Undergraduate Courses

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at sis.jhu.edu/classes.

Please consult the online course catalog for cross-listed courses and full course information.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Texts, Tablets, and Tweets: The Sociolinguistics of Writing
AS.130.124 (01)

This course examines the evolution of writing and the relationship between speech and writing in ancient and modern societies. We will examine the ways in which orthography, scripts, and the visual components inherent to written language (e.g., scripts, fonts, emoticons, diacritics etc.) are used to create and/or project certain social identities in these new written spaces. A primary aim of this course is to generate discussion regarding the ways in which writing in all of its forms—at the institutional, group, and individual level, in official documents, in emails, texts, tweets, and graffiti, using standardized and non-standard orthographies, in both regulated and unregulated spaces—can be a social and often political act of identity. The writing assignments for the course will encourage you to consider the ways in which writing can be harnessed to express social identities. You will work as a group to develop your own writing system and present it to the class. This will hone your creative and critical thinking skills and give you practice collaborating on a project. You will also research and conduct an original analysis on a corpus of writing.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 30/45
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL

History of the Jews in Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1917
AS.130.216 (01)

A broad survey of the significant political and cultural dynamics of Jewish history in the Medieval, Early-Modern, and Modern Eras.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/20
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL, INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST

History: Ancient Syria-Palestine II
AS.130.302 (01)

A survey of the history of Ancient Syria and Cannan, including ancient Israel. Taught with AS.134.661. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Babylon: Myth and Reality
AS.010.364 (01)

Babylon – the name resonates even today, from the biblical whore of Revelation to sci-fi. It evokes exotic places and time long past. But what do we really know about the ancient city and the civilization that flourished there thousands of years ago? The first part of this course examines the archaeological city of Babylon, located in the modern state of Iraq, and considers its artistic and architectural achievements in the context of Mesopotamian history. The second part of the class explores the ongoing impact of Babylon in the cultural imagination of later periods, from the Classical and biblical authors, to European artists, Hollywood movies, science fiction, and contemporary political movements.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/20
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-ARCH

Tombs for the Living
AS.010.398 (01)

Centering on the tomb as the unit of analysis, this course examines the cultural and material aspects of death and funerary ritual. Case studies are drawn from North America, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Collections study in museums.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/35
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-ARCH

World Prehistory: An Anthropological Perspective
AS.130.177 (01)

How and why did our nomadic hunting and gathering ancestors become farmers? What led agricultural societies to build cities, develop writing, religious institutions, wage war, and trade for exotic goods? This course surveys prehistory and ancient history from the origins of human culture to the emergence civilization. Although prehistory and ancient history yield evidence of tremendous cultural diversity this course emphasizes common elements of past human experience, culture, and culture change. These include the origins of modern humans and their adjustment to a variety of post-ice age environments, shifts from hunting and gathering to agricultural lifeways, and the initial development of the world’s earliest cities and civilizations.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/40
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-ARCH, GECS-SOCSCI

Freshman Seminar: Investigating Gender and Sexuality in Mesopotamian Art
AS.010.104 (01)

Specifics of gender and sexuality are not universal norms, but rather are the product of particular cultural formations. Works of art are especially critical in shaping and conveying these particularities. This seminar examines how artistic products expressed and constructed gender identities and notions of sexuality in ancient Mesopotamia from the 4th millennium to the Hellenistic period. As a group, we will explore a variety of case studies, through which students will be introduced to ancient Mesopotamian culture and will develop skills in specific research skills such as critical reading, analysis, and interpretation.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Tutankhamun and His Time
AS.130.205 (01)

The reign of Tutankhamun ended a period of fascinating upheaval in ancient Egypt, when a king attempted to stamp out the traditional gods and introduce monotheism. He changed the art of Egypt radically and built a new city from which to rule. This course covers the second half of the 14th century B.C., including the time of the heretic king Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti, and his possible son Tutankhamun who ruled over all Egypt as a boy. So many questions still exist about this time and so many surprising ideas have been put forward to explain them. We will pursue as many as we can. Illustrated lectures will combine with group and individual presentations by students, supplemented with videos and online discussions with scholars who study this time period.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 39/50
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL, NEAS-ARTARC

Ancient Medicine
AS.130.119 (01)

A survey of medicine and medical practice in the ancient Near East and, to a lesser extent, the Aegean world. The abundant sources range from magical spells to surprisingly “scientific” treatises and handbooks. Readings are selected from translations of primary sources in the writings of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Greece, and Rome. Topics will include the sources of our knowledge; the nature of medical practitioners, medical treatment, and surgery; beliefs about disease and the etiology of illness; concepts of contagion and ritual purity.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 20/100
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL

From Hebrews to Jews: The Development of Jewish Identity in the Ancient World
AS.130.133 (01)

What happened to the ten lost tribes of Israel? Was Abraham Jewish? How far back can Jewish ethnicity be traced using genetic research? These questions and more will be topics of discussion as we explore the development of Jewish identity, beginning with the first evidence of a people called “Israel” in the 13th century BCE and ending with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The class will start with a discussion of different types of identity, including ethnic, religious, and cultural identities, as well as how identity can vary between members of the same community. We will also consider how ancient peoples can be studied using textual and archaeological sources. Then we will take a loosely diachronic approach to the development of Jewish identity, from the elusive origins of the Israelites to their existence as a monarchic state under rulers such as King David; from their forced displacement under the Assyrian empire to the Diaspora caused by the Romans. Using primary and secondary source materials, we will assess the key developments in group identity that took place at these times and the factors which influenced them.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/18
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL

Introduction to the History of Rabbinic Literature
AS.130.346 (01)

Broadly surveying classic rabbinic literature, including the Talmud and its commentaries, the legal codes and the response, this seminar explores the immanent as well as the external factors that shaped the development of this literature, the seminal role of this literature in Jewish self-definition and self-perception, and the role of this literature in pre-modern and modern Jewish culture.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 19/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Archaeological Method and Theory
AS.130.354 (01)

Climate change, population growth, war - what questions do archaeologists ask about the ancient past, how do they collect relevant evidence, and how do they arrive at satisfying answers to their questions? This course will review major theoretical currents in archaeology including evolutionary, cultural-historical, processual and post-processual approaches and discuss the future of archaeology as a scientific and humanistic discipline. Basic techniques for analyzing major categories of artifacts such as lithics, ceramics, archaeobotanical, and zooarchaeological materials will also be introduced.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/10
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-ARCH

Elementary Akkadian II
AS.130.383 (01)

An introduction to the paleography, grammar, and lexicon of the Akkadian language, and the reading of simpler texts in that language. Continues AS.130.381

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction To Middle Egyptian
AS.130.401 (01)

Introduction to the grammar and writing system of the classical language of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (ca. 2011- 1700 B.C.). Co-listed with AS.133.601.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/16
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Analysis
AS.270.205 (01)

The course provides a broad introduction to the principles and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related tools of Geospatial Analysis. Topics will include history of GIS, GIS data structures, data acquisition and merging, database management, spatial analysis, and GIS applications. In addition, students will get hands-on experience working with GIS software.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/24
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-RELATE

Reading Of Hebrew Prose
AS.130.443 (01)

Reading of Biblical Hebrew prose, especially from the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Elementary Biblical Hebrew
AS.130.441 (01)

Survey of grammar and reading of simple texts. (Credit given only on completion of AS.130.440 and AS.130.441). May not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Prophets and Prophecy in the Bible
AS.130.373 (01)

From thundering voices of social justice to apocalyptic visionaries, biblical prophets have been revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims for thousands of years. They have inspired civic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. yet also provided fodder for modern charlatans promising a utopian future. Yet who were these individuals (orators? politicians? diviners? poets?) and what was the full range of their message as set against the Realpolitik world of ancient Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Jordan?

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/25
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.130.124 (01)Texts, Tablets, and Tweets: The Sociolinguistics of WritingTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMMandell, Alice HGilman 132NEAS-HISCUL
AS.130.216 (01)History of the Jews in Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1917MW 12:00PM - 1:15PMKatz, DavidSmokler Center LibraryNEAS-HISCUL, INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST
AS.130.302 (01)History: Ancient Syria-Palestine IITh 2:00PM - 4:30PMMandell, Alice HGilman 130G
AS.010.364 (01)Babylon: Myth and RealityTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMFeldman, MarianGilman 177ARCH-ARCH
AS.010.398 (01)Tombs for the LivingTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMDeleonardis, LisaHodson 305ARCH-ARCH
AS.130.177 (01)World Prehistory: An Anthropological PerspectiveTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMHarrower, Michael JamesGilman 17ARCH-ARCH, GECS-SOCSCI
AS.010.104 (01)Freshman Seminar: Investigating Gender and Sexuality in Mesopotamian ArtT 1:30PM - 4:00PMFeldman, MarianGilman 177
AS.130.205 (01)Tutankhamun and His TimeTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMBryson, Karen MargaretGilman 132NEAS-HISCUL, NEAS-ARTARC
AS.130.119 (01)Ancient MedicineMWF 11:00AM - 11:50AMJasnow, RichardGilman 50NEAS-HISCUL
AS.130.133 (01)From Hebrews to Jews: The Development of Jewish Identity in the Ancient WorldTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMLiebermann, Rosanne RuthGilman 400NEAS-HISCUL
AS.130.346 (01)Introduction to the History of Rabbinic LiteratureMW 10:30AM - 11:45AMKatz, DavidSmokler Center Library
AS.130.354 (01)Archaeological Method and TheoryTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMHarrower, Michael JamesGilman 186ARCH-ARCH
AS.130.383 (01)Elementary Akkadian IIT 1:30PM - 4:00PMChapin, Michael AMSE Library Eisenberg
AS.130.401 (01)Introduction To Middle EgyptianM 1:30PM - 4:00PMJasnow, RichardMSE Library D1
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMKelly, Rebecca EKrieger 108ARCH-RELATE
AS.130.443 (01)Reading Of Hebrew ProseTh 12:00PM - 2:30PMEstrada, Justin EugeneMSE Library D1
AS.130.441 (01)Elementary Biblical HebrewTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMEstrada, Justin EugeneMSE Library D1
AS.130.373 (01)Prophets and Prophecy in the BibleMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMLewis, TheodoreHodson 216