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The major aim of this course is to explore the Middle Eastern culture and societies with an emphasis on such topics as gender, children, popular entertainment, humor and folk religion. The course to provide students with an in-depth knowledge on daily life practices, events and rituals of popular heritage in the Middle East.
Middle Eastern societies and cultures: Introduction. Critical assessment of top-down “strategic” perspectives of conventional studies on Middle East. Focus on historical and anthropological studies. The human face of the region. A bottom-up illustration of the region from the point of view of such issues, themes and debates as gender, children, popular entertainment, humor and folk religion.
Upon succesful completion of this course, a student will be able to
1. Understand the social and cultural structure of Middle Eastern societies.
2. Understand the socio-cultural and socio-historical aspects of gender, children, popular entertainment, humor and folk religion in the Middle Eastern context.
3. Understand the factors that shape the Middle Eastern cultures.
4. Identify and critically assess the Western perceptions regarding the Middle Eastern cultures.
5. Understand the interaction between politics and culture.
6. Appreciate cultural diversity and different life styles.
7. Find and use material on the themes elaborated during the course.
8. Communicate effectively in speech and writing.