History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

Unit code : MEST10711
Credit rating : 20
Teaching period(s) : Semester 1


Links on this page :
Aims | Objectives | Assessment | Information | Course unit content |
Tutors | Timetable | Teaching methods |



Aims

 It is the aim of this course to:

  • Introduce students to the study of a rapidly changing Middle East and North Africa from a multidisciplinary angle. The module will, in addition to removing any fogginess students might have about the MENA, debunk preconceived stereotypical ideas they might have acquired through the media about a region often typified as a war zone and an area rife with conflict.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the MENA from multifarious angles including history, politics and anthropology.
  • Lay the foundations for the study of various MEST modules at subsequent levels.
  • Help students determine their pathways in further study about the MENA.

Objectives (Learning outcomes)

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Gain knowledge of the history, politics and cultures of a diverse and ever changing MENA region
  • Gain an informed understanding of the MENA region and its people beyond media stereotypes
  • Understand and discuss theoretical issues behind the study of the MENA from a multidisciplinary angle
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the core texts on Middle Eastern Studies
  • Have appropriate command of key concepts and terminologies related to the multidisciplinary study of MENA

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Relate their learning experiences to the social, cultural, political, and other dimensions which characterize the Middle Eastern and North Africa.
  • Gain a good understanding about the history, cultures, religions, and the politics of the region and its people.
  • Build awareness about the diversity which distinguishes the MENA as well as its Cultures, religions and populations.
  • Gain access to the study of a range of specialist areas within the discipline
  • Discussion and debating ethics
  • Using library, electronic and online resources
  • Using reporting skills
  • Group ethos
  • Peer review/evaluation
  • Independent Learning.
  • Co-operative Learning and team work.
  • Time Management and punctuality
  • Debating and presentation skills
  • Applying Subject Knowledge
  • Negotiation (Understand group dynamics and intercultural backgrounds in the use of negotiating skills to reach objectives).

Assessment methods
Zahia Smail Salhi:Unit coordinator
Written exam:50%
Written assignment (inc essay):50%

Information

Lectures

  • The opening Lecture will introduce students to the module components in terms of content, assessment, weekly reading and tutorials. Subsequent lectures will be devoted to covering the detailed syllabus.
  • While the module leader’s role will be the coordination of the overall module and the delivery of some lectures, other members of AMES will lecture on their particular specialisms.
  • Lectures will introduce the topic of the weekly reading which will then be discussed in the weekly tutorials.
  • Readings will be distributed ahead of the lectures/tutorials, and uploaded to the blackboard.
  • Students will be expected to come to their lectures and tutorials well-prepared and to participate vigorously in class discussions. It is essential that they complete all the required readings before the lecture/tutorial.
  • Students will be expected to take notes on the lectures which will constitute additional materials to be used for revision for their written exam.

Tutorials

  • Lectures will introduce the topic of the weekly reading, which is then discussed in the tutorial of the subsequent week.
  • Students are expected to prepare the reading so that they can better engage with the lecture and contribute critically to the discussion of the compulsory reading in the tutorial group.
  • Readings will be assigned in advance for students to prepare their 15 minutes seminar presentation.
  • The weekly reading assignments require regular work outside classes and in advance of the tutorials, including close study of assigned texts, note taking, summarizing or excerpting, as well as the creation of texts in note form. Readings will be contextualized and discussed during classes.

Course unit overview

 After a general introduction which defines the MENA region in terms of its history and geography, and how the term MENA came to being across critical historical periods which of course determined the geographical boundaries of this region, the course introduces students to the study of ‘Orientalism’ as a theoretical base which will help them make better sense of subsequent lectures.

The course will then move to study MENA society in terms of Gender, Kinship, Ethnicity and Identity. This is followed by an overview of the formation of the modern Middle Eastern state system as well as its economy.  It will look closely into the role of oil in shaping MENA politics and cultures, and discuss the advent of political Islam and Islamic terrorism and their impact on MENA and the globe. This will be followed by a lecture on sectarianism which will shed light on the contemporary conflicts that destabilise the MENA region especially in the aftermath of the Gulf war.

The course will also study the literature, the arts and cinema of this region, and their role in shaping politics besides being political expressions/voices of the MENA people.


Teaching staff
No available data to display.
Timetable
Lectures - 30 hours
Seminars - 10 hours

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures 11 x 1.30 hours

The opening Lecture will introduce students to the module components in terms of content, assessment, weekly reading and tutorials.

Subsequent lectures will be devoted to covering various aspects of the Middle East. While the module leader’s role will be the delivery of some lectures and the coordination of the overall module, other members of MES will lecture on their particular specialism (s).

Lectures will introduce the topic of the weekly reading which will then be discussed in the weekly tutorials.

Readings will be uploaded to the blackboard or distributed in class one week ahead of the lecture/tutorial.

Students will be expected to come to their lectures and tutorials well-prepared and to participate vigorously in class discussions. It is essential that they complete all the required readings before the lecture/tutorial.

Students will be expected to take notes on the lectures which will constitute additional materials to be used for revision for their written exam.

 

Seminars 10 x 1 hour

Lectures will introduce the topic of the weekly reading, which is then discussed in the seminar of the subsequent week.

Students are expected to prepare the reading in the days after the lecture, so that they can introduce the compulsory reading, and contribute critically to its discussion in the tutorial group.

The weekly reading assignments require regular work outside classes and in advance of the tutorials, including close study of assigned texts, note taking, summarizing or excerpting, as well as the creation of texts in note form. Readings will be contextualized or discussed during classes.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Assessment task

Length

Weighting within unit

Essay

Examination

1 x 2000 words

2 hours

50%

50%

Formative Assessment: Seminar Presentation of directed reading (15 minutes) on the same topic as your essay. Feedback will be given by tutor and peers.

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment task

Length

 written examination

 2 hours