ARAB 337: Borders and Walls in the Arab World
For much of the world, including the Arab World, the latter half of the 20th century was characterized by the drawing of new borders and their enforcement. Movement both within the region itself and between the region and other parts of the world became increasingly difficult. Border practices of dividing groups of people from each other extended to new parts of society, and border zones themselves grew in size. Such practices have only increased in the 21st century as new technologies and a heightened concern with security have engulfed an ever growing share of resources and attention globally. At the same time, border practices have given rise to a multitude of creative responses from individuals and groups who challenge the desirability of the ever more finely grained separation of peoples that these practices have entailed. In the past decade there has been an explosion of artists, writers, and filmmakers from the Arab world responding to border practices and their attendant violence. They have attested to the consequences of that violence, resisted their applications, and creatively circumvented their effects. In this course we will focus on three interrelated case studies of bordering practices in relation to the Arab world: settler colonialism, sectarianism; and forced migration and emigration restrictions. We will study works of art, film, and literature that arise directly out of these bordering practices and their motivations and effects. As we study this material we will be address the question “What can imaginative practices do to process, mitigate or undermine bordering practices?” VP, BN.