Middle East

No description available.

MENA 101-6-20 – First-Year Seminar: We Are What We Eat: Turkish Food Culture and Cuisine

In this course we will explore the complex relationships between food, culture and society through a survey of Turkish cuisine and food culture from the early Ottoman period through today. Food represents an integral part of livelihood, culture and identity. Food production, consumption and sharing also have symbolic and ideological meanings. By exploring the ingredients, recipes, and tools that are essential to Turkish cooking, we will take a close look at the different geographical regions, climates, ethnic and religious communities, as well as historical and cultural phenomena that make up this extremely diverse cuisine. Special topics include Ottoman palace cuisine; regional cuisines of Turkey; street food; history of coffee and coffee houses in the Ottoman Empire and Europe; spices and trade routes; Turkish food in world literature; and the effects of wars and immigrants on the formation of Turkish food culture. 

The course will also include a cooking/food component (either a visit to a Turkish restaurant in Chicago or a hands-on cooking experience for students).

MENA 101-6-20 – First-Year Seminar: Topic TBD

No description available.

MENA 200 – Making the Modern Middle East: Culture, Politics, History

The emergence of the Middle East as a world region and its representation in art, literature, and film in relation to geopolitics from the colonial period to the present.

MENA 275 – Arabic Literature in Translation

Introduction to Arabic literary background, surveying literary genres from the pre-Islamic period to the present. Taught with COMP LIT 275; may not receive credit for both courses.

MENA 290-3,4,5,6 – Introductory Topics in Middle East and North African Studies

Content and prerequisites vary. Course number indicates distribution requirement area in which a course counts. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

MENA 301-1,2,3 – Seminar in Middle East and North African Studies

Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Middle East and North Africa. Content varies with annual theme. May be repeated for credit with a change in topic. Courses need not be taken in sequence.

MENA 301-2-20 – Seminar in Middle East and North African Studies: Porous Borders? (MENA 301-2-20 co-list with ANTHRO 390-0-23))

At the advent of increased globalization some scholars have argued that the movements of capital, commodities and people across nation-states have rendered their borders increasingly more porous. The death of the nation-state and the birth of the multinational corporation heralded this new epoch. Yet, in the epoch of offshored refugee processing centers and border walls, this assumed porosity of borders begs a reexamination of broader geographies of power and tactics of movement. In this course, we examine the historically and geographically specific constellations of borders and ask: How does the border become an architecture of regulation that extends access to mobility to some and denies it to others? What is a border? Is it the physical line drawn between two states? Who gets to draw these lines? Is a state border a given result of a natural and ethnic contract or the terrain of constant contestation or negotiation in global and international affairs? This course examines these questions by proposing to reconceptualize border as equally the product of mobile social actors, contraband commodities and fluctuating values as they are of state policies aimed at managing these movements.

MENA 390-3,4,5,6 – Advanced Topics in Middle East and North African Studies

Content and prerequisites vary. Course number indicates distribution requirement area in which a course counts. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

MENA 399 – Independent Study

Reading and conferences on special subjects for advanced undergraduates. Prerequisite: consent of director of undergraduate studies and instructor.

PERSIAN 111-1,2,3 – Persian 1

Introduction to basic literacy and oral proficiency intended to produce conversational speakers. Emphasizes modern Tehrani dialect of Persian; students also learn to read, write, and speak more formal Persian.

PERSIAN 121-1,2,3 – Persian II

Intermediate Persian Acquisition of vocabulary and language production. Employs authentic written and audiovisual materials, including newspapers, short stories, poems, television, film, and radio. Speaking and writing emphasized. Prerequisite: 111-3 or equivalent.

PERSIAN 399 – Independent Study

For students who have advanced with distinction beyond the regular course offerings in Persian. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

POLISCI 390-0-24 – Special Topics in Political Science: Contemporary Turkish Politics

No description available.

POLISCI 395-0-21 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

No description available.

RELIGION 250-0-20 – Introduction to Islam

Principal beliefs and practices of Muslims set against the historic development of the faith.

RELIGION 339-0-20 – Topics in Judaism: The Occidental-Oriental Divide in Israel

No description available.

TURKISH 111-1,2,3 – Turkish I

Introduction to basic literacy and oral proficiency; insights into modern Turkish culture through the language. Print and audiovisual materials used to supplement textbook.

TURKISH 121-1,2,3 – Turkish II Intermediate Turkish

Continuation of basic grammar instruction; further development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills through the use of printed and audiovisual materials. Insights into modern Turkish culture. Prerequisite: 111-3 or equivalent.

Courses Primarily for Graduate Students

ANTHRO 490 – Migrant Sexualities & Queer Travelers: Translocation

No description available.

ART HIST 460 – Studies in 20th Century Art: Futures We Will Have Loved: Time and Historiography in Artists' Work

No description available.

MENA 410 – Pro-Seminar in MENA Studies

Introduces students to key scholarly literature in the field, drawn from a variety of disciplines. (Taught in alternating years, academic year 2013-14 (winter 2014), 2015-16 (spring), etc.)

MENA 411 – Approaches and perspectives in MENA Studies

Surveys differing disciplinary approaches to the study of the Middle East and North Africa, often organized around a theme. (Taught in alternating years, academic year 2014-15 and 2016-17 (winter), etc.)

MENA 412 – The MENA Colloquium

Year long colloquium featuring student presentations of work in progress and faculty comment.  (Taught annually. May be taken for 1 course credit—requires presentation—or zero-credit enrollment.  Students are expected to enroll for more than one year of MENA 412, though only once for course credit.)

MENA 415 – Graduate Colloquium Advanced

No description available.

POLI SCI 486 – Advanced Topics in Middle East Politics

This graduate-level seminar explores the comparative politics and political development of the Middle East and North Africa, with an emphasis on the Arab world. Topics include state formation, political economy, political institutions, state-society relations, the role of religion in politics, and regime stability and change. Back to top