- Code MEAS3003
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Arab and Islamic Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Middle East Studies, Arts
This course will critically explore the diversity of Arab culture in the context of the complex history and societies of the Arabic speaking world looking at questions of religious and ethnic diversity, the impact of colonialism, nationalist movements, family structures and gender politics, media, diaspora and migration as well as cultural practices and concepts that are shared across the region. Students will be exposed to aspects of cultural studies theories to learn how to evaluate cultural practices in the Arabic speaking world and to link them to socio-economic and political structures in these societies.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key issues and debates regarding cultural and social forces in the contemporary Arab world;
- demonstrate an ability to relate underlying cultural, social, and religious trends in the region to broader forces such as imperialism, nationalism, gender and migration;
- demonstrate the capacity to develop evidence based argument and evaluation by drawing on specific historical and contemporary examples;
- integrate specific material on Arab cultures and societies with larger theoretical perspectives such as cultural studies and critical theory; and
- develop the following general skills: a) Critical thinking: Students will learn to look at debates about Arab cultures and societies, and to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and biases of these arguments; b) Research: Students will learn to evaluate and utilise a wide variety of sources and collections, c) Communication: Students will learn to present well-reasoned analysis and to engage the arguments of others, both in writing and verbally, and with tolerance for others’ points of view.
- In-class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Essay, 3000 words (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Two Reaction Papers, 1000 words each (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up of:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks, including 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
No required texts. Readings will consist of journal articles, professional papers, and book chapters, and various media such as film, videos, and social media may be used as appropriate.
Hisham Sharabi (ed.) Theory, Politics, and the Arab World: critical responses (New York: Routledge, 1990).
Anastasia Valassopoulos: (ed.) Arab Cultural Studies: History, Politics and the Popular (London and New York: Routledge 2015)
Mona Baker (ed.) Translating Dissent: voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution (London: Routledge 2016)
Anna Ball and Karim Matter: The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2018).
Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman (eds.) Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook (London and New York: Routledge, 2013).
Abir Hamdar and Lindsey Moore, (eds.) Islamism and Cultural Expression in the Arab World (London and New York: Routledge 2015)
Lena Meari El Said and Nicola Pratt, (eds). Rethinking Gender in Revolutions: Lessons from the Arab World (London: Zed Books 2015)
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- 6 units
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