Course Descriptions

ABT 3520r. Popular Culture of the Arab world (3). This course aims to develop students’ understanding of everyday life in the Arabic-speaking MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Students will develop a basic critical understanding of the diversity of ways of living, thinking, and being in the area, while increasing their knowledge of the cultural characteristics and points of reference broadly shared by Arabic speakers. This course is taught in English. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours when content is different.

ABT 3504. Arab Women Trailblazers (3). This course investigates Arab women through examples of pioneers and high achievers in fields such as literature, economics, law and human rights while building an understanding of the complexities of the various Arab societies’ expectations of women. The course provides students with the legal contexts (written and customary) that govern those expectations and subsequently the roles of women in the Arab world. It also explores gender relations from a sectarian and religious point of view while highlighting the tumultuous journeys of fourteen different Arab women. This course fulfills the diversity and upper writing level. It also encapsulates knowledge on gender studies, religion, and culture of the Middle East.

ARA 1120. Elementary Arabic I (4). This course is for students who have no previous knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. The aim is basic proficiency in the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Basic vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, and pronunciation in Modern Standard Arabic are introduced as well as one Arabic dialect. This course follows a communicative approach. It enables students to put the language they are learning into actual use. May not be taken concurrently with ARA 1121 and/or 2220 or by native speakers.

ARA 1121. Elementary Arabic II (4). Prerequisite: ARA 1120. This course introduces extended vocabulary and grammar, and basic conversation is emphasized. Students start conversing in spoken Arabic as well as reading and writing in Modern Standard Arabic. This course also develops the students’ knowledge of Arab culture. May not be taken concurrently with ARA 1120 and/or 2220 or by native speakers.

ARA 2220. Intermediate Arabic (4). Prerequisite: ARA 1121. Students in this course should have taken two semesters of Arabic in college or the equivalent. This course solidifies knowledge of basic grammar and expands the students’ vocabulary. It emphasizes reading and writing in formal Arabic, as well as listening and speaking in Colloquial. Students participate in cultural activities, write compositions, and give oral presentations in class. May not be taken concurrently with ARA 1120 and/or 1121.

ARA 3241. Intermediate Conversation (3). Prerequisite: ARA 2220 or instructor permission. This course focuses on a practical communicative approach in order to use Arabic in meaningful contexts. It provides a bridge between Classical and Colloquial Arabic. Students are introduced to authentic Spoken Arabic and learn the language of everyday life. A variety of original texts, video clips and audio tapes are used in class to give students a better understanding of the Arab world. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ARA 2240 (3). Beginning Conversation Course in Levantine Arabic. Adopts a practical communicative approach in order to use Arabic in meaningful contexts. Students practice speaking, improve listening skills and deepen cultural understanding. By the end of this course, students will be able to function effectively in authentic situations when visiting the Arab World or interacting with native speakers. Can be taken in conjunction with ARA 1121 or ARA 2220.

ARA 3222. Mid-Intermediate Arabic (3). Prerequisite: ARA 2220 or higher. This course is designed for students who have had three semesters of Arabic language or equivalent learning experience. This course aims to continue developing students’ speaking, listening and reading comprehension, as well as writing and cultural skills. It focuses on grammar, composition and vocabulary building. May be taken concurrently with ARA 2240.

ARA 3300. Advanced Arabic I (3). Prerequisite: ARA 3222. This course focuses on developing Arabic proficiency to move students to the advanced-low level. The course aims to develop skills and strategies acquired in the previous Arabic courses for all listening, reading, speaking, writing, and culture modalities. In addition to increasing students’ vocabulary repertoire, more emphasis will be placed on grammatical accuracy and communication to provide a solid base to learn and deal with more complex sentence structures in both spoken and written texts.

ARA 4421. Media Arabic (3). Prerequisite: ARA 3222 or higher. This course introduces students to the Arabic language, the Arab press, and to ordinary news items in print or broadcasted. It provides intermediate level students with an introduction to the language of the Arab media and develops their basic reading and interpreting skills.

ARA 4905r. Direct Individual Studies (3). Students arrange with individual faculty members to undertake specialized study in areas outside of or in addition to the regular curriculum. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ARA 4970r. Honors Thesis (1-6). May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours, three hours of which may be applied to the requirements for a minor in Arabic with permission of the department. All honors work is directed by the student's honors committee.

IDS 3540. Through An Arabic Lens: The Intersection of Film and Culture (3). This course explores Arab cinema from the colonial period to the present, examining the cultural personifications that distinguish it from Hollywood cinema. It provides an in-depth exploration of cultural identity and politics in the Arab World. Through cinematographic images and readings, students engage in the history of cultural, political, and religious diversity within dynamically changing Arab societies.

The course counts towards the Middle Eastern Studies major and minor, and minor in Film Studies. It has also been approved as meeting the requirements for the E-Series (including honors), the Liberal Studies disciplinary requirement of Cultural Practice, and the Cross-cultural (×) Studies Requirement.

  • Taught in English
  • All movies have English subtitles