Mondays 9: 15am—10: 35am and thursdays

Download 139,16 Kb.
Date conversion26.05.2017
Size139,16 Kb.
Contemporary Politics of the Middle East

Rutgers University, Fall 2014 (790:351/685:351)

Mondays 9:15am—10:35am AND Thursdays 9:15am—10:35am

Classroom: HCK 119

Instructor: Sarah Weirich


Office: HCK 610

Office Hours: Mondays 11am – 1pm and by Appt.

Course Description

This course is an advanced survey of the politics and society of the Middle East. It covers salient and central themes in the history, politics, culture, and economics of the region, and addresses a number of methodological debates raised in, and by, the field. The course is analytically divided into five parts. The first introduces students to the political science of the “Developing World” with special reference to Middle Eastern societies as well as the topic of how the Middle East was studied historically. The second overviews the social and political history of the region and of its cultural specificities. The third assesses the character, stages, and consequences of European imperialism and formation of modern states in the region. The fourth examines the structure and dynamics of contemporary Middle Eastern societies, including the questions of ethnicity, religious sects, and social class and their intersection. In this section, the issues of gender and family are closely examined. The second section analyzes the impact of state-led growth and/or post-colonial development on Middle Eastern societies. The fifth and final part of the course assesses the future of the region in light of the Arab uprisings of 2011, particularly in terms of prospects for political transition and liberalization, the social impact of the current economic reforms, the growing developmental gap, and the impact of globalization and the “war on terrorism.”

Course Aims & Objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the major political processes and structures shaping political developments in the contemporary Middle East. Students who take the course will be expected to develop advanced analytical skills of relevance both to an understanding of complex political situations and to a critical engagement with the discipline. In addition to developing their skills of critical analysis, students who complete the course will be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the political dynamics of most of the major states in the Middle East. The course will utilize a range of scholarly books and articles about the region, its politics, and its peoples. These texts will be supplemented by a few select films.

Research Paper
The research paper is due during the last day of class. It should be 15-20 double-spaced pages, and based on research of sources and material that go well beyond the course readings (including reputable journal articles and books—Internet research material is discouraged, for the most part). The earlier you determine your topic, the earlier you can order your books if they are not available at our library. The topic of the paper is to be determined by October 20 (see below). Students will be encouraged to write papers that address any of the course's themes (listed below), but must not be an international relations theme: i.e., you should address what is going on inside the countries of the region, not their international and regional relations. Foreign policy of countries is thus not an acceptable topic. But gender relations, economic reform, Islamist parties, or authoritarian rule and methods (and such themes) are fair game. More information will be provided in class and electronically. 

You should select your case-study by October 20, and submit a one page Research Paper Proposal document to the assignment page on Sakai that includes (a) the country/countries you wish to write your paper on, (b) 4-5 preliminary sources (including a minimum of 2 books and 2 academic journal articles), and (c) a brief statement describing why you’re interested in writing about that country and what in particular you wish to address. Turning in a clean and reasonable proposal is worth 20% (even if we amend the topic henceforth).

Grade Distribution 
Research Paper Proposal: 20%
Final Research Paper: 30%
Midterm Exam: 30%
Participation: 20%

Class participation will be essential in this course. Therefore, class attendance is a must. Unexcused absences will not reflect well in your participation grade. Missing 3 classes (unexcused) will affect your final grade because you would not benefit from classroom lectures, presentations, discussions, and q&a.

Services for Students with Difference 
If you have a documented difference (learning, physical, psychological) for which you are or may be requesting reasonable academic adjustments, you are encouraged to inform me as early as possible in the semester. I, personally, would be happy to accommodate all your legitimate requests regarding such matters, with or without documentation.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is required of all students. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism and violations of academic integrity do not excuse guilt of committing these offenses. If parts of someone else’s work are used directly (paraphrased or quoted) without acknowledgement, this constitutes plagiarism. If you are unsure of what plagiarism is or how to identify your sources, ask the course instructor or consult a style manual. Plagiarism is cheating, to the detriment of both the university and fellow students. Cases of minor plagiarism will normally result in a major reduction in the assignment grade. More severe cases will result in a grade of F, and will be reported to the Faculty with a recommendation for the strongest possible disciplinary action. To avoid committing any offenses, intentional or not, see the academic integrity code:


i.          Explain and be able to assess the relationship among assumptions, method, evidence, arguments, and theory in social and historical analysis. 

k.         Explain the development of some aspect of a society or culture over time, including the history of ideas or history of science.

m.       Understand different theories about human culture, social identity, economic entities, political systems, and other forms of social organization.

n. Apply concepts about human and social behaviour to particular questions or situations.

Grading Rubric

Participation and Classroom Conduct

Participation is a significant part of your grade in this class. You are expected to come to class prepared to contribute actively to classroom discussions and activities. This will not only enhance your own learning experience but the experience of your fellow students. Good participation entails not only speaking and sharing your thoughts on a regular basis, but also being considerate and respecting the views of others. To earn high points in the participation part of the final grade, students will have demonstrated their awareness of the different functions of classroom comments by:

  1. Varying their discussion strategies,

  2. Considering what they say before they say it,

  3. Taking intellectual risks, and

  4. Always respecting the feelings of peers by not interrupting classmates while speaking and acknowledging interesting ideas.

Any successful learning experience requires mutual respect on the part of the student and the instructor. Neither instructor nor student should be subject to others’ behavior that is rude, disruptive, intimidating, or demeaning. The instructor has primary responsibility for and control over classroom behavior and maintenance of academic integrity.

Instructor responsibilities:

  • Start and end class on time.

  • Treat all students with courtesy and respect.

  • Be open to constructive input from students in the course.

  • Ensure that opportunities to participate are enjoyed equally by all students in the course.

Student responsibilities:

  • Come to class on time, and refrain from packing up belongings before class ends.

  • Turn off all electronic devices that might create a disruption in class.

  • Be quiet and give full respectful attention while either instructor or another student is speaking.

  • When speaking, use courteous, respectful language and keep comments and questions relevant to the topic at hand.

I expect you to fulfill your responsibilities to me and to your fellow students. By the same token, if I am not meeting my responsibilities to you I expect you to let me know. In short, let's make our classroom a comfortable space for real intellectual dialogue, where everyone has the opportunity to contribute.


I will use this rubric in assessing your performance. It sets the most basic criteria of assessment, but it should give you the basic idea of what is expected of you.





Essays and other written work

Argument and analysis

Makes clear and compelling argument. Solid reasoning. Offers insightful analysis

Makes clear argument, based on plausible readings. Some effort to sustain argument throughout the analysis.

Attempts to offer a cogent argument and analysis, but argument and analysis are based on faulty reasoning.

Fails to make a cogent argument or to offer sound analysis.

Writing and grammar

Writes well, making appropriate word choices and avoiding grammar and spelling mistakes.

Writes well, but may include a handful of grammar, spelling, or word choice mistakes.

Makes multiple errors, but still writes in a clearly intelligible manner.

Makes multiple errors that interfere substantially with comprehension.

Organization and structure

Presents clear, navigable structure with introduction, body, and conclusion. Provides reader with a "road map" of essay.

Offers clear organization with some road map for reader.

Makes some effort to structure the paper, but organization is problematic or difficult to follow.

Structures the paper in a way that is disorganized and difficult or impossible to follow.

Mastery and use of readings

Uses multiple readings and demonstrates mastery of facts and arguments made in readings.

References multiple readings and demonstrates a good degree of understanding.

Makes minimal use of readings and/or fails to demonstrate adequate mastery of readings.

Fails to use readings

Conceptual analysis

Knows the analytical concepts, provides their definition(s), and applies them precisely and systemically in the analysis of specific problems.

Knows most of the concepts. Makes minor definitional errors.

Makes some headway toward knowing and applying the relevant concepts.

Fails to know and apply basic concepts.

Empirical analysis

Marshals appropriate evidence to describe, understand, and explain political problems.

Marshals appropriate evidence to describe, understand, and explain political problems, with small errors.

Attempts to provide and explain evidence but with substantial omissions or errors in interpretation.

Fails to provide relevant evidence.

Theoretical analysis

Explains the relevance and applicability of a wide range of theoretical analyses to specific political problems.

Is able to apply successfully some of the course’s theoretical analyses to selected political problems.

Has difficulty connecting theoretical analyses to the political problems.

Fails to connect the course’s theoretical analyses to analyzed political problems.

“Political literacy”

Exhibits a nuanced understanding of the relationship between the analytical tools learned in class and “real life” global/comparative political problems.

Demonstrates a general understanding of the relevance of political scientific theories for the analysis of the global political world.

Has difficulty connecting the theories to actual issues of global/comparative politics.

Fails to connect the theories to actual issues of global/comparative politics.

Participation Analysis

Exhibits attentiveness, detail, comes to class on time. Exhibits active participation (does not always mean talking) through eye contact, body posture, presenting with thoughtful questions or inciting thoughtful responses from the class, and providing an analysis of theoretical understandings of the material and relating it to “real life” global/comparative political problems.

Demonstrates attentiveness, detail, comes to class on time but is not as active in participation and listening to both colleagues and the professor or asks questions or raises comments not directly related to the relevant topic at hand.

Has difficulty connecting to student presentations, lecture material, is not interested in giving feedback either to the professor or to classmates; repeatedly misses presentations and classes.

Fails to demonstrate interest in the subject material or by not attending class or fails to treat all students with courtesy and respect.

Required Books

  1. Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian SchwedlerUnderstanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 4th edition), (Paperback) ISBN 1-58826-9108.

  2. Bassam HaddadBusiness Networks: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience in Syria (Stanford: 2012). (Paperback) ISBN 9780804785068.

  3. Adel Iskandar and Bassam Haddad, Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing, 2012). ISBN 1939067006.

  4. Asef Bayat, Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2nd edition, 2013), ISBN 0804783276.

Provisional Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Middle East Politics

  2. The Middle East: An Overview of Salient Issues and Themes

  3. Classic Orientalism and Other "Essentialisms:" The Study of the “East”

  4. Arab and Middle Eastern Historical and Cultural Background (Parts I and II)

  5. Politics, the State, and Authoritarian Rule

  6. Political Economy of (Post-Colonial) Development

  7. Religion and Politics: The Rise and Use of Political Islam, and Islamist Parties

  8. Social Dynamics: Family and Women

  9. The Israel-Palestine Conflict

  10. Terrorism and the Industry of Terrorism: The Arab/Muslim World in Context 

  11. Case-Study: The Tunisian Uprising

  12. Case-Study: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience in Syria

Session 1 (September 4): The Argument and Organization of the Class

No Readings

Session 2 (September 8): The Middle East: An Overview


  1. Deborah J. Gerner, Chapter 1, “Introduction,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  2. Ian R. Manners and Barbara McKean Parmenter, Chapter 2, “The Middle East: A Geographic Preface,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  3. Rashid Khalidi, “Preliminary Historical Observations on the Arab Revolutions of 2011,” Jadaliyya. [Sakai]

Questions & Issues to Consider: What, if anything, is “special” about studying the Middle East? What are the most significant challenges to studying the Middle East in the United States? What are the fundamental historical experiences in the 19th and 20th century that shaped the contemporary Middle East? What does it mean to say something is “constructed” (e.g., Middle East as construct)? What does it mean to think “critically?”

----Class Supplements: [Map of the Middle East, Emergence Slides]

Session 3 (September 11): The Middle East: An Overview [Cont]


  1. [Recommended for students with no background in Middle East StudiesArthur Goldschmidt Jr., Chapter 3, “The Historical Context” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text] 

  2. Interview with Bassam Haddad (November 2003), on Culture, Islamic Values, and Democracy in the Arab World. [Sakai]

  3. Bassam Haddad, “Notes on Arab Identity.” [Sakai]

Session 4 (September 15): Classic Orientalism and Other “Essentialisms”: The Study of the “East”

A. Orientalism
B. Theologocentrism
C. Cultural Exceptionalism
D. Middle East Exceptionalism
E. Arab/Muslim Apologists


  1. Walid Khalidi, “Arabs and the West,” The Forum, XXXII, (December 1957). [Sakai]

  2. Zachary Lockman, “Orientalism and Empire” in Contending Visions of the Middle East, the History and Politics of Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 66-98. [Sakai]

  3. FILM: Reel Bad Arabs

Questions & Issues to Consider: How has the Middle East (or the “East”) been studied historically? What influenced the study of the Middle East from a European perspective? Or, later, from an American perspective? How do power relations affect the production of knowledge, or notions of “objectivity?” What are the most salient categories in pop culture for understanding the Middle East? Where do they come from and how are they perpetuated? Can we produce objective knowledge about the “other?”  Most importantly, what is the relationship between knowledge and power?

----Class Supplements: [Orientalism, Method and Feedback Loop, Power/Knowledge Notes]

Session 5 (September 18): Classic Orientalism and Other “Essentialisms” [Cont]


  1. Edward Said, Introduction and Chapter 1, in Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978). [Sakai]

  2. Mahmood Mamdani, Introduction and Chapter 1, in Good Muslim, Bad Muslim (New York: Pantheon, 2004). [Sakai]

  3. Supplemental Reading: Claudia Deane and Darryl Fears, “Negative Perception of Islam Increasing,” The Washington Post (March 9, 2006) [Sakai]; Thomas Friedman “Mideast Rules to Live By" The Washington Post (December 20, 2006) [Sakai]

Session 6 (September 22): Arab and Middle Eastern Historical and Cultural Background (Part I)

A. Early Arab/Islamic Empires (7th to 13th Century) and Ottoman Dominion (1516-1917)
B. European Imperialism, 1800-1917; Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire
C. European Colonialism, 1919-1950
D. The Demise of Palestine; Rise of Israel 
E. Economic, Political, Social and Ideological Transformation: Rise of Radical Arab Nationalism
F. Who are the Arabs; Arab Identity
G. What is Islam? Islamic Beliefs and Sects


  1. Arthur Goldschmidt Jr., Chapter 3, “The Historical Context” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  2. John Esposito, Chapter 2, “The Muslim Community in History,” and Chapter 3, “Religious Life: Belief and Practice,” in The Straight Path (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). [Sakai]

  3. Rashid Khalidi, “Preliminary Historical Observations on the Arab Revolutions of 2011,” Jadaliyya (March 21, 2011). [Sakai]

----Class Supplements: [Arab-Islamic History, On Islam Brief]

Session 7 (September 25): Arab and Middle Eastern Historical and Cultural Background (Part II)

No Readings.

Session 8 (September 29): Politics, the State, and Authoritarian Rule


  1. [Background] Deborah J. Gerner, Chapter 4, “Middle Eastern Politics,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  2. Marsha Pripstein Posusney, “The Middle East’s Democracy Deficit in Comparative Perspective,” in Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Regimes and Resistance (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005). [Sakai]

  3. Juan Linz, "Authoritarian Regimes," Chapter 4 in Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes (Lynne Rienner, 2000), excerpted from “Authoritarian Regimes,” in Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson J. Polsby, eds., Handbook of Political Science, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley: 1975), pp. 159-171. [Sakai]

Questions & Issues to Consider: Is authoritarian rule unique to the Middle East? What produces authoritarian rule? What sustains it? How does authoritarian rule affect state-opposition dynamics? Is there a relationship between levels/kinds of authoritarianism and extremist opposition? What are the bases of conflict in the Middle East?

----Class Supplements: [Authoritarians and Opposition, Linz, Notes on Authoritarianism, Crystal Notes at the End]

Session 9 (October 2): Politics, the State, and Authoritarian Rule [Cont]


  1. Jill Crystal, “Authoritarianism and its Adversaries in the Arab World,” World Politics, 46 (January 1994), pp. 262-289. [Sakai]

  2. [Recommended] Marsha Pripstein Posusney, “Enduring Authoritarianism: Middle East Lessons for Comparative Theory,” Comparative Politics, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Jan., 2004), pp. 127-138). [Sakai]

  3. Eva Bellin, “Contingent Democrats: Industrialists, Labor, and Democratization in Late-Developing Countries,” Comparative Politics, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jan., 2000), pp. 175-185. [Sakai]

Session 10 (October 6): The Political Economy of Development: Colonialism and Post-Colonial Challenges

A. Colonial Legacies
B. The political economy of development
C. State-Led Development
D. The political economy of oil


  1. Roger OwenState, Power, and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East, (New York: Routledge, 1992), Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. [Sakai]

  2. Elias H. Tuma, Chapter 7, “The Economies of the Middle East,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedlereds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004), pp. 234-End. [Text]

  3. Alan Richards and John Waterbury, Chapter 7, “The Emergence of the Public Sector,” Chapter 8, “Contradictions of State-Led Growth,” in A Political Economy of the Middle East (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996). [Sakai]

  4. Michael Ross, “Does Oil Hinder Democracy,” in World Politics, Vol. 53, No. 3, (April, 2001). [Sakai]

Mary Ann Tétreault, Chapter 8, “The Political Economy of Middle Eastern Oil,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedlereds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004), pp. 258-End. [Text]
Hazim Beblawi, “The Rentier State in the Arab World,” in Hazem Beblakgwi and Giacomo Luciani, eds., The Rentier State (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 49-71. [Sakai]

----Class Supplements: [Post-Colonial Challenges and Rentier State Notes] 

Session 11 (October 9): Religion and Politics: The Rise and Use of Political Islam and Islamist Parties

A. Underlying causes: Various interpretations
B. Islamist Parties Today
C. The Effect of Authoritarian Rule and International Politics


  1. John Esposito, Mohammed A. Muqtedar Khan, and Jillian Schwedler, Chapter 12 “Religion and Politics in the Middle East,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  2. Philip Khoury, “Islamic Revivalism and the crises of the Secular State in the Arab World,” in Ibrahim Ibrahim, ed., Arab Resources: The Transformation of a Society, (London: Croom Helm, 1983). [Sakai]

  3. Mahmood Mamdani, “Inventing Political Violence,” Global Agenda, (January 2005). [Sakai]

Session 12 (October 13): Islamist Movements: A Brief Encounter

[Select at least one of the case studies below]

  1. Samer Shehata and Josh Stacher, “The Brotherhood Goes to Parliament,” Middle East Report 240 (Fall 2006). [Sakai]

  2. “Hamas's Battle for Hearts and Minds,” The Economist, (March 27, 2008). [Sakai]

  3. Lara Deeb, “Hizballah: A Primer,” MERIP, (July 31, 2006). [Sakai]

----Class Supplements: [Political Islam Notes]

Session 13 (October 16): Social Dynamics: Family and Women, Community, Ethnicity and Class (Part I)

A. Community, Ethnicity, Class
B. The Family: Changing patterns
C. Women: Differential roles
D. The Veil: Meaning and Symbolism
E. Colonial Feminism and the Use of Gender Equality in Politics


  1. Lisa Taraki, Chapter 11, “The Role of Women,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedler, eds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  2. Judith Tucker, ed., Ch. X, “The Arab Family in History,” in Arab Women: Old Boundaries, New Frontiers (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993), pp. 195-207. [Sakai] 

  3. Lila Abu-Lughod, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others,” American Anthropologist, Vol. 104, No. 3, (September 2002). [Sakai]

  4. Maya Mikdashi, “How Not to Study Gender in the Middle East,” Jadaliyya, (March 2012). [Sakai]

  5. [Recommended] Joan Scott, “Gender: Still A Useful Category of Analysis?" Diogenes, Vol. 57, No. 7, (2010). [Sakai]

  6. FILM: Wadjda (97 min)

Questions & Issues to Consider: What is the relationship between societal development and the role of the family? What is the relationship between the role of the family in the society and gender roles? What are the bases of political action in the Middle East (e.g., communal, sectarian, religious, class, political, economic, cultural)? In studying the Middle East, why does the question of the “veil” become an all-too-important issue when other issues are clearly more significant? Should we take liberal discourse on feminism at face value (e.g., “we invaded Afghanistan partly to liberate their women”)?

----Class Supplements: Notes from Tucker

Session 14 (October 20): Social Dynamics: Family and Women, Community, Ethnicity and Class (Part II)


  1. Mona Eltahawy, “Why Do They Hate Us? The real war on women in the Middle East.” Foreign Policy, (April 2012). [Sakai]

  2. Sara Mourad, “Politics at the Tip of the Clitoris," Jadaliyya, (May 2012). [Sakai]

  3. Leila Ahmed, “Introduction.” in Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992) [Sakai] 

  4. Paul Amar, "Discourses of 'Men in Crisis,' Industries of Gender in Revolution,” in Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Fall 2011). [Sakai]

  5. Arlene Elowe MacLeod, “Hegemonic Relations and Gender Resistance: The New Veiling as Accommodating Protest in Cairo,” Signs, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Spring, 1992). [Sakai]

  6. Laurie King Irani, Chapter 10, “Kinship, Class, and Ethnicity,” in Deborah J. Gerner and Jillian Schwedlereds., Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004). [Text]

  7. As`ad AbuKhalil, “Women in the Middle East,” Foreign Policy in Focus, Vol. 5, No. 30, (September 2000) [Sakai]

  8. FILM: Wadjda (97 min)


  1. Michael Ross, “Oil, Islam, and Women,” American Political Science Review, Vol 102, No. 1, (February 2008). [Sakai]

  2. Joan Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?" The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 5. (Dec., 1986), pp. 1053-1075. [Sakai]

  3. Rema Hammami, “Women, the Hijab, and the Intifada,” Middle East Report, No. 164/165 (May-Aug., 1990). [Sakai]

Session 15 (October 23): The Palestine-Israel Conflict: Gaza As Focal Point

Reading: Simona Sharoni and Mohammed Abu-Nimer, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Chapter 6. [Text]

Session 16 (October 27): MIDTERM

The Arab Uprisings

Session 17 (October 30): Introduction/Media, New Media, and the Uprisings in the Middle East


  1. Rashid Khalidi, “Preliminary Historical Observations on the Arab Revolutions of 2011,” Jadaliyya (March 21, 2011). [Sakai]

  2. Adel Iskandar and Bassam HaddadMediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing, 2012). [Text]

Session 18 (November 3): Tunisia


  1. Alcinda Honwana, Youth and Revolution in Tunisia. 2013. [Sakai]

  2. FILM: Laïcité, Inch'Allah! (72 min)

Session 19 (November 6): Tunisia Continued

Session 20 (November 10): Egypt


Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts

Egyptian Women: Between Revolution, Counter-Revolution, Orientalism, and “Authenticity.”

Egypt’s Three Revolutions: The Force of History Behind This Popular Uprising (IN DAWN OF ARAB UPRISINGS)

[Recommended, not Required]  Obsessed Neither Heroes Nor Villains: A Conversation with Talal Asad on Egypt After Morsi

[Recommended, not Required] The Politics of the Brotherhood Democracy: How the Muslim Brotherhood Burned Their Bridges

[Recommended, not Required] Obsessed with Turkish Models in Egypt

Session 21 (November 13): Egypt Continued

FILM: The Square (104 min)

Session 22 (November 17): Syria

As Syria Falls (parts 1 and 2)

Perpetual Recalculation

Lisa Wedeen, “Ideology and Humor in Dark Times: Notes from Syria.” Critical Inquiry 39.4 (2013). [Sakai]

[Recommended, not Required] Why There Is No Military Solution to the Syrian Conflict

[Recommended, not Required] Syria's Third Grueling Summer’s-third-grueling-summer_what-should-one-writ

[Recommended, not Required] Obsessed Chemical Attacks and Military Interventions

Session 23 (November 20): Can There Be a Politics of Fun?


Asef Bayat, Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford University Press, 2010, up to Chapter 7. [Text]


Session 24 (December 1): Can There Be a Politics of Fun?


Asef Bayat, Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford University Press, 2010, Part 2. [Text]

Session 25 (December 4): Can There Be a Politics of Fun?


Asef Bayat, Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East. Stanford University Press, 2010, Part 3. [Text]

Session 26 (December 8): LAST DAY OF CLASS – FINAL PAPER DUE

FILM: The Iran Job (93 min)

Note: This syllabus is subject to change.

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page