Indiana University Bloomington
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Welcome to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC). The department was founded half a century ago, making it one of the oldest such departments in the nation. Its founding father was Professor Wadie Elias Jwaideh, a native of Iraq and an expert on the modern history of the Kurds who joined the faculty of IU in 1960. He served as chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with exemplary dedication for over two decades, building a department with strengths in Arabic language and linguistics, Hebrew and Jewish studies, and Middle Eastern and Islamic history, culture, and religions. We are thus justifiably proud of belonging to one of the oldest and most venerable departments of its kind in the nation.

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Professor Stephen Katz, Departmental Chair


Professor Asma Afsaruddin's Newest Publication!

SGIS in the Media has published a piece on Professor Asma Afsaruddin and her new book, Contemporary Issues in Islam, published last fall. Click here to read more.

Amazing News: NELC Awarded Arabic Language Flagship!

In January 2016, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) at the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at IU its first Arabic-language flagship program. "It's a great honor for NELC and IU to get the Arabic flagship," states Professor Salman Al-Ani, one of the writers of the flagship proposal.

For further information, check out this article from the IUB Newsroom.

NELC Ph.D. Student Yasin Ramazan Awarded the Louise McNutt Dissertation Fellowship!

The Louise McNutt Fellowship was established through the estate of Louise McNutt to support graduate fellowships in the College of Arts and Sciences in the humanities.

On receiving the award, Ramazan states, "This scholarship shows me something: all those years of learning have been recognized by the academic community. In my case, as a philosophy of religion student, I needed to seek common themes and discussions among medieval Muslim, Jew, Christian philosophers as well as early modern ones to connect them to contemporary problems of philosophy of religion. When I was notified for the Award, I realized that my efforts for seeking an original contribution to the field have come to fruition."

We have moved! We are no longer in Goodbody Hall, our home of many years. Our office is in the east wing of the brand new Global and International Studies Building, office space 3050: take the elevator to the third floor, and we are on the right.

Our beautiful new home!

The NELC office has been busy settling into our new spaces at the Global and International Studies Building. We are thankful to our faculty and students for providing the office with wonderful decorative pieces from all over the Middle East. Come vist us and say "Marhaba"!

Check out our Spring 2016 course listings!


NELC is excited to spotlight students Basem Al-Raba'a, Seyed Asghari, Michael Bevers, and Zhaoya Colley who have all accomplished a very great deal this semester. We wish them and all of our students a safe and happy summer, and a hearty congratulations to those who have graduated!

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Student Accomplishments

Undergraduate student Tyler Russell has been awarded the Kate Hevner Mueller Senior Recognition Award.

Graduate student Yasser Sultan's article What if She Were the Exegete? A Feminist Critique of the Classical Tafsirs on the Issue of Interfaith Marriage will be published in the forthcoming included in the forthcoming issue of Lights: The MESSA Journal published by the University of Chicago MESSA.

Graduate student Benjamin Priest has been awarded an FLAS from the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center to continue his Turkish studies.

Graduate student Jermaine Butler has been awarded a CLS to study Persian in Tajikistan for Summer 2016.

Congratulations to our very successful NELC students!

Upcoming Events

Are you interested in classical Arabic literature? Visiting Scholar Dr. Mustafa M. Binmayaba is pleased to offer a series of workshops on Poets and Caliphs in Classical Arabic Literature. See this flyer for further information about workshop dates and topics. Dr. Binmayaba is also pleased to be able to offer his assistance to NELC students of all levels in Arabic language and literature. All workshops will be in English.

Looking for some great films to kill time and boost your Arabic language skills? The Department of NELC is excited to present the Arabic Film Series taking place througout the spring semester of 2016. Come for Arabic-language fun!

After a year full of wonderful events, the 2015-2016 year is coming to a close. Check back soon for a list of Fall 2016 events, including information on the Arabic Film Series and the 15th Annual Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture!


Read the 2016 NELC Newsletter

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