ARAB-363 Anthropology of Islam
Fall for 2015-2016
This course will examine the role of anthropology and anthropologists in the history of the contact that Europe and the U.S.A. have had with the Muslim World. Examples will include anthropological writing produced both during and following the period of British, French, and Russian colonialism in places such as Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, India, Afghanistan, North Africa, Lebanon, and in the Caucasus and Central Asia (all readings are in English). More recent ethnographies of Bosnia, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, and Indonesia will be examined. An ethnographic study of Muslims in Germany and an examination of global musical trends among Muslim youth will round out the course. Talal Asad’s critique of the Anthropology of Islam will inform course readings and discussions exploring the history of academic orientalism and the theoretical challenge to it as elucidated by Edward Said. Intellectual engagement with both primary anthropological texts and critical responses will be required. The Muslim reform movement of Jadidism, the Naqshibendi response to colonialism, the work of Muslim anthropologists and folklorists, and other topics of individual interest may be addressed in the case studies.
The grading for the course will be based on multiple essays posted to the class site, a case study research paper and presentation, a timeline assignment, and a connective final essay.
This course is open to both upper level undergraduates and graduate students.
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