• 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. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate developed knowledge and understanding of the key issues and debates regarding cultural and social forces in the contemporary Arab world;
  2. demonstrate an ability to relate underlying cultural, social, and religious trends in the region to broader forces such as imperialism, nationalism, gender and migration;
  3. demonstrate advanced capacity to develop evidence based argument and evaluation by drawing on specific historical and contemporary examples;
  4. integrate specific material on Arab cultures and societies with larger theoretical perspectives such as cultural studies and critical theory; and
  5. 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; and 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.

Indicative Assessment

  1. In-class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Essay, 4000 words (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Two Reaction Papers, 1000 words each (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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 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.      

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed MEAS3003

Prescribed Texts

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. 

Preliminary Reading

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)


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
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
3158 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions