Topics in Modern Middle Eastern Culture

SAME AS V29.0798

The recent explosion of social media, not to mention our increased reliance on virtual platforms over the course of the pandemic, has increased our awareness of the impact of such technologies on cultural life. Similarly in the Middle East and North Africa, where the 2011 uprisings across the region earned the moniker “Revolution 2.0” from some international pundits. But the persistent focus on the newness of such technologies often confuses the relationship between media and the social networks in which they are embedded and obscures the deeply historical ways in which “new” media build on older forms of communication and representation. The first few weeks of the course survey the parallel histories of political change and the advent of new media forms, particularly the connection many scholars have drawn between the introduction of print and broadcast media and the formation of national and other communal identities. Armed with this critical, historical lens, we move on to more recent, ethnographically informed accounts of media from and about the Middle East, taking stock of how such media practices become representative of larger political struggles in the region. In the process, we aim to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of what it means to talk about “media,” differentiating processes by which “the medium defines the message,” but also how culturally specific appropriations reshape media institutions in turn—indeed, sometimes the very technologies themselves.






Spring 2022

Ian VanderMeulen
R: 4:55 PM - 7:40 PM RUBN 107
Nader Uthman
T: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM 45W4 B01

Fall 2022

Amara Lakhous
MW: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM CASA 203
Asli Zehra Igsiz
M: 4:55 PM - 7:40 PM 194M 301
Dipti Khera
TR: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM SILV 301