As a major in Arabic, you can expect to gain proficiency in the language, study the area’s literary and cultural landmarks, and gain familiarity with Near Eastern history and civilizations. Whether you favor the study of language, literature, religion, history, or politics, you will find a way to deepen your appreciation of these complex and diverse societies and cultures. This major is housed in the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
A survey of the major genres and themes in Arabic literature from the pre-Islamic era to the modern period. Texts will include pre-Islamic, classical and Sufi poetry, as well as popular tales and critical prose from the Umayyad and Abbasid empires and Andalusia. The modern sections of the course will interrogate political commitment in Arabic literature and introduce students to feminist and magical realist novels from North Africa and the Levant. All readings will be in English translation.
This course will explore the introduction of Islam into West Africa beginning in the 10th Century and explore its expansion and development in the region, placing emphasis on the 19th century to present day. It will focus on the development of West African Muslim cultural, social, religious, and political life, to understand not only how the religion affected societies, but also how West African local societies shaped Islam. The course also aims to introduce students to a critical understanding of Islamic writing in West Africa. It will also examine the organization of Muslim Sufi orders in West Africa through time and space.
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