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MESA 1559: Gateway to the Middle East & South Asia

This course is an overview of the cultural dynamics as evident in the language, literature and arts of the Middle East and South Asia. The goal is to help students see the continuities between the two regions. It is the gateway course for majors and minors.

ARTR 3559/5559: Global Masterpieces of the Classical Islamicate World: A Comparative Approach

The course explores the literary masterworks of some of the most celebrated prose authors of the Classical Islamicate World. Students will develop an appreciation for the development of the intellectual history of what may be called not without reservation the medieval and early modern Middle East (including North Africa, al-Andalus and Sicily).

PETR 3559-001/5559-001: Modernity and Iran's Post-Revolutionary Cinema

In this course, we examine Iran’s historical and cultural engagement with the ideas of modernity from the eyes of post-revolutionary directors emerging from one of the most celebrated national cinemas in the Middle East.  This selection of post-revolutionary cinema will be a gateway into understanding Iran’s cultural, historical and political spheres in the contemporary era.

PETR 3559-002/5559-002: Rumi: Persian Mystical Paths to Happiness

Rumi is today one of America’s best-selling poets. In fact, the Persian poet’s mystical teachings have been translated far and wide for over eight centuries in a vast geographical area. In this course, we study the teachings of Rumi’s spiritual path to happiness and the intricacies of his philosophical discourse to find out the secrets of his international appeal. We will also examine Rumi’s existing ritualistic traditions, the contemporary reception of Sufism, and the varied manifestations of Sufi ideas around the world.

SAST 2559-001: From Page to Stage/Screen

The focus of this course is on the art of adaptation. Students will be introduced to a variety of texts and their adaptations, beginning with Kalidasa’s Śakuntalā as European opera (Théophile Gautier, Franco Alfano, Franz Schubert) and Kalyug (dir. Shyam Benegal, 1981) as a screen adaptation of the Mahābhārata. Additional short works (and corresponding adaptations) to be studied by some or all of the following authors: Manu Bhandari, Rajinder Singh Bedi, G.M. Muktibodh, Premcand, Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, Mahadevi Verma. 

SAST 2559-002: Literature & Society in South Asia (Animals)

The aim of this course is to interrogate the relationship between animals and humans in South Asian literatures and societies. We will begin by reading excerpts from the Pañcatantra before moving on to contemporary texts. Films to be screend will include such titles as Hāthı̄ merā sāthı̄ (dir. M. A. Thirumugam, 1971) and Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor (dir. Uzair Zaheer Khan, 2018).