The History and Politics of Middle East Studies: Producing Expert Knowledge

JEWISH, ISLAMIC AND MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 382

Why does the US need so many military bases in the Middle East? How do we know promoting universal human rights in the region improves people's lives? Does development aid help refugees? Do Muslim women need saving? If so, by whom? In this class, we consider the history and politics behind the answers to these kinds of questions. To do so, we examine the field of Middle East Studies in the US, historically and today, and its role in the production of expert knowledge about the region. After learning foundational theories of knowledge production, we consider the history of US academia and foreign policy in order to analyze how certain theories about the Middle East became common sense notions at the expense of other possibilities. We also investigate the politics of universal concepts such as human rights, gender equality, and religious freedom and the chequered history of their promotion in the region by US and international entities.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; AS SC; EN H

Section 01

The History and Politics of Middle East Studies: Producing Expert Knowledge
INSTRUCTOR: Warren
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