Course Offerings

Spring 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Special Topics in Middle East and South Asian Studies

MESA 295 - Al-Ahmad, Jumana S.

Prerequisites vary with topic.  Topics vary with instructor and term. Repeatable for credit if topics are different.

Spring 2021, MESA 295-01: Special Topics in Middle East and South Asian Studies: Social Justice in Arabic Literature, Arts, Films, and Thought (3).  Prerequisites: none. The course will examine social justice issues from the vantage point of classical and modern Arab intellectuals and literary figures, in addition to contemporary artists, feminists and filmmakers. Through studying a plethora of texts chosen from across historical periods from the Arabo-Islamic tradition on justice, students having little or no academic background on the subject, will gain a new appreciation for the diversity and novelty in the social justice discourse amidst diverse ideologies in the Arab culture. The course also aims to help students develop analytic skills in order to discover and evaluate the interconnections between social movements and activism for social justice and the artistic expressions of these issues in works of literature, arts, and films. This interdisciplinary course encourages a broad-based approach to the topic, drawing upon intellectual history, sociology, religious and gender studies, literature, and films. Al-Ahmad.

 

Meditation and Self-Knowledge

REL 333 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

For 2,500 years, Hindus and Buddhists have promoted meditation as a means to attain insight and liberation from suffering, a state sometimes understood in terms of divinity or Buddha-nature. Meditation has also been adopted by some in the West during the last century, often for psychological or physical benefits apart from any devotional context. What had traditionally been a practice of ordained monks was popularized in the West, a trend that then caught on in Asia as well. We look at the origins of meditative practices in Asian traditions using primary sources, social context, and personal experience of basic meditative techniques. The course concludes by noting that some contemporary neuroscientists are looking to meditation to better understand mind, brain, emotion, and cognition.

Winter 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

First-Year Arabic II

ARAB 112 - Edwards, Anthony

This course builds communicative skills in written and spoken Arabic, emphasizing foundational grammar and speaking. Continued introduction to cultural practices of the Arab world.

Second-Year Arabic II

ARAB 162 - Edwards, Anthony

A continuation of Second-Year Arabic focused on speaking and writing, in addition to listening comprehension and reading. Increased familiarization with popular Arab culture.

 

Media Arabic

ARAB 220 - Edwards, Anthony

A language-focused course that provides students with vocabulary and discourse structures common in today's Arabic media coverage. Weekly topics are culled from various news outlets (e.g., Al-Jazeera, AJ-Arabiyya, BBC Arabic, YouTube, AJ-Ahram, An-Nahar, AI-Dustour) which serve to familiarize students with a broad range of current sociopolitical, economic, and cultural issues.

Art and Material Culture of Tibet

ARTH 343 - Holt, Amy-Ruth

Through a chronological presentation of sites and objects, we study Tibet's great artistic movements from the 7th-20th centuries. Our analyses of the art and material culture of Tibet, and its larger cultural zone, has an art historical and historiographic focus. This two-pronged approach encourages students to analyze not only the styles and movements of Tibetan art, but the methods by which this art world has been studied by and simultaneously presented to Western audiences.

Capstone in Middle East and South Asia Studies

MESA 393 - Kerin, Melissa R.

Capstone project. Independent research project on a topic in Middle East and South Asia studies, under the guidance of a faculty adviser, including regular individual meetings and at least four group workshops, culminating in a formal presentation of the finished project to MESA faculty and students.

Capstone in Middle East and South Asia Studies

MESA 393 - Cantey, Joseph M. (Seth)

Capstone project. Independent research project on a topic in Middle East and South Asia studies, under the guidance of a faculty adviser, including regular individual meetings and at least four group workshops, culminating in a formal presentation of the finished project to MESA faculty and students.

Special Topics in Religion and Human Rights of MESA

MESA 395A - Al-Ahmad, Jumana S.

This advanced course addresses the intersection of human rights and religion within the Middle East and/or South Asia. The course will consider the complex layers of political and legal issues as they relate to the many religious traditions of the Middle East and South Asia. The course will draw from both current and historical sources to investigate numerous case studies, e.g. the relationships between religion and women's rights, human rights and cultural heritage (often religious in content), iconoclasm and freedom of faith movements, among other concerns. The precise focus of the course will alter depending on instructor. Consequently, a student may repeat the course if the regional coverage specific to the course is different from a past offering. 

Buddhist Philosophy

PHIL 223 - Kang, Li

An introduction to Buddhist philosophy. We focus on the philosophical articulation and defense of Buddhism, and reflect on issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and ethics. We cover the development of major schools in both Indian and Chinese Buddhism, including Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Tiantai, Huayan, and Chan/Zen. We see how different traditions can be mutually informing. We also discuss the relevance of Buddhist philosophy to Western philosophy as well as empirical research.

New Testament

REL 102 - Brown, Alexandra R.

An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the New Testament.

Buddhism

REL 131 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

A survey of the historical development of the doctrines and practices of Buddhism. After a discussion of the Hindu origins of Buddhism, the course focuses on the development of the Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions. A class trip to at least one Buddhist center is included.

Seminar in Biblical Studies

REL 350A - Brown, Alexandra R.

An exploration of a topic in Biblical studies, focusing on ancient texts and their interpreters from antiquity to the present. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2021, REL 350A-01: Seminar in Biblical Studies: The Apostle Paul: Life, Legacy, Contest (3). This course offers a multidisciplinary study of the life, thought, and contested legacy of the Apostle Paul, the so-called "founder of Christianity." Beginning with the historical Paul in 1st  century Judaism, students explore significant and often controversial interpretations of his writings and influence from antiquity to the present. Principal themes supported by guest lecturers include ethnicity and race (especially African American readings of Paul) and recent inquiries into cognitive science for understanding the human person in Pauline perspective. (HU) Brown.

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

First-Year Arabic I

ARAB 111 - Al-Ahmad, Jumana S.

An introductory course in written and spoken Arabic, focusing on basic grammar and speaking. Aspects of Arab culture introduced.

First-Year Arabic I

ARAB 111 - Edwards, Anthony

An introductory course in written and spoken Arabic, focusing on basic grammar and speaking. Aspects of Arab culture introduced.

Second-Year Arabic I

ARAB 161 - Edwards, Anthony

Building on basic grammar and vocabulary knowledge, this course emphasizes speaking and writing, as well as listening comprehension and reading. Students introduced with popular Arab culture.

Third-Year Arabic I

ARAB 211 - Edwards, Anthony

This course expands on grammar concepts and vocabulary knowledge with practical applications of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Social and political aspects of Arab culture are introduced.

Special Topics in Arabic Literature and Culture

ARAB 395A - Edwards, Anthony

An advanced seminar on a particular author, period, or genre. Topics may include Arab Short Stories, Classical Arabic Poetry, Travelogues in Arabic Literature, Arabic Pop Culture and Music, and Arabic Media. The subject changes annually. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Asian Art

ARTH 140 - Kerin, Melissa R.

A survey of artistic traditions from South (including the Himalayan region), East, and Southeast Asia from roughly the 1st to the 18th centuries CE. The course focuses on a wide range of media - including architecture, sculpture, painting, textiles, and book arts - that serve a spectrum of religious and secular functions. The broad temporal, geographic, and topical scope of this course is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of not only the greatest artistic achievements and movements in Asia, but also the historical and political contexts that gave rise to these extraordinary pieces of art.

Capstone in Middle East and South Asia Studies

MESA 393 - Kerin, Melissa R.

Capstone project. Independent research project on a topic in Middle East and South Asia studies, under the guidance of a faculty adviser, including regular individual meetings and at least four group workshops, culminating in a formal presentation of the finished project to MESA faculty and students.

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

REL 101 - Filler, Emily A.

An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

God and Goddess in Hinduism

REL 132 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.

Special Topics in Religion

REL 195A - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

A course offered from time to time in a selected problem or topic in religion. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Women and Gender in Islam

REL 284 - Al-Ahmad, Jumana S.

How have issues of gender and sexuality in Medieval and Modern Islamic societies been debated across the Middle East, South Asia, and the West? Students examine scholarly and public discussions of gender and Islam, and they build a vocabulary in which to talk about women. queer, and intersex history as they concern Muslim societies and their foundational sources in their regional and historical contexts. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.