Communication and Culture | Performance, Culture, and Power in the Middle East and North Africa
C422 | 31285 | Goodman, J.

TuTh, 2:30 PM-3:45 PM, C2 203
Fulfills College S&H Requirement
Fulfills College Culture Studies Requirement (Global Civilizations
and Cultures)

Instructor: Jane Goodman
Office: C2 227
Phone: 855-3232

Course Description:  This is an especially important moment in
global history to develop a more nuanced understanding of Middle
Eastern societies. In this course, we will explore the complex
relationships between cultural values, power relations, and
communicative practices among various populations of the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA).  Taking an ethnographic perspective, we
view performance not only in terms of a formal display for an
audience but also as the range of events and practices through which
cultural values are negotiated and social relations are organized.
In other words, Moroccan marketplace talk, Bedouin women’s love
poetry, or the listening practices of young male consumers of
Algerian rai (world beat) music will be as important to our inquiry
as the staged concerts of a national Egyptian star.  As we ask what
it is that people are up to when they engage in communicative
practices, we will also problematize what “communicative practice”
entails and how it has been variously theorized. In moving from what
scholars of performance have called the interaction order (face-to-
face communication) to global media, we will necessarily be engaging
with a range of theoretical models, drawn from fields including
anthropology, performance studies, and cultural studies.

Core Texts:

Abu-Lughod, Lila.  1999.  Veiled Sentiments:  Honor and Poetry in a
Bedouin Society.  University of California Press. (you may use
either the 1986 or the 1999 edition of this book)

Khosravi, Shahram. 2008. Young and Defiant in Tehran. University of
Pennsylvania Press.

Schade-Poulsen, Marc. 1999.  Men and Popular Music in Algeria: The
Social Significance of Rai.  Texas University Press.