The Department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures offers a major and a minor in Arabic. As majors in Arabic, students 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. As majors, students are expected to maintain a B average in all departmental courses. The prerequisites for a major include successful completion of the first two levels of language study or its equivalent and one lower-level foundational course: JINE 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization.
Language Placement: Placement tests are required for all students entering our language programs. Students who test into Intermediate Arabic and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B– or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 3 units of retroactive credit; students who test into third year or above and satisfactorily complete (with a grade of B– or better) at least one semester of language study may petition for 6 units of retroactive credit. Credit is limited to 3 units for testing into intermediate and 6 units for testing into third year or above. Please note that students with native language proficiency as determined by the individual language section, as well as students who enroll in a course below their placement level, are ineligible for retroactive credit units. Students who misrepresent the extent of their background to gain entrance to a course at the elementary or intermediate level will be dropped from that course.
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The Major in Arabic
Total units required: 47. First- and second-level language study, 20 units, plus 27 upper-level units, no more than 12 of which may be language courses.
The prerequisites for a major in Arabic include successful completion of the first two levels of language study or its equivalent (Arab 107D Beginning Arabic I, Arab 108D Beginning Arabic II, Arab 207D Intermediate Arabic I, Arab 208D Intermediate Arabic II) and one lower-level foundational course: JINE 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization.
Required upper-level courses for the major include language courses at the third- (Arab 307D Advanced Arabic I, Arab 308D Advanced Arabic II) and fourth-year (Arab 407 Fourth-Level Arabic I) levels. Students normally complete four years of Arabic, or three years of study in Arabic and one year in a second language. All students are expected to maintain a minimum grade of B– in language classes.
In addition, Arabic majors must complete 15 units of relevant upper-level literature, culture and civilization courses, chosen in consultation with their adviser. (Please note that many courses in Near Eastern literatures and cultures can be found under Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, or Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies and Anthropology.) Unless a student is writing an honors thesis or fulfilling a capstone requirement for a second major, he or she also is required to take the departmental capstone course during the senior year.
Study Abroad: Students are strongly encouraged to participate in Washington University-approved study abroad programs in Israel, Egypt and other countries of the Middle East. Study abroad is usually during the junior year and after a minimum of one year of language study at Washington University. Students who participate in Washington University-sponsored and/or -approved overseas programs are normally able to apply most or all of these units to their undergraduate degree, although no more than 9 upper-level units may be applied to the major. However, all transfer of credit is subject to review and approval by the department and the Study Abroad office.
Transfer Credit: Normally no more than 6 units of credit earned at an institution other than Washington University (this does not include Washington University-approved study-abroad programs) may be applied to the major, and no more than 3 units for the minor.
Senior Honors: Qualified majors are encouraged to apply for Senior Honors before the end of the junior year. Students wishing to pursue this option need to meet the minimum honors requirements stated in this Bulletin; have outstanding performance in language work; and satisfactorily complete, during the senior year, Arab 488 Independent Work for Senior Honors (fall) and, if possible, Arab 489 Independent Work for Senior Honors (spring), to be taken in addition to all other departmental requirements. Honors work will be supervised by a three-member departmental Honors Committee composed of a primary adviser and two additional faculty, which plans with each student special language work as needed and an independent honors research paper in the student’s area of academic interest.
The Minor in Arabic
Total units required: Varies, 18–29
Required courses: The minor in Arabic Language and Literature requires the completion of JINE 210C Introduction to Islamic Civilization and 18 credits, no more than 12 of which may be in language, and a minimum of 9 units at the 300 level or above. Minimum requirements for the minor include two years of Arabic language and the successful completion of at least 9 units in literature/culture courses chosen in consultation with the minor adviser.
Students must earn a minimum of B– in language courses in order to proceed to the next level. Students who place out of language courses because of previous language training, or because they are native speakers of the language, must complete 15 units with literature and culture courses as approved by their minor adviser.
L49 Arab 107D Beginning Arabic I
Introduction to modern Arabic; concentrates on rapidly developing basic skills in reading, writing, speaking and understanding. Five class hours, including one culture hour and additional drill or laboratory hours. Students with previous Arabic language background must take a placement examination.
L49 Arab 108D Beginning Arabic II
Continuation of Arab 107D. Emphasis on enhancing skills in reading, writing, speaking and aural comprehension of modern Arabic. Prerequisite: grade of B– or better in Arab 107DQ or placement by examination. Five class hours a week with additional drill or laboratory hours arranged by instructor.
L49 Arab 200 Topics in Asian & Near Eastern Languages & Literatures
Same as ANELL 200
L49 Arab 207D Intermediate Arabic I
Study of grammar of literary Arabic and reading of annotated classical and modern prose texts; elementary composition; practice in speaking and comprehending modern Arabic. Prerequisite: grade of B– or better in Arab 108DQ or placement by examination. Five class hours a week with additional drill or laboratory hours set by instructor.
L49 Arab 208D Intermediate Arabic II
Continuation of Arab 207D. Study of grammar of literary Arabic and reading of annotated classical and modern prose texts; elementary composition; practice in speaking and comprehending modern Arabic. Prerequisite: grade of B– or better in Arab 207D or placement by examination. Five class hours a week with additional drill or laboratory hours arranged by instructor.
L49 Arab 307D Advanced Arabic I
Continuation of Arabic 208D. Competence in reading, writing, speaking, listening and culture is developed through intensive exposure to classical and modern standard Arabic in its written and audiovisual forms. Prerequisite: grade of B– or better in Arab 208D or placement by examination. Three class hours a week with one additional laboratory hour as assigned by instructor.
L49 Arab 308D Advanced Arabic II
A continuation of Arabic 307D. Continued integration of language development through reading, writing, speaking and listening activities centered on advanced authentic material. This semester proves critical for making the transition from Modern Arabic to Classical Arabic, including Qur’anic Arabic. Continued development of colloquial Arabic. Prerequisite: Arab 307D or equivalent.
L49 Arab 329C Middle Eastern Islamic Literatures in Translation
This course studies, in English translation, several great works of Islamic literature that still influence or reflect the ways in which we perceive Islamic culture today. We critically consider great and disparate literary works, originally written in a variety of languages including Arabic, Turkish and Persian and stretched from Spain to India, that share the common backdrop of an urban and educated milieu in which they were produced, widely read and circulated. The course aims at exploring the literary cultures in their historical and social context. Possible themes include court literature, politics, Sufi literature, history, theology and literature of romance. All readings are in English.
L49 Arab 355C The Flowering of Islamic Literature, 500–1200
Same as Comp Lit 355C
L49 Arab 361 City of Peace: Baghdad in Medieval Times (ca. 762–1250)
Same as JNE 361
L49 Arab 400 Asian & Near Eastern Languages & Literatures Senior Seminar
Same as ANELL 400
L49 Arab 405 Colloquial Arabic
The aim of this course is to introduce the students to colloquial Arabic through their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). We focus on the main differences between colloquial and MSA so that the students can use the colloquial form for practical purposes in everyday life. Prerequisite: Arab 208D or instructor’s permission.
L49 Arab 407 Fourth-Level Arabic I
Focused reading and discussion of classical and modern texts centered on selected topics in Arabic literature, poetry and media. Continued development of oral, aural and writing skills. Students’ interests are taken into consideration before finalizing the selection of texts. Practice in writing and grammar. Prerequisite: grade of B– or better in Arab 308D or placement by examination.
L49 Arab 408 Fourth-Level Arabic II
Readings and discussion in Arabic of selected classical texts. Students’ interests are taken into consideration before finalizing the selection of texts. Practice in writing and grammar. Continued development of colloquial Arabic.
L49 Arab 450 Topics in Classical Arabic Literature and Culture
Exploration of medieval Arabic Belles-Lettres (Adab). All texts read in Arabic. Prerequisite: senior standing.
L49 Arab 451 Topics in Modern Arabic Literature and Culture
L49 Arab 464 Arabic Textual Analysis
This course introduces the advanced student of Arabic to a variety of prose narratives in the modern language. Readings, which include literary texts and topical essays on aspects of Arabic society and culture, reflect the needs and interests of the enrolled students.
L49 Arab 465 Topics in Arabic
This course is an in-depth study of a particular segment of Arabic literature and/or culture.
L49 Arab 470 Topics in Classical Arabic Literature in Translation
Various themes in Arabic religious literature and Belles-Lettres (Adab), e.g., the intertwining of religion and politics, court culture and fashions, social critiques, gender roles, etc., are read in English.
L49 Arab 471 Topics in Modern Arabic Literature in Translation
Modern Arabic narratives read in English translation foregrounding themes such as the conflict between tradition and modernity, civil war, poverty, alienation, religion and politics, and changing gender roles.
L49 Arab 488 Independent Work for Senior Honors
This course to be taken in the fall semester. Prerequisites: senior standing, eligibility for honors, and permission of the department.
Credit 3 units.
L49 Arab 489 Independent Work for Senior Honors
This course to be taken in the spring semester. Prerequisite: senior standing, eligibility for honors, and permission of the department.
Credit 3 units.
L49 Arab 497 Guided Readings in Arabic
Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of instructor and department chair.
Credit -5 unit. A&S: LA
L49 Arab 498 Guided Readings in Arabic
Prerequisites: senior standing and permission of the instructor and the department chair.
Credit 3 units. A&S: LA
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