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Middle Eastern and North African Studies I

The course contains first semester studies in Middle Eastern and North Africa studies. In the course you will gain basic knowledge of Middle East and North Africa by studying the region's historical development and contemporary political landscapes.

This course offers an introduction to the history of the Middle East and North Africa and the three largest religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It also gives the student an introduction to the Literary History of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the contemporary politics, economy and gender issues of the region.

  • Course structure

    Modules

    The Middle East: Religion and Early History, 7.5 credits (ECTS)
    This course gives an overview of the historical development in the Middle East and North Africa from approximately 1800 BCE to 1500 CE. The course also covers the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), their history, tenets of belief, holy scriptures, rites and central doctrinal groupings.

    Middle Eastern Modern History, 7.5 credits (ECTS)
    This course gives an overview of the historical development in the Middle East and North Africa from the middle of the 16th century until the present. The emphasis will be put on the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, imperialism and the formation of independent states.

    The course aims to give the students a historical background to the current Middle East through a study of the political factors that resulted in the formation of the present nation states, thus demonstrating how contemporary courses of events can be elucidated through an analysis of both imperialism and local factors in the region.

    Politics and Development in the Middle East, 7.5 credits (ECTS)
    This course provides an introduction to the current political landscape, geographic conditions, demography and economics of the Middle East and North Africa. The course also covers current societies from a gender perspective, with particular focus on women's rights.

    The course focuses on the conditions for political and economic development in the Middle East and the interplay between political and economic factors. By addressing issues of gender, geography and demography, the course aims to provide an understanding of the region's current challenges, including democratisation. 

    Middle Eastern Literature, 7.5 credits (ECTS)
    This course gives an introduction to the literary history of the Middle East.

    It will give an introduction to Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew literature with a special focus on Arabic classic and modern prose. During the course the student will also read and discuss two translated novels.

    Teaching format

    Lectures and seminars.

    Course planning and resources.

    Course information, details and literature list for each module can be found in the learning platform Athena.

    Please note that only registered students have access to downloadable resources as a PDF document in Athena.

    Assessment

    The module Middle East: Religions and Early History, 7.5 credits, is examined through a written assignment, in the form of a take-home examination.

    The module Middle Eastern Modern History, 7.5 credits, and the module Politics and Development in the Middle East, 7.5 credits, are examined on the basis of a written take home assignment, in the form of an essay assignment

    The module Middle East Literature, 7.5 credits, is examined through a written assignment, in the form of a home exam, and an oral presentation of a work of fiction.

    The principles for weighing up the individual examination assignments are stated in the grading criteria.

    For more detailed information, please refer to the course description.

    Examiner

    The Middle East: Religion and Early History, 7.5 credits (ECTS): Isa Blumi
    Middle Eastern Modern History, 7.5 credits (ECTS): Isa Blumi
    Politics and Development in the Middle East, 7.5 credits (ECTS): Elie Wardini
    Middle Eastern Literature, 7.5 credits (ECTS): Astrid Ottosson al-Bitar

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    The literature for Autumn 2021 is being updated.

  • Contact

    Do you have questions about the courses in Middle Eastern and North Africa's Languages and Cultures?

    Student Councelor:
    studievagledare.asien@su.se

    Director of Studies:
    Martin Säfström
    Room 104, Kräftriket 4B
    Phone: 08-16 29 43