Skip to main content

Winter 2021 Class Schedule

Winter 2021 class Schedule

Course Title Instructor Day/Time Discipline
MENA 290-4/
HIST 271-3
History of the Modern Middle East, 1789-Present Henri Lauzière MWF 2:00 - 2:50 PM History
MENA 290-3/
ASIAN AM 203-0
Race and Nation in the US:
Belonging, Longing, and Resistance
Ida Yalzadeh TuTh 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM Social Sciences
MENA 301-2/
HUM 370/ANTH 390
Traveling While Muslim: Islam, Mobility, and Security After 9/11 Emrah Yıldız TuTh 5:00 - 6:20 PM Social Sciences
MENA 301-3/
PERF_ST 304-0-20
Sonic Practices in the Middle East & North Africa Shayna Silverstein TuTh 9:00 - 10:20 AM Humanities
MENA 390-3-20/ POLI_SCI 351-0-20 Politics of the Middle East Wendy Pearlman TuTh 2:00 - 3:20PM Social Sciences


MENA 410-0-21/
HIST 492-0-22

Muslim History of Eastern Europe (Pro-Seminar in Middle East & North African Studies)

İpek Yosmaoğlu Wed 2:00 - 4:50 PM Graduate Course
MENA 410-0-22/HIST 405-0-24

Orientalism and its Discontents (Pro-Seminar in Middle East & North African Studies)

Rajeev Kumar Kinra Tues 9:00 - 11:50 AM Graduate Course


Winter 2021 course descriptions

MENA 290-4/HIST 271-3: History of the Modern Middle East, 1789-Present

The course surveys the factors that shaped the political, economic, and social features of the modern Middle East from 1789 to the present. The course begins with a study of traditional (mainly Ottoman) institutions; it then traces the forces which weakened those institutions and examines the efforts of Middle Eastern leaders to resist or encourage change. The second half of the course focuses on the period since World War I. It examines the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the significance of secular ideologies such as Arab nationalism and socialism, the successes and failure of the Nasser regime in Egypt, the rise of Islamism, the Iranian revolution, and the Middle East since the end of the Cold War.

MENA 290-3/ASIAN AM 203-0: Race and Nation in the US: Belonging, Longing, and Resistance

This course examines how representations of race continue to be critical to the formation of the
American nation. We will look at cultural and historical texts that grapple with how "race" is
used to (1) define who does and does not belong to the U.S., (2) configure feelings of longing for
a homeland, and (3) resist dominant narratives of national inclusion through activism and

MENA 301-2/HUM 370/ANTH 390: Traveling While Muslim: Islam, Mobility, and Security After 9/11 (Seminar in Middle East and North African Studies)

Particularly after the 9/11 attacks and during the war on terror that has ensued shortly thereafter, Muslims on the move—ranging from international students, pilgrims as well as scientists and artists—have faced increasing scrutiny and surveillance in both global travel economies and national immigration regimes. These regimes gained even more importance under the rule of authoritarian leaders in power across the globe from the US to India. What often unites Modi’s India and Trump’s United States is Islamophobia—albeit in different guises—as racialization of Islam and Muslims continues to punctuate our current era. What are the stakes of traveling while Muslim in that post 9/11 era of racing Islam? How do we come to understand such mobility? What assumptions underpin the attendant constructions of religion and race in such understandings, as various state and non-state actors enlist themselves to manage the movements of Muslims, specifically and exceptionally? In probing these questions, amongst others, in this seminar we aim to examine the interlocked relationship between Islam, mobility and security. We have three aims: (1) becoming well-versed in studies of Islam and Islamophobia in the US and across the globe,  (2) gaining a better understanding of Islam as a center tenet in a deeply uneven and racialized regime of ‘global’ mobility, and lastly, (3) critically analyzing global and local designs of security that manage those differential regimes of mobility.

MENA 301-3/PERF_ST 304-0-20: Sonic Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

This course examines the sonic and musical aspects of cultural practices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Drawing on the fields of performance studies, sound studies, and ethnomusicology, we ask how sound and music are crucial domains for cultural expression, identity production, and political action in MENA. We will survey a range of material - including but not limited to performance traditions, art music and popular music, religious practices, sound art, and revolutionary aesthetics - in order to become familiar with the cultural history of the region and the role of sound and music in negotiating social structures of class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and religion. Students will develop skills in sound production and be able to critically assess and interpret audio materials. Students will also deepen their cross-cultural awareness and understanding of sound, music, and media through projects that analyze cultural production and its history across the MENA region.

MENA 390-3-20/POLI_SCI 351-0-20: Politics of the Middle East

This course explores the comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa. The first half of the course focuses on the historical and institutional context of politics and government. Here we examine the emergence of independent states, the consolidation of regimes, and patterns in the relationship between state, society, and economy. We compare explanations for the endurance of authoritarian regimes, examine the role of Islam in politics, and also look at the Iranian Revolution and Islamic Republic. The second half of the course concentrates on dynamics of mobilization and conflict. Here we explore the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010 and their aftermath, current challenges facing the search for stability and democracy in the region, the Syrian war, and the origins and evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

MENA 410-0-21/HISTORY 492-0-22: Muslim History of Eastern Europe (Pro-Seminar in Middle East & North African Studies)

 The way we organize knowledge about the world into different silos of specialization is principally determined by what are thought of geographic markers: Europe, Asia, North America, Middle East, etc. as in this course catalogue. However, geography itself is mostly a product of the knowledge systems it supposedly organizes. Nowhere is this fact more salient than the attributes of "the Balkans" and the "Middle East" where geographic markers signify civilizational divisions even as they are created by them. In this course we will explore the historical development of these presumably self-explanatory categories and how they have influenced the way we conceptualize the world. Our readings will be organized chronologically covering the period from the seventeenth to the turn of this century. Examples include: Larry Wolff, The Invention of Eastern Europe and The Singing Turk; Alexander Bevilacqua, The Republic of Arabic Letters; and Noel Malcolm, Useful Enemies.

MENA 410-0-22/HIST 405-0-24: Orientalism and its Discontents (Pro-Seminar in Middle East & North African Studies)

Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) has been one of the most influential -- and controversial -- works of scholarship of the last half century. As a pioneering work of postcolonial theory, it has reshaped entire disciplines, from history and area studies to comparative literature, anthropology, and even the study of English literature(s). But Said has also had his critics, some very astute and others not so much. In this course, we will begin by closely reading Said's own works to try to understand them in all their nuance and complexity, and then examine some of the arguments of his critics of various disciplinary backgrounds.

Back to top

Back to top