Preview Workflow

Viewing: ANT 345 : Anthropology of the Middle East

Last approved: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:11:01 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:10:57 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
ANT (Anthropology)
345
032270
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Anthropology of the Middle East
Anthropology of Middle East
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sociology (16SOC)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Every Year
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Yes
2
 
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
ANT 395Spring 201332
ANT 395Spring 201416
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Shea McManus
Assistant Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture301NoN/A
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16ANTHBAAnthropologyElective
An introduction to the anthropology of Middle Eastern societies. Themes include religion and secularism, gender and sexuality, national identity and the state, memory and commemoration, violence and conflict, youth culture, and popular uprisings.

This course will be taught by a faculty member hired to teach anthropology courses for the Middle East Minor. She is responsible for teaching one anthropology course on the Middle East every year. In previous years, she taught the current course as a special topics course. She is now seeking approval for the formalization of this course. This course will fill a current gap in the general anthropology undergraduate curriculum by providing an “area course” that covers the Middle East. It will also contribute an anthropology course to the current course offerings in the Middle East minor. 


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Global Knowledge
Social Sciences
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary Middle Eastern cultures, including religious practices, gender relations, ethnic and national identities, artistic productions, and social struggles.
 
 
In addition to weekly postings and classroom discussions, I will rely on the midterm and final exam to assess the breadth and depth of student knowledge in this domain. A sample exam question follows.

Short answer example from exam:
Pick two of the four statements below and make a case for whether it is true or false. To support your argument, use a specific example from the course readings, lectures, or films and explain in a single paragraph (3-5 sentences) how it helps to make your case.
• Women have a choice whether or not they want to wear the veil. 

• The Amazigh have always been persecuted in Algeria.
• There has been only one correct interpretation of Islamic law (shari‘a)
• Artistic practices were not important in the Arab uprisings. 

 
 
Identify the research methods used by cultural anthropologists and evaluate their strengths and limitations for the study of communities and practices in the modern Middle East.
 
 
As with the first objective and learning outcome, I will rely on exams to determine the breadth and depth of student knowledge in this domain. A sample exam question follows.

Essay question example from exam:
Choose one of the texts listed below. Describe the research methods used by the author. Then, critically evaluate how the author’s methodological choices shaped the account of the communities and practices described in the text.
• Abu-Lughod, Lila. “Guest and Daughter.”
• Dole, Christopher. “Mass Media And The Repulsive Allure Of Religious Healing.”
• Mittermaier, Amira. “Beyond Compassion.”
• Peteet, Julie. “Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada.”
 
 
Apply key theories and concepts in the anthropology of the Middle East to analyze and explain theoretical and real-world problems in the region.
 
 
While the ideas of this objective and learning outcome are woven throughout the course material and are inherent in many of the questions I’ll ask on the exams, it will be best addressed through the critical essay assignment. The critical essay assignment asks students to write a short paper (1500-1750 words) analyzing two of the assigned readings in relation to one of the key theories or concepts in the anthropology of the Middle East. These theories and concepts are discussed throughout the course of the semester, and include theories of subjectivity, modernity, state power, feminism, resistance, and memory. In this paper, which is due at the end of the semester, students select one theory or concept and apply it to explain and analyze a problem discussed in two of the course readings.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 
Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary Middle Eastern cultures, including religious practices, gender relations, ethnic and national identities, artistic productions, and social struggles.
 
 
In addition to weekly postings and classroom discussions, I will rely on the midterm and final exam to assess the breadth and depth of student knowledge in this domain. A few sample exam questions follow.

Multiple-choice example from exam:
A number of religious communities are legally recognized in Lebanon, including:
a) Jews 

b) Christians 

c) Zoroastrians 

d) Sunni Muslims 

e) Shi‘i Muslims 


Fill-in-the-blank examples from exam:
1. In Yemen, _____ is used in weddings, war mediations, and political discourse. (poetry) 

2. Among the Bedouin tribes of Egypt, cultural ideals are entailed by the _______. (honor code)
 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
Explain how Middle Eastern cultures have changed in response to historical developments in the region, contemporary political and economic events, and elements of globalization.
 
 
As with the first objective and learning outcome, I will rely on exams to determine the breadth and depth of student knowledge in this domain. A sample exam question follows.

Essay question example from exam:
Discuss three ways globalization has affected the societies, cultures, and peoples of the Middle East. Pick one country to make your case, drawing on course readings to support your argument.
US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
N/A
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
N/A
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
None
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Please see schedule of readings in the attached syllabus.
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
Please see the attached syllabus.
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
Please see the attached syllabus.
The instructor will be teaching this course once per year as part of her regular course load. In previous academic years, she has taught this course as a special topics course, so it will not affect her regular course rotation. This new 300-level class will also reduce the pressure on scheduling other 300 level classes in the department by providing more options for students and greater flexibility for other faculty who teach anthropology classes at this level. No other new resources will be required or requested for this course.

The goals of this course are to:



  • Provide students with a deeper knowledge of the complexity of cultures, social forms, languages, religions, states, and economies that fall within the modern Middle East, as well as the historical developments and political events that have shaped the region.

  • Introduce and engage students with key themes in the anthropology of the Middle East, including religion and secularism, sexuality and gender, national identity and the state, memory and commemoration, violence and conflict, youth culture, and popular uprisings and revolts.

  • Enhance students’ ability to critically analyze anthropological theories and texts about the modern Middle East, as well as the challenges and debates they present.

  • Expand students’ skills in written and oral communication, analysis, ethnographic observation, and critical thinking.


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 



  • Describe and analyze the complexity and richness of modern Middle East societies.

  • Identify and describe key theories and concepts in the anthropology of the Middle East.

  • Analyze and critically evaluate anthropological scholarship on the Middle East.

  • Apply skills in anthropological thinking in discussion, presentations, exams, and essays.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Participation10%Regular, active participation is expected from each student. Participation involves being attentive, coming to class prepared, contributing to discussions and activities, and bringing your own thoughts, ideas, responses, and questions to the classroom
Forum_post20%Students will be required to post ten 200-word reflections on the readings to Moodle over the course of the semester. Each week I will provide a reading guide for the upcoming texts that will include questions for students to think about. Their postings will respond to one or more of the questions, and will be used to jumpstart our discussions of the readings.
presentation10%Ten times over the course of the semester there will be group presentations on a media item from and about the Middle East. The media item could be a newspaper article, video clip, political cartoon, or even a song. Each group will select a media item and provide background information about it, link it to the topic of the day, to the assigned readings, and to broader themes and concepts we are exploring in the course. In addition to the presentation, each member of the group will also be required to submit an individual paper of 2-3 pages reflecting critically on the item and connecting it to course themes and topics.
Essay20%Throughout the semester we will consider key theories and concepts in the anthropological literature on the Middle East. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on and explore these theories and concepts in their postings. They will also write a critical essay (1500-1750 words) analyzing two of the assigned readings in relation to one of the key theories or concepts.
Multiple exams40%There will be two in-class exams during the semester. The tests will cover the assigned readings as well as what we do in class, which includes lectures, discussions, and films. They may involve multiple choice, definitions, short answers, and essays, and will require students to write reflectively and analytically about the concepts, populations, and experiences we are studying in class. The final exam will be cumulative. I will distribute study guides a week before each exam and set aside time for questions. The midterm will count for 20% of the final grade and the final exam will count for 20%.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Please see attached syllabus

wrs (Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:31:11 GMT): This looks like an excellent course proposal. wrs
Key: 7208