ISLAM 392 - Humanities Topics in Islamic Studies
Winter 2021, Section 001 - Art and Music of the Islamic World
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Islamic Studies (ISLAM)
Department: LSA II: Global Islamic Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
May be elected three times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/19/21 - 4/21/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Representations of Muslims that dominate in the West typically present two monolithic images—that of the terrorist and that of the victim (of either Islamist fundamentalism or Western warfare). It is rare that representations of Muslims by Muslims rise to prominence within the West that are not either framed as a “humanizing project” aimed at making Muslims more sympathetic or derided for reaffirming Islamophobic stereotypes in order to appeal to a Western audience. These flawed or incomplete representations can have real-life societal and political consequences—from interpersonal misunderstandings to impacting the formation of legislation and international policy. In this course, we will complicate and critique these depictions of Islam and Muslims by examining representations of Islam by Muslims and individuals from the Islamic world across diverse forms of contemporary cultural expression and consider the impact that more diverse representation can have on a local and global scale.

Readings will include scholarly discussions of representations of Muslims in cultural production and address questions including: How has 9/11 and the rise of the global “war on terror” altered these representations? What is the effect of the conflation of Muslims and individuals from the so-called Islamic World (aka Middle East/Near East/West Asia)? How are cultural producers challenging assumptions about hijabi (veiled) women? How have representations of Islam translated to real-world impacts on a social and political scale? We’ll examine works across media including the visual arts, film, literature, graphic novels, and even video games. Examples of what we’ll be looking at include Sharif Waked’s video To Be Continued, Ayad Akhtar’s play Disgraced, and Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis to name a few. Writing assignments will include critical analysis of a work, a film review, and a final argumentative research paper about an artist or work and its place in scholarly conversations about representations of Islam. These essays will examine the potential and/or observed impacts of these depictions on our contemporary lives. Students will complete No prior knowledge of Islam or the Islamic World required.

Intended Audience:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning.

Class Format:

Instruction Mode: As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning.

Learning Mode: Weekly content, including lectures, readings, and some media content will be made available asynchronously. We will have weekly discussion sessions that will require synchronous participation.

Course Testing/Assessment: Course assessment will take place through essays submitted through Canvas rather than exams.


ISLAM 392 - Humanities Topics in Islamic Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
002 (SEM)
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
003 (LEC)
1/19/21 - 4/21/21

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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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)