About the course
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, as well as 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.