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The Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies provides lists of courses being offered in current and upcoming semesters. 


PRSN 101:  Elementary Persian I
Elementary Persian I is designed to improve student proficiency in language skills emphasizing conversation skills, reading, writing and listening. The course will cover basic level conversations, the alphabet, use of vocabulary in a variety of settings and situations, and formal and informal styles of speaking and writing. It will also help students to develop an understanding of the Persian culture and its growing importance in the world.
PRSN 102:  Elementary Persian II
Elementary Persian II is a continuation of Elementary I. Students will learn to read texts of elementary narrative style paragraphs coherently and with reasonable accuracy, and develop cultural awareness through readings and communicative class activities.
PRSN 203:  Intermediate Persian I
Intermediate Persian I intends to help learners continue to build proficiency in Persian and appreciation for the Persian language and culture. Intermediate Persian I is designed to give the student the opportunity to continue to develop and increase proficiency in the four language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing).
PRSN 204:  Intermediate Persian II
Intermediate Persian II is a continuation of Intermediate I. Reading materials with topics in history, geography, culture and literature will be used to improve students’ reading comprehension as well as develop cultural awareness.
PRSN 305 Persian Short Stories
This course focuses on further development of all language skills through studying Persian short stories. Short stories are effective in language teaching because of their readability in limited class time. They offer authentic reading materials that allow language learners to engage in close readings and creative interpretations. Spring of alternate years.
PRSN 306 Persian Language through Literature, Film, and Media
Students will study literary writings and filmic texts from traditional literature to contemporary media (including plays, film, television, etc.). Students will engage in various communicative activities focusing on all language skills and building vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Literary and filmic texts will also improve students’ cultural awareness. Spring of alternate years.



ASIA/PWAD 69: First-Year Seminar: Wars and Veterans: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan
In this seminar, we will explore the various ways that Iran-Iraq, United States-Iraq, and United States-Afghanistan wars have been portrayed in literature, film, and photography. We will deepen and enrich our understanding of war experienced by both veterans and civilians. We will also read articles on war criticism and psychology.
ASIA 122: Introduction to Iranian Culture
This course will examine the cultural identity of the country of Iran and its people, from its roots in antiquity to the modern day. Students develop familiarity with cultural facts of life and traditions that have made Iran a significant and distinctive cultural arena for more than 3,000 years.
ASIA 124: Iranian Post-1979 Cinema
We examine the ways the medium has been used to incorporate political and social perspectives, challenge the government, and document the lives and struggles of Iranian people. Among the topics explored are Iranian culture and society, gender politics, ethnicity, attitudes about religion, role of children, and various schools of realism.
ASIA 126: Introduction to Persian Literature
This course introduces students to Persian literature from classical to contemporary writers in translation to help them understand the efforts of the Iranian literati in addressing issues surrounding love, the sacred, human diversity, inclusiveness, and the rise of the modern nation-state in Iran through the use of literature.
ASIA 127: Iranian Women Writers
This course introduces students to Iranian women’s issues through their literary works. To contextualize, we will read articles and essays on the historical, cultural, social, political, and economic backgrounds. In order to approach these literary works in a more effective manner, we will also be reading various secondary materials.
ASIA 256: Love in Classical Persian Poetry
We will examine the binaries of sacred and profane love, transgression and the law, self and the other, human diversity and inclusiveness in classical Persian poetry. We will explore the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. We will explore the poems inside their historical, cultural, and social contexts.
ASIA 258: Iranian Prison Literature
This course explores literature written in prisons, particularly under the Islamic Republic. Students will read documents to understand human rights (and violations thereof) from a historical perspective. Since literature, film, philosophy, and theory offer invaluable perspectives, we will examine their contributions in the reflection on human rights in Iran’s prisons.
ASIA 431: Persian Sufi Literature
This course aims to explore Persian Sufism, its foundation, Sufi practices and doctrines, and Sufi themes in literature. By looking at its development, we will examine the nature of Sufism, the controversies and debates, and the influence of Sufism on the literary dimension of the Islamic world.
HIST 89: First-Year Seminar: Emperors, Courts and Consumption: The Mughals of India
A thematic investigation of the period of the first six Mughal rulers of India, 1526-1707. Themes that will be addressed include the establishment of a courtly society; the use of religion as a political tool; the negotiation of gender roles; the creation of emperor cults; the politics of culture and the interconnected nature of the pre-modern world.
HIST 135: History and Culture of Hindus and Muslims: South Asia to 1750
An introduction to major political, religious, social, and cultural events from 3500 BCE to 1750 CE with a focus on Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist groups before British colonial rule.
HIST 163: Modern Central Asia
Provides understanding of significant contemporary developments in the region – 9/11, the Taliban, oil and gas geopolitics, Communism and its collapse, the rise of China, the role of Iran, Islamism, and global terrorism – through an analysis of themes in Central Asia’s history, with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.
HIST 190: Islam in South Asia
An introduction to to the history of the religion and practice of Islam in South Asia, from the establishment of the first Islamic communities in South Asia to the contemporary debates over the role of religion in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
HIST 398: Writing Central Asia
Relies upon literary works of nineteenth and twentieth century Central Asia to extract historical and social insight into the underlying dynamics of Tsarist colonial and Soviet society. Authors include Chingiz Aitmatov, Mukhtar Auezov, Abdurauf Fitrat, and Langston Hughes.
RELI 480: Modern Muslim Literature
This course stresses the diversity of modern Islamic experience by examining the works of various Muslim authors. This course familiarizes students with theories of modernity, as well as to modernism in Islam, using political sources as well as fictive, narrative, and autobiographical sources.
RELI/ASIA 581: Sufism
A survey of Islamic mysticism, its sources in the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad, and its literary, cultural, and social deployment in Arab, Persian, Indic, and Turkish regions.
RELI/ASIA 582: Islam and Islamic Art in South Asia
A survey of the formation of Islamic traditions in the subcontinent from the eighth century to the present, with emphasis on religion and politics, the role of Sufism, types of popular religion, and questions of Islamic identity.
RELI/ASIA 583: Religion and Culture in Iran, 1500-Present
Iran from the rise of the Safavid empire to the Islamic Republic. Topics include Shi’ism, politics, intellectual and sectarian movements, encounters with colonialism, art and architecture, music, literature.