Courses

The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale offers Modern Turkish from the beginning through the advanced level. A four-course sequence (Turkish L1-L4) is designed to guide students to proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students have the option of Advanced courses (L5), which will help them develop the language skills to speak adequately in social situations, read and write non-specialized material without frequent resort to dictionaries or grammar books.

Turkish courses also serves as a basis for the study of Ottoman Turkish, which is also part of the NELC Turkish Program course offerings. The Ottoman Empire was very vast and contributed significantly to the art, history, and literature, as well as Sufi teachings and practices of Islam for over 700 years. Since the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Balkans to North Africa and Persia, knowledge of Ottoman Turkish is extremely useful for those who are interested in studying Islamic history, literature, and art.

The Ottoman Text Reading Class offered in NELC aims at introducing students to the principles of Turkish grammar and syntax of Ottoman Turkish as well as textual criticism. The students participating in the course develop skills that enable them to read Ottoman Turkish texts and pursue independent work in Ottoman studies. We read and analyze excerpts from original Ottoman texts from the 14th century up to the early 1920s, such as chronicles, heroic narratives, advice books, physiognomy texts, travel accounts, and hagiographical stories.

For those who are interested in Ottoman history and texts, Alan Mikhail of the Departmentof History also offers “Readings in Ottoman History” course. This course is an introduction to the historiography of the Ottoman Empire. Readings include classics in the field as well as examples of recent trends and innovative new works. Emphasis is placed on methodology, source usage, questions or periodization, and other interpretive problems.

For Spring 2017, Alan Mikhail also offers a research seminar, “Research in Ottoman History,” which will focus on methods, sources, and problems in the field of Ottoman history. The overall goal is for students to produce a publishable article based on primary materials. Topics may come from any period of Ottoman history.