This course is a survey of anthropological approaches to the cultures of what is now called "the Middle East," a region extending from Morocco to Iran. Primary attention is given to Arabic-speaking, Muslim societies. We will examine enduring topics of interest, such as tribalism, kinship, gender, and Islam. We will also explore new problems (and styles of
analysis) that call older interests into question. These include (trans)nationalism, mass culture, the political consequences of popular literacy, globalization, disaporas, and novel forms of ethnographic engagement with these topics. Finally, the course addresses the growing number of Middle Eastern communities that now live outside the region, with a special focus on Arabs in Detroit. Classes will include a mix of lecture and discussion, and readings will be drawn mostly from recent monographs. Grades will be based on two essays and classroom participation, with an additional short paper for graduate students.