01:013:162 Elementary Urdu I (4) (fall)
This course is designed to give basic knowledge of Urdu to beginners with no prior knowledge of the language. Building upon gradual learning of Urdu vocabulary and script, this course situates Urdu in its socio-cultural context. Along with reading and writing, students will be exposed to contextualized use of Urdu. Instructional methods are specially designed for this purpose and will heighten awareness of South Asian culture. Class lectures will be frequently supplemented by Internet and audio-visual materials from South Asia. Learning strategies will involve active student participation through classroom exercises in Urdu. Practice in listening and comprehending Urdu will also be provided with basic grammar integrated in the learning process.
01:013:186 Elementary Swahili I (4) (fall)
An introduction to Kiswahili, one of Africa's major lingua franca spoken by millions across several nations in Eastern Africa. Using a communicatively-oriented, proficiency-based approach, students will develop basic communicative skills in the language through a combination of classroom activities, take-home and other language assignments. While the initial emphasis will be on the development of audio-oral skills, students will also be introduced to the essentials of reading comprehension and written expression. In addition to the acquisition of a core vocabulary, the student will be prepared to manipulate basic grammatical structures of Kiswahili for purposes of basic communication in a variety of situations. Students will also be introduced to aspects of Swahili and African culture to build cultural awareness and communicative competence.
01:013:342 Modern Arabic Literature (3) (fall)
This course provides an introduction to modern Arabic literature of the nineteenth and twentieth century. We will examine the interaction between social, political and cultural change in the Middle East and the development of a modern Arabic literary tradition. The texts that form the basis of the syllabus deal with major political, social, religious, cultural, and linguistic aspects of modern Arabic society. The course aims to reflect the different spaces of literary development in diverse parts of the Arab world, including North Africa. The questions we will pursue throughout the semester include: How do these Arab writers conceive of "modernity"? How do they conceive of their relation to politics, and how do they understand the role of intellectuals in their societies? Who are the readers (actual or implied) of these texts? Finally, how do these authors relate to the Arabic literary tradition—including its myths and classical texts—and how is it different from the way they relate to the European and American literary traditions?
A Relativist View of the Indian Nation
Presented by: Professor Partha Chatterjee
Elementary Swahili Fall 2022
Yvonne Owuor on Abdulrazak Gurnah and Lit. of the Swahili Seas
Episode 1: Meg Arenberg is joined by Kenyan novelist Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor to celebrate the momentous occasion of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Nobel Prize, in her words, "a family win." Owuor talks about Gurnah the man and the mentor, the textures of his writing and how it has influenced her own, and reflects on the cartographic imagination that nourishes both poetry and prose born from the Swahili seas.
The conversation between Owuor and Arenberg is followed by a short reading from By the Sea (2001), one of Gurnah's most poignant depictions of the migrant experience and the rippling effects of colonial violence in the lives of ordinary people. In a few deft strokes, the passage orients us to the layered histories of Zanzibar's encounters with the world in both their raucous beauty and their brutality.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She studied English and History at the Kenyatta University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Reading, UK, and an MPhil (Creative Writing) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane. From 2003 to 2005, she was the executive director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival under the remit of which a literary forum was established. Her short story, The Weight of Whispers, earned her the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003. She is the author of two novels, Dust (2014) and The Dragonfly Sea (2019). Meg Arenberg is a writer, translator and scholar. She is a postdoctoral fellow in AMESALL at Rutgers University and Managing Director of the Radical Books Collective.
Full Time Faculty
All offices are located in the West Wing of the Academic Building, 15 Seminary Place, College Avenue Campus, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
Global Africa and The Humanities Series is an Initiative of The Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL) in collaboration with School of Arts and Sciences-Humanities and the Center for African Studies.
Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia
Established in 2008 in response to student and community interest, the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL) at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey continues a long tradition of scholarly excellence and innovative teaching in the languages and literatures of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. We provide instruction in languages such as Akan (Twi), Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu using the latest methodologies and technologies of heritage and second language learning. In addition, we offer introductory and specialized courses taught in English on a broad spectrum of topics, including literature, folklore and translation.