Arabic Studies (ARBC)

From a global perspective, the study of the Arabic language has become increasingly important and Arabic speakers are in great demand in certain careers. Approximately 300 million people speak Arabic, making it one of the world's most widely spoken languages. It is the official language of 25 countries, as well as one of the official languages of the United Nations. Moreover, being the sacred language of the Qur'an, Arabic honors a rich and ancient heritage that is culturally vibrant today.

Since 2006, the Arabic Studies program at Bucknell University has been targeting the acquisition of the Arabic language and promoting familiarity with the world's Arab cultures, literatures, and histories. Language courses offered at Bucknell consist of beginning and intermediate Arabic courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Spoken Arabic, particularly the Levantine dialect. The growth of the Arabic Studies program prompted the College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics to approve a minor in Arabic Studies in 2013.

Arabic & Arab World Studies

The structure of the Arabic & Arab World Studies major consists of three components of knowledge: language skills, cultural and interdisciplinary knowledge, and a culminating experience. The Arabic & Arab World Studies major is comprised of nine courses, including a culminating experience: five language courses beyond ARBC 102, and three interdisciplinary courses offered by the Arabic studies program or other disciplines such as international relations, political science, religion, philosophy, history, or art and history. In addition, students majoring in Arabic & Arab World Studies are required to complete a 300-level seminar in Arabic language or a ARBC 300-level independent study project. This requirement will fulfill the College Core Curriculum culminating experience. In total, the Arabic & Arab World Studies major will include nine courses. 

A typical major in Arabic & Arab World Studies would look like the following: 

Language Proficiency

ARBC 103Intermediate Arabic I ( prerequisite: ARBC 102 or equivalent)1
ARBC 104Intermediate Arabic II (prerequisite: ARBC 103 or equivalent)1
ARBC 217Advanced Arabic I1
ARBC 250Topics in Arabic Studies 11

Cultural and Interdisciplinary Courses: choose 3 (1-credit each), no more than 2 courses from one department; and only one of the three courses may be a 100-level course.

ARBC 203Unveiling the Hijab's Culture1
ARBC 204Naming violence: Language, space and power in the Israeli Palestinian conflict1
ARBC 301Advanced Topics in Arabic (prerequisite: Advance II or equivalent; can be offered as an independent study as needed).5-1
ARBC 380Independent Study in Arabic.5-1
ARTH 221Visual Cultures of the Mediterranean 1 - 1000 CE1
ARTH 275Art and Architecture of the Islamic World1
CLAS 244Magic and Mystery of the Ancient Mediterranean World1
HIST 100Thinking about History (topic: ComicBook Histories Middle East)1
HIST 255Under Siege: The Modern Middle East 1914-20141
HIST 285The Middle East in Global Perspective1
HIST 290Europe Imperialism and Colonialism1
HIST 330European History1
IREL 229Middle East Conflict and Revolution1
IREL 381Arab-Israeli Conflict, Peace Process1
PHIL 267Islamic Philosophy1
POLS 224Government and Politics of the Middle East1
POLS 287U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East1
POLS 289The Arab-Israeli Conflict1
RELI 100Introduction to Religion1
RELI 201Islam1

Culminating Experience

  1. Complete a seminar at the ARBC 300-level (1 credit)

This seminar will focus on one of the following fields in depth: Arabic literature, culture, or linguistics. At the end of this seminar, students should submit a critical research paper with a summary in Arabic. The research paper will be presented as an oral presentation at a symposium organized by the Arabic studies program on campus.

Or

2. Complete an ARBC 300-level independent study project successfully during senior year. The project should result in a research paper combined with a summary of the project in Arabic as well as an oral presentation at a symposium organized by the Arabic studies program on campus. With the permission of the Arabic studies adviser during the second semester of junior year, students who are majoring in Arabic & Arab World Studies may pursue an honors thesis in Arabic studies.  

Satisfying the College Core Curriculum Disciplinary Depth Goals 

The fulfillment of the College Curriculum disciplinary depth goals for a bachelor in Arabic & Arab World Studies is as follows:

  1. Writing within the major ARBC 200-level courses, ARBC 300-level courses, independent study project in senior year, and all W2 courses listed in the cultural and interdisciplinary courses;
  2. Information literacy in ARBC 200-level courses, ARBC 300-level courses, and independent study project in senior year;
  3. Formal presentation as part of the culminating experience.   

Arabic Studies - Study Abroad

The Arabic studies program at Bucknell does not yet have its own study abroad program. The Arabic studies program welcomes participants in other study abroad programs in any Arabic-speaking countries; no more than two of the study abroad courses may be counted toward fulfilling the Arabic & Arab World Studies major requirements at Bucknell. Language courses and/or courses in Arabic literature, Arabic culture, Middle Eastern history, and the politics of the Middle East may be accredited toward the major requirements. Study abroad courses toward the major must receive course approval from the director of the Arabic studies program before starting the study abroad program.

 
 
 

The Arabic Studies minor consists of five courses. Students must complete the sequence of the core language courses through ARBC 104, plus additional coursework to reach a total of five credits toward the minor. Additional courses may be taken in Arabic Studies or other disciplines, such as International Relations, Political Science, Religion, Philosophy, Art, and History.

Four Core courses:

ARBC 101Beginning Arabic I1
or ARBC 101A Intensive Beginning Arabic
ARBC 102Beginning Arabic II1
ARBC 103Intermediate Arabic I1
ARBC 104Intermediate Arabic II1

One Elective course1:

ARBC 201Intermediate Arabic Conversation I.5
ARBC 202Intermediate Arabic Conversation II.5
ARBC 203Unveiling the Hijab's Culture1
ARBC 204Naming violence: Language, space and power in the Israeli Palestinian conflict1
ARBC 250Topics in Arabic Studies1
ARBC 301Advanced Topics in Arabic.5-1
ARTH 221Visual Cultures of the Mediterranean 1 - 1000 CE1
ARTH 275Art and Architecture of the Islamic World1
HIST 100Thinking about History (The Question of Palestine)1
HIST 229Topics in American Intellectual History (Iran-Turkey: Islam/The Secular)1
HIST 290Europe Imperialism and Colonialism1
HIST 399Non-western History (U.S. in the Middle East since 1945)1
IREL 229Middle East Conflict and Revolution1
IREL 381Arab-Israeli Conflict, Peace Process1
PHIL 267Islamic Philosophy1
POLS 224Government and Politics of the Middle East1
POLS 266Nationalism East and West1
POLS 287U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East1
POLS 289The Arab-Israeli Conflict1
RELI 201Islam1

Arabic minors are strongly encouraged to participate in approved study abroad programs in any Arabic-speaking country. No more than two of the study abroad courses can count toward fulfilling the Arabic minor requirements. Arabic minors who opt to apply for an Arabic study abroad program must receive course approval from the director of the Arabic Studies Program prior to starting the program.  

Students interested in the minor should consult Professor Martin Isleem for the appropriate sequencing of courses.

The goal of the Arabic minor is to equip Bucknell students with definable linguistic proficiency in four skills: speaking, writing, listening and reading, which are in line with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language’s (ACTFL) Standards for the Arabic language. The minor also aims to familiarize Bucknell students with the various cultural aspects of Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Students with an Arabic minor will attain at least the intermediate level of proficiency in Arabic, which will furnish them with a solid foundation in their pursuit of academic and professional careers for which this is a prerequisite.

Students minoring in Arabic Studies will be able to:

  1. Achieve at least intermediate-mid level of proficiency according to ACTFL standards and guidelines (2,4,7,8,9)
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in both Standard and Spoken Arabic by their ability to engage with native speakers of Arabic. An Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test will be conducted at the end of each academic year (1,3,6,7)
  3. Understand customs, perspectives and gestures commonly found in various Middle Eastern cultures and compare them to their own (3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
  4. Implement their linguistic skills as well as their knowledge of the Arab culture outside the classroom setting (2,3,9)
  5. Apply knowledge of other disciplines in the course of their Arabic  Studies minor, promoting exchanges of knowledge that enhance interdisciplinary education. (1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9)

Numbers in parentheses reflect related Educational Goals of Bucknell University.

Courses

ARBC 101. Beginning Arabic I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Beginning language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Elementary grammar. Introduction to Arabic culture.

ARBC 101A. Intensive Beginning Arabic. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4,Recitation:1
Intensive practice in beginning speaking, listening, reading, writing, and elementary Arabic grammar. Introduction to everyday Arabic culture. Successful completion meets the prerequisites for ARBC 103.

ARBC 102. Beginning Arabic II. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Continuation of Arabic language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: ARBC 101 or equivalent.

ARBC 103. Intermediate Arabic I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
A continuation and review of basic grammar, emphasizing all four language skills and culture. Prerequisite: ARBC 101A or ARBC 102 or equivalent.

ARBC 104. Intermediate Arabic II. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Review of basic grammar with an emphasis on all four language skills and culture. Prerequisite: ARBC 103 or equivalent.

ARBC 105. Intensive Intermediate I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4,Recitation:1
Continuation of Arabic language skills. Practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisite: ARBC 101 or equivalent.

ARBC 150. Topics in Arabic Studies. 1 Credit.

Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of topics in Arabic language, cultures, and societies.

ARBC 201. Intermediate Arabic Conversation I. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:2
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted entirely in Arabic by native speaker. Prerequisite: ARBC 102.

ARBC 202. Intermediate Arabic Conversation II. .5 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:2
Concentration on development of speaking skills. Conducted entirely in Arabic by native speaker. Prerequisite: ARBC 201.

ARBC 203. Unveiling the Hijab's Culture. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introductory cultural course to various aspects of the Muslim and Arab world to get a deep look at the Middle Eastern culture and customs.

ARBC 204. Naming violence: Language, space and power in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring or Summer; Lecture hours:3
This IP course adopts an integrative approach of two fields of knowledge: sociolinguistics and political geography. The course aims to explore the Palestinian-Israeli struggle and how this struggle is constructed and reproduced in various spaces that are directly related and those that are assumed to be related to the struggle. Crosslisted as UNIV 204 and IREL 204.

ARBC 217. Advanced Arabic I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Designed to equip students with advanced intermediate competence in Modern Standard Arabic and spoken Arabic, targeting the skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Prerequisite: ARBC 104 or by permission of the program director.

ARBC 218. Advanced Arabic II. 1 Credit.

Lecture hours:3,Recitation:1
Designed to equip students with advanced competence in Modern Standard Arabic and spoken Arabic, targeting the skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Prerequisite: ARBC 217 or by permission of the program director.

ARBC 220. Transformations of Identities: The Arab Minority in Israel. 1 Credit.

Lecture hours:Varies
The course aims to explore the evolving social and cultural changes in the Arab minority in Israel, and seeks to develop an understanding of the ongoing effects of globalization on a non- Western society.

ARBC 250. Topics in Arabic Studies. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of topics in Arabic language, cultures and societies. Prerequisite: ARBC 102 or equivalent.

ARBC 260. Cinema in The Arab World. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course will survey various aspects of cinema in the Arab world from different periods in history and will consider how cinema is used to explore topics such as gender and sexuality, national identity, political conflicts, immigration and refugees, religious influence and censorship.

ARBC 261. Media, Power, and the Middle East. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course seeks to critically analyze the discourse of the U.S. mass media and public policy decision-making toward Arabs and Muslims. The course aims to furnish students with knowledge about power, media, and discourse to build better global awareness of minorities and their human rights.

ARBC 301. Advanced Topics in Arabic. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies; Repeatable
Advanced Arabic independent study under the direction and supervision of an instructor. Topics to be selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

ARBC 380. Independent Study in Arabic. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies; Repeatable
Subject to be selected by student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Associate Professor: Martin Isleem (Director)

Lecturer: Dena Isleem