Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Imagining the Middle East

Semester and Year SU 2019
Course Number IDSEM-UG1543
Section 001
Instructor Ali Mirsepassi
Days MW
Time 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC, GLOBAL


Session I: May 28 - July 7. Same as MEIS-UA 518.


This course explores the historical and contemporary representations of the Middle Eastern cultures and societies in the Western imaginary. We will examine shifting representations of the Middle East in pre- and post-enlightenment European political and intellectual discourses, Western literary texts and travel literature, and contemporary US popular culture (films, advertising, thrillers, spy novels, romance fiction, etc.). We will also consider the interrelationship between popular cultural representations and the manner in which the Middle East is conceptualized in the academy and in "high culture" in general (e.g., theorized as Orientalism). It is an assumption of the course that a "post colonial" framework is key to interpreting not only the Middle East, but also the “West.” Readings may include: Amin Maalouf,  The Crusades Through Arab Eyes ; Edward Said,  Orientalism  and  Covering Islam ; Zachary Lockman,  Contending Visions of the Middle East ; Jack Shaheen,  Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs ; Linda Khatib,  Filming the Modern Middle East. 


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)