• Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof James Piscatori
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course will cover the major approaches and controversies in the study of modern Muslim societies and emphasise methods of analysis and critical thinking.  While dealing with broad themes such as colonialism, nationalism, social change and globalisation, the course will evaluate the social ad political significance of theological debates and normative change in Islam.  In the process a range of the major works on modern Islam, drawn principally from the social sciences and history but also including the literature on Orientalism and its critics, will be categorised and evaluated.

This course will introduce students to the major approaches and controversies in the study of modern Muslim societies and modern Islam.  These will be principally drawn from the social sciences, but will also cover historiography and Orientalism and its critics.

It will also acquaint students with major issues in the study of modern Islam, illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of particular analytical approaches.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

In this course students will develop or extend their knowledge and understanding of:

1. key issues in contemporary Muslim societies and of the academic material on them;

2. the social and political significance of theological debates and normative change in Islam;

3. research methods, strategies, and ethics that are of relevance to the social scientific study of Muslim societies; and

4. the content and analytical frameworks of a select group of readings.


Indicative Assessment

 1 x 4,000 - 5,000 word essay               50%

 1 in class presentation                         10%

 1 x 3 Hr end of semester exam            40%       

With the agreement of the course convener, students may request a variation to the assessment procedure if they are studying from outside Canberra and/or they are in full-time employment and expect especially heavy work obligations during the semester or are likely to have to travel for an extended period for work. Such varied assessment must remain consistent with the College's Guidelines for Word Limits on Assessment (http://cass.anu.edu.au/current-students/rules-and-policies).



The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 24 hours of seminars; and b) 106 hours of online activities, practice exercises, readings and assessment.

Preliminary Reading

Ernst, C.W.  Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004.  

Lewis, B.  Islam in History: Ideas, Peoples and Events in the Middle East, Chicago: Open Court, rev. edn., 1993.  

Lockman, Z.  Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4147 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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