The Arabic language and literature program in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations offers a range of courses in Arabic language, literature, and culture, from the medieval period to the modern era. Courses offered include an Introduction to Arab and Islamic Civilizations, Islamic Culture and the Iberian Peninsula, The Arabic Novel, and Representing Islam. Our language program provides students with up to four years of Arabic language study, including elementary, intermediate, and advanced Modern Standard Arabic. This combination of courses offers students the opportunity to comprehensively explore the literatures and cultures of the Arabic-speaking peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.
The Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations offers BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Chinese literature and culture. The department offers language courses in Chinese (Mandarin) to degree-seeking students as well as non-degree seeking students.
The Hindi/Urdu program in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations offers Hindi/Urdu language courses, as well as courses taught in English about South Asian culture and literature.
The Department encourages its students to spend either an academic year or a semester abroad, though there are summer options as well. There are study abroad programs for beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of Hindi. Students from our program have also received prestigious scholarships to participate in intensive language programs in India, including the Foreign Language Area Scholarship (FLAS) and scholarships from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS).
Hindi and Urdu are spoken by some 500 million people in India and Pakistan, and throughout the world. Hindi-Urdu is the language of Bollywood cinema and song, journalism, education, commerce, religion, and literature. Although some consider Hindi and Urdu to be separate languages, they share a common grammar and core vocabulary, and are often identical in colloquial speech. In writing a key difference becomes apparent, as Hindi uses the Devanagari script, while Urdu uses the Perso-Arabic script.
We offer a three-year course sequence in Hindi/Urdu, in which students learn both Hindi and Urdu scripts. Earlier courses in this sequence develop students’ practical skills in both spoken and written Hindi/Urdu. Advanced courses are organized around themes such as media and journalism, and topics in Hindi/Urdu literature.
The Hindi/Urdu course sequence fulfills language requirements for various majors, including the Major in Asian Studies offered by the Center for Asian Studies, and the Major in International Affairs. Courses in Hindi-Urdu are also a major component of our Certificate in South Asian Languages and Civilizations.
Courses about South Asia
In addition to Hindi/Urdu language courses, we offer a range of courses in English about South Asian culture, civilization, cinema, and literature. These include:
Introduction to South Asian Civilization
Screening India: A History of Bollywood Cinema
Living Indian Epics: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata in the Modern Political Imagination
South Asian Diasporas: Imagining Home Abroad
The Power of the Word: Subversive and Censored 20th Century Indo-Pakistani Literature
The Mahabharata as Literature, Performance, Ideology
The Many Faces of Krishna in South Asian Literature
The Korean language and culture program in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations currently offers three years of language coursework, including Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Korean. Content courses offered include Introduction to Korean Civilization, Film and Korean Culture, Modern Korean Literature in English Translation, and Studies in Korean Popular Culture.