Course Descriptions - Undergraduate Calendar 2018-2019

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  1. Students who are interested in the Arabic language courses should be aware that the completion of at least three courses in a subject is recommended for a minimum working knowledge of the language.
  2. Students who have previous experience with or who have studied the Arabic language at the elementary or secondary school level should not enrol in first-year level courses of the same language. Such students should consult the Renison Registrar's Office regarding the appropriate level to enter.
  3. Students are not permitted to enrol in more than one Arabic language course at the same time.
  4. Students seeking entry into Arabic courses who have not previously taken a course in Arabic at Renison must complete an assessment form which is available at Renison University College's Registrar's Office. Renison reserves the right to allocate students to the appropriate class based on this assessment.
  5. Renison University College reserves the right to refuse admission to, and/or credit for, any of its language courses to a student who has, in Renison's view, a level of competence unsuited to the course(s).

SI 100s

SI 101R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 013338
Introduction to Arabic 1
This course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of Arabic. It focuses on recognizing the Arabic alphabet and cursive writing. Students will build up basic vocabulary and construct simple sentences. Students will exchange basic conversations in Modern Standard Arabic and be exposed to Egyptian and Levantine colloquial Arabic.
[Note: Not open to students with native, near-native, or similar advanced ability. Completion of student assessment required]
Antireq: SI 120R, AB 101W
Also offered Online

SI 102R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 013339
Introduction to Arabic 2
Language structures and verb conjugations will be covered at a beginner level. Students will exchange conversations in varied contexts and build compound sentences and short paragraphs on topics of interest.
[Note: Not open to students with native, near-native, or similar advanced ability. Completion of student assessment required.]
Prereq: SI 101R.
Antireq: SI 120R, AB 102W
Also offered Online

SI 120R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 015276
Literary Arabic for Heritage Speakers
Designed for heritage speakers who have had some meaningful exposure to Arabic (usually a spoken dialect), this language course focuses on improving technical literacy in Modern Standard Arabic (Fusha) by concentrating on grammar and literary skills. Upon finishing, students will be prepared to join non-heritage students in either intermediate or advanced Arabic.
[Note: Basic knowledge of Arab culture and geography recommended. For students who have been exposed to Arabic at home or lived in an Arabic speaking country but do not possess linguistic competence and literacy of native speakers. Completion of student assessment required.]
Antireq: SI 101R, SI 102R, SI 201R

SI 121R LEC 0.50Course ID: 013340
Islam in the World
An introduction to the caliphates, cities, and cultures of Islam, through film and selected texts, including the experience of Islam in Canada as revealed through its writers. This course provides a foundation for Studies in Islam, establishing a context for multidisciplinary approaches to a wide variety of topics.

SI 131R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015277
Arab Culture
Integrating elements of Arab history, geography, language, literature (prose and poetry), art, music, theatre, cinema, politics, press, humour, dance, fashion, and food, this course explores varied expressions of Arab culture. Students will also study the phenomenon of Orientalism and the impact of European colonialism upon the Arabs.
Antireq: ARTS 190 taken spring 2016
Offered at Renison University College

SI 132R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015014
Introduction to Modern Arab and Muslim Drama
The course explores modern Arab and Muslim drama in English from multiple perspectives: literary, social, economic, and political.
[Note: Formerly SI 320R.]
Antireq: SI 320R

SI 200s

SI 201R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 014001
Intermediate Arabic 1
This is an intermediate course focusing on reading comprehension of authentic Arabic materials. Students are introduced to verb patterns and subject-verb agreement rules and write longer paragraphs and short essays.
[Note: Not open to students with native, near native, or similar advanced ability.]
Prereq: SI 102R.
Antireq: SI 120R
Also offered Online

SI 202R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 014002
Intermediate Arabic 2
This is an intermediate course where students construct complex sentences and write essays. They read, analyze, and translate authentic texts. Students participate in conversations on topics of interest and learn complex grammar patterns, lexical derivations, and dictionary use.
Prereq: SI 120R or SI 201R

SI 221R LEC 0.50Course ID: 014398
Islam, the West, and the Modern World
This course examines conceptions of East-West divide and confrontation as well as topics of interest, both geo-political and religious, that influence the relationships of Muslims and the Western world. The focus is on the history of Muslims in the West and the challenges of integration of Muslim communities in pluralistic, secular societies.
Prereq: Level at least 1B

SI 230R LEC 0.50Course ID: 014874
Islamic Visual Culture: Art, Architecture, and Aesthetics
This course explores Islamic visual culture by focusing on three main design elements in Islamic art and architecture: calligraphy, arabesque, and geometry. The course emphasizes the aesthetic, visual, and cultural importance of ornamentation in Islamic art and examines its manifestation in the work of contemporary Muslim artists.
Prereq: Level at least 1B
Offered at Renison University College

SI 231R LEC 0.50Course ID: 014876
Calligraphy to Conceptual Art: Text as an Image in Islamic and East Asian Visual Arts
Exploring the history of Islamic and East Asian calligraphic arts and the study of Eastern and Western artists, this course examines multiple ways in which writing and other forms of visible language are incorporated into visual arts. Through studio projects, students explore conceptual approaches to text-based image making.
Prereq: Level at least 2A.
Antireq: FINE 204 (section 001) taken Winter 2012 or Winter 2014; SI 375R taken Winter 2014
(Cross-listed with EASIA 231R, FINE 275)
Offered at Renison University College

SI 240R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015145
Migration, Diaspora, and Exile: Muslim Narratives
This course examines Muslim narratives written in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It investigates the diversity of Islamic culture and expression in diasporic contexts, exploring an array of experiences written from various socio-cultural locations. The major issues of focus are the dilemmas of individual religiosity and religious identity within diasporic contexts, the politics of identity and community, and the ways in which Islam is lived and formulated (or reformulated) in these contexts.

SI 241R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015146
Sacred Spaces and Human Geographies: Literary Expressions
Using the Muslim dimension as a central theme, this course explores the social, cultural, and political implications to be found in a range of postcolonial literatures from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. Students investigate and analyze a variety of issues and concerns manifest in these literatures: identities and native sensibilities, nationalism and politics, cultural memory, and issues of sacred space and place.

SI 250R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015147
The History of Islamic Civilization from Late Antiquity to 1300
This course surveys the diverse history of Islamic societies from the seventh to the thirteenth century. The primary focus is on the central Islamic lands from Egypt to Iran. In addition to the standard narrative, the course also examines salient aspects of Islamic civilization on a thematic basis.
[Note: SI 121R recommended.]
(Cross-listed with MEDVL 250R)

SI 251R LEC 0.50Course ID: 015148
The History of Islamic Civilization from 1300-1800: The Islamic Gunpowder Empires
This course studies in comparative fashion the rise, consolidation, and decline of the three major Islamic empires of the early modern period (c. 1300-1800): the Ottomans in Anatolia, the Balkans, and the Middle East; the Safavids in Iran, and the Mughals in India.
[Note: SI 121R recommended.]
(Cross-listed with MEDVL 251R)

SI 300s

SI 301R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 014003
Advanced Arabic 1
This is an advanced course focusing on honing reading comprehension skills. Students write longer essays using advanced grammatical structures, and they participate in longer conversations.
[Note: Not open to students with native, near native, or similar advanced ability.]
Prereq: SI 202R

SI 302R LAB,LEC,TUT 0.50Course ID: 014004
Advanced Arabic 2
This is an advanced level course that provides additional practice of the four integrated language skills at the advanced level. Students examine and analyze texts more deeply and confidently, responding to the texts in oral presentations and class discussions.
[Note: Not open to students with native, near native, or similar advanced ability.]
Prereq: SI 301R

SI 315R LEC 0.50Course ID: 014399
Islam, Women, and the Modern World
This course examines the lives and contributions of Muslim women in history - past and present - and political, social, and cultural influences that have affected the lives of Muslim women around the world. Challenging stereotypes of Muslim women and using religious, historical, and literary images, the course focuses on contributions of Muslim women as religious leaders, scholars, and politicians.
Prereq: Level at least 2A

SI 316R LEC,SEM 0.50Course ID: 015351
Religion & War: The Language and Imagery of War within Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
This course explores the phenomena of militant words and images within Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Considered in conversation with one another, these Abrahamic traditions challenge students to consider the interconnectedness of these communities, histories, and textual traditions.
[Note: This course fulfils an Area 1C requirement for Religious Studies majors.]
Prereq: SI 121R or RS 216; Level at least 2A
(Cross-listed with RS 316)

SI 375R LEC 0.50Course ID: 014139
Special Topics in Islam
This course allows for in-depth study of selected topics in interdisciplinary studies in Islam.
[Note: This is a repeatable course, subject to different content; it may be completed a total of three times.]
Department Consent Required
Prereq: SI 121R

SI 390R SEM 0.50Course ID: 013354
Understanding Islam
This course brings together the diverse strands that constitute the student's learning and experience in required as well as elective courses of Studies in Islam. Exploring Islam in a variety of contexts, the approach is interdisciplinary and integrative.
[Note: In addition to the three prerequisite courses, a student must have completed at least four Studies in Islam elective courses. Students who do not meet the prerequisites may take the course with department consent.]
Prereq: SI 121R, SI 221R; One of SI 250R/MEDVL 250R or SI 251R/MEDVL 251R

SI 400s

SI 420R SEM 0.50Course ID: 015352
Islamic Spirituality (Sufism) and Psychotherapy
This course explores Muslim conceptions of the soul and psychotherapy within religious and spiritual frameworks. Students will place contemporary models and psychotherapeutic approaches in dynamic conversation with the psycho-spiritual strategies of traditional Sufi systems and sages.
Prereq: SI 121R or RS 216; Level at least 3A

SI 450R SEM 0.50Course ID: 015353
Reading and Interpreting the Qur'an (in translation)
This course serves as a comprehensive introduction to the sacred text of Islam. Students engage in a process of scriptural reasoning as they read the Qur'an and learn a wide array of hermeneutical approaches, from traditional forms of exegesis to new trends in the academic study of the Qur'an.
Prereq: SI 121R or RS 216; Level at least 3A