ARST-518 Culture & Society: Arab World
Fall for 2017-2018
This course introduces students to the study of contemporary Arab society, in both broad conceptual terms as well as specific topics and case studies. The course begins with some initial readings and discussion about studying society and culture. The class will cover different aspects of contemporary Arab society primarily through readings (mostly ethnographies), but at times drawing on films and other media. The course will be lead as a seminar, with the majority of the time devoted to discussion and critical understanding of the material in the texts. Some of the topics that the course will take up are: family, citizenship, gender, “modernity”, youth, revolution, and authority . The course will examine how these concepts and the meanings attached to them are understood and constructed locally – by a variety of actors who experience and understand them differently given where they are situated within the Arab world – even as the local is in turn shaped by national and global forces.