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.

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? 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 class will also survey the legacy of Babylon and its continuing relevance in contemporary society.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Feldman, Marian
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/20
  • PosTag(s): HART-ANC

Archaeology at the Crossroads: The Ancient Eastern Mediterranean through Objects in the JHU Archaeological Museum
AS.040.137 (01)

This seminar investigates the Eastern Mediterranean as a space of intense cultural interaction in the Late Bronze Age, exploring how people, ideas, and things not only came into contact but deeply influenced one another through maritime trade, art, politics, etc. In addition to class discussion, we will work hands-on with artifacts from the JHU Archaeological Museum, focusing on material from Cyprus.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Anderson, Emily S.K.
  • Room: Gilman 150A
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Exploring the Ancient Astronomical Imagination
AS.040.216 (01)

This course takes us on an exploratory journey through the ancient astronomical imaginary. We will focus on ancient Greek and Roman ideas about the structure of the cosmos, the substance and nature of the stars, the Earth’s place and role in the universe, ancient attempts to map the stars, and ancient beliefs about the significance of cosmic phenomena for events in the human world. The course will culminate in the extraordinary ancient tradition of lunar fictions, which are our earliest imaginative accounts of life on other worlds. Come join us for a voyage to the stars!

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: ni Mheallaigh, Karen
  • Room: Latrobe 107
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/40
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

Islam East of the Middle East: The Interconnected Histories of Islam in Asia
AS.100.245 (01)

Challenging the conception that Islam is synonymous with the Middle East, this course considers Muslim populations across Asia and interrogates how Islam and these regions have shaped one another.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Gilman 219
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/18
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, HIST-MIDEST

Medicine in Ancient Egypt
AS.130.119 (01)

A survey of medicine and medical practice in Egypt and, to a lesser extent, the ancient Near East in general. 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, and Israel. 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
  • Days/Times: MWF 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Jasnow, Richard
  • Room: Gilman 132
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/60
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

Giving Birth and Coming to Life in Ancient Egypt: The Tree and the Fruit
AS.130.154 (01)

Childbirth is an event that is highly cultural, and is accompanied by gestures and beliefs that say a lot about the society in which they can be observed. This class will be based on Ancient Egyptian texts (translated), images and objects related to beliefs and practices surrounding pregnancy, birth-giving and the first moments of human life. We will discover the Egyptian views on procreation, the objects, the spells and the formulas used to protect pregnancy and childbirth – one of the most dangerous moments in a woman’s life –, the divine entities invoked, the reactions caused by non-ordinary births (for example, twins), and the purification rites that punctuate the post-partum period. Finally, we will see that the first biological birth is a model on which many beliefs about life after death are based. Several guest researchers will present birth and childbirth in other ancient societies in order to broaden the discussion and establish comparisons.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Arnette, Marie-Lys
  • Room: Gilman 130G
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/15
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL, MSCH-HUM

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
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Harrower, Michael James
  • Room: Gilman 17
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/40
  • PosTag(s): n/a

History of the Jews in Pre-Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1789
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
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Katz, David
  • Room: Smokler Center 213
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 3/21
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL, INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST

History of Hasidism
AS.130.352 (01)

Although it appears to be a relic of pre-modern Judaism, Hasidism is a phenomenon of the modern era of Jewish history. This course surveys the political and social history of the Hasidic movement over the course of the last three centuries. Students will also explore basic features of Hasidic culture and thought in their historical development. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Katz, David
  • Room: Smokler Center 213
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/19
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL

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
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Harrower, Michael James
  • Room: Gilman 219
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

History of Mesopotamia II
AS.130.382 (01)

A survey of the history of Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: F 2:00PM - 4:30PM
  • Instructor: Lauinger, Jacob
  • Room: Gilman 130G
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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
  • Days/Times: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Gilman 130G
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/4
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Readings in a Talmudic Sugya (Yaavor v'al yehareg: The Search for Meaning in the Pre-Modern Era
AS.130.396 (01)

In the early Middle Ages the Talmud emerged as the defining document of official Jewish religion and culture, and remained so until the dawn of the Modern Era. The problem was that the texts were not easily understandable, and the norms unclear. In premodern times, certain literary-approaches evolved which were taken by contemporaries as yielding significant meaning. Among the most interesting of these was the broad-sugya. In this course, students will follow the reasoning-process of a broad-sugya as they read a guided-series of passages and commentaries located throughout the Babylonian Talmud on the subject of the valence of human-life. All readings will be in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Ability to read Hebrew and Aramaic required.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Katz, David
  • Room: Smokler Center 213
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 17/19
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL

Seminar in Research Methods in Near Eastern Studies: The Lives of Objects
AS.130.420 (01)

This writing intensive seminar introduces students to research methods in Near Eastern Studies through the "lives" of Ancient Near Eastern art works. The course focuses on "object biographies," exploring various case histories of ancient objects as they move through space and time, both in the past and today. Students will develop skills in specific research areas such as critical reading, analysis, and interpretation that will lead to a final research paper.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Feldman, Marian
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/6
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

Elementary Biblical Hebrew II
AS.130.441 (01)

Survey of grammar and reading of simple texts. May not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. A continuation of Elementary Biblical Hebrew I.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Shin, Jini
  • Room: MSE Library Eisenberg
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/9
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Readings - Hebrew Prose and Poetry
AS.130.443 (01)

Reading of Biblical Hebrew Prose, from texts such as the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 4:30PM - 7:00PM
  • Instructor: Shin, Jini
  • Room: MSE Library Eisenberg
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 5/9
  • PosTag(s): n/a

GOD 101: The Early History of God - Origin, Character, Practice
AS.134.101 (01)

In a world of big ideas, there is none larger than that of God. Divinity is an ever-present topic for both religious devotees and hard core secularists—for anyone who embraces the humanities or ponders what makes us human. Humans are, for better and worse, homo-religiosus (humans who practice religion) as much as homo-sapiens. But what do we know of God historically? How do we go about reconstructing divinity from ancient texts and archaeology? How do we best walk back in time to understand ancient Middle Eastern cultures that gave birth to notions of the divine that have come down to today’s Judaism, Christianity and Islam? This course looks synthetically at the vast topic of God—exploring questions of historical origin, how God was characterized in literature (mythic warrior, king, parent, judge, holy, compassionate) and how God was represented in iconography, both materially and abstractly. Secondly, how did belief intersect with practice? Using the indow of divinity, this course will peer into the varieties of religion experience, exploring the royal use of religion for power, prestige and control balanced against the intimacy of family and household religion. It will probe priestly prerogatives and cultic status, prophetic challenges to injustice, and the pondering of theodicy by poetic sages.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Lewis, Ted
  • Room: Gilman 130G
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 1/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Elementary Modern Hebrew
AS.210.120 (01)

Elementary Modern Hebrew is the first exposure to the language as currently used in Israel in all its functional contexts. All components of the language are discussed: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Simple idiomatic sentences and short texts in Hebrew are used. Students learn the Hebrew alphabet, words and short sentences. Cultural aspects of Israel will be intertwined throughout the course curriculum.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Scott, Cameron David
  • Room: Gilman 77
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Modern Hebrew for Beginners II
AS.210.121 (01)

Hebrew for Beginners 106 is a continuation of Hebrew 105 and as such, students are required to have a foundation in Hebrew. The course will enhance and continue to expose students to Hebrew grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. All components of the Hebrew language will be emphasized in this course; we will highlight verbs, adjectives, and the ability to read longer texts. Speaking in Hebrew will also be highlighted to promote students’ engagement and communication. Cultural aspects of the language will be incorporated into lessons as well.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Bessire, Mirit
  • Room: Gilman 443
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
AS.210.221 (01)

Intermediate Hebrew level II is a continuation of the course Hebrew 205 and as such is a requirement for entry. In the course, grammatical aspects of the language will be introduced in the focus of past and future tenses. Combined and complex sentences with proper syntax and reading comprehension and writing skills will be required. Modern Israeli cultural aspects of the Hebrew language will be introduced as well and will be part of the holistic understanding of the modern language.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Bessire, Mirit
  • Room: Gilman 443
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The Meanings of Monuments: From the Tower of Babel to Robert E. Lee
AS.211.315 (01)

As is clear from current events and debates surrounding monuments to the Confederacy, monuments play an outsize role in the public negotiation of history and identity and the creation of communal forms of memory. We will study the traditions of monuments and monumentality around the world – including statues and buildings along with alternative forms of monumentality – from antiquity to the present day. We will examine the ways that monuments have been favored methods for the powerful to signal identity and authorize history. This course will also explore the phenomenon of “counter-monumentality”, whereby monuments are transformed and infused with new meaning. These kinds of monuments can be mediums of expression and commemoration for minority and diaspora communities and other groups outside the economic and political systems that endow and erect traditional public monuments. The first half of the course will examine the theoretical framework of monumentality, with a focus on ancient monuments from the ancient Near East (e.g., Solomon’s temple). More contemporary examples will be explored in the second half of the course through lectures and also field trips. We will view contemporary debates around monuments in America in light of the long history of monuments and in comparison with global examples of monuments and counter-monuments. All readings in English.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Mandell, Alice H, Spinner, Samuel Jacob
  • Room: Gilman 479
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/15
  • PosTag(s): MLL-ENGL, INST-GLOBAL

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
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Wyman Park W112
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/24
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.010.364 (01)Babylon: Myth and RealityTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMFeldman, MarianGilman 177HART-ANC
AS.040.137 (01)Archaeology at the Crossroads: The Ancient Eastern Mediterranean through Objects in the JHU Archaeological MuseumM 1:30PM - 4:00PMAnderson, Emily S.K.Gilman 150A
AS.040.216 (01)Exploring the Ancient Astronomical ImaginationMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMni Mheallaigh, KarenLatrobe 107MSCH-HUM
AS.100.245 (01)Islam East of the Middle East: The Interconnected Histories of Islam in AsiaTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMStaffGilman 219INST-GLOBAL, HIST-MIDEST
AS.130.119 (01)Medicine in Ancient EgyptMWF 11:00AM - 11:50AMJasnow, RichardGilman 132MSCH-HUM
AS.130.154 (01)Giving Birth and Coming to Life in Ancient Egypt: The Tree and the FruitMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMArnette, Marie-LysGilman 130GNEAS-HISCUL, MSCH-HUM
AS.130.177 (01)World Prehistory: An Anthropological PerspectiveTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMHarrower, Michael JamesGilman 17
AS.130.216 (01)History of the Jews in Pre-Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1789TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMKatz, DavidSmokler Center 213NEAS-HISCUL, INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST
AS.130.352 (01)History of HasidismTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMKatz, DavidSmokler Center 213INST-GLOBAL
AS.130.354 (01)Archaeological Method and TheoryTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMHarrower, Michael JamesGilman 219
AS.130.382 (01)History of Mesopotamia IIF 2:00PM - 4:30PMLauinger, JacobGilman 130G
AS.130.383 (01)Elementary Akkadian IIMW 4:30PM - 5:45PMStaffGilman 130G
AS.130.396 (01)Readings in a Talmudic Sugya (Yaavor v'al yehareg: The Search for Meaning in the Pre-Modern EraTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMKatz, DavidSmokler Center 213NEAS-HISCUL
AS.130.420 (01)Seminar in Research Methods in Near Eastern Studies: The Lives of ObjectsT 1:30PM - 4:00PMFeldman, MarianGilman 177MSCH-HUM
AS.130.441 (01)Elementary Biblical Hebrew IIMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMShin, JiniMSE Library Eisenberg
AS.130.443 (01)Readings - Hebrew Prose and PoetryM 4:30PM - 7:00PMShin, JiniMSE Library Eisenberg
AS.134.101 (01)GOD 101: The Early History of God - Origin, Character, PracticeTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMLewis, TedGilman 130G
AS.210.120 (01)Elementary Modern HebrewTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMScott, Cameron DavidGilman 77
AS.210.121 (01)Modern Hebrew for Beginners IITTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMBessire, MiritGilman 443
AS.210.221 (01)Intermediate Modern Hebrew IITTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMBessire, MiritGilman 443
AS.211.315 (01)The Meanings of Monuments: From the Tower of Babel to Robert E. LeeTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMMandell, Alice H, Spinner, Samuel JacobGilman 479MLL-ENGL, INST-GLOBAL
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisM 1:30PM - 4:00PMStaffWyman Park W112ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR