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Middle Eastern Studies: Debating a Discipline

  • 7.5 credits

This course provides an introduction to Middle Eastern studies as an interdisciplinary practice, by highlighting the historical development of the field and its relation to other area studies in the humanities and social sciences.

It focuses on the historical links between the field and other academic disciplines and theoretical perspectives, such as anthropology and postcolonial theory.

The course also highlights contemporary debates within the field, with particular focus on historiographical and methodological discussions. The underlying aim of the course is to examine the extent to which Western social science theories and narratives of Western modernity are suitable for the study of non-Western societies, by examining a wide range of historiographical traditions, theoretical paradigms and methodological debates that so far has shaped Middle Eastern Studies. In connection to this the course will also deal with topics such as fundamentalism, secularism, modernity, patrimonialism, authoritarianism, and transition to democracy.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures and seminars. The language of instruction is English. Attendance at all teaching sessions is obligatory.

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

    Course planning and resources

    Course details, lesson planning and other information can be found in the learning platform:

    Please note that only registred students have access to resources, like PDF documents, in Athena.


    The course is examined on the basis of a written essay assignment and an oral presentation.

    For more detailed information, please refer to the course description. The course description will be made available at least one month before the course starts.


    Elena Chiti

  • 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.
  • Contact

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

    Student Councelor:

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