NMC 2100 Y (=NML 110 Y)
INTRODUCTORY STANDARD ARABIC
NMC 2101 Y (=NML 211 Y)
INTERMEDIATE STANDARD ARABIC I
NMC 2102 Y (=NML 310 Y)
INTERMEDIATE STANDARD ARABIC II
Reading and detailed analysis of connected passages of text in both Classical and Modern standard Arabic.
NMC 2103 Y (=NML 410 Y)
ADVANCED STANDARD ARABIC
Students enrolled in this course are assumed to have active knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary covered in previous levels. After a brief review, the course continues from where NMC 2102 leaves off. Its goal is to enable the students to reach a superior level of proficiency in Arabic. To this end, the materials covered are designed to strengthen the students’ reading and writing skills, refine and expand their knowledge of sentence structure, morphological patterns, verb system, and enrich their cultural background. The primary method is analysis of sophisticated authentic texts covering a wide range of genres and drawn from different parts of the Arabic speaking world. Although the main focus remains to be on Modern Standard Arabic, texts from the Classical Arabic literary tradition will be introduced incrementally throughout the course.
NMC 2110 H
AL-JAHIZ AND HIS DEBATE PARTNERS
One of the most complex figures in classical Arabic literature, al-Jahiz was a polymath who incorporated every field of intellectual inquiry into his own essayistic and compilatory literary form. He has been credited as a foundational prose stylist for the Arabic literary tradition, as well as the first contributor to Arabic literary theory and criticism. In this class, we will examine a variety of his works, from short epistles to excerpts of his longer works. Part of the analytic process will be to reconstruct the polemical context in which these works were written, and thus readings will be selected to illuminate his relationship to contemporary discourses, such as law, theology, Quran interpretation, logic, dialectic, and poetry. Prerequisites: NML 310Y or NML 412H or permission of the instructor.
NMC 2111 H
MEDIEVAL ARABIC RHETORIC FOR NON-SPECIALISTS
This course examines medieval Arabic discussions of what makes some linguistic utterances better than others. The course is designed to provide non-specialists with context and critical approaches to a curated bibliography of secondary and translated works on medieval Arabic rhetoric. It thus presumes no knowledge of the Arabic language. An Arabic module will be included however, and students who have completed third-year Arabic (NML310/NMC2102) or the equivalent will be expected to participate in the Arabic module.
The first half of the course surveys relevant aspects of the disciplines contributing to the mature Arabic rhetorical tradition (lexicography, theological debates on speech, theories on the origins of language, and Arabic responses to Aristotelianism). The second half of the course covers select topics within the Arabic rhetorical tradition: the relation between idea and expression, aesthetics of metaphor, the distinction between plagiarism and participation in a tradition, and theories of translation in connection to the relative status of different languages, and of revelatory and non-revelatory speech. Throughout, we will ask about the social function performed by rhetoricians, as well as what these theorists can tell us about language politics and the social functions of prose and poetry.
NMC 2117 H
READINGS IN MEDIAEVAL ARABIC CHRONICLES
The seminar will provide an introduction to medieval Arabic historical texts, especially chronicles and annalistic literature of the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. The seminar will be organized around readings from selected texts and discussions concerning the nature and organization of these histories and problems encountered in using them. Students will also be introduced to modern scholarship on the historiography of the period and to the ways in which chronicles and annalistic literature of this period have been used as historical sources. Prerequisites: Adequate knowledge of Arabic and permission of the instructor.
NMC 2118 H-S
READINGS IN MEDIAEVAL ARABIC BIOGRAPHICAL LITERATURE
Biography is one of the, if not the, main form(s) of historical writing in the early and later Islamic Arabic-speaking world. Indeed, it has been said, “biography is the archive of the Muslims.” This seminar will provide an introduction to medieval Arabic biographical literature as an historical source. The seminar will be organized around selected readings from a variety of biographical texts including sira, maghazi, stand-alone autobiographical and biographical works, obituaries, and biographical dictionaries. Students will also be introduced to modern scholarship on this genre and to the ways in which this material has been used as an historical source. Prerequisites: Adequate knowledge of Arabic and permission of the instructor.
NMC 2119 H-S
READINGS IN MEDIAEVAL ARABIC LEGAL DOCUMENTS
The seminar provides an introduction to the use of medieval Arabic administrative and legal documents as historical sources. Copies of original specimens of a variety of types of documentary evidence, preserved in collections in Cairo and Jerusalem, and others preserved in chronicles, scribal, and shurut manuals and including petitions (qissa), decrees (marsum), endowment deeds (waqfiyya), deeds of sale, and purchase, estate inventories, etc. will be sampled. Documents will be read and prepared at home and analyzed in seminar with regard to palaeography, structure, content with a view to their use as a rich source of historical data for Egypt and Syria in the late medieval period. Prerequisites: Adequate knowledge of Arabic and permission of the instructor.
NMC 2130 H (=NML 412 H)
INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL ARABIC LITERARY PROSE
This class surveys the rich and varied literary prose tradition in the Arabic language from the Qur’an to the Mamluk era. These works are frequently referenced in modern Arabic literature, in addition to being beautiful and intellectually challenging in their own right. We will read essayistic epistles, in addition to narrative works of a variety of genres, including biographical compilations, maqāmāt, anecdotes, histories, and fables. All texts are in the original Arabic. The course focuses equally on developing reading skills and grammatical knowledge specific to classical Arabic texts, and on developing an ability to analyze the themes, literary techniques, generic features, and ideas within those texts. Prerequisites: NML310Y (third-year Arabic) or permission of the instructor. Heritage speakers are encouraged to take this class, and should seek permission of the instructor.
NMC 2131 H (= NML 413 H)
INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL ARABIC POETRY
In this class, we will read some of the most famous and frequently quoted poems of the pre-modern Arabic literary tradition, drawing from a wide variety of genres and periods. Readings include pre-Islamic poetry, Abū Nuwās, al-Buhturī, al-Mutanabbī, and Ibn Nubāta, among others. All texts are in the original Arabic. The course will introduce Arabic prosody, and allow students to develop skills in deciphering difficult verse using available reference material. Strong grammatical knowledge is presupposed. Class discussion focuses on poem structures, historical background, and close reading techniques. Prerequisites: NML310Y or NML412H or permission of the instructor.