Cultural Studies | Special Topics in Cultural Studies: Popular Culture in the Middle East
C701 | 29828 | McDonald

This course examines the dynamics of popular culture and mass media in
the Middle East, including the Arabic speaking nations, Israel,
Turkey, and Iran.  This course proceeds from the idea that popular
culture and performance are in fact foundational means of negotiating
power and resistance, social interaction, and identity.  Through
course readings, lectures, discussions, and various written
assignments students will confront the many ways in which popular
culture has had a formative impact upon conceptions of identity in the
Middle East.  Our readings will build upon fundamental anthropological
understandings of social groups, of symbols and categories, the
linkages of culture and agency, and the various forms of power in
human social groups.  Ethnographic case studies will explore Arab Pop,
Israeli and Palestinian cinema, Egyptian television, Turkish Arabesk,
transnational Hip-Hop, and the impact these media have on contemporary
understandings of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and nation in the
Middle East.