Welcome. This is an upper-level seminar on the contemporary moment in Middle East media.
Seminar participants will work together to explore frameworks, methods, and tools for understanding networked social movements in the digital advocacy ecology framed from the Middle East. Students will study the role of interventions, social media, and tactical tools to support civic agency and participatory action, as well as transform, disrupt or subvert changing urban, political, and social conditions in various local contexts throughout the region.
This is not a course on the history and politics of Islam and the Middle East. You do not need to have prior knowledge of the subject matter, although it will help. Class lectures and handouts will provide brief historical and political context, and background reading materials will help in furthering such knowledge. You should be pro-active in learning more about the regions we will be discussing through your own outside research and reading (keeping up with global affairs, gaining familiarity with political issues and countries, looking up historical events, watching/reading news from/about the region, etc.).
The course will use WordPress (https://famst189me.wordpress.com/) as the main online platform to provide: weekly syllabus updates, PDFs for all readings, events and resources. Students must use the blog to regularly reflect on readings, share relevant projects and report on their ongoing group projects. Please regularly check the website for syllabus updates.
In addition to the regularly readings and discussions, students will participate in the following:
- Weekly blog writing (300-500 words) due Sunday by 10pm, and commenting (two comments on peers’ blog posts) before class on Monday.
- Leading weekly discussions
- Midterm: Outline and annotated bibliography due (schedule meeting with professor)
- Final: 5-7 page research paper.
Please be respectful of one another’s opinions.
Be rigorous: do the readings thoroughly and carefully and bring all readings to class.
Be on time with work and to class!!!!!
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
Grading: All grades are final and are not subject to change. The following grading rubric will guide the evaluation of student work for the course:
- Blog posts (30%): Blog posts are short, critical exercises to help students articulate the research questions they are having as they read and experience the course materials. They are expected to be well-written, thoughtful, and engaged. Each blog post should provide one golden nugget: an abstract for a thought piece. Weekly blog should be 300-500 words, have a title, metatags, and be posted to class website on Sunday night no later than 10pm, and commenting (two comments on peers’ blog posts) due the following day before class.
- Leading class discussion (10%): Each week a team of students will lead the discussion. Might bring in more examples.
- Peer-critique (10%): The ability to give and receive critical feedback.
- Midterm (25%): Outline, annotated bibliography, and schedule meeting with professor
- Final 5-7 page research paper (25%): Make an argument for why the media proposed at midterm matters.
I. The War on Terror
Monday, April 2 – The Oriental Image
- Samuel Huntington, 1993. “Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs, 72(3), Summer.
- Bernard Lewis, 1990. “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” Atlantic Monthly, September.
- Edward Said, Orientalism, 1978. Preface, pp.xv –xxx, Introduction, pp.1-28.
- Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, directed by Sut Jhally (2006)
- Planet of the Arabs, directed by Jackie Salloum (2005)
Monday, April 9 – A History of the Present: 1972 to 2016
- In August of 2016, the New York Times Magazine broke its own mold to publish a “long-read” as an entire issue. “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart” by Scott Anderson, with photography by Paolo Pellegrin, is a lengthy, complex interweaving of five stories to bring context, diversity and humanity back to the debates about the Middle East. This piece is a long, but compelling read structured along five historical junctures: Part 1 “Origins;” Part 2 “The Iraq War;” Part 3 “Arab Spring;” Part 4 “ISIS Rising;” and Part 5 “Exodus.”
- Also, please read this critique of the New York Times for whitewashing US intervention in the Anderson piece.
- Marwan Kraidy (2005) “Cultural Hybridity and International Communication” in Hybridity: Or the Cultural Logic of Globalization, pp. 1-14.
- Listen to Checkpoint Tunes by Checkpoint 303
Monday, April 16 – U.S. Military, Guantanamo, and the Middle East
🙌Guest – Professor Lisa Hajjar (Sociology, UCSB)
- Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present, Chapter 1, pp.1-12.
- Lisa Hajjar (28 November 2010) It’s Raining Documents, Hallelujah! in Jadaliyya.
- Lisa Hajjar (03 November 2010) Tweeting from Guantanamo: Recording History 140 Characters at a Time in Jadaliyya.
- Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, directed by Rory Kennedy, 2007
II. Middle East Futures
Monday, April 23 – Future Tripping
🙌Future Tripping Event – Wireframe Studio
Monday, April 30 – Imagination
- Omar Kholeif (02 May 2012) “The Social Impulse Politics, Media and Art after the Arab Uprisings” in Ibraaz.
- Sherine Hamdy and Coleman Nye, Writers. (2017) Lissa: A Story About Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Persepolis, based on book by Marjane Satrapi (2007).
- Waltz with Bashir, directed by Ari Folman (2008).
Monday, May 7 – Biographies (MIDTERMS DUE)
🙌Daughters of the Nile book talk
- Spencer, Samia I., Ed. 2016. Daughters of
- he Nile: Egyptian Women Changing Their World. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Library Assignment with Middle East Librarian Heather Hughes
III. From Representation to Algorithm
Monday, May 14 – Revolution and Aesthetics
- Omar Kholeif (19 December 2013) “Curating the Revolution” in Ibraaz.
- Laura U. Marks (2011) “Arab Glitch.” Ed. Anthony Downey, Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris.
- VJ Um Amel “Gaza Audio-Visual Narrative by a Cyborg: Images by Hashtag,” interactive media, 2014.
Monday, May 21 – Borders Again
- Sue Malvern and Gabriel Koureas, 2014. “Terrorist Transgressions: Exploring the Gendered Representations of the Terrorist,” Historical Social Research 39 (3), GESIS.
- Helga Tawil-Souri, 2017. “Checkpoint Time” in Qui Parle, 26 (2): Duke University Press.
- Sharif Waked (2010) Chic Point.
Monday, May 28 – MEMORIAL DAY
Monday, June 6 – Final Presentations