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.
Professor Stephen Katz, Departmental Chair
Please check out our weekly announcements here!
Lecture by Roger Allen
NELC is excited to announce that we will be welcoming Professor Roger Allen (University of Pennsylvania) on Monday February 27, 2017. His lecture, "The Arabic Historical Novel in Morocco (and Elsewhere)," will begin at 7:00 pm in the Faculty Room in the IMU University Club.
Using well-known proverbs about the process of change and history Professor Allen will examine the recording of historical narratives and their fictional expressions in historical novels. The historical novel in Arabic is considered, with particular emphasis on the uses and abuses of power and the modern tradition of the Moroccan novel. Check out the flyer here.
Muslims in the United States Military
A lecture by Professor Edward E. Curtis drawing from his book Muslim Americans in the Military: Centuries of Service (Indiana University Press, 2016) in which he illuminates the long history of Muslim service members who have defended their country from the War of 1812 to recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at 5:30 pm in the Oak Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. For more information, contact Prof. Asma Afsaruddin.
15th Annual Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecture
We thank everyone who came out to our Annual Jwaideh Lecture!
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures welcomed Professor Malika Zeghal (Harvard University) as the 15th Annual Wadie Jwaideh Memorial Lecturer. The lecture was held Thursday November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm in the Federal Room in the IMU.
ProfessorZeghal's lecture, “The Absent Secularists: Islam in the 2014 Tunisian Constitution,” addressed a number of issues surrounding the drafting of the constitution between 2012 and 2014 including Tunisians' debates on how they could continue to have a state "whose religion is Islam" while shaping a democracy for the first time in their history. Malika Zeghal examined how they constitutionalized these two imperatives without introducing Sharia Law in the 2014 Constitution.
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 is settled 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 classes for Spring 2017
You can look at our schedule of classes here.
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!
Undergraduate student Tyler Russell has been awarded the Kate Hevner Mueller Senior Recognition Award.
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!
After a year full of wonderful events, the 2015-2016 year has been completed!
Read the 2016 NELC Newsletter