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U320/U520 Middles Eastern Women: Artists, Images, and Lives
Hande Birkalan

Muslim women, as the fascinating creatures to the non-Western eye, drew attention from different audience. In this course, we will go beyond the discussion of the veil, and focus on the lives of the women artists in the Middle East. We will consider the Middle Eastern women as art makers in the realm of ethnography, in addition to the images of women construed in films and novels. Culling our examples from the Turkish, Persian, and Arab cultures, some exemplary material will include a female potter in Turkey, the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, and Shahrazade, the exotic storyteller of the 1001 Nights.

Attendance and grading: Since this course is an 8-week course, attendance is compulsory. After the lecturer’s presentation, students are expected to participate in the discussions actively. One short paper (4-6 pages) and a final paper (15-20 pages) have to be submitted at the end of the course. More information on the papers will be given to the students as the class starts.

Grading policy:

10% attendance
10% participation in the discussions
30% short paper
50% final paper

Weekly Syllabus:

Nurten Sahin and the Art of Tile Making in Turkey
Veiled Sentiments: Arab Poetry and Bedouin Tradition
Women of Deh Koh: Understanding Village Life and Women in Iran
Tamam Uygunturk: Lament Tradition in Istanbul
Umm Kulthum and the Arabic Song
Shahrazade and 1001 Nights
Silence of the Palace: Women and Colonialism

Days and Time:  Monday and Wednesday, 4:00-6:15

This is a first eight-weeks course!!