• 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, International Relations, Middle East Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course aims at equipping Honours students with a good understanding of how to conduct research on the Middle East and Central Asia regions and their Diasporas. The course will interrogate some unexamined framings that shape the understanding of the Middle East and Central Asia including debunking the idea of the regions’ ‘exceptionalism’. It encourages a historical, contextualising of the regions and the various trends and forces that have marked social, political and economic developments. The course is designed around six big issues that affect people from the region in their locality and globally. The course is organised to be taught fortnightly with students critically reflecting on each week’s big issue with a research piece to harness their understanding and analytical skills.  

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. articulate a critically engaged understanding of important issues and ideas in the development of modern Middle East politics, Central Asia and their Diasporas;
  2. evaluate contested interpretations of history, culture, politics and security including their strengths and weaknesses;
  3. apply critical perspectives on cultural, social, political and religious trends in the regions and link them to broader forces such as imperialism, conflict, political economy and the politics of religion and ethnicity;
  4. communicate research progress clearly and coherently both orally and in writing; and
  5. reflect on conceptual development of own research project.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class Participation (10) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Five Fortnightly Reflective Papers (1000 word each and 10% each) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Essay (4000 words) (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 from:

a) 12 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 2 hours of seminars per week; and

b) 118 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (HARTS or HART2), Bachelor of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (Honours) (HMECA).

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Tessler, M. A. et al Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding the Middle East. (Indiana: IUP 1999).

Tihawi Smith, L. (1999) Decolonising Methodology: Research and Indigenous People. London: Zed Books.

Janine A. Clark & Francesco Cavatorta. (Eds.) (2018) Political Science Research in the Middle East and North Africa: Methodological and Ethical Challenges. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Sharabi, H. Neopatriarchy: A Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society. OUP 1988.

Cummings, S. N. Understanding Central Asia: Politics and Contested Transformations. (Routledge: Abingdon, 2012).

Stephan-Emmrich M. and Schröder, P. eds., Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2018. 


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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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