Middle East-Related Courses, Fall 2018

Note: Course lists are provided as a courtesy to students. Not all courses listed here are automatically applicable to the MES major or minor. Please contact an advisor in IAS in 101 Stephens Hall (iastp@berkeley.edu) for more information on major and minor course planning. Please contact the relevant department for any questions about registration.

Middle Eastern Studies

MESTU 102: Scope and Methods of Research in Middle Eastern Studies

4 Units|M|3:00 pm – 5:59 pm|Dwinelle 179

Required for all students majoring in Middle Eastern Studies, open to all students in International and Area Studies Teaching Program focusing on the Middle East interdisciplinary research strategies for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data. Course integrates the study of the fundamental theories of social science, with the practical techniques of social science research methods.

Global Studies

GLOBAL 142: Jews and Muslims

4 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Barrows 166

This course studies Muslim-Jewish relations as they developed in the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Islam to the present day. It analyzes how ethnic and religious boundaries were both drawn and transgressed in historical settings including Arabia in the time of Muhammad, Islamic Spain, the Ottoman Empire, and modern Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, and Israel. It asks how this shared cultural heritage is remembered and mobilized in the contemporary world, shedding light on the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations not only in the MENA but in Europe and the US as well. Films, memoirs, scripture, and historical works form the basis of our inquiry.

GLOBAL 154: The Gulf States and the Arab Spring: Vive La Revolution or Vive La Counter-Revolution?

4 Units|Tu, Th|3:30 pm – 4:59 pm|Barrows 140
The Gulf States seemed impermeable to the 2011 Arab uprisings but behind the scenes saw regional developments as both threat and opportunity. This course examines the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Qatar in particular and their roles in an ongoing struggle for the heart and soul of a region. Themes explored include: governance, succession, sectarianism, Islam and the state, intra-Gulf conflicts, gender, security and energy.

Near Eastern Studies

NESTUD R1A: Reading and Composition in Near Eastern Studies

4 Units|M, W, F|2:00 pm – 2:59 pm|Barrows 174
Expository writing based on analysis of selected texts or literatures in translation or writings interpreting the material culture of the ancient Near or modern Middle East. Specific topics vary with instructor. R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R1B satisfies the second half.

NESTUD 10: Introduction to the Near East

4 Units|M, W, F|9:00 am – 9:59 am|Birge 50
The background and present status of the ethnic and religious groups in the Arab states, Turkey, Israel, and Iran.

NESTUD 18: Introduction to Ancient Egypt

4 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 am – 12:29 pm|Hearst Field Annex A1

A general introduction to ancient Egypt, providing overview coverage of ancient Egyptian culture and society (history, art, religion, literature, language, social structure), Egyptian archaeology (pyramids, tombs, mummies, temples, cities, monuments, daily life), and the history and development of the modern discipline of Egyptology. Assumes no prior knowledge of subject. Almost all lectures are illustrated extensively by ​power point presentation. Discussion sections ​include meetings in the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, which has the best collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts west of Chicago.

NESTUD C26: Introduction to Central Asia

3 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 am – 12:29 pm|Wheeler 102
This course will introduce the student not only to ancient and modern Central Asia, but also to the role played by the region in the shaping of the history of neighboring regions and regimes. The course will outline the history, languages, ethnicities, religions, and archaeology of the region and will acquaint the student with the historical foundations of some of the political, social and economic challenges for contemporary post-Soviet Central Asian republics.

NESTUD 39A: Freshmen & Sophomore Seminars

4 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Dwinelle 229

A freshmen and sophomore seminar course will be taught by NES faculty in Fall 2016.

NESTUD 147: The Rise of Islamic Civilization

4 Units|Tu, Th|9:30 am – 10:59 am|Kroeber 160

A survey of Islamic civilization in the Middle East during the medieval period. Topics include the emergence of Islam in Arabia and the role of the Prophet Muhammad; the rapid rise of an Islamic empire and its effects on the societies it governed; the creation of an Islamic civilization and the religious, political, and intellectual debates it engendered; contact with Europe and Asia through trade, Crusades, and nomadic conquest; the contributions of non-Muslims, women, slaves.

NESTUD 153: Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain

4 Units|M, W, F|11:00 am – 11:59 am|Barrows 166
This course focuses on the cultural history of Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus) from the Muslim conquest of 711 until the expulsion of Moriscos in 1609. Topics covered include the history, literature, architecture, arts, and music of Al-Andalus. The major aim is for students to develop an understanding of and a sensibility to the history, politics, and cultures of Al-Andalus as well as its social and cultural relevance to contemporary audiences.

NESTUD 160: Religions of Ancient Iran

3 Units|Tu, Th|2:00 pm – 3:29 pm|Dwinelle 219
This course introduces students to the religions of ancient Iran. It will focus primarily on: 1) the rituals and texts of ancient Iranians which arose under the Achaemenids, flourished under the Sasanians, and came to be systematized as Zoroastrianism, and 2) the system of Manichaeism, probably the first world religion, which spread rapidly throughout the ancient and medieval worlds before disappearing entirely. This course will also explore other religions of late antique Iran which arose or developed under the Zoroastrian Sasanians, including Eastern/Syrian Christianity, rabbinic Judaism, and Mandaeism, while also examining the beginnings of Islam in Iran as well as the survival of older Iranian traditions.

NESTUD 190I: Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Iranian/Persian

4 Units|M, W, F|10:00 am – 10:59 am|Barrows 275
Old Persian (along with Avestan) is the oldest known language of the Iranian branch of Indo-European. This course will explore the Old Persian texts, all of which record the deeds of the Achaemenid Kings between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, as well as the Achaemenid context.
No prerequisites, although knowledge of an ancient language (e.g. Greek, Latin) will be helpful; students who wish to continue with Iranian languages will find Old Persian to be a useful background.

NESTUD 291: Dissertation Writing Workshop

4 Units|W|2:00 pm – 3:59 pm

A faculty member will oversee the group, offering guidance and making sure guidelines are followed. Students will manage the group’s day-to-day operations. At least one week before each meeting a student will pre-circulate a draft of a chapter. During the meeting, students will give feedback on the draft. This feedback will be used to revise the chapter, which will be due at the end of the semester. The workshop is open to graduate students from other departments who are writing on topics associated with Near Eastern Studies.

NESTUD 298: Seminar

1 to 4 Units|Tu|2:00 pm – 4:59 pm|Barrows 102
Special topics in Near Eastern Studies. Topics vary and are announced at the beginning of each semester.


HISTORY 4A: Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World

4 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 pm – 12:30 pm|North Gate 105

This course offers an introductory survey of the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the rise of city states in Mesopotamia c. 3000 BCE to the transformation of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE.  The emphasis will be on the major developments in the political and social history of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, with special attention to those institutions, practices, ideas, and objects that have had an enduring influence on the development of western civilization.  A key theme for the course as a whole will be the changing configurations of power in the ancient Mediterranean world, not only political (cities, states, empires), but also socio-economic (personal wealth and status) and ideological (religion and belief systems). Lectures and textbook readings will provide an essential historical narrative as well as interpretations of central problems, while readings in primary sources (epic poetry, historiography, public documents, biography, etc.) will give students an opportunity in discussion sections to grapple with some of the evidence on which such narratives and interpretations are based.

HISTORY 12: The Middle East

4 Units|M, W|12:00 pm – 1:59 pm|Life Sciences Addition 101


HISTORY 100M: Jews and Muslims

4 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Barrows 166

This course studies Muslim-Jewish relations as they developed in the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Islam to the present day. It analyzes how ethnic and religious boundaries were both drawn and transgressed in historical settings including Arabia in the time of Muhammad, Islamic Spain, the Ottoman Empire, and modern Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, and Israel. It asks how this shared cultural heritage is remembered and mobilized in the contemporary world, shedding light on the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations not only in the MENA but in Europe and the US as well. Films, memoirs, scripture, and historical works form the basis of our inquiry.


HISTORY 103M: Proseminar: Problems in Interpretation in the Several Fields of History: Middle East

4 Units|M|12:00 pm – 1:59 pm|Dwinelle 3205

Designed primarily to give majors in history elementary training in historical criticism and research. Emphasis will be placed on writing and discussion. For precise schedule of offerings, consult departmental website for topic information which is viewable at http://history.berkeley.edu/courses

Jewish Studies

JEWISH 39: Freshman and Sophomore Seminar, Jews in the English Imagination

2 Units|M|2:00 pm – 3:59 pm
Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

JEWISH 121: Topics in Jewish Music

4 Units

This course will address topics related to Jewish music, with a format that includes lecture and lab hours.

JEWISH 121: Topics in Jewish Music

4 Units|Tu, Th|1:00 pm – 2:29 pm|2121 Allston Way 110
This course will address topics related to Jewish music, with a format that includes lecture and lab hours.

JEWISH 123: Israeli Society: Social Structure, Inequality, and Political Cleavages

3 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 am – 12:29 pm
This course will map Israel’s social structure, identify its implications for social and economic inequality, and shed light on its role in structuring political loyalty, conflict and action. It will introduce students to relevant concepts and theories from sociology and political science, and findings from comparative research, that aid understanding of the Israeli case and place it in a broader perspective.

JEWISH 198: Directed Group Study

1 to 4 Units|M|6:30 pm – 8:29 pm

Asian American Studies

ASAMST 128AC: Muslims in America

4 Units|M, W|5:00 pm – 6:29 pm|LeConte 4
The course traces Islam’s journey in America. It will deal with the emergence of identifiable Muslim communities throughout the U.S. and focus on patterns of migration, the ethnic makeup of such communities, gender dynamics, political identity, and cases of conversion to Islam. The course will spend considerable time on the African American, Indo-Pakistani, and Arab American Muslim communities since they constitute the largest groupings. It also examines in depth the emergence of national, regional, and local Muslim institutions, patterns of development pursued by a number of them, and levels of cooperation or antagonism. The course seeks an examination of gender relations and dynamics across the various Muslim groupings, and the internal and external factors that contribute to real and imagined crisis. The course seeks to conduct and document the growth and expansion of mosques, schools, and community centers in the greater Bay Area. Finally, no class on Islam in America would be complete without a critical examination of the impacts of 9/11 on Muslim communities, the erosion of civil rights, and the ongoing war on terrorism.

Political Science

POLSCI 124B: War in the Middle East

4 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Barker 101
This class begins with a historical overview of war in the region. The second part of the class introduces theories that complement and elaborate on theories from PS124A: arguments about the relationship between war and resources,religion, authoritarianism, civil military relations, territorial disputes, sovereignty, and power. In the third part of the course, we will explore current policy concerns related to conflict in the region: Nuclear proliferation, terrorism, the civil war in Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, drone warfare, and the U.S. role in the region.

South and Southeast Asian Studies

SSEASN 120: Islam, Gender and the State in Southeast Asia

4 Units|Tu, Th|3:30 pm – 4:59 pm|Dwinelle 209
Islam has been a shaping force in many of the cultures and politics of Southeast Asia since the earliest days of global commerce predating Western colonialism. The Islamic Revival that has swept through the Islamic world since at least the 1970s, and the rise of the internet have brought important changes to this region, which includes Indonesia– the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population– Malaysia, Brunei, the southern Philippines and southern Thailand, with important Muslim communities on the Southeast Asian mainland. This course offers a survey of the constructions, practices and contestations of gender against the background of trade, colonialism, and the current flows of cultural and financial capital through which bodies and subjectivities are articulated. Through texts including ethnographic writing, literature, film and political discourse, we will explore the interface of indigenous customary practice (‘adat), universalisms, nationalisms, and social justice to look at femininities, masculinities, and diverse sexualities.


MUSIC 132: Music of the Middle East

4 Units|Tu, Th|2:00 pm – 3:29 pm|Morrison 125
Music of the Middle East, including folk, art, popular, and religious music of the Pan-Islamic and Israeli traditions.

Language Courses


ARABIC 1A: Elementary Arabic

5 Units
This course emphasizes the functional usage of Arabic in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Authentic audio, video, and reading materials are presented from the beginning, and students are encouraged to be creative with the language in and out of class.

ARABIC 20A: Intermediate Arabic

5 Units
This course is proficiency oriented. Authentic reading in modern standard and classical Arabic and the understanding and application of grammatical and stylistic rules are emphasized. Students deliver oral presentations and write academic papers in Arabic.

ARABIC 100A: Advanced Arabic

3 Units
Intensive reading and analysis of texts of different genres. Guest lectures, films, documentaries, oral presentations, research papers. Formal and informal styles of writing and correspondence. Extensive vocabulary building.

ARABIC 104B: Classical Arabic Prose

3 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 am – 12:29 pm|Barrows 252
This course is designed for students who wish to concentrate on Arabic of the classical periods of Arab and Islamic civilization. Reading and analysis of literary texts of various genres, including essays, biography, and travel literature.

ARABIC 111B: Survey of Arabic Literature (in Arabic)

3 Units|Tu, Th|3:30 pm – 4:59 pm|Barrows 271
This course is designed primarily for majors and prospective majors in Arabic studies.  The Post-Abbasid and Modern Periods: A literary-historical survey of Arabic literature from the middle of the thirteenth century to the present.

ARABIC 220: Seminar in Classical Arabic Literature

3 Units|M, W|11:00 am – 12:29 pm|Barrows 244
A close reading and careful literary analysis of significant authors and specific topics in Classical Arabic prose or poetry or both.

ARABIC 298: Seminar

1 to 4 Units|W|3:00 pm – 5:59 pm|Dwinelle 211
Special topics in Arabic. Topics vary and are announced at the beginning of each semester.


ARMENI 1A: Introductory Armenian

3 Units|Tu, Th|11:00 am – 12:29 pm|Dwinelle 106
This course is for students who have no or very little previous knowledge of Armenian. Proficiency in the four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing is developed. Armenian is taught as one language. Both Western and Eastern Armenian speakers are accommodated.  The commonalities are highlighted and the differences recognized and taught.
The course includes exploring Armenian culture, past and present. Teaching is adjusted in accordance with students’ individual needs, goals, and interests.

ARMENI 101A: Continuing Armenian

3 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Dwinelle 134
The purpose of this course is to further develop students’ Armenian proficiency in all four language skills, using discussions, oral presentations, performances, written assignments and a variety of culturally significant texts (literature, film, non-fiction, newspaper articles, etc.). Reading and analysis of texts in both Western and Eastern Armenian will be emphasized as a means of language acquisition. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue readings in fields that interest them. Three hours of class per week. Course may be repeated for credit.


HEBREW 1A: Elementary Hebrew

5 Units|M, Tu, W, Th, F|10:00 am – 10:59 am|Barrows 271

HEBREW 20A: Intermediate Hebrew

HEBREW 100A: Advanced Hebrew

3 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Barrows 275

Advanced Hebrew, especially designed for those going on to the study of modern Hebrew literature. Vocabulary building, grammar review, and literary analysis of a sampling of modern texts.

HEBREW 104A: Nathan Zach and Dahlia Ravikovitch: Two Perspectives o​n Statehood Generation Poetry (in Hebrew)

3 Units|M|2:00 pm – 4:59 pm|Barrows 271
A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama in their cultural and historical contexts. Topics vary from year to year and include literature and politics, eros and gender, memory and nationalism, Middle-Eastern and European aspects of Israeli literature and culture.

HEBREW 106A: Elementary Biblical Hebrew

3 Units|Tu, Th|9:30 am – 10:59 am|Barrows 275
An introduction to the language of the Hebrew Bible.

HEBREW 201A: Advanced Biblical Hebrew Texts

3 Units|M|3:00 pm – 5:59 pm|Barrows 275
The exegesis of a biblical book in the light of its ancient Near Eastern background.

HEBREW 204A: Advanced Modern Hebrew Literature and Culture

3 Units|W|2:00 pm – 4:59 pm|Barrows 275
Critical approaches to the history and textual practices of modern Hebrew poetry and fiction. Alternating focus between period, genre, and author, seminar topics include stylistic developments in Hebrew poetry and fiction from the Enlightenment to the present, modernism, and modernity, the creation of the modern Hebrew novel, women writers and the Hebrew canon, and single-author seminars.


TURKISH 1A: Elementary Modern Turkish

5 Units|M, Tu, W, Th, F|10:00 am – 10:59 am|Barrows 8A

TURKISH 100A: Intermediate Modern Turkish

5 Units|M, Tu, W, Th, F|11:00 am – 11:59 am|Barrows 8A

TURKISH 101A: Readings in Modern Turkish

3 Units|Tu, Th|12:30 pm – 1:59 pm|Barrows 8A