Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East

Discipline: Anthropology
Instructor: Lefkowitz
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 0920
End: 1035
Field Work: Day 1- Casablanca- Sunday, 23 June | Morocco
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course introduces the diverse societies of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa, focusing on those countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey) the ship visits. Topics include: religion and personal life in Islamic and Christian countries, new media and democratic transformation; gender roles in the modern world; national and supra-national identities under globalization; and migrations and diasporas across the Mediterranean.

Field Work

Country: Morocco
Day: 1- Casablanca- Sunday, 23 June

The Arab World in general, and Morocco in particular is in the midst of a dramatic transformation of what scholars call the “public sphere,” or the way that communication becomes a matter of public mediation, in addition to private, face-to-face conversation. Television, radio, cable news networks, and other new communicative technologies are key factors in this transformation, but so too are changes in the kind of physical spaces (cafes, parks, universities, etc) available to people in everyday life. The Field Lab for this course looks at the way that the built environment (neighborhoods, streets, buildings, parks, etc.) in Moroccan cities influences, and is influenced by, Moroccan social structures (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.). We will begin with a discussion with Professor Taoufik Agoumy, who teaches urban geography at the Mohammed V University Agdal in Rabat and then continue to a tour of several significant places in Rabat that exemplify important social and spacial phenomena relevant to urbanization in Morocco. Our return to the ship will (time permitting) involve a comparative view of how urbanization phenomena have played out in Casablanca.