MIDEAST 222 - From Kim Kardashian to Movses Khorenatsi: Deciphering the Armenian Experience
Fall 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (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.


Kim Kardashian is an influential businesswoman and reality TV star. Movses Khorenatsi claimed to live in the 5th century and is known as Patmahayr-- the Father of History. What, then, does it mean to call them both Armenian? Is it possible to inhabit different worlds, and seemingly the same group, at the same time? Or, more simply: how might two people be Armenian (or Greek, or Persian, or Turkish, or American) differently? This fast-paced course will test the limits of belonging -- and not belonging -- to a particular ethnic group, community, or culture. Together, by examining a wide array of cultural artifacts (painting, literature, history, film, music), students will learn to analyze the diversity of Armenian experiences over time. Our readings will be paired to generate dialogue between unlikely figures. For instance, what might the classically trained 20th-century musicologist, Gomidas Vartabed, have to say about the alternative metal band System of a Down? How might the Armenian medieval epic, David of Sassoun, offer a different way of thinking about group affiliation than does modern-day nationalism? If Kardashian and Khorenatsi could meet, what would they say? Short, critical essays will accompany our investigations, helping us to think about the challenges or treating Armenian culture -- or any culture -- as a cohesive unit. Students can expect to gain a broad understanding of Armenian culture and history over the last two millennia, as well as to become sensitive readers of internal heterogeneity within other cultural contexts.


MIDEAST 222 - From Kim Kardashian to Movses Khorenatsi: Deciphering the Armenian Experience
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

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