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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa (PGSP11459)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an overview of contemporary Arabic-speaking societies through an approach that emphasizes anthropological themes as the main focus of analysis and ethnography as the key way of knowing.
Course description This course invites students to discover North African and Middle Eastern societies through an anthropological lens, focusing on places where the main language is Arabic (it does not cover Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan or other parts of the 'Greater Middle East' or 'Islamic World'). The course themes include a variety of cultural forms and life experiences that anthropologists of this region have regarded as key to its study.

Indicative Topics:

Men, women and family;

Honour, shame and modesty;

Colonialism, the colonial legacy, and modernity;

Nationalism, ethnicity and language;

Religious piety;
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and advanced understanding of contemporary Arabic-speaking societies through an approach that emphasizes anthropological themes as the main focus of analysis and ethnography as the key way of knowing.
  2. Exhibit the ability to apply anthropological sources and the analyses they propose in order to achieve an advanced understanding of primary (e.g. a an Arabic language film) and secondary (e.g. an English-language media article) sources that purport to tell us something about ┐the Arab world┐.
  3. Assess competing claims and different analytic approaches within the anthropological literature on the Middle East and North Africa in a critical and well-informed manner.
  4. Take responsibility for their own work and learning, and review their own summative work and that of peers in a critical manner that strives for improvement through feedback.
Reading List
Armbrust W (1996) Mass culture and modernism in Egypt. Cambridge University Press Cambridge.

Caton S C (1990) "Peaks of Yemen I summon": poetry as cultural practice in a North Yemeni tribe. University of California Press Berkeley ; Oxford.

Mahmood, S (2005) The Politics of Piety. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press.

Messick, Brinkley (1993). The Calligraphic State: Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

Scheele J (2015) Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara: Regional Connectivity in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press Cambridge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be able to use collaboration and debate effectively in order to test, modify and strengthen their own views;

Make effective use of oral, written and visual means to negotiate, create and communicate critical understanding;

Seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness;

Transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another;
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jamie Furniss
Tel: (0131 6)51 5675
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ferguson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
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