Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
Throughout this course we will be working collaboratively to develop definitions for the varied terms which we encounter. The goal is for this site to serve both as a forum in which students can learn from each other and share their understandings of the course concepts and as an essential study guide for the examinations.
Each week I will add new terms to this glossary which we have encountered in the lectures, discussions and readings. Most entires will relate to aspects of the archaeology, anthropology and history of Arabia and its inhabitants. We will also, particularly during the latter half of the class, encounter a number of Arabic terms related to the religion of Islam and the emergence of Muslim societies in this region. A final set of terms will focus on the broader themes of the course as well as the technical vocabulary of the various disciplines which intersect with our study of Arabia and the Arabs.
It will be your responsibility to work together in defining these terms and their significance as discussed in the readings and lectures. In essence this is a way for you to begin studying for the exams throughout the semester rather than trying to cram the night before with a big list of foriegn words and strange names. The other benefit is that you will be able to continually update these entries as we get further into the course and have greater information about these topics.
The more effort and work that you put into this project the better you will all do on the tests. So consider this your initiation into a community of learning (he says with tongue in cheek).
This, however, is not a fully socialist enterprise. Before you add something to the glossary you will need to sign in. To do this go down to the post comments box and sign in with your name and the forum password. Then, in the pagededicated to each entry type your comments into the box and click submit. This will allow me to see who has done what and how much work each of you has contributed. Individualsim still reigns supreme even in this forum. Consider it either as an expression of the American ideal of the supposed Protestant work ethic (ala Max Weber) or as an effort to pursue that German ideal of bildung, that is the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of personal betterment.
Fear not, lest you believe that you arealone in this endevor. I will continually check your collective progress (Big Browther is watching). But as part of this community, I will also add my own comments, suggestions and even corrections if I see that you have gone astray, most lost little sheep. I will not be evaluating what you write, rather I will use this as a reflection of my own teaching and ability to communicate these ideas both in class and through the other course materials. Reflexivity is the new mode for pedagogy (sarcasm is on the decline, sadly). However, I will be looking at your levels of effort and response to my own input. This will be the basis on which I grade your participation in this little experiment.
That said -- HAVE FUN! WORK HARD! ASK QUESTIONS! (and get some sleep once in a while - I will know that you are doing this at 3am)