CSRE 270/370: Introduction to Arab Studies: Memory, Heritage and Cultural Production

Introduction to Arab Studies

This academic year, the Abbasi Program is pleased to announce the broad theme for its events and programming as they relate to frameworks of collective belonging, cultural construction, identity and heritage formation. For the autumn quarter, we are partnering with Professor Samer Al-Saber who will teach a seminar under the same theme entitled “Introduction to Arab Studies: Memory, Heritage and Cultural Production” which will host lectures open to the public via Zoom webinar.

“Introduction to Arab Studies” is a Fall 2021 course that will offer a speaker series component open to our community. The series of events will highlight the framework of collective belonging, cultural construction, identity and heritage formation, and is this year's academic theme for the Abbasi Program.

Course Description: What is Arab Studies? Who are Arabs? Where do they live? How can we better understand this area and its people? This class offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to engage with Arab Studies through a series of public lectures, screenings, and discussions. One key theme of our course this year is Arab Cities and Urban life. After a quick introduction to the region in the first week, we quickly move to crucial historical junctures in world recognized cities from Dubai to Beirut, Damascus to Cairo, Amman to Casablanca, Mecca to Algiers, passing through cities and regions between. Honing into cultural, political, and religious lives of Arabs in these urban environments, we'll always end by asking a question on our theme of recovery. Can Arabs recover from colonialism? Division? Loss? COVID-19? Can they recover themselves? Is it even desirable to do so?

In partnership with the Abbasi Program for Islamic Studies, we will host scholars, artists, and thinkers in our midst to learn about their worldviews, their battles, and their desired destinies. Lectures will engage with traditional topics of Arab Studies, such as Orientalism, the Postcolonial turn, Colonialism, Arab Nationalism, Arab-U.S.A relations, Modernity, tumultuous second half of the twentieth century, September 11, and the last two decades of invasions, occupations, revolution, turmoil, and most recently, the world-wide pandemic. Is there an Arab-World?

Co-sponsored with The Department of Theater and Performance Studies, The Program on Urban Studies, The Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, and The Mediterranean Studies Forum