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New MESAAS Courses Offered this Fall

Please find below a list of new courses offered by the MESAAS Dept this fall...

New MESAAS Courses Fall 2013

MDES W3250, Professor Ahmad Sadiya
The course explores the relationships between the colonial powers and the territories and peoples they ruled. It is based on the assumption that the colonial experience has had an enduring and multifaceted impact on the social, cultural and political process in both the colonial and the colonized societies. The course is organized around the key themes of the colonial encounter, rather than the history of colonialism in various regions: it considers colonial ideologies of race and sexuality, the formation of identities in the encounter, the dynamics of cultural borrowing, and the emergence of new forms of social struggle and collective memory that this shared but unequal history has generated.

MDES W3445, Professor Mana Kia
The course is designed to introduce the Indian ocean as a region linking the Middle East, East Africa, South and Southeast Asia. With a focus on both continuities and rupture, we study select cultures and societies brought into contact through interregional migration and travel across the Indian Ocean over a broad arc of history. Different types of people - nobles, merchants, soldiers, statesmen, sailors, scholars, slaves - experienced mobility in different ways. How did different groups of people represent such mobilities? What kinds of cooperation, accommodation or conflict did different Indian Ocean encounters engender? Using an array of different primary sources, we look at particular case studies and their broader social and cultural contexts.

MDES W4055, Professor Nikolas Kosmatopoulos
This class will critically explore contemporary questions and contexts of crisis. It will approach crisis in multiple ways: as a modern category of thought, as an emerging domain of global policy-making, as a techno-political problem to be governed and as an ethnographic challenge. In general, the class will address how crisis works: how has the concept been universalized and how it operates today in distinctive fields and global concerns, such a the economy, the state, violence and conflict, humanitarianism and security, but also in the case of upheavals such as the recent rebellions in the Arab World. It will further investigate how experts, institutions and governments mobilize the concept, what are the effects of its mobilization on populations and spaces, and to what extent it might enable or disable diverse forms of knowledge/power, inequality and critique.

Politics, Religion and the Secular: Theories and Methods
MDES G4004  Prof. Linda Sayed Thursday 6:10-8.
This seminar is designed to provide an introduction to theories and methods in the study of politics, religion and the secular in the diverse contexts of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. We will examine the phenomena of religion and secularism and their place in the modern world through close readings of historical, sociological, philosophical and anthropological that address questions of religion and modernity broadly defined.

MDES G4326, Professor Peter Balakian
This course is an investigation of the impact of genocide on the self and the imagination’s representations in literature, film, and video testimony; primary texts will include poetry, memoir, video testimony, film, and visual art. Methodology will involve literary criticism and theoretical works in the study of trauma, literary theory, and testimony. The course will concern itself with the aftermath of two twentieth century genocides—that of the Armenians in Turkey during World War I and of the Jews in Europe during World War II—both seminal events of the twentieth century that, in various ways, became models for ensuing genocides.

MDES G4526, Professor Ahmad Sadiya
The course examines the lives of the Palestinians who became citizens of Israel, analyzing their status in Israeli society as well as their conceptualization in Israeli literature, social sciences, and textbooks.  We will study the historical, sociological, and anthropological scholarship, as well as the literary representations of the dialectical processes that shaped their situation: the destruction of the Palestinian landscape and the creation of a new Israeli society, landscape and maps. Furthermore, the course will trace the development of this minority from a marginalized group that was placed under tight surveillance and political control in the first two decades post-1948 to a coherent socio-political force that is now challenging the state’s foundation. The course will therefore trace the way in which this minority rebuilt itself as a moral and national collectivity following the disintegration of Palestinian society as a result of the 1948 war and explores the socio-political and cultural milieu in which this revival has taken place.


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