MIDEAST 200 - Introduction to the Middle East
Fall 2020, Section 001 - Issues in Race & Ethnicity
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to students who have taken NEAREAST 100.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


The Middle East is larger-than-life in the Western imagination. Our news-sources peddle stories about the Middle East daily. Depictions of the Middle East are not only omnipresent, but they are contradictory. "It’s the cradle of civilizations and yet in need of civilizing." "It’s the home of utopia (the Promised Land) and the world’s dystopia (endless war, sectarianism, refugees)." "It’s the birthplace of writing, the first cities, trade routes, and major religions, as well as the home of ziggurats, pyramids, mummies and the first organized farming activities. Yet the world’s breadbasket is often seen as the world’s basket case, a hotbed of menacing terrorists, pirates, dictators, and unstable men."

The paradoxes of the Middle East are intertwined with the paradoxes of the West. If the popular depictions of the Middle East are larger-than-life, this course asks: What was life like in the region? This course introduces students to the complexities of social life using the perspective of today’s scholarly disciplines, such as anthropology, archeology, linguistics, as well as religious and literary studies. We rely on the same sources that scholars use to discover new knowledge: evidence from archives and archaeological digs, iconic and textual sources. We will foreground voices from the Middle East for each period in history to address questions of social organization and diversity, namely issues pertaining to gender and sexuality spectrums, ethnicity, profession, and class inequality, scapegoating, divine-human as well as animal-human relations.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate students

Class Format:

The lecture portion of this course will be fully online and asynchronous. Students should be available for their discussion section at the assigned times.


MIDEAST 200 - Introduction to the Middle East
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
002 (DIS)
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
004 (DIS)
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
005 (DIS)
F 3:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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