Arabic Placement Test

129 New Cabell Hall

The 2017 Arabic placement test will take place on Monday, August 21st at 12:00 PM in 129 New Cabell Hall. The test will be administered by Suad Mohamed ( More information about placement tests can be found here:

Job Opportunity - Assistant Professor of Modern Hebrew

The Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures (MESALC) at the University of Virginia invites applications for a full-time Assistant Professor, General Faculty (tenure-ineligible) in Modern Hebrew. This is a three-year, renewable appointment. The appointment begins with the fall term 2018 with an anticipated start date of July 25, 2018.  

The successful applicant will have native or near-native fluency in Israeli Hebrew, demonstrated excellence in teaching Modern Hebrew at an American university, experience developing academic programs, and the ability to contribute to the University’s Jewish Studies, Global Studies, and Digital Humanities programs. This position also requires a record of innovation and sophistication in second-language pedagogy that integrates texts derived from the Israeli electronic mediascape while  developing students’ transnational literacies alongside language skills. Teaching responsibilities include first- and second-year language classes in Modern Israeli Hebrew, as well as advanced Hebrew Language courses that focus on conversational skills, media Hebrew, or topics in Israeli literature, film or culture. This position carries a teaching load of three courses per semester. A Ph.D. in Hebrew language, literature, or linguistics; second language pedagogy; or a related field is required by date of appointment. 

To apply, candidates must submit a Candidate Profile on-line through Jobs@UVA (, and electronically attach the following: CV, cover letter, statement of (language) teaching philosophy, a sample of relevant course syllabi (attach as Writing Sample 1), and a representative sample of course evaluations as evidence of teaching effectiveness (attach as Writing Sample 2); search on posting number 0621351. Please include in the CV the name and contact information for three people who would be willing to write confidential letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Review of applications will begin October 1, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled.

Please direct any questions about the position to: Daniel Lefkowitz at

Questions regarding the on-line application process should be directed to: Cameron Clayton, 434-982-2665,


The University will perform background checks on all new faculty hires prior to making a final offer of employment.


The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Persons with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Fall 2017 Course - URDU 3300/7300

Ongoing Mahfil: Readings in Urdu Poetry URDU3300/7300

Instructor: Mehr Farooqi,; Monday 6-8:30 pm.

The seminar is taught as a weekly mahfil which means a gathering of people who love literary arts, specially poetry. The syllabus is flexible. It reflects the general mood of the participants; what they want to read. Mostly we read the ghazal form of poetry, analyze and translate. The oral, performative aspect is emphasized. Texts are available in both Urdu and Hindi script. Participants should be able to read and understand the basic language. The response papers and other written assignments are in ENGLISH. Advanced students (graduate) read literary criticism.

Students have to write weekly responses. By the end of the semester we expect everyone to have a fairly high degree of familiarity with the world, or rather the milieu that shaped the poetry. Most students will be able to acquire critical skills in analyzing poetry.

Course work and grade allocation:

  • Weekly response papers 25%
  • Mid-Term paper 15%
  • Translation project 20%
  • Attendance and participation 20%
  • Final paper 20%

Highlight: This semester’s highlight is a live ghazal performance by renowned artiste Pooja Goswami Pavan, October 15, in Old Cabell Hall. Pooja will give a workshop on ghazal performance on October 16 specially for our class.

Come join the mahfil!

NEW COURSE - PERS 3559/5559: Human Rights in Iran

Instructor: Mehrangiz Kar

Beginning with the Constitutional revolution of 1905-11 and its two central concerns--limiting the power of the king and the establishment of a House of Justice (civil courts), this course studies the struggle for and the social and political obstacles to the promotion of human rights in contemporary Iran. Although Iran did sign the three basic International human rights documents before the 1979 Islamic revolution, the fight for individual and women's rights, freedom of press, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, among others, continues to this day. Through a variety of readings and documentary films, we will focus on the Iranian people's relentless demand for freedom of expression, free and fair elections, gender equality, minority and labor rights.

NEW COURSE - PETR 3559: Women's Rights in Iran

Instructor: Mehrangiz Kar

A widespread and longstanding struggle for gender equity and reform within the family unit characterizes contemporary Iranian history. This course will introduce students to Iranian Laws and the historical, socio-cultural, Islamic, and political aspects of its construction before, during, and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.  We will study the debates around the contested applications of Sharia Laws on family and personal status laws. We will examine laws pertaining to marriage, polygamy, divorce, child custody, inheritance, and labor and reproduction rights. We will also analyze contemporary Iranian voices of reform, including the approaches of Muslim women rights activists to equality, secularity, and modernity as well as the Campaign for One Million Signatures.

Spring 2017 Shea Vacancies

12/13/16 - There are currently 9 vacancies at Shea House: 6 female spaces, 2 male spaces, and 1 single room available across the following language pods: 2 Japanese, 1 Korean, 1 Persian, 1 Arabic, 4 Chinese. Please apply through Housing & Residence Life if interested or go to the Shea House website for more information.

Shea House Application Deadline

Shea House language residence hall will be accepting applications starting October 6th. You have until November 7th to apply. Selection results will be available at the end of November. If interested, apply through the UVA online housing portal, here. For more information about Shea House, click here.


NEW COURSE: Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East

This course is designed to explore the diversity and complexity of human life in the Middle East and to interrogate categories of identity and knowledge. In pursuit of this, the course will focus on four large themes and provide a variety of points of entry into these topics: representation, gender and sexuality, religion and religious expression, and political and associational life. Readings will be pulled from a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, but will have a particular focus on anthropological and ethnographically informed material.

NEW COURSE: Middle East/South Asia Histories of Shakespeare on Film

Wednesdays, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM, 191 New Cabell Hall, Instructor: Samhita Sunya

Shea House Vacancies

8/12/16 - There are currently two vacant female double rooms available at Shea House. If interested, apply via the Housing & Residence life website. For more information, contact Joshau Sagartz at