• Class Number 3761
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Karima Laachir
    • Dr Karima Laachir
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

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. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. analyse how power and politics affect the production of knowledge about Middle East and Central Asia;
  2. critically employ key concepts and theories used in studying the Middle East and Central Asia;
  3. understand the utility of different academic disciplines for the study of the Middle East and Central Asia;
  4. comprehend and evaluate the various qualitative techniques that are used by researchers in the pursuit of their studies; and
  5. communicate cogent arguments and research questions with reference to broader methodological and conceptual debates within Area Studies on Middle East and Central Asia.

Research-Led Teaching

As active researchers, with extensive research fieldworks in the Middle East, our teaching is inspired by our research strategies including those of fieldwork.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources



Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Knowledge Production on Middle East and Central Asia: Oriental Studies, Colonialism and Orientalism
2 The Field of Middle Eastern and Central Asia Studies: Social Science meets Area Studies
3 Challenges/Controversies in the Study of the Middle East and Central Asia
4 Methods and Approaches: Writing a Literature Review
5 Methods and Approaches: Collecting Your Own Data: Questionnaires and (Participant) Observation
6 Methods and Approaches: Collecting Your Own Data: Different Forms of Interviews
7 Methods and Approaches: Unobtrusive Methods: The Identification of Themes, Content Analysis and Discourse Analysis
8 Methods and Approaches: Reflexivity, Dangers and Ethics during Field Research
9 Inter/Disciplinary Perspectives on the study of Middle East and Central Asia: International Relations
10 Inter/Disciplinary Perspectives on the study of Middle East and Central Asia: Political Economy
11 Inter/Disciplinary Perspectives on the study of Middle East and Central Asia: Sociology and Anthropology
12 Inter/Disciplinary Perspectives on the study of Middle East and Central Asia: Cultural Studies

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Task 1 20 % 25/03/2022 1,2,3
Task 2 10 % * 1,2
Task 3 20 % 06/05/2022 2,4,5
Task 4 50 % 10/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Task 1

2000 word essay 20% - Literature review of a particular topic for Master students. Due date: 25 March 2022

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Task 2

Task 2: oral presentation of the Literature review 10%. Scheduled for Week 7 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 06/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2,4,5

Task 3

2000 word essay 20% - Students will probe the use of different methods of research and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each method /approach. Due date: 06 May 2022.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 10/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Task 4

4000 word essay 50%. (A long essay for MA students) Due Date: 10 June 2022.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Karima Laachir

Research Interests

Politics of Culture, culture and activism

Dr Karima Laachir

Monday 14:00 15:00
Dr Karima Laachir

Research Interests

Dr Karima Laachir

Monday 14:00 15:00

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