Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Director of undergraduate studies: Jonas Elbousty, Arnold Hall, 304 Elm Street, Room B41A, 432-2944, jonas.elbousty@yale.edu; nelc.yale.edu

The major in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations is an interdisciplinary liberal arts major. Students acquire language proficiency and skills in critical analysis in order to study the long-lived and rich civilizations of the Near East, ranging from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, to the Medieval Near East and Classical Islam, to modern cultures represented by modern Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish.

The Near East is studied for its own intrinsic literary, historic, and artistic interest, as well as its cultural and historical legacies, while also providing new ways of understanding developments and challenges in the modern world. Majors go on to careers in government, foreign service, law, medicine, education, and academic research. The major also provides an excellent basis for graduate study. 

Requirements of the Major 

The major for the Class of 2020 and previous classes With DUS approval, the following changes to the requirements of the major may be fulfilled by students who declared their major under previous requirements.

The major for the Class of 2021 and subsequent classes The Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major has two tracks from which students may choose. In track A, students focus, in depth, on a particular language, civilization, period, or region. In track B, students focus on Near Eastern languages and civilizations more broadly and comparatively.

Twelve term courses in the department, or their equivalent, are required for the major, including the senior essay course. There are no prerequisites. Students develop coherent programs of study in one of two tracks:

Track A, Language and Civilization (depth), offers students a rigorous and intellectually coherent foundation in line with their own specific interests. Through in-depth study of Near Eastern languages and texts in their original languages, richly contextualized through study of literature, religion, visual arts, archaeology, political and social history, students focus on the Ancient Near East, the Classical Near East, Medieval Islam, or Modern Hebrew language and culture. Requirements include: six term courses of one or two Near Eastern languages; one NELC Foundations course; five electives, chosen in consultation with the DUS and assigned faculty adviser; and the senior essay.

Track B, Languages, Civilization, and Culture (breadth), provides students the opportunity to study the Near East in its historical and cultural breadth, and to explore its rich and long-lived civilizations and cultures. This flexible program allows students to take a range of classes and to design their course of study in line with their interests. Areas of interest include languages, literature, history, religion, art and archaeology, and philosophy. Requirements include four term courses of one or more languages; two NELC Foundations courses; and five electives, including one on the ancient Near East, one on the medieval Near East, and one on the modern Middle East, chosen in consultation with the DUS and assigned faculty adviser; and the senior essay.  

All students are also encouraged to take related courses in other departments and programs, such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, History, History of Art, History of Science, Medicine & Public Health, Judaic Studies, Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Such courses, including college seminars, will routinely be accepted for credit toward the major if they deal with Near Eastern topics, at the discretion of the assigned faculty adviser and DUS. 

Senior Requirement 

The senior essay is a research paper of at least thirty pages prepared under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. It may be written under the rubric of NELC 492 and/or 493, or as an extended seminar paper in a departmental seminar course, in which case the instructor serves as the essay adviser. The topic and a prospectus signed by an adviser are to be submitted to the DUS by the end of the fourth week of classes in either term of the senior year. The particular subject matter and theoretical approach of the essay are decided by the student after consultation with the faculty adviser.

In cases in which students demonstrably need more time for an extended research paper, the senior essay may be approved as a yearlong course after consultation with the adviser and the DUS. Only those students who have advanced language skills and whose project is considered to be of exceptional promise are eligible. The requirements for the two-term essay are the same as for the one-term essay, except that the essay should be at least sixty pages.

Advising

All course schedules must be discussed with the assigned faculty adviser and approved by the DUS.

Languages currently offered by the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations include Akkadian, Arabic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Syriac, and Turkish. Students who take a foreign language during a term, year, or summer abroad must complete a departmental placement examination after they return to Yale; there are no exceptions to this requirement.

Well-qualified students who have acquired the requisite background in undergraduate courses may, with the permission of the instructor, the DUS, and the director of graduate studies, be admitted to graduate courses where no suitable undergraduate courses exist. 

REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR

Prerequisites None 

Number of courses 12 term courses (incl senior essay)

Distribution of courses Language and Civilization track A (depth)—6 term courses of up to 2 Near Eastern language courses; 1 foundations course; and 5 electives, with DUS consultation; Languages, Civilization, and Culture track B (breadth)—4 term courses of 1 or more Near Eastern language courses; 2 foundations courses; 5 electives to include 1 ancient, 1 medieval, and 1 modern course, with DUS consultation

Senior requirement Senior essay in NELC 492 and/or 493 or in dept seminar

The major in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations is for students interested in the Near East in any period. Students acquire a solid linguistic, historical, and cultural background to study the area. Small classes and considerable flexibility characterize the major, which includes two tracks:

Track A, Language and Civilization (depth) Through the in-depth study of Near Eastern languages and primary texts, richly contextualized through study of literature, religion, visual arts, archaeology, political and social history, students focus on the Ancient Near East, the Classical Near East, Medieval Islam, or Modern Hebrew language and culture. 

Track B, Languages, Civilization, and Culture (breadth) This flexible program allows students to take a range of classes and to design their course of study in line with their interests (such as languages, literature, history, religion, art and archaeology, philosophy), while acquiring familiarity with the Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Near East.   

Interested first-year students are urged to consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or an instructor in their prospective area as early as possible in the fall, either to clarify their interests or to plan the best course of study for their needs and abilities. Majors often obtain special museum, excavation, or linguistic experience at Yale or abroad.

Particularly suitable for first-year students are first-year seminars and foundations courses:

More advanced courses may require knowledge of a Near Eastern language. Students considering a major with a concentration in any of the languages taught by the department are encouraged to begin language study as early as possible, especially if they plan to study abroad. 

Placement examinations in Arabic and Hebrew are held at the beginning of the fall term. Locations are posted on the bulletin board of the department office, Arnold Hall, 304 Elm Street, 4th floor. Placement examinations are also available in Persian and Turkish; interested students should consult the DUS. See also the Center for Language Study Website for placement examinations information.

Religious Studies and Judaic Studies offer courses in Hebrew literature and in Judaism; Religious Studies, History, and Political Science offer courses dealing with the premodern and modern Near East. Related courses in other departments can count toward the major in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Arabic

The beginning course sequence, ARBC 110 and ARBC 120 , carries three course credits for the year and teaches Arabic grammar as a foundation for further study of Modern Standard Arabic, the language of educated people in all Arab countries and an official language of the United Nations. The course concentrates on reading, listening, and writing.

Students interested in modern Arabic follow ARBC 120 with ARBC 130 , ARBC 140 , ARBC 150, and ARBC 151. Students interested in classical Arabic follow ARBC 120 with ARBC 136 and ARBC 146 .

Students contemplating a major with a concentration in Arabic or a second major with an Arabic component should consult with faculty members as early as possible in the fall.

Hebrew

The beginning course sequence, HEBR 110 and HEBR 120 is followed by HEBR 130 , HEBR 140 , and an advanced course such as HEBR 160. Students who already know modern or biblical Hebrew may take advanced courses. Some of these will be listed in Yale College Programs of Study, and others in the Graduate School’s online bulletin. For information about graduate courses, consult the directors of undergraduate studies (DUS) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and in Judaic Studies in the fall.

Other Near eastern Languages

Beginning courses in Akkadian, Egyptian, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, and Turkish are open to first-year students; consult the DUS in the fall. Near Eastern language courses are very demanding, so a high level of commitment is presumed.

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES AND CIVILIZATIONS

Professors John Darnell, Benjamin Foster, Eckart Frahm, Shawkat Toorawa, Kevin Van Bladel, Harvey Weiss

Senior Lectors and Senior Lecturers Sarab Al Ani, Muhammad Aziz, Jonas Elbousty, Shiri Goren, Dina Roginsky, Farkhondeh Shayesteh, Kathryn Slanski

Lectors and Lecturers Julien Cooper, Ozgen Felek, Karen Foster, Christina Geisen, Agnete Lassen, Selim Tiryakiol, Klaus Wagensonner, Orit Yeret

Professors Emeritus Dimitri Gutas, Bentley Layton

First-Year Seminars

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

Examination of approximately 10,000 years of Nile Valley cultural history, with an introduction to the historical and archaeological study of Egypt and Nubia. Consideration of the Nile Valley as the meeting place of the cultures and societies of northeast Africa. Various written and visual sources are used, including the collections of the Peabody Museum and the Yale Art Gallery. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* NELC 003a / HUMS 077a, Medieval Travel and ExplorationShawkat Toorawa

Introduction to the motivations for travel and exploration in the Middle Ages. For adventure, for commerce, on pilgrimage, and for conquest, travelers include Christian, Jewish, and Muslim merchants, ambassadors, scholars, geographers, explorers, sailors, and soldiers. All material in English translation. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Foundations Courses

NELC 101b / HUMS 438b, Origins of Western Civilization: The Near East from Alexander to MuhammadBenjamin Foster

Cultural and historical survey of Hellenistic, eastern Roman, Parthian, Byzantine, and Sassanian empires in the Near East. Emphasis on mutual influences of Near Eastern and classical worlds, the rise of Christianity and Islam in Near Eastern contexts, and the division of East and West between conflicting ideas of unity.  HU
MW 9am-10:15am

NELC 119a / CLCV 419a / NELC 419, Ancient EmpiresKevin Van Bladel

This is an introduction to the history and cultures of the ancient empires of southwestern Asia, focusing on the period from the Assyrian and Persian Empires to the establishment of Islam (ca 900 BCE–ca 750 CE). Students learn how to use ancient primary sources critically to create a historical narrative and to understand the modern appropriation of ancient history for political and other purposes. Primary sources include classical Greek and Latin authors, as well as works composed in Iran, from royal inscriptions to neighboring Armenian and Aramaic sources chronicling war and strife. Major topics include the formation of early states, the kingdoms of Mesopotamia, Anshan and the Elamites, the Achaemenid dynasty, Alexander and his successors, the Parthian and Sasanian Persian empires and their rivalries with Rome, as well as the empires of Afghanistan and the kingdom of Armenia. Additionally, the course includes an introduction to the geography of southwestern Asia and a survey of languages, Iranian and other religions, and some ancient literature from a variety of cultures. Events covered in this course contributed decisively to the demography of the present-day Near East and the social characteristics of its people, from the distribution of language communities to the variety of Near Eastern religions. Students gain some understanding of the makeup of the modern Near East, including how the population of the region became predominantly Muslim.  HU
MW 9am-10:15am

NELC 128a / HUMS 128a, From Gilgamesh to Persepolis: Introduction to Near Eastern LiteraturesKathryn Slanski

This lecture 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 Gilgamesh, Genesis, 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.  WR, HU
MW 9am-10:15am

History and Civilization Courses

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

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.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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

Close reading of major Israeli novels in translation with attention to how their themes and forms relate to the Israeli condition. Theories of war and peace, migration, nationalism, and gender. Authors include Yehoshua, Grossman, Matalon, Castel-Bloom, and Kashua. No knowledge of Hebrew required.  HUTr
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* NELC 231b / JDST 235b / MMES 235b / RLST 147b, Introduction to Judaism in the Ancient WorldSteven Fraade

The emergence of classical Judaism in its historical setting. Jews and Hellenization; varieties of early Judaism; apocalyptic and postapocalyptic responses to suffering and catastrophe; worship and atonement without sacrificial cult; interpretations of scriptures; law and life; the rabbi; the synagogue; faith in reason; Sabbath and festivals; history and its redemption. No prior background in Jewish history assumed.  HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

NELC 268a / ARCG 226a / EVST 226a, Global Environmental HistoryHarvey Weiss

The dynamic relationship between environmental and social forces from the Pleistocene glaciations to the Anthropocene present. Pleistocene extinctions; transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture; origins of cities, states, and civilization; adaptations and collapses of Old and New World civilizations in the face of climate disasters; the destruction and reconstruction of the New World by the Old. Focus on issues of adaptation, resilience, and sustainability, including forces that caused long-term societal change.  SO
TTh 9am-10:15am

* NELC 321b / ANTH 492b / ARCG 492b, Imaging Ancient WorldsJohn Darnell, Roderick McIntosh, 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.
W 9:25am-11:15am

NELC 326a / CLCV 129a / HIST 159a / HUMS 129a / RLST 158a, From Jesus to MuhammadStephen Davis

The history of Christianity and the development of Western culture from Jesus to the early Middle Ages. The creation of orthodoxy and heresy; Christian religious practice; philosophy and theology; politics and society; gender; Christian literature in its various forms, up to and including the early Islamic period.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

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

This 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. Prerequisite: ARBC 140.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* NELC 381a / JDST 391a / RLST 407a, Midrash Seminar: The Exodus from EgyptSteven Fraade

The Exodus from Egypt as seen through rabbinic eyes. Close readings of the early rabbinic commentary (midrash), Mekhilta, to the narrative of Exodus 13:17ff (the lection Beshallah). Particular attention to the methods and language of rabbinic exegesis and to the rhetorical interplay of tradition and scriptural commentary.  Interpretations and interpretive strategies compared and contrasted with those of other ancient biblical exegetes (Jewish and non-Jewish), where available. Prerequisite: reading fluency in ancient Hebrew.  L5, HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* NELC 382a / JDST 392a / RLST 405a, Mishnah Seminar: Tractate SanhedrinSteven Fraade

Close study of a section of the Mishnah, the earliest digest of Jewish law, treating religious courts and their jurisprudential practice. Dual attention to the historical significance of the institutions of law represented and to the cultural significance of the rhetoric of that representation. Consideration of the textual practices of rabbinic legal discourse in relation to its social function, as well as to the interplay of law and narrative. Prerequisite: reading fluency in ancient Hebrew.  L5, HU
W 9:25am-11:15am

* NELC 385b / ANTH 389b / MMES 376b / PLSC 469b / SOCY 359b, Politics of Culture in IranNahid Siamdoust

Examination of cultural production in post-revolutionary Iran (1979 to the present) through works of noteworthy cultural and sociopolitical content in cinema, music, and newspaper journalism. Consideration of the policies the new Islamic Republic has put in place in order to regulate the field of cultural production, and the strategies that cultural producers have devised to navigate the given constraints.
   HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* NELC 389a / ARCG 611a / CLCV 389 / CLSS 811a / NELC 611a / RLST 355a / RLST 833a, The Ancient Egyptian Temple as Cosmos: Correlation of Architecture and Decoration ProgramChristina Geisen

The course focuses on the correlation of archaeology, iconography, and philology by analyzing ancient Egyptian temples under the specific consideration of the interplay of architecture and decoration program. The different types of temples and their developments over time are discussed. The main focus is the function of each temple type, which can only be understood by analyzing the architecture of the monument, its decoration program, related texts (such as rituals, myths, and festival description, but also historical texts), and its place in the cultic landscape of the specific location. The class also provides an overview of rituals performed and festivals celebrated in the temples, as well as of the administrative sphere of the temple. Optional field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to see the Temple of Dendur. No previous knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture or languages is necessary; all texts are read in translation.   HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 399a / ANTH 478a / ARCG 399a / EVST 399a, Agriculture: Origins, Evolution, CrisesHarvey Weiss

Analysis of the societal and environmental drivers and effects of plant and animal domestication, the intensification of agroproduction, and the crises of agroproduction: land degradation, societal collapses, sociopolitical transformation, sustainability, and biodiversity.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* NELC 453b / ARBC 450b, History of the Arabic LanguageKevin Van Bladel

This course covers the development of the Arabic language from the earliest epigraphic evidence through the formation of the Classical 'Arabiyya and further, to Middle Arabic and Neo-Arabic. Readings of textual specimens and survey of secondary literature. Prerequisite: ARBC 140 and permission of instructor.
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* NELC 473b / ANTH 473b / ARCG 473b / EVST 473b, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal CollapseHarvey Weiss

The coincidence of societal collapses throughout history with decadal and century-scale abrupt climate change events. Challenges to anthropological and historical paradigms of cultural adaptation and resilience. Examination of archaeological and historical records and high-resolution sets of paleoclimate proxies.  HU, SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

Languages and Literatures

Akkadian

Students wishing to study Akkadian should consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Arabic

ARBC 110a, Elementary Modern Standard Arabic IElham Alkasimi

Development of a basic knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. Emphasis on grammatical analysis, vocabulary acquisition, and the growth of skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  L11½ Course cr
HTBA

ARBC 120b, Elementary Modern Standard Arabic IIStaff

Continuation of ARBC 110. Prerequisite: ARBC 110 or requisite score on a placement test.  L2RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

* ARBC 130a, Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic ISarab Al Ani

Intensive review of grammar; readings from contemporary and classical Arab authors with emphasis on serial reading of unvoweled Arabic texts, prose composition, and formal conversation. Prerequisite: ARBC 120 or requisite score on a placement test.  L3RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

ARBC 136a, Intermediate Classical Arabic IStaff

Introduction to classical Arabic, with emphasis on grammar to improve analytical reading skills. Readings include Qur'anic passages, literary material in both poetry and prose, biographical entries, and religious texts. Prerequisite: ARBC 120 or permission of instructor. May be taken concurrently with ARBC 130 or 150.  L3RP
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

ARBC 140b, Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic IIMuhammad Aziz

Continuation of ARBC 130. Prerequisite: ARBC 130 or requisite score on a placement test.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

ARBC 146b, Intermediate Classical Arabic IIStaff

Continuation of ARBC 136. Prerequisite: ARBC 136 or permission of instructor. May be taken concurrently with ARBC 140 or 151.  L4RP
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* ARBC 150a, Advanced Modern Standard Arabic IMuhammad Aziz

Further development of listening, writing, and speaking skills. For students who already have a substantial background in Modern Standard Arabic. Prerequisite: ARBC 140 or requisite score on a placement test.  L5RP
HTBA

* ARBC 151b, Advanced Modern Standard Arabic IIMuhammad Aziz

Continuation of ARBC 150. Prerequisite: ARBC 150 or requisite score on a placement test.  L5RP
MWF 9:25am-10:15am

* ARBC 161a, Arabic Narrative ProseMuhammad Aziz

Close reading of selected novels by Naguib Mahfouz. Attention to idiomatic expressions, structural patterns, and literary analysis. Prerequisite: ARBC 151 or requisite score on a placement test. May be repeated for credit.  L5
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* ARBC 165a / MMES 465a, Arabic Seminar: Early AdabKevin Van Bladel

Study and interpretation of classical Arabic texts for advanced students. The subtitle of this course changes depending on the materials covered. This term the course focuses on "Early Adab."  Prerequisite: ARBC 146, 151, or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

ARBC 170a / ARBC 526a / NELC 236a / NELC 558a, Creative Writing in ArabicJonas Elbousty

This course combines both analysis and production of literary texts. Students study modern Arabic literary texts as a vehicle for generating their own creative prose and to engage with prose, personal essay, and other literary genres attending particularly to how authors evoke experience through character, setting, dialog, etc. The class looks to popular fiction in Arabic and focuses upon the writer's craft to create vivid and engaging narratives. This analysis provides inspiration for students writing their own unique creative pieces and encourages them to polish their ability to express themselves in Arabic.  Prerequisite: ARBC 140.  L5RP
MWF 9:25am-10:15am

* ARBC 171b / ARBC 527b / NELC 237b / NELC 598b, Hunger in Eden: Mohamed Choukri’s NarrativesJonas Elbousty

A survey of the work of Mohamed Choukri, one of the most prominent Moroccan, if not Arab, writers to have shaped the modern Arabic literary canon. His influence has been instrumental in forming a generation of writers and enthusiastic readers, who fervently cherish his narratives. Students dive deeply into Choukri's narratives, analyzing them with an eye toward their cultural and political importance. The class looks to Choukri's amazing life story to reveal the roots of his passion for writing and explores the culture of the time and places about which he writes. Through his narratives, students better understand the political environment within which they were composed and the importance of Choukri's work to today's reader regarding current debates over Arab identity. This class surveys the entirety of his work, contextualizing within the sphere of Arabic novelistic tradition. Prerequisite: ARBC 151, L4 or equivalent, or permission from the of instructor.  L5
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

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

This 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. Prerequisite: ARBC 140.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

ARBC 190a, Levantine ArabicSarab Al Ani

Basic course in the Arabic dialect of the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine). Principles of grammar and syntax; foundations for conversation and reading. Focus on the development of speaking and listening skills using media materials (television, Internet) and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter). The essentials of conversing, using expressions, popular idioms, and everyday phrases. Topics include cultural components. Prerequisite: ARBC 130.  RP
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* ARBC 450b / NELC 453b, History of the Arabic LanguageKevin Van Bladel

This course covers the development of the Arabic language from the earliest epigraphic evidence through the formation of the Classical 'Arabiyya and further, to Middle Arabic and Neo-Arabic. Readings of textual specimens and survey of secondary literature. Prerequisite: ARBC 140 and permission of instructor.
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

Egyptian

EGYP 110a, Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian IStaff

Introduction to the language of ancient pharaonic Egypt (Middle Egyptian) and its hieroglyphic writing system, with short historical, literary, and religious texts. Grammatical analysis with exercises in reading, translation, and composition.  L1
TTh 9am-10:15am

EGYP 120b, Introduction to Classical Hieroglyphic Egyptian IIStaff

Continuation of EGYP 110. Prerequisite: EGYP 110.  L2RP
TTh 9am-10:15am

* EGYP 131a, Intermediate Egyptian: Literary TextsJohn Darnell

Close reading of Middle Egyptian literary texts; introduction to the hieratic (cursive) Egyptian script. Readings include the Middle Kingdom stories of Sinuhe and the Eloquent Peasant and excerpts from Wisdom Literature. Prerequisite: EGYP 120.  L3RP
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EGYP 137a / RLST 423a, Gnostic Texts in CopticHarold Attridge

Reading, translation, and analysis of Gnostic and Valentinian literature from Nag Hammadi, in several dialects of Coptic.  Prerequisite: EGYP 127 or equivalent. Counts as L4 if taken after EGYP 147 or equivalent.  L3
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* EGYP 147b / RLST 422b, Egyptian Monastic Literature in CopticStephen Davis

Readings in the early Egyptian classics of Christian asceticism in Sahidic Coptic, including the desert Fathers and Shenute. Prerequisite: EGYP 127 or equivalent. Counts as L4 if taken after EGYP 137 or equivalent.  L3
TTh 9am-10:15am

* EGYP 161b / EGYP 542b, Intermediate Egyptian: Late Egyptian TextsChristina Geisen

Focus on Late Egyptian. After discussion of grammar, highlighting the differences between Middle and Late Egyptian, students read documents from different text genres (historical, literary, love poems, letters) to gain background information in this area. This course is valuable for any student planning to pursue studies within the field of Egyptology, and/or focus on the Coptic language. Prerequisites: EGYP 110 and 120.  HU
W 7pm-8:50pm

* EGYP 221b, The Wisdom of Ancient EgyptChristina Geisen

Overview of the different text genres attested in ancient Egypt. Critical analysis of primary sources and their important role in the reconstruction of the history and cultural aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization. Prerequisite: general introductory class on the Egyptian history and culture, or permission of the instructor.  HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EGYP 227a, Ancient Egyptian Hieratic TextsChristina Geisen

Introduction to the Hieratic script, used primarily for everyday documents. Study of Old and Late Egyptian, the other major language phases beside the classic Middle Egyptian. Prerequisite: EGYP 120.
W 7pm-8:50pm

Hebrew 

HEBR 110a, Elementary Modern Hebrew IDina Roginsky

Introduction to the language of contemporary Israel, both spoken and written. Fundamentals of grammar; extensive practice in speaking, reading, and writing under the guidance of a native speaker.  L11½ Course cr
HTBA

HEBR 117a, Elementary Biblical Hebrew IStaff

An introduction to biblical Hebrew. Intensive instruction in grammar and vocabulary, supplemented by readings from the Bible. No prior knowledge of Hebrew required.  L1
HTBA

HEBR 120b, Elementary Modern Hebrew IIOrit Yeret

Continuation of HEBR 110. Introduction to the language of contemporary Israel, both spoken and written. Fundamentals of grammar; extensive practice in speaking, reading, and writing under the guidance of a native speaker. Prerequisite: HEBR 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

HEBR 127b, Elementary Biblical Hebrew IIStaff

Continuation of HEBR 117a. Prerequisite: HEBR 117a.  L2RP
HTBA

* HEBR 130a, Intermediate Modern Hebrew IOrit Yeret

Review and continuation of grammatical study, leading to a deeper understanding of style and usage. Focus on selected readings and on writing, comprehension, and speaking skills. Prerequisite: HEBR 120 or equivalent.  L3RP
HTBA

HEBR 140b, Intermediate Modern Hebrew IIShiri Goren

Continuation of HEBR 130. Review and continuation of grammatical study leading to a deeper comprehension of style and usage. Focus on selected readings and on writing, comprehension, and speaking skills. Prerequisite: HEBR 130 or equivalent.  L4RP
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* HEBR 150a / JDST 213a / MMES 150a, Advanced Modern Hebrew: Daily Life in IsraelOrit Yeret

An examination of major controversies in Israeli society. Readings include newspaper editorials and academic articles as well as documentary and historical material. Advanced grammatical structures are introduced and practiced. Conducted in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 140 or equivalent.  L5RP
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* HEBR 152b / JDST 401b, Reading Academic Texts in Modern HebrewDina Roginsky

Reading of academic texts in modern Hebrew, for students with a strong background in Hebrew. Discussion of grammar and stylistics; special concentration on the development of accuracy and fluency. Prerequisite: HEBR 150 or permission of instructor. Conducted in Hebrew.  L5RP
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

HEBR 161b / JDST 407b / MMES 156b, Israeli Popular MusicDina Roginsky

Changes in the development of popular music in Israel explored as representations of changing Israeli society and culture. The interaction of music and cultural identity; modern popular music and social conventions; songs of commemoration and heroism; popular representation of the Holocaust; Mizrahi and Arab music; feminism, sexuality, and gender; class and musical consumption; criticism, protest, and globalization. Conducted in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 140 or equivalent.  L5
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* HEBR 162a / JDST 319a / MMES 161a, Israel in Ideology and PracticeDina Roginsky

An advanced Hebrew class focusing on changing ideology and politics in Israel. Topics include right and left wing political discourse, elections, State-Religion dynamics, the Jewish-Arab divide, and demographic changes. Materials include newspapers, publications, on-line resources, speeches of different political and religious groups, and contemporary and archival footage. Comparisons to American political and ideological discourse. Prerequisite: HEBR 140 or permission of instructor.  L5RP
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

Ottoman Turkish

Students wishing to study Ottoman Turkish should consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Persian

PERS 110a, Elementary Persian IFarkhondeh Shayesteh

Introduction to modern Persian, with emphasis on all four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.   L11½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

PERS 120b, Elementary Persian IIFarkhondeh Shayesteh

Continuation of PERS 110, with emphasis on all four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Prerequisite: PERS 110 or permission of instructor.  L2RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

PERS 130a, Intermediate Persian IFarkhondeh Shayesteh

Continuation of PERS 120, with emphasis on expanding vocabulary and understanding more complex grammatical forms and syntax. Prerequisite: PERS 120 or permission of instructor.  L3RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

PERS 140b, Intermediate Persian IIFarkhondeh Shayesteh

Continuation of PERS 130, with emphasis on expanding vocabulary and understanding more complex grammatical forms and  syntax. Prerequisite: PERS 130 or permission of instructor.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

* PERS 161b / MMES 176b, 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
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Syriac

Students wishing to study Syriac should consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Turkish

TKSH 110a, Elementary Modern Turkish IStaff

Integration of basic listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills through a variety of functional, meaningful, and contextual activities. Students become active users of modern Turkish and gain a deeper understanding of Anatolian culture through lessons based on real-life situations and authentic materials.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 9:25am-10:15am

TKSH 120b, Elementary Modern Turkish IIStaff

Continuation of TKSH 110. Prerequisite: TKSH 110 or permission of instructor.  L2RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 9:25am-10:15am

TKSH 130a, Intermediate Turkish IStaff

Continued study of modern Turkish, with emphasis on advanced syntax, vocabulary acquisition, and the beginnings of free oral and written expression. Prerequisite: TKSH 120 or permission of instructor.  L3RP
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

TKSH 140b, Intermediate Turkish IIStaff

Continuation of TKSH 130. Prerequisite: TKSH 130.  L4RP
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

TKSH 150a, Advanced Turkish IStaff

An advanced language course focused on improving students' reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in modern Turkish. Extensive study of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Readings from genres including academic articles, critical essays, literature, newspaper articles, and formal business writing. Screening of films, documentaries, and news broadcasts. Prerequisite: TKSH 140.  L5RP
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

TKSH 151b, Advanced Turkish IIStaff

Continuation of TKSH 150. An advanced language course focused on improving students' reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in modern Turkish. Extensive study of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Readings from genres including academic articles, critical essays, literature, newspaper articles, and formal business writing. Screening of films, documentaries, and news broadcasts. Prerequisite: TKSH 150.  L5RP
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

Senior Essay

* NELC 492a and NELC 493b, The Senior EssayJonas Elbousty

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

Graduate and Professional School Courses of Interest to Undergraduates

Some Graduate School courses are open to qualified undergraduates with permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies. For course descriptions see the Online Course Information Website. (Also see “Courses in the Yale Graduate and Professional Schools” under “Special Arrangements” in the Academic Regulations.)