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University of North Carolina at Asheville    
  Nov 25, 2017
2017-2018 Catalog

ANTH 360 - America and the Middle East

Concentrates on how “the Middle East” is made in America–as an imagined geography, an object of knowledge, as well as a complicated set of political realities. The course has three interrelated components. 1) Deconstruction: We inquire into the political and epistemological processes, through which “the Middle East” has been perceived and represented in the United States–as a violent and “backward” region, the problems of which are routinely attributed to essentialized religious and ethnic identities; namely, “Muslim” and “Arab.” 2) History: In contrast to this ideological void of understanding, which is created and sustained by social and political mechanisms, we examine how “the Middle East” has largely been shaped by such historical processes as European colonialism, the Cold-War, and the global hegemony of the United States. 3) Ethnography: Students then choose a particular issue and/or country, on which to carry out a research project and receive individualized advice on how to use ethnographic sources within a framework of historically contextualized critical analysis. Spring.