Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Middle Eastern Studies: Interdisciplinary Introduction

Middle Eastern Studies: Interdisciplinary Introduction

MONDAYS 3:00-6:00
MES 386 (40775)

Course Description:

This graduate seminar introduces students to the study of the Middle East from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including history, literature, and media/culture. Concurrent to this survey, we will explore the following questions: what does it mean to engage in a humanistic study of the Middle East? How do we, as scholars of Middle Eastern countries, languages and cultures, grapple with the problems inherent to Middle Eastern Studies as a field, given its rootedness in colonialist/imperialist discourses? What are our ethical responsibilities as current/future scholars, teachers, linguists, librarians, policy analysts, artists, etc. engaged with the cultures, languages and people of this region both in the U.S. and abroad? The first part of the semester will be spent examining the history of Middle Eastern Studies as a field as well as the complexities of its Orientalist legacy. This will provide the groundwork for embarking on an interdisciplinary survey. Through readings, class discussions and a variety of writing assignments, students will gain a better understanding of the major debates and discussions within Middle Eastern Studies and will develop a foundation for their own path as students of Middle Eastern disciplines.


Meet the Professor

Dena Afrasiabi received her Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from UT Austin in 2016. Her research interests include modern Persian literature, linguistic anthropology, performance, language ideologies, and digital humanities. She’s the publication's editor for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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