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Arabic Language, Literature and Culture Courses

 

Language Courses

 

Beginning Arabic 1 and 2 (ARB 101-102) 3 credits -- 3 hours
The goal of these courses is to begin developing reading, speaking, listening, writing, and cultural skills in Arabic. The courses teach formal and informal Arabic simultaneously. After learning the alphabet in the first 18 to 20 class-hours of ARB 101, emphasis is placed on reading authentic texts from Arabic-language media, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture. Preparation for class and homework (at least 5 hours outside of class per week) are essential components of the course, allowing us to devote in-class time to communicating in the language rather than talking "about" the language. Students will be evaluated on attendance and class preparation/participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, writing and oral exercises (i.e. skits), a final oral interview and a final examination. This class is not for native speakers/heritage learners . Native speakers/heritage learners  should consult the Head of the Arabic program for exemption or placement into ARB 148 or 248. (Elinson, Stone, Staff)

Successful completion of ARB 101 fulfills the CUNY Common Core World Cultures & Global Issues (WCGI) requirement.

 

Intermediate Arabic 1 and 2 (ARB 201-202) 3 credits -- 3 hours
These courses are a continuation of Beginning Arabic 2 (ARB 102). Emphasis is placed on reading authentic materials from Arabic-language media, expanding students' vocabulary and grammar skills, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture and communicative competence. These courses teach formal and informal Arabic simultaneously. These courses will be conducted primarily in Arabic. Students will be evaluated on attendance and class preparation/participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, writing and oral exercises (i.e. skits and presentations), and a final examination. This class is not for native speakers/heritage learners. Native speakers/heritage learners should consult the Head of the Arabic program for exemption or placement into ARB 148 or 248. (Elinson, Stone, Staff)

Successful completion of ARB 202 fulfills the Hunter College language requirement.

 

Advanced Arabic 1 and 2 (ARB 301-302) 3 credits -- 3 hours
These courses are a continuation of Intermediate Arabic 2 (ARB 202). They aim to help students work toward an advanced level of proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing Arabic, as well as develop an understanding of Arab culture. These courses will be conducted entirely in Arabic. As they combine both native speakers/heritage learners and non-native speakers/heritage learners, these courses focus more than ARB 101-ARB 202 on formal Arabic/Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Students will be evaluated on attendance and class preparation/participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, writing and oral exercises·(i.e. skits and presentations), and a final examination. Native speakers/heritage learners can be placed into these classes or can automatically register for ARB 301 upon successful completion of ARB 248. (Elinson, Stone, Staff)

 

Beginning and Intermediate Arabic for Native Speaker/Heritage Learners  (ARB 148-248) 3 credits -- 3 hours ·
This sequence of courses is for native speakers/heritage learners who seek to become literate in the formal language of which they may already speak and/or understand one of the dialects with some degree of fluency. For ARB 148, no formal knowledge of Arabic or even the alphabet is required.  Students will be evaluated on attendance and class preparation/participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, writing and oral exercises (presentations), and a final examination. (Elinson, Stone, Staff)

Successful completion of ARB 148 fulfills the CUNY Common Core World Cultures & Global Issues (WCGI) requirement.

Successful completion of ARB 248 fulfills the Hunter College language requirement.

 

Literature and Culture Courses

(No knowledge of Arabic or any other foreign language is required for these courses.)

Topics in Arabic Literature and Culture (ARB 200) 3 credits -- 3 hours (Elinson, Stone, Staff)
Recent examples of ARB 200 courses that have been offered:

  • Palestinian Culture
  • Arab Theater

The Arab Novel in Translation (ARB 250W) 3 credits -- 3 hours
This course explores the relationship between the development of the Arab novel and the challenges faced by the Arab World in the twentieth century. The Arab novel is a rich site to explore how writers in the region have grappled with issues such as urbanization, war, imperialism, nationalism, gender, and the politics of translation. We will explore these questions through the reading of novels by writers such as Sonallah Ibrahim (Egypt), Ghassan Kanafani (Palestine), Hanan al-Shaykh (Lebanon), al-Tayyib Salih (The Sudan), Assia Djebar (Algeria) and others. In addition to novels, we will read a variety of secondary texts and watch at least one feature film from the region. All readings are in English. Format: discussion with some lecturing. The final grade will be based on attendance, class participation, short weekly reaction papers and/or weekly quizzes, a final presentation and a final paper of 10 to 12 pages. (Elinson, Stone, Staff)

Prerequisite: English 220 or equivalent
Writing Intensive Course
Fulfills GER Core Requirement Stage 2, Group C and the Pluralism and Diversity Group A requirement.

Successful completion of ARB 250W fulfills the CUNY Common Core Creative Expression (CE) requirement.

 

Arab Cinema in Translation (ARB 251) 3 credits -- 3 hours
It is a little-known fact that Egypt is home to the third most productive film industry in the world. Important cinematic cultures have also developed in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Many see the origins of Arab cinema as coinciding with the struggle for national independence and as such Arab cinema has often been viewed through the lens of colonialism and post-colonialism. The course will focus on this and other aspects of Arab cinema such as aesthetics, the role of melodrama, the importance of music and dance, the phenomenon of co-production with western countries and the treatment of gender and sexuality. We will watch black and white classics from Egypt such as Determination, The Flirtation of Girls, The Beginning and the End. We will also watch more recent films from Egypt and the rest of the Arab World such as Terror and Barbeque (Egypt), The Silence of the Palaces (Tunisia) and The Dupes (Egypt and Syria). The final grade will be based on attendance, class participation, film reviews and/or weekly quizzes, a final presentation and a final paper of 10 to 12 pages. (Stone, Staff)

Prerequisite: English 120 or equivalent.

Fulfills Pluralism and Diversity Group A and GER Core Requirement Stage 2, Group D.

Successful completion of ARB 251 fulfills the CUNY Common Core Creative Expression (CE) requirement.

 

Literatures from the Islamic World (ARB 252W) 3 credits -- 3 hours
Study of a wide range of literary genres and themes from a place usually defined as the Islamic world. The texts we will be engaging with are part of the Arabo-Islamic tradition, but are limited neither to the Arabic language nor the Muslim religion. We will be reading, in English translation, texts originally written in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and other languages. One of the main goals of the course is to understand the wide array of influences making up the remarkably rich and diverse cultures of the Middle East. The course will cover the time period beginning with the pre-Islamic period (6th century C.E.) to the 15th century. The final grade will be based on attendance, class participation, short weekly reaction papers and/or weekly quizzes, a final presentation and a final paper of 10 to 12 pages. (Elinson, Staff)

Prerequisite: English 120
Writing Intensive Course
Fulfills GER Core Requirement Stage 2, Group C and the Pluralism and Diversty Group A Requirement.

 

The Literature and Culture of Muslim Spain (ARB 253W) 3 credits - 3 hours
For a period of eight centuries (711-1492), Muslims ruled over various parts of Spain - a place and culture often viewed as a bridge between the Muslim Middle East and North Africa, Mediterranean and European Jewry, and Christian Europe. In this course we will examine the character of Muslim Spain which was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society where different communities lived together sometimes peacefully, other times less so. Over the course of the semester, we will read and discuss important examples of Arabic, Hebrew, and Latinate literary culture and show how these cultures affected and influenced each other. Through readings of key literary, historical, religious, and philosophical texts, we will look at how these cultures interacted and affected one another, and how Muslim Spain has come to occupy an important place in the imaginations of contemporary Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Students will have regular writing assignments throughout the semester, a mid-term exam, a final paper, and final presentation based on their final paper topic. (Elinson, Staff)

Prerequisite: English 120
Writing Intensive Course
Fulfills Pluralism & Diversity Group A and and GER Core Requirement Stage 2, Group C.

Successful completion of ARB 253W  fulfills the CUNY Common Core World Cultures & Global Issues (WCGI) requirement.

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