Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC)

* NELC 000b / ANTH 331b / ARCG 000b / ARCG 354b / EVST 354b / HIST 204Jb / NELC 324b, The Ancient State: Genesis and Crisis from Mesopotamia to MexicoHarvey Weiss

Ancient states were societies with surplus agricultural production, classes, specialization of labor, political hierarchies, monumental public architecture and, frequently, irrigation, cities, and writing. Pristine state societies, the earliest civilizations, arose independently from simple egalitarian hunting and gathering societies in six areas of the world. How and why these earliest states arose are among the great questions of post-Enlightenment social science. This course explains (1) why this is a problem, to this day, (2) the dynamic environmental forces that drove early state formation, and (3) the unresolved fundamental questions of ancient state genesis and crisis, law-like regularities or a chance coincidence of heterogenous forces?  HU, SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 001b / AFST 001b / ARCG 001b, Egypt and Northeast Africa: A Multidisciplinary ApproachJohn Darnell

An introduction to Egyptology, examining approximately 10,000 years of Nile Valley cultural records and 3,000 years of Egyptian history. The course presents an overview of the historical and archaeological study of Egypt and her southern neighbor Nubia. Various original written and visual sources are used, including the collections of the Peabody Museum and the Yale Art Gallery, with some material accessible in the classroom. Students gain a basic understanding of the hieroglyphic script and the Ancient Egyptian language, and are able to read some inscriptions in museum visits at the end of the course. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
MW 9am-10:15am

* NELC 026b / ARCG 031b / EVST 030b, Origins of Civilization: Egypt and MesopotamiaHarvey Weiss

The origins of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt along the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers explored with archaeological, historical and environmental data for the origins of agriculture, the classes and hierarchies that marked earliest cities, states and empires, the innovative monumental architecture, writing, imperial expansion, and new national ideologies. How and why these civilizational processes occurred with the momentous societal collapses at periods of abrupt climate change. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  HU, SO
TTh 9am-10:15am

NELC 109a / ARCG 244a / RLST 245a, The Age of AkhenatonStaff

Study of the period of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton (reigned 1353–1336 B.C.E.), often termed the Amarna Revolution, from historical, literary, religious, artistic, and archaeological perspectives. Consideration of the wider Egyptian, ancient Near Eastern, African, and Mediterranean contexts. Examination of the international diplomacy, solar theology, and artistic developments of the period. Reading of primary source material in translation.  HU0 Course cr
HTBA

* NELC 121b / HUMS 140b, The Hero in the Ancient Near EastKathryn Slanski

Exploration of the interaction of religion, history, and literature in the ancient Near East through study of its heroes, including comparison with heroes, heroic narratives, and hero cults in the Bible and from classical Greece.  WR, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* NELC 128a / HUMS 128a, From Gilgamesh to Persepolis: Introduction to Near Eastern LiteraturesSamuel Hodgkin

This course is an introduction to Near Eastern civilization through its rich and diverse literary cultures. We read and discuss ancient works, such as the Epic of GilgameshGenesis, and “The Song of Songs,” medieval works, such as A Thousand and One Nights, selections from the Qur’an, and Shah-nama: The Book of Kings, and modern works of Israeli, Turkish, and Iranian novelists and Palestianian poets. Students complement classroom studies with visits to the Yale Babylonian Collection and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, as well as with film screenings and guest speakers. Students also learn fundamentals of Near Eastern writing systems, and consider questions of tradition, transmission, and translation. All readings are in translation. Permission from the instructor required.  WR, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* NELC 129b / AFST 128b / ARCG 128b / EGYP 128b / RLST 251b, Magic and Ritual in Ancient Egypt and the Near EastJohn Darnell

Introduction to ancient Egyptian magic and rituals with an overview on the use of magic and discussion of the different rituals and festivals attested in Ancient Egypt and the Near East.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* NELC 156a / HUMS 233a / LITR 178a / MMES 201a, Classics of the Arabic-Islamic WorldShawkat Toorawa

Arabic-Islamic civilization has produced numerous works that would make it onto almost anyone’s list of wondrous books. In this course, we will read a selection of (or from) those books and study the literary and intellectual cultures that produced them in an attempt to deepen and nuance our understanding of Islamic civilization. Readings will include the Qur’an, classical Arabic poetry, Jahiz’s epistles, the Maqamat of Hariri, al-Ghazali, the Shahnameh,  Leyli ve Mejnun, the Conference of the Birds, the Hang Tuah Epic, Aisha al-Bauniyyah’s Sufi poetry, and much else besides. All readings in translation.  HUTr
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 157b / JDST 306b / MMES 157b, Israeli NarrativesShiri Goren

This course looks at contemporary representations of social, political, and domestic space in Israel through cultural production such as literature, visual work, and art. It focuses on close reading of major Israeli works in translation with attention to how their themes and forms relate to the Israeli condition. Reading and viewing include: Amos Oz’s major novel A Tale of Love and Darkness, Anne Frank: The Graphic Diary, Maya Arad’s novella “The Hebrew Teacher,” TV show Arab Labor and writing by Yehudah Amichai, Etgar Keret, and Sayed Kashua, among others. We discuss topics and theories of personal and collective identity formation, war and peace, ethnicity and race, migration, nationalism, and gender. No knowledge of Hebrew required.  WR, HUTr
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* NELC 168a / CLCV 260a, Origins of WritingKlaus Wagensonner

Exploration of writing in the ancient Near East and the profound effects this new method of communication had on human society. Focus on Egypt and Mesopotamia, where advanced writing systems first developed and were used for millennia, with consideration of Chinese, Mayan, and Indus Valley writing systems as well.   HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* NELC 170a / MMES 176a / PERS 161a, Cinema of Iran, Past and PresentFarkhondeh Shayesteh

A thematic survey of Iranian cinema, past and present. Prominent Iranian directors such as Kiarostami, Beyzai, Panahi, Banietemad, and Farhadi are explored through discussion and in-class viewing of clips from assigned films. Students enhance their awareness of Persian culture through Iranian films while advancing their language skills. L4 and instructor permission.  L5
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* NELC 243a / ARCG 245a, Archaeology of Ancient Egypt: An IntroductionGregory Marouard

This seminar is an introductory class that examines in detail the archaeology of ancient Egypt following the chronological order of Egyptian history and covering almost 4000 years, from the late Neolithic period to the end of the Greco-Roman period. The aim is not only to give a comprehensive overview of major sites and discoveries but also to use as much as possible information from recent excavations, discuss problems and priorities concerning this field, offer an introduction to new fieldwork methods and approaches used in Egypt as well as a short history of this discipline.   HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* NELC 250b, Assyria: The First Near Eastern EmpireEckart Frahm

Survey of the history and culture of ancient Assyria, with a focus on its imperial phase in the first millennium B.C.E. Assyria's aggressive foreign policy; the role of the military; Assyrian royal ideology, religion, literature, art, and court life; Assyria's impact on the Bible; Assyria's image in classical sources. Readings from primary sources in translation.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* NELC 321b / ANTH 492b / ARCG 492b, Imaging Ancient WorldsKlaus Wagensonner and Agnete Lassen

The interpretation of epigraphic and archaeological material within the broader context of landscape, by means of creating a virtual model to reconstruct the sensory experiences of the ancient peoples who created those sites. Use of new technologies in computer graphics, including 3D imaging, to support current research in archaeology and anthropology.
MW 9am-10:15am

* NELC 323b / JDST 312b / LITR 196b / MMES 312b, Hebrew Poetry in Muslim SpainPeter Cole

Introduction to the Golden Age of Hebrew poetry in Muslim Andalusia from the tenth century through the twelfth. Major figures of the period and the cultural and philosophical questions they confronted. The Judeo-Arabic social context in which the poetry emerged; critical issues pertaining to the study and transmission of this literature. Readings from the works of several poets. Readings in translation. Additional readings in Hebrew available.  HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 324b / ANTH 331b / ARCG 000b / ARCG 354b / EVST 354b / HIST 204Jb / NELC 000b, The Ancient State: Genesis and Crisis from Mesopotamia to MexicoHarvey Weiss

Ancient states were societies with surplus agricultural production, classes, specialization of labor, political hierarchies, monumental public architecture and, frequently, irrigation, cities, and writing. Pristine state societies, the earliest civilizations, arose independently from simple egalitarian hunting and gathering societies in six areas of the world. How and why these earliest states arose are among the great questions of post-Enlightenment social science. This course explains (1) why this is a problem, to this day, (2) the dynamic environmental forces that drove early state formation, and (3) the unresolved fundamental questions of ancient state genesis and crisis, law-like regularities or a chance coincidence of heterogenous forces?  HU, SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 325a / HUMS 274a / LITR 388a, The Education of Princes: Medieval Advice Literature of Rulership and CounselShawkat Toorawa

In this course we read “mirrors for princes,” a type of political writing by courtiers and advisors. The genre flourished in the courts of medieval Europe and the Islamic world. We learn about the ethical and moral considerations that guided (or were meant to guide) rulers in their conduct, in the formulation of their policies, and about theories of rule and rulership. The works we read are from several cultural, religious, and political traditions, and include: Christine de Pizan, A Medieval Woman’s Mirror of Honor; Einhard, Life of Charlemagne; Erasmus, Education of a Christian Prince; Ibn al-Muqaffa’, Kalilah and Dimnah, John of Salisbury, Policraticus: Book of the Statesman; Machiavelli, The Prince; Nizam al-Mulk, The Book of Government.  All texts are in English translation. Instructor permission is required.  HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* NELC 327a / MMES 327a, Introduction to the Field of Near Eastern Languages & CivilizationsKevin van Bladel

This half-credit course is a concise introduction to the field of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and its cognates (Middle Eastern Studies, etc.), focusing on the history and constitution of institutional bases for the study of the Near East, the development of the terms by which it is defined, subfields like Assyriology, Egyptology, and Arabic studies, the debate over Orientalism and its aftermath, the conflation of the Near East with religions and nations, the development of Area Studies, the place of NELC knowledge in higher education and scholarship generally, the public face of Near Eastern studies, and how careers in NELC are made. Priority given to seniors and juniors with majors in the NELC department.  ½ Course cr
F 9:25am-11:15am

* NELC 338a / ARBC 173a / ARBC 598a / NELC 614a, Tracing the Image of the Arab "Other"Jonas Elbousty

This advanced Arabic language course places the modern Arabic novel in conversation with the west in an effort to uncover both dominant narratives regarding Arab identity, as well as counter narratives that present a challenge to these dominant narratives. We study the tradition of modern Arabic literature, looking specifically to the ways in which the image of the “other” is presented in Arabic narratives as well as the ways in which the image of the Arab is constructed through the others’ literature. Readings, discussions, and written assignments will be in Arabic. Prerequisite: ARBC 151.  L5
MW 6pm-7:15pm

* NELC 492a and NELC 493b, The Senior EssayKathryn Slanski

Preparation of a research paper of at least thirty pages (sixty pages for a two-term essay) under the supervision of a departmental faculty member, in accordance with the following schedule: (1) by the end of the second week of classes of the fall term, students meet with advisers to discuss the topic, approach, sources, and bibliography of the essay. Note: students planning to write the essay in the second term (NELC 493) should also meet with their prospective advisers by this deadline; (2) by the end of the fourth week of classes a prospectus with outline, including an annotated bibliography of materials in one or more Near Eastern languages and of secondary sources, is signed by the adviser and submitted to the director of undergraduate studies. The prospectus should indicate the formal title, scope, and focus of the essay, as well as the proposed research method, including detailed indications of the nature and extent of materials in a Near Eastern language that will be used; (3) at the end of the tenth week of classes (end of February for yearlong essays), a rough draft of the complete essay is submitted to the adviser; (4) two copies of the finished paper must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies, Rm 314 HGS, by 4 p.m. on the last day of reading period. Failure to comply with the deadline will be penalized by a lower grade. Senior essays will be graded by departmental faculty unless, for exceptional reasons, different arrangements for an outside reader are made in advance with the director of undergraduate studies and the departmental adviser.
HTBA