Anthropology | Sem on Representations of Islam & Muslims in Anth Lit
E600 | 22347 | Shahrani


The main focus of the seminar will be on the representations of Islam
and Muslims in the ethnographic/historical literature of the Middle
East and former Soviet Central Asia. The latest edition of
Orientalism  by Edward Said and a selection of ethnographies by
Western and native authors will be read and critically discussed in
light of some recent critiques of the nature, purpose and direction of
traditional practices in the social sciences.  The central aim of the
seminar is to explore relationships between ethnographers (producers)
and their ethnographic representations (products) of the Muslim
peoples and cultures they study.  In particular the significance of
place (of ethnographers culture of orientation, of education and
graduate training, of employment, of research and fieldwork), gender,
and voice (e.g. speaking of or for people studied, institutions
funding the research, and governments and agencies supporting the
research efforts) within the broader sociopolitical and intellectual
environment, and their impact upon the ethnographic accounts will be
examined and assessed.

Required Readings (some title may vary):
E. Said	Orientalism (1978, with a new Preface in 2003)
S. Altorki &  C. El-Solh  Arab Women in the Filed: Studying Your Own
Society  (1988)
F. E, Peters	A Reader on Classical Islam  (1994)
R. Loeffler	Islam in Practice: Religious Belief in a Persian
Village  (1988)
R. Antoun  Muslim Preacher in the Modern World: A Jordanian Case
Study in Comparative perspective  (1989
D. Edwards  Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan
Frontier (1996)
Bruce Privratsky  Muslim Turkistan: Kazak Religion and Collective
Memory (2001)
Roald Sagdeev & S Eisenhower, eds  Islam in Central Asia: An Enduring
Legacy or an Evolving Threat? (2002)
James Spickard, et al. Eds., Personal Knowledge and Beyond: Reshaping
the Ethnography of Religion (2002)
Pnina Werbner  Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of Global Sufi
Cult (2003)

Course Requirements:
A critical written report of the reading assignments for each week
(about 2-3 double spaced typewritten pages) highlighting the most
significant points (positive and negative) about the authors'
approach in the text(s).  Students are also expected to actively
participate in class discussions, lead class discussions, make an oral
presentation of the term project, and submit a term paper on the term
project.  The term project will consist of a review essay consisting
of: 1) critical reading, detailed assessment and synthesis of all
required readings for the seminar; and 2) serious and reasoned
reflection on how the  theoretical, conceptual, methodological and
substantive issues covered in  this seminar will (or will not) be
useful to your own specific topics or fields of research interests and
why. The final essay should be about 20 typed pages (double-spaced)
and due on the last day of class.