- Code MEAS8001
- Unit Value 12 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, Middle East Studies
This course provides a critical evaluation of the main paradigms and methods used to study the Middle East and Central Asia. From Oriental Studies, Area Studies to the disciplinary social sciences and humanities, the course explores how specific social, historical, cultural and political contexts affect knowledge production in and on the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The course examines key methods used by academics in humanities and social sciences (including political scientists, historians, anthropologists and cultural studies scholars among others) to critically structure their research on the Middle East and Central Asia.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- analyse how power and politics affect the production of knowledge about Middle East and Central Asia;
- critically employ key concepts and theories used in studying the Middle East and Central Asia;
- understand the utility of different academic disciplines for the study of the Middle East and Central Asia;
- comprehend and evaluate the various qualitative techniques that are used by researchers in the pursuit of their studies; and
- communicate cogent arguments and research questions with reference to broader methodological and conceptual debates within Area Studies on Middle East and Central Asia.
- 2000 word essay (Research project) (20) [LO 1,2,3]
- Oral presentation of the Research project (10) [LO 1,2]
- 2000 word essay (Students will probe the use of different methods of research and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each method /approach) (20) [LO 2,4,5]
- 4000 word essay (Sub-thesis /essay) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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260 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 24 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of seminars; and
b) 236 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
No texts required.
Said, E. Orientalism (Pantheon books 1978)
Sharabi, H. (ed.) Theory, politics, and the Arab world: critical responses (New York: Routledge, 1990).
Hodgson, M. Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam and World History. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993).
Tessler, M. A. et al Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding the Middle East. (IUP 1999).
Eickelman, D. The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach. (Prentice Hall 2001).
Lockman, Z. Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Lockman, Z. Field Notes: The Making of Middle East Studies in the United States (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016)
Mitchell, T. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), pp.273-303.
Gause, G.‘Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring,’ in Foreign Affairs (July/August 2011).
McFate, M. ‘Mind the Gap: Bridging the Military/Academic Divide’ in Montgomery McFate and Janice Lawrence, eds. Social Science Goes to War: The Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan (London: Hurst, 2015)
Achcar, G. The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Spring. (California: UCP 2013).
Deeb L. and Winegar, J. Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016), pp.143-174 (Ch5. ‘Dis/Engaging the War on Terror’)
Lynch, M. ‘Political Science in Real Time: Engaging the Middle East Policy Public’ in Perspectives in Politics 14,1 (2016), pp.121-131.
Wedeen, L. Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp.87-132.
Lemon, E. ed. Critical approaches to security in Central Asia. (New York: Routledge 2018).
Beyer, J., Rasanayagam, J., & Reeves, M. (2013). Ethnographies of the State in Central Asia?: Performing Politics. Bloomington: Indiana Universi
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- 12 units
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