AMCULT 248 - Arab America: Art, Cultural Politics, and Activism
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course explores the relationship between art, concepts of culture, and social change in Arab American communities. Arab American creative works that intersect with social and political issues engage in various affective and political practices. They memorialize and commemorate the dead, they capture collective expressions of grief and anger, and they refuse state narratives that individualize oppression and injustice. This class will explore these themes by focusing on the links between artistic practice, critical understandings of the concept of “culture,” and activism in Arab American communities. We will consider works of visual art, performance, comic art, film, spoken word poetry, and music, and we will also examine the use of creative work in the act of protest and direct action. Topics include gender and sexuality in Arab American concepts of culture, Palestinian-American approaches to occupation and war, U.S. wars in Iraq, post-9/11 art practices, and race in Arab American communities. This class approaches these topics using cultural studies, ethnic studies, and gender and sexuality studies frameworks. If schedules allow, we will plan on a class trip to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

As a result of this course:

  • You will gain a broad understanding of the ways in which Arab Americans use culture, art, and creativity to engage with issues of identity, oppression, and power.
  • You will be able to critically analyze the idea of “culture” and understand how this concept can be both an asset and a trap for Arab Americans.
  • You will be able to understand and articulate how gender, sexuality, citizenship, race, and religion impact the issues discussed in our course.
  • You will learn to read and dissect scholarly texts, including being able to identify an author’s main argument and supporting evidence.
  • You will improve your own writing and speaking skills related to class topics.
  • You will have the opportunity to develop creative skills in conjunction with scholarly analysis.

Course Requirements:

The class is a mix of lecture, discussion, and other in-class activities. Attendance and active participation is required and part of your grade. Assignments include two short papers, one class presentation on course readings, a midterm, and a final paper OR final creative project. There is no final exam.

Intended Audience:

You do not need to have any prior knowledge to take this class. Majors, minors, and non-majors are all welcome. Please note: this is not an “introduction to Arab culture” course. If anything, this course will trouble the notion of “culture” as a stable, coherent thing.

Class Format:

This course will be offered entirely in person. This course will use Canvas for all course materials.


AMCULT 248 - Arab America: Art, Cultural Politics, and Activism
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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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