- Classics Courses
WORD ORIGINS (CLAS 111)
Useful to those who want to increase English vocabulary for reading and exam preparation, to acquire analytical skills for deciphering unfamiliar terminology in a variety of fields, and to explore the evolution of English. Learn word roots systematically, and read, hear and write about the history of English and influxes of new words from cultures around the world.
SCIENTIFIC/MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY (CLAS 121)
Systematic study of the structure and formation of medical and scientific terms derived from Greek and Latin roots. Provides tools to determine the meaning behind scientific words by breaking down their structure into key prefixes, stems, suffixes as adopted into English. No background knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.
GREEK AND ROMAN BIOGRAPHY (CLAS 212)
Greeks and Romans, like most modern societies, developed strong interest in the public and private lives of the most famous personalities from their political and cultural traditions. Augustus' diet and Cleopatra's appearance were just as interesting as Pyrrhus' attempted imperial policies and Alexander the Great's military tactics. THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.
ANCIENT TRAGEDY, GREEK AND ROMAN (CLAS 215)
Whereas today the word “tragedy” conjures up images of disaster and suffering, in classical Athens, tragedy above all meant entertainment for a mass audience. But what beyond entertainment did tragedy entail? Is the suffering it depicted wholly foreign to modern sensibilities? Or shall we moderns find in ancient tragedy, Greek as well as Roman, something to identify with? In this course, students will pursue that and similar questions.
ART IN THE ANCIENT GREEK WORLD (CLAS 280A)
Art and culture of Greek world, Late Bronze Age to Romans: architecture, sculpture, vase and wall painting. Artistic/stylistic developments within their social, political, historical contexts.
ANCIENT CITIES (CLAS 280C)
Urban centers of ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman worlds. Development of urbanism by studying archaeological remains, 4th millennium BCE till 4th century CE
BANDS OF BROTHERS: EPIC HEROES (CLAS 280E)
Multiple epics from around the globe, including Greek, Roman, Indian and Sumerian texts. Explore issues of heroics, friendship, warrior ethics, social and political duty, and the relationship between myth and epic.
PAGANS CHRISTIANS AND JEWS (CLAS 280P)
Study religions of ancient Mediterranean: state-sponsored pagan rites of Greece and Rome, philosophies, popular mystery cults from Middle East and Egypt, Diaspora Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, emergence and spread of various Christianities. Explore the growth and development of these interconnected belief traditions and communities.
ETERNAL CITIES: ROME & POMPEII (CLAS 280R)
Roman life and urban structure through examination of the buried (and thus, preserved) city of Pompeii and the continuously inhabited and redesigned capital of the Roman Mediterranean world. Illustrated lectures and discussion sections built into class time.
DAILY LIFE IN GREECE AND ROME (CLAS 281D)
Explore the daily life of ancient Greeks and Romans by examining different aspects of their daily life ranging from the economy to the legal system, drama, religion, athletics, and art. By considering Greece and Rome side by side and placing these varied social and historical aspects within a comparative framework, this course will highlight not only similarities and differences that existed between these civilizations in the ancient world but also make connections to the twenty-first century.
ANCIENT ROMAN ECONOMY (CLAS 281E)
Mechanics of ancient economy, special attention to ancient Italy and Roman empire; topical focus on different components of diverse ancient Mediterranean economies
ANCIENT COMEDY IN PERFORMANCE (CLAS 305)
Study of ancient Greek and Roman comedy as scripts through deconstruction of humor and production of live comedy. Live, public performance of a choreographed, musical production of Aristophanes’ Women Rule (Congresswomen) late in term.
SATIRE FROM ROME TO COLBERT (CLAS 315)
Searing wit and unrelenting mockery employed in perceptive socio-political critique can arouse deep understanding, cheap laughs, or both—maybe neither. Satirical humorists from Petronius and Juvenal, to Swift and Twain, to Stewart and Colbert touch the rawest of nerves to fortify, rectify or undermine societal norms.
COMPARATIVE ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY (CLAS 380M)
Myths from around the globe, including Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Indian and Sumerian/Babylonian. Compare how cultures portray creation, gods and goddesses, heroes, tricksters, etc.
PERSUASION IN ANCIENT GREECE (CLAS 381A)
"Peitho" is the Greek word for persuasion, the influencing of future action and thought. Yet "peitho," as object of cult, a figure of myth and an essential element in love, marriage and commerce, meant more to Greeks than simply words designed to change minds. Nor did "peitho" always operate through a verbal medium.
THE ETRUSCANS (CLAS 381E)
The Etruscans were an important culture in central Italy from the 9th century to the 1st century B.C., who in addition to their own achievements, exerted great influence over the city of Rome, especially in terms of political and religious institutions, art and architecture. The best possibility of understanding who the Etruscans really are is revealed by archaeological evidence.
WOMEN IN ANCIENT THEATER (CLAS 381F)
Compelling female leads and characters of ancient stage in Greece and Rome, as entertaining and stimulating re-presentations of feminine/unfeminine, as perceived by their cultures and our own. Tragic and comic scripts + contemporary art, music/opera and esp. dance, and performance exercises.
HEROINES/GODDESSES/WHORES/WIVES IN GRECO-ROMAN ANTIQUITY (CLAS 381W)
Exploring archetypes and representations of women in Classical literature and art to analyze the myriad characterizations and depictions of Woman. Read and discuss antiquity’s views on the role, function and value of women in society. These readings will provide insight into issues of gender and sexuality within the ancient world.
ANCIENT SEXUALITY AND GENDER (CLAS 382A)
In thinking about ancient Greece and Rome, we often stress continuities and similarities between us and them. Yet in many ways "they," ancient Greeks and Romans, were different, especially in their attitudes to sexuality and gender. How, then, did they view sexual and gender identity? What cultural values lay behind those constructs? How can modern approaches help us grasp ancient realities?
RACE AND ETHNICITY IN ANCIENT NORTH AFRICA (CLAS 383B)
Students in this course examine several cultures that inhabited ancient North Africa (Egyptians, Nubians/Kushites, the Jewish communities in Egypt, the Carthaginians, and several ethnic groups of northwest Africa often collectively described by outsiders as 'Berbers') before and during the period of Greek and Roman influence around the Mediterranean.
- Latin Courses
ELEMENTARY LATIN I & II (LAT 101 & 102)
Two semesters of essential grammar and vocabulary for developing reading skills in classical Latin. First half (20 chapters) of the assigned grammar textbook will be completed along with significant introduction to Roman culture and ideals and some supplementary work in conversational Latin. For majors and non-majors.
INTERMEDIATE LATIN (LAT 203)
Review of grammar and introduction to Latin literature and development of proficient reading skills through topical passages of real Latin on the lives and experiences of women of all social classes in the Roman world, including several female poets known to us. Three hours of class each week devoted to discussion and translation of select passages.
THE 'OTHER' IN LATIN COMEDY (LAT 380C)
In this advanced Latin reading course, we will explore selections from several Roman comedies of Plautus that highlight disfranchised contributors (slaves, foreigners, women) to the satirical Greco-Roman world of comedy. Format: Translation and discussion daily; occasional student reports, reading of scholarly articles and small group performances in Latin and English. Video of Latin performance. Prerequisites: LAT 203 or higher course in Latin
PASSION(S) IN OVID (LAT 380M)
In this advanced Latin reading course, we will explore significant selections of Ovid¿s epic of mythic (though not purely mythological) transformation, the Metamorphoses, and a few of his other poems with a constant eye to Ovid¿s many twists and turns on the presentation of passion, especially as manifested in eroticism, anger and appetite. We will also read the entire epic in translation so we may discuss Ovid¿s construction of particular books and his epic styling.
LATIN HISTORIANS ON CELTIC AND GERMAN ETHNICITY (LAT 381A)
In this advanced Latin reading course, we will examine the Roman presentation of other ethnic groups. We will particularly study the Celtic/Gallic Nations most memorably profiled in Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum VI immediately prior to his famous encounter with Vercingetorix at Alesia, Tacitus’ ethnographic monograph on the Germans, and various ethnic studies (Thracians, Huns, Goths, as well as Romans and lawyers!) in Ammianus Marcellinus’ history of Rome in the 4th century CE.
THE AGE OF NERO (LAT 381C)
Did the Roman emperor Nero really fiddle while Rome burned, or have his mother murdered, or prowl the streets by night, looking for victims to rob and kill? In this advanced Latin reading course, we will explore the Age of Nero: its literature, its thought, its culture generally.
CELTS & GERMANS: LATIN HISTORIANS (LAT 381G)
In this advanced Latin reading course, we will examine the Roman presentation of other ethnic groups, most particularly Celtic/Gallic and 'Germanic' peoples, as treated in historians who wrote in the Latin language. We will particularly study the Celtic/Gallic nations as profiled most memorably in Caesar's Bellum Gallicum VI, immediately prior to his famous encounter with Vercingetorix at Alesia, with particular attention to Caesar's impressionistic take on the Druids.
HORACE'S ODES&CATULLUS' POEMS (LAT 381H)
The Latin lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace represent two distinct but nevertheless closely related and extremely influential models of lyric expression. This course will focus on Book 1 of Horace's Odes along with a selection of poems from Catullus, with particular attention to sub-types of lyric including erotic verse, invitation poems, poems of abuse, political praise poetry, and hymns.
CICERO AND THE REPUBLIC FALTER (LAT 381O)
In this advanced Latin reading course, we will examine moments in the later/post-consular career of the famous orator and politician, Cicero, when he fell short of his best, whether in terms of oratorical delivery, case selection, or political miscalculation. In Latin, we will read two of his most famous speeches Pro Milone (against his arch-enemy, P. Clodius Pulcher, delivered before Pompey as sole consul) and the Second Philippic (a brilliant, but personally costly, broadside against Marc Antony, who was trying to consolidate power after Caesar’s assassination).
'AFRICANS' IN HISTORY AND EPIC (LAT 382A)
Readings in Vergil, Sallust and Livy that treat Punic and Numidian “Berber” ethnicity from Roman points of view.
MEDIEVAL LATIN (MDVL 381A)
In this course we will read selected texts from the whole medieval period (from Late Antiquity to the High Middle Ages) in a variety of genres (theology, poetry, history, travel, biography, letters, etc.). There will be a swift review of grammar and a consideration of how Medieval Latin differs from Classical Latin at the beginning of the semester, although questions of grammar will occupy us throughout the course.
- Greek Courses
ELEMENTARY ANCIENT GREEK I (GRK 101)
First semester of Ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary. Reading of simple texts, including actual quotations from ancient authors. Ancient Greek civilization topics to go along with readings. Translation from Greek into English.
ELEMENTARY ANCIENT GREEK II (GRK 102)
Second of two semesters of Ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary for developing reading skills in ancient Greek. Reading of simple texts, including actual quotations from ancient authors. Ancient Greek civilization topics to go along with readings. Translation from Greek into English.
INTERMEDIATE ANCIENT GREEK (GRK 203)
Review and continuation of grammar, then a selection of ancient Greek literature read in the original with special attention to literary and cultural exploration. Reading, translation (oral, written) and analysis of texts; occasional oral reports; quizzing. Regular attendance and preparation indispensable. For majors and non-majors.
DESTROYER OF ARMIES: ARISTOPHANES' LYSISTRATA (GRK 380A)
This semester we will experience one of the most fascinating and original comedies to survive from ancient times: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Here, the title character and her band of bold women, sick of years of war, stage a sex-strike forcing the men to accept peace. Yet this play is no mere sex farce. Posing serious questions about sexual politics, gender equality, and social dialogue, this play puts the conventional wisdom of its time and place to the test.
HISTORIANS ON BARBARITY (GRK 380B)
In this advanced reading course in ancient Greek, we will concentrate on images, conceptions and constructions of Persians and Mediziing, the term Hellenes coined to describe those Greeks who sympathized and cooperated politically with the Greek arch-enemy. We will read significant numbers of passages in Greek and even more in translation from Herodotos and Xenophon, and fewer from Thukydides.
HEROES - HOMER'S ODYSSEY (GRK 381)
In this advanced ancient Greek course, we shall explore the concept of the hero in Homer's epic of mythic return: the Odyssey. While first and foremost a class in ancient Greek poetry studied in the original language, "Heroes-Homer's Odyssey" will maintain a consistent focus on the theme of heroism. What is a hero/heroine? How does the Odyssey gender the heroism of its protagonists? How has the question been approached in the past?
SEX AND THE CITY: LYSIAS' ORATORY (GRK 381A)
Sex, Violence, Jealousy, Domestic Architecture - all that and more will come under scrutiny as we study two courtroom speeches from Greek antiquity: Lysias' On the Murder of Eratosthenes (outraged husband slays wife's lover) and his Against Simon on a Charge of Battery (rival lovers brawl over boy). Both speeches delve into the messier side of love in fourth-century BCE Athens.
- Arabic Courses
ELEMENTARY ARABIC I & II (ARAB 101 & 102)
The first in a sequence of courses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the language of all official forms of communication and media throughout the Arab world, the register of Arabic taught in countries where Arabic is an official language, the liturgical language of some 1.6 billion Muslims and millions of Arab Christians, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. In this course, students will be introduced to the letters, sounds, and symbols that make up the Arabic writing system, and acquire basic skills in the areas of speaking, reading, writing, and listening. They will develop the ability to speak about themselves, their lives, and their environment; to initiate and sustain conversations on daily-life topics with educated native speakers; to read simple, authentic texts on familiar topics; to write formal notes and sentences on subjects connected to daily life; to comprehend and produce accurately the basic sentence structures of Arabic; and to understand aspects of Arab culture connected to everyday life, including culturally significant idioms used among friends and acquaintances and important expressions for polite interaction with speakers of Arabic.
INTERMEDIATE ARABIC I & II (ARAB 203 & 204)
This course is a continuation of the first-year language study of Modern Standard Arabic by which students improve their language skills from the Novice High level to reach the proficiency goals of the Intermediate level. The course enables students to acquire more vocabulary and learn fundamental morphological and syntactical structures that allow them to express themselves and respond to communication with ease in predictable situations, request and provide information, write and speak comprehensibly on sentence-level, read basic texts through making use of contextual knowledge and familiar vocabulary, and listen to and comprehend simple and straightforward speech—one utterance at a time. Learning about Arab culture is an integral component of an Arabic language class. Therefore, in-class activities will include authentic audio-visual materials.
ARABIC WORD FORMATION & ORIGINS (ARAB 281A)
This course is designed to help students of Arabic (especially those at pre-advanced levels) improve their knowledge of the most basic word patterns in the language, which are both 1) very predictable and 2) the key for allowing rapid vocabulary build-up in all skill sets (reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking). Arabic works on a pattern system. By mastering these predictable patterns, students can intuitively (and quickly) grasp the meaning of many words that share the same basic letters (typically only three).
ADVANCED STANDARD ARABIC I (ARAB 305 & 306)
The sequel to ARAB 305, this course prepares students to reach or surpass the goals of the advanced-low level of proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Throughout the semester, students will significantly expand their vocabulary and acquire further knowledge of fundamental morphological and syntactical structures that allow them to express themselves orally and in writing with increasing grammatical accuracy. Students will build capacity to read a range of authentic texts from formal to informal and journalistic to expository with economical use of a dictionary; carry out basic research and understand the main ideas in specimens of technical and non-technical writing; use context and grammar to identify the form and guess the meaning of unfamiliar words; initiate discussion on topics of general interest; present information and basic narratives in formal language; understand the main points of lectures and media programs on familiar topics; and identify a range of important figures and ideas in Arab literary and cultural history. Students should expect to complete several lessons of al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya, Part 2 (2nd edition). Assessment will be based on active participation, daily homework assignments, two substantive in-class oral presentations, a writing project, quizzes, and a final exam. ARAB 306 is a designated Community Engaged Learning (CEL) course: "a credit-bearing academic course in which students are involved in a community setting such that the experience is linked to course content, enriches learning, and benefits the community in some way." As part of the course requirements, students will engage in a language and cultural exchange with immigrants and refugees from the greater Binghamton community at the American Civic Association.
EGYPTIAN COLLOQUIAL ARABIC (ARAB 310)
This course is an introduction to the vernacular of Arabic used in Egypt, for students who have completed at least three semesters of training in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) is not only the native language of the most populous Arab country, it is also the most widely understood spoken variety of Arabic, due in large measure to Egypt's geographic location, its social and political influence, and the proliferation and popularity of Egyptian cinema, music and literature throughout the Arab world since the early part of the twentieth century. Students will acquire basic conversational skills in the Cairene dialect of ECA, with an eye to future travel to Egypt. By the end of the course, students will be able to greet others and initiate conversations; introduce and speak about themselves, their lives, their daily routines and their environments in general terms; express their likes and dislikes and their plans for the future; and understand aspects of Egyptian culture connected to daily life, including culturally significant idioms, adjectives and proverbs used among friends and acquaintances. Significant attention will be directed to highlighting and exploring phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic differences and similarities between MSA and ECA. Assessment will be based on consistent and punctual attendance, engaged participation, daily homework assignments, quizzes, a final exam, and other activities. Class time will mainly be devoted to activating vocabulary and grammar learned at home by means of an assortment of drills and exercises. In addition to the textbook, students will experience the language through a variety of media, including movie scenes, blogs, music videos, songs, and advertisements. Prerequisite: successful completion of ARAB 101, 102 and 203, or the equivalent level of proficiency as determined in advance by the instructor.
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN ARABIC (ARAB 381C)
This is an advanced-level Arabic course where students have the opportunity to achieve proficiency in discussing and interpreting pressing contemporary issues in Arabic. The course will focus on reading, writing, discussing, and listening to specialized studies, commentaries, and media coverage in Arabic that treat the current refugee crisis fleeing the Middle East, political unrests, competing media outlets, economy, culture and the arts,...etc. THIS CLASS MAY BE REPEATED SINCE ALL MATERIAL IS NEW. PREREQUISITE ARABIC 204; STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THIS COURSE CONCURRENTLY WITH ARABIC 305 OR HIGHER.
INTRO TO QUR'ANIC ARABIC (ARAB 385A)
Perhaps the most venerated book in human history, the Qur'an remains a challenging text for both the Arab and non-Arab reader. This course will focus on the text of the Qur'an in the original Arabic, with attention to vocabulary, tropes and expressions, grammar (syntax and morphology), and rhetoric. Selections from commentaries produced in the classical and modern periods as well as secondary sources written by western scholars will be consulted, but the main text will be the Qur'an itself, in particular the chapters attributed to the Meccan period, as well as sections dealing with major themes of the Qur'an such as the nature of God; the nature of man; reason and revelation; eschatology; Jesus and Mary; the status of women; and typological figuration. PREREQUISITE: successful completion of Arabic 204 or permission of the instructor.
PRACTICUM IN COLLEGE TEACHING
Gives practice in preparing lessons and teaching. Various assignments closely directed by the instructor in the course, including development of syllabi and other materials; construction and reading of examinations; lecturing and/or discussion leadership; and language supervision. Open to majors and non-majors, although the credit cannot be applied to the major. Variable credits but no grade.
- Turkish Courses
ELEMENTARY MODERN TURKISH I & II (TURK 111 & 112)
Introduces basic structures of modern Turkish, which is spoken in the Republic of Turkey, as well as in large immigrant communities throughout Europe. From the very first day of class, there is an emphasis on speaking, both inside and outside the classroom, so that by the end of the first semester students will be comfortable having very basic conversations in Turkish. Also from early in the semester, authentic listening and reading materials will be employed, with level-appropriate activities. Written exercises will provide the foundation for writing skills in Turkish, to be further developed in subsequent semesters.
INTERMEDIATE MODERN TURKISH I & II (TURK 203 & 204)
Modern Turkish skills are further developed through speaking inside the classroom, interaction with native-speaker language partners, reading authentic texts containing more complex structures than in the first year, watching and listening to authentic on-line materials such as news broadcasts and television dramas, and writing short weekly essays. Awareness of the distinctive features of Turkish culture is developed through all of these means. The grammar focus is on complex structures (reported speech, relative clauses,
MODERN TURKISH LIT IN TRANSLATION (TURK 280A)
Consists of readings in translation from Turkish literary figures of the 20th centuries, including Yashar Kemal, Orhan Pamuk, and Elif Shafak. Themes to be explored 21st include cultural tensions between Turkey and the West, and within Turkey between rural and urban cultures, as well as between the Ottoman legacy and the modern republic. Students will participate in discussions during lectures, and will write four papers of five pages each.
TURKISH MEDIA & POP CULTURE (TURK 282C)
This class examines how Turkish culture is interpreted and represented via creative processes in various forms of media such as film, dramatic television series, music, and satirical cartoons. Turkey's international media profile has grown in recent years, with a Turkish film (Winter Sleep) winning the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and Turkish TV series now immensely popular not only in Turkey but across the Middle East and parts of Europe. We will trace the development of Turkish cinema from the melodramas and B movies of the early Yeşilçam ("green pine") era to more recent critically acclaimed films, and the contemporaneous rise of Turkish TV dramas, which have replaced telenovelas from Latin America in popularity. We will also examine the reflection of popular culture in musical genres such as pop, rock, arabesk, and Turkish classical art music. In addition, we will take a close look at social and political events (such as the Gezi protests of 2013) as portrayed in weekly satirical comic magazines.
TURKISH LINGUISTICS (TURK 380L)
This course examines the Turkic language from the perspective of various subfields of linguistic inquiry. We will begin by looking at the history of Turkish, its place within the Turkic language family, and the Altaic hypothesis. The major part of the semester comprises an investigation of modern Turkish with regard to syntax, phonology, morphology, information structure, and sociolinguistics. We will end with the semester with a study of the history, language ideology, and linguistic effects of the Turkish language reform, a mid-20th century government-sponsored effort to purge the language of foreign words.
OTTOMAN TURKISH (TURK 480A/580) (ONLINE COURSE)
Ottoman Turkish is the administrative and literary language of the Ottoman Empire. Written in Arabic script, Ottoman has a Turkish linguistic core, with substantial influence from Classical Arabic and Persian. In this one-semester class, the following skills and topics are covered: Ottoman spelling, paleography, Persian and Arabic grammar and vocabulary as found in Ottoman, and archaic Turkish grammar. Two script styles are taught: nesih (Arabic nasx) and rıka (Arabic ruq‘a), respectively the standard printed and handwritten fonts of the late Ottoman period (ca. 18th-20th centuries). Reading is the primary skill developed, with a secondary emphasis on rıka penmanship, on the premise that this will aid in the reading of handwritten documents. Texts to be used throughout the semester include a selection of printed and handwritten documents. PREREQUISITES: 1. ONE YEAR OF ARABIC, AND 2. TWO YEARS OF TURKISH (or demonstrated equivalent proficiency). This class is delivered entirely on-line.