ARAB 353: Science and Society in the Middle East
In the public imagination, as well as in scholarly work, the Middle East is a region most frequently associated with gender, politics, Islam, and their relationship. In this class, we approach the region from a different angle: that of the social scientific study of science and technology broadly understood. This allows both for a different (and wider) perspective on the region and offers an occasion to approach these classical themes from unexpected angles. Drawing on works from anthropology and history, the class investigates how scientific theories and practices transform, interact with, and are shaped and shape processes of state and class formation, debates and reconfigurations in the religious field, the management of individual bodies and the population, and cultural processes in the modern Middle East (from the 19th century to the present). This is a research-related skills seminar. Thematically focused on the social scientific study of science in the Middle East, the course weaves this content with an emphasis on training students to critically engage with scholarly literature, develop their skills in academic writing and argumentation, conduct research with secondary sources, and present the results of research to a wider audience. SS, BN.