Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Arab Cinema(s)

Semester and Year SU 2019
Course Number IDSEM-UG1830
Section 001
Instructor Sinan Antoon
Days Mon Tue Wed Thu
Time 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U
Global Cultures


Session I Intensive: May 28 - June 14. Same as MEIS-UA 616.


The Arab world is a vast region encompassing vibrant societies and dynamic cultures, but its geopolitical importance and a resilient Orientalism often reduce it to Hollywoodish stereotypes and misrepresentations. One way of transcending these misrepresentations is to ask: How do Arab filmmakers represent their own reality cinematically? This course introduces students to contemporary Arab cinema. We will begin by briefly examining the introduction of the medium in colonial times and trace its development both as an industry as well as an art form through the national era all the way to the neoliberal present. We will view and critically examine a number of selected films that represent the diversity of the region, but also the shared concerns and common sociopolitical struggles and challenges facing its societies. We will focus on key moments, both aesthetically and politically, and will explore how filmmakers negotiate and represent the following: anti-colonialism and liberation, nationalism and national identity, gender and sexuality, communal strife and civil wars, class struggle and social justice, globalization and neoliberalism, and the recent revolts. Texts will include Said’s “Orientalism,” Shafik’s “Arab Cinema,” Khatib’s “Filming the Modern Middle East.” Films will include Chahine’s “Alexandria Why?”Abu As`ad’s “Paradise Now” Tlatli’s “Silence of the Palace,” and Oday Rasheed’s “Quarantine.”


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)