Islamic World Studies (IWS)

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IWS 116 | THE ISLAMIC EXPERIENCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will introduce students to the religion of Islam through its sources, practices, and presence in the contemporary world. In this introduction we will briefly explore the Qur'an, the Prophet Muhammad, hadith, law, ritual and practices, sectarian movements, and issues among Muslim women. The course will also look at some of the issues facing Muslims at the present time. Cross-listed as REL 116.

IWS 117 | INTRODUCTION TO SUFISM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will look at the history of Sufism (Islamic Mysticism). The course will look at the roots of Sufism and its early advocates, the medieval articulation and formalization of the tradition, to its renaissance in the modern period and its use as a 'moderating' tool. Students by the end of the course will also have a firm grounding in the terms and concepts that govern Sufism. Formerly IWS 277.

IWS 141 | THE MUSLIM WORLD, 600 - 1100 | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Foundation of First Global Civilization (600-1100). A study of the emergence of Islam and the growth of the Islamic community from the time of the Prophet Muhammad until the end of the eleventh century. Cross-listed with HST 141.

IWS 142 | THE MUSLIM WORLD, 1000-1500 | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Sultans, Khans and Shaykhs: Medieval Islamic History (1000-1500). A survey of Muslim history from the decline of the Arab caliphate to the rise of the great gunpowder empires, addressing themes of political expansion, military slavery, devastation brought about by the twin plagues of the Mongols and the Black Death, and the growth of Islamic mysticism. Cross-listed with HST 142.

IWS 143 | THE MUSLIM WORLD, 1400-1920 | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Great Empires (1400-1920). Examines the social, cultural and economic histories of the Ottoman-Turkish, Safavid Iranian and Mughal-Indian empires which dominated the Muslim world in the crucial centuries between the end of the Mongol empire and the advent of European dominance. Cross-listed with HST 143.

IWS 171 | INTRODUCTION TO THE QUR'AN | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

A study of the origin, transmission, and interpretation of the Qur'an. Cross listed as REL 171.

IWS 192 | ISLAMIC WORLD STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces students to the myriad disciplines of Islamic Studies. Students will become familiar with areas of studies such as; Islamic law, history, theology, philosophy, political science, economics, bell arts, etc.

IWS 215 | MUSLIMS IN AMERICAN FICTION AND FILM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will analyze the portrayal of Islam and Muslims by American fiction writers, documentary and screenwriters. Students will use normal analytical categories as they read popular mystery thrillers, romance novels, watch documentaries and review major movies. Formerly IWS 300.

IWS 217 | ISLAMIC CULTURES AND SOCIETIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

A study of Islam's developments in various global contexts, including Arabian beginnings, the Middle East, Central, Eastern and Western Europe, China, the former Soviet States and South Africa, with a focus on the impacts that these cultures and Islam have had on each other. Cross-listed as REL 217.

IWS 224 | ISLAMIC LAW (SHARIAH) AND AMERICAN CULTURE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

An intensive study of the many dimensions of religious liberties in a pluralist society. Explores the language of constitutional and political discourse generally, and the ways in which language affects an understanding of the First Amendment. Includes case studies on particular religious communities and their encounters with American law. Formerly IWS 324. Cross-listed as REL 324.

IWS 228 | ISLAM IN WEST AFRICA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is designed to provide the students with an understanding of the situation of Islam and Muslim societies in West Africa from c. the 8th century C.E. to the present. It will examine the ways in which Islam shaped but was also shaped by African cultures and how changes in the wider Muslim world have affected African Muslims. The course will examine processes of Islamization and the emergence of local Muslim cultures, contemporary issues, and will expose students to the diversity of Islam in Africa. At the same time, the course will focus on current issues in contemporary West African Islam, and aims at providing students with skills to assess issues common to West African Muslim societies, such as dynamics of religious reform, Islam and the state, Islam and socio-economic developments, and questions related to ethnic and religious identities. Formerly IWS 315.

IWS 230 | ISLAMIC FINANCE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Islamic finance, from its religious and legal origins and principles to its most advanced forms. This course focuses on the underlying principles of Islamic finance through a study of its scriptural and jurisprudential origins and reviews most of its products such as Mud'raba, Mush'raka, Mur'baha, Project finance, Suk'k, Tak'ful, Ij'ra and equity mutual funds etc. The course also examines today's Islamic finance industry with a closer look at the structure and governance of contemporary Islamic financial institutions and international regulatory bodies.

IWS 231 | INDIA FROM 900-1750 - SULTANS, MUGHALS, AND ISLAMIC EMPIRES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

The course begins with the transformation of society from the 'ancient' to the 'medieval', and compares this to developments in Europe in the feudal age. It then incorporates specific political, social, and cultural developments in South Asia that came about with the establishment of powerful Islamic states in a region where Muslims were a minority. These issues will inform the analysis of the Ghaznavid and Ghurid invasions, the Delhi Sultanate, the Vijayanagara empire and the Mughal empire. The course will end with the Marathas and the decline of the Mughal empire, and the rising influence of the British. The central themes concern how the state, economy, culture, and society developed in the period when Islam became firmly embedded in South Asia.

IWS 232 | INDIA FROM 1700-1950 - RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH RAJ | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

The course begins with the decline of the Mughal Empire, and then moves to examine the British empire, the nationalist movement and finally to independence and partition in 1947. The central questions of this course continue to be relevant in the post-colonial period: how we understand the distinctive form of modernity that has developed in South Asia. Taking a comparative approach as often as possible, the course examines the fundamental ways that Britain was as transformed by the development of its empire as was colonial India. The course constantly deconstructs easy binaries of self and others/ East and West by examining the differences within Indian and British society.

IWS 240 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN ISLAMIC WORLD STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Topics vary each term. (May be taken more than once).

IWS 251 | ISLAMIC ART | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

An examination of the origins of Islamic culture in Arabia and the spread of Islamic art and religion across the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, Sicily, Iran, India, and Central Asia; emphasizes the meaning of religious imagery. Cross-listed with HAA 222.

IWS 263 | RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

An exploration of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as they develop and interact in the Middle East, historically and in terms of contemporary religious and political issues. Includes a study of personal narratives of people from Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. Cross-listed as REL 263.

IWS 265 | ISLAMIST POLITICAL MOVEMENTS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will deal with the idea of "reform" within Islamic political movements in the modern period. The course will analyze various Islamic reform movements such as the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Modernists, the Traditionalists, seeking a pattern in these movements. Cross-listed as REL 265.

IWS 266 | ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

An examination of the story of Islam in the United States in three historical periods: antebellum America, the first half of the 20th century, and the latter half of the 20th century. Explores Muslim slave life; the possibilities of retentions of Islam in slave culture; the religious, social/economic, and political life of Muslims at the beginning of the 20th century; the emergence of Islamic thought in the U.S. through an overview of the works of Ismail as-Faruqi, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Fazlur Rahman. Cross listed as REL 266.

IWS 270 | ISLAMIC ETHICS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Ethics is concerned with the character, customs, principles or standards of human conduct. Ethics is also concerned with the norms of human conduct. Islam is considered an essentially ethical religion meaning that it is fundamentally concerned with establishing the norms of human conduct in a relationship with God. Islamic conceptions of ethics/morality derive directly from the Qur'an. The lives of Muslims should ideally reflect the spiritual characteristics preferred by the Qur'an. In Islam there is no real distinction between being religious and ethical. In this course students will explore the ethical world of Muslims through glimpses of Islamic thought on pluralism, politics, abortion, war, euthanasia, and social justice.

IWS 272 | GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN MUSLIM CULTURES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Explores historical and contemporary trends in writing on Muslim women along modern and contemporary narratives on gender and sexuality in Muslim majority and minority cultures. Cross-listed as REL 272 and ABD 272.

IWS 278 | HADITH: TRADITIONS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will introduce students to the hadith (the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad). The course will look at the historical development of the collection, study, and criticism of the hadith. Students will learn the utilization of the hadith in the establishment of Muslim religious practices, law, political and cultural norms. Students will become familiar with the technical terms that are utilized by the scholars of hadith. Students will also come to understand the modern debates about hadith study and hadith utility (or lack there of) in the modern world.

IWS 295 | SHI'ITE ISLAM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will look at the various sects within Islam such as Shi'ism, Kharjism, etc. The course will also look at theological sects such as the Mu'taziliets. The course will be concerned with the history, the beliefs, and the present circumstances (if they still exist today) of these sects. Cross listed as REL 295.

IWS 301 | ARAB BROADCAST MEDIA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course improves students' competence in listening, reading comprehension, writing, and presentation skills in the content of Arab media. The main language of instruction will be Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the language of Arab news. Both instructor and students will be using MSA as the main language for communication. Classroom instruction will assist students in acquiring and using Arabic vocabulary needed for understanding and analyzing authentic Arabic media material. The course will focus on five main topics: (1) Meetings and Conferences, (2) Demonstrations, (3) Elections, (4) Courts and Trails, and (5) Finance and Business. In addition to topics and vocabulary covered in the required textbooks, students will listen to and discuss authentic news items. They will also be exposed to Egyptian dialect. ARB 106 or equivalent, including placement test or permission of instructor, is recommended.

IWS 302 | AFRICAN ISLAM: ISLAMIC ART & ARCHITECTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Focused study of the impact of Islam on the artistic traditions of sub-Saharan Africa. Rather than necessarily replacing previous art forms, this course investigates in what circumstances preexisting visual culture might be integrated with the requirements and needs of Islam. This approach necessitates an understanding that neither Islam nor African art are monolithic entities, but rather their interactions represent a wide variety of negotiations across the continent. Likewise, this course will consider specific historical circumstances to which Islamic art in sub-Saharan Africa has responded in terms of form and content.

IWS 303 | ARABIC PRINT MEDIA | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course consists of intensive exposure to vocabulary and expressions characteristic of language used in Arab media. The course will rely on newspaper articles and authentic material in addition to the Media Arabic textbook. The focus of the course will be on enforcing vocabulary learned in ARB 301 that will assist students in understanding the content of Arab print Media and translating texts into English. Presentations and discussions will be used to enforce meaning and increase vocabulary retention and proper use. ARB 106 or equivalent, including placement test or permission of instructor, is recommended.

IWS 310 | INTERNATIONAL ONLINE DIALOGUE | 6 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is designed to run in conjunction with SoliyaConnect, a virtual classroom experience for IWS majors and minors. Students will engage in live conversations with other students in various universities in the U.S. and the Middle East on issues directly related to regional conflicts. Students begin in last weeks of winter quarter and continue throughout Spring Quarter, registering for course in Spring. Laboratory work which is virtual classroom is coupled with classwork in a real class setting.

IWS 311 | ARABIC SHORT STORIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

A survey of the history and development of short stories in Arabic literature from various Arab countries with focus on language, content analysis, forms, and cultural content relevant to major elements of Arab culture. ARB 106 or the equivalent, including placement test or permission of instructor, is recommended.

IWS 313 | ARABIC FILM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Survey of the development of Arabic films in the Arab world with examination of sample works from various periods that allow reflection on Arab culture and the social, political, and religious issues that define that culture. ARB 106 or the equivalent, including placement test or permission of instructor, is recommended.

IWS 318 | SOCIETY, POLITICS AND CULTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will examine the formations of the historical and contemporary social relations of power in the Middle East by questioning the prevalent stereotypes of the region. The main focus will be on the critical investigation of relations of gender, the complexities of state formations, and the dynamics of the contemporary social counter-movements. The latter range from cosmopolitan popular uprisings (Green Movement in Iran, the Arab Spring), to ideological Islamist formations (ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.). Cross-listed with INT 318.

IWS 330 | ISLAMIC LAW, ITS HISTORY AND MODERN APPLICATIONS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is a brief introduction to Islamic Law and its history including case studies of its modern applications. Students will trace the history of Islamic legal theory from its beginnings until the modern period. The focus is on the early formation of theory-its major themes and arguments along with the variety of doctrines that contribute to it. Students will examine how the socio-religious realities interface with the production of legal discourse as they build on previous coursework on modern reformers and the sources of law. This course will also explore the ongoing conversations over religious faith as the basis of a legal system. Last, we transition to the contemporary period through case studies where we will consider how the case connects with or departs from these larger debates and the different contemporary methodologies and arguments used.

IWS 340 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN ISLAMIC WORLD STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

See schedule for current offerings.

IWS 341 | POLITICAL ISLAM AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the historical development of the international Islamist movement and the U.S. government's response to it. The course will include a review of Islamist ideology and the debates over how to deal with the militant challenge. The course also examines U.S. policies in the post 9/11 period.

IWS 350 | ARABIC LITERATURE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course introduces the students to Modern Arabic Literature in form, language, and content. It will focus on various genres, including poetry, drama, the novel, and short stories. Works by major Arab writers and poets representing various regions and content will be examined and analyzed to develop an appreciation for Arab literature and a deeper understanding of their portrayal of Arab culture. ARB 106 or the equivalent, including placement test or permission of instructor, is recommended.

IWS 372 | CAIRO: MOTHER OF THE WORLD (WORLD CITIES) | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will examine the urban development and architectural heritage of Greater Cairo, Egypt since the reconstruction of the fortress of Babylon in the Roman period, through the establishment of Cairo itself in 969, and until the present. Cairo has always been a crossroads of cultures, set between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. It has been home to significant Jewish, Christian and Muslim populations who have been impacted by the various ruling dynasties who have held sway there, including the Byzantines, early Islamic rulers, Tulunids, Shi'i Fatimids, and later Sunni Ayyubids, Mamluks, and Ottomans. In the 20th century, rapid expansion has produced extreme pressures on transportation networks and housing. The solution to such problems of intense urbanization has been to build satellite cities including a projected new capital to the east that will connect the Nile to the Red Sea shipping industry, following in the footsteps of the past. Cross-listed with HAA 372.

IWS 390 | THEORIES AND METHODS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the methodologies and theories that have shaped the field of Islamic Studies from its foundation in Europe through the present day. Students will become familiar with the different theories with regards to Islamic origins and the methodological approaches that are at the foundation of these theories. Students will also learn about the interplay between power and scholarship and its effects on the production of knowledge. Doing the above students will learn the mechanics of research in the field.

IWS 191 and IWS 192 are prerequisites for this course

IWS 395 | SENIOR CAPSTONE SEMINAR | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This is a seminar for Islamic World Studies majors. It is both an opportunity to reflect on what has been gained from studies and experiences in Islamic studies and an opportunity to strengthen that learning and expand those experiences with direct contact with Muslim communities in Chicago and overseas through the Soliya Program. Students will meet with leaders and members of Chicago's Muslim communities and through Soliya meet with their peers in universities here and abroad. Soliya, through a partnership with the United Nations Alliance of civilizations aims to reduce tensions across cultural divides. This aspect of the course will be integrated throughout with the assistance of Jennifer Von Diehle, Assistant director for International Collaborations at DePaul.

IWS 399 | INDEPENDENT STUDY | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Independent study designed for majors.