MES Course Offerings Spring 2023
An introduction to written and spoken Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). In addition to mastering the basics of grammar, emphasis is placed on active functional communication in the language, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. Mandatory apprentice-teacher-run drill sessions meet four times/week (4 hours/week) for all beginning Arabic language classes.
Intermediate level of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Continuation of presentation of fundamentals of grammar and development of proficiency in reading, writing, spoken communication skills, and aural comprehension, including much authentic cultural material.
The goal for this course is to develop Arabic from the intermediate to the advanced level. This course will focus on three key elements: grammar review and exercises, readings in modern Arabic fiction, and an introduction to media Arabic.
This three-course series (41, 42 and 43) may be taken non-sequentially. Readings for the courses are extensive and of a high level of complexity; they are drawn from a variety of genres and periods. The progression towards full proficiency in the language is a fundamental objective of the sequence. The courses will be conducted entirely in Arabic.
An introduction to spoken and written Modern Israeli Hebrew (MIH). In addition to mastering the basics of grammar, emphasis is placed on active functional communication in the language, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. Mandatory student-run drill sessions meet four times/week for one hour (4 hours/week) for all beginning Hebrew language classes.
This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to the modern Middle East as a field of study, a region, and a site of cultural and artistic production. Starting with the rise of modernity and the effects of European colonialism on regional politics and culture, we will examine the rise of nationalism, authoritarianism, and fundamentalism. We will analyze recent developments in the region, focusing on social media and youth culture, displacement and exile, and gender and sexuality.
This course explores Israeli cinema in the context of the social and historical backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the painful emergence of a new Jewish-Israeli identity in the shadow of the Holocaust and constant warfare. We will study a dozen films in depth, situate them in the evolution of an Israeli cinema, and consider the problems of turning fiction into film.
This course in anthropology and ethnography of language illustrates how Middle Eastern cultures employ language to construct and reflect values, identities and institutions, to create relationships and project personal status, and to perform actions (such as ending a phone call, apologizing, paying compliments, and negotiating business deals). Particular attention will be paid to the beliefs people hold about their languages and scripts. No prior knowledge of a particular language or culture is assumed. Open to all classes.