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Continuity and Change in the Study of the Middle East - SIMS49


This two-module course begins with a critical inquiry into the factors, forces, and processes underlying major social movements in the MENA region and studies their political, social, and economic roots. The second and final module moves from the geographic region and explores the lived experiences of migrants connected to the Middle East. Connecting local movements with those on the transnational and global level, this second module will study these dynamics through a diasporic lens. 


Course content

This course consists of two separate modules, each 7.5 credits.

The first module (7.5 credits), focuses on social movements in the MENA region (for example the Green Revolution in Iran and the Arab Uprisings of 2011) and studies their political, social, and economic roots. Through a critical inquiry embedded in political science, history, and sociology, this module will unpack the underlying factors, forces, and processes of these events. It will also consider specific themes through which one can navigate these events, such as gender dynamics, and the roles of specific groups (e.g., the Islamists and the military) in these social movements. The module will also explore the regional and global responses to the uprisings and their consequences.

The second module (7.5 credits), moves from Middle Eastern states and their internal dynamics as the central focus to examine the Middle East from a diasporic perspective. Focusing on the lived experiences of migrants connected to the Middle East (i.e. from or in the Middle East), the module connects the local (Middle East) with transnational and global movements and socio-political dynamics. The module provides an understanding of political, social, and cultural dynamics that entangle migrants from and in the region. The student will be introduced to major diaspora groups outside the Middle East. The student will also be introduced to diaspora dynamics connected to ethno-religious groups that are engaged with politics of identification both in the region and in the diaspora (e.g. as Copts and Amazigh). Finally, the student will also study groups that have made the region home.

Online course platform

This course uses Canvas as the online course platform. The course platform will be opened two weeks before the course begins to all students who were accepted. Here you will be able to access literature, assignments, announcements, as well as participate in discussions and communicate with teachers. 


The course schedule can be found under the course information on the right. Please note that the final version of the schedule will be made available four weeks before the course begins, and changes may occur until that point. A more detailed schedule will be available on the course platform on Canvas.