Communication And Culture | Current Topics in Communication & Culture
C334 | 1159 | Goodman


Topic:  Performance, Culture, and Power in the Middle East and North
Africa

Middle Eastern cultures are well-known for the richness and diversity of
their communicative practices.  The course examines what cultural
performances can tell us about the organization of social life in
Middle Eastern and North African
settings.  Through contextualized case studies, we will investigate how
performances of poetry, song, stories, and dance are bound up
with political power, the organization of gender, religious experience,
and the expression of emotion.  Topics may include:  poetry
and tribal politics in Yemen; dance, trance, and the veneration of saints
in Morocco and Egypt; storytelling in Tunisia; poetry and resistance among
the Bedouin; and the creation of "tradition" in the diaspora.  The course
format features structured seminar discussions with occasional lectures,
complemented by regular video and cassette presentations.  Assignments
include take-home essays based on course readings, and periodic short
commentaries on books and/or films.