Power & Domination in the Middle East

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Sociology

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Power & Domination: Mid East
Fall 2022
Taught By: Benoit Challand
Section: A

CRN: 14340

Credits: 4

The course tackles, in a historical perspective, notions of power within Muslim majority societies of the Middle East. The focus will be placed on the Arab worlds, with passing references to Turkey and Iran. In the vein of historical sociology, the course engages with theories of empire and state-formation in the region and of incorporation into the world system. The course will offer an in-depth comprehension of evolving forms of domination, and claims over conflicting religious and secular legitimacy from the 19th century (nascent capitalism; solidification of positive law; internal debates around Islamic modernity) to the 21st century (neo-imperialism, return of the Caliphate). The course will explore various arguments putting the stress on forms of power and domination specific to the region as opposed to the lasting impact of external forms of domination over the region. What does it mean to have power “in” or “over” the “Middle East? What have been historical forms of bottom up political participation? What are epistemological issues that need being tackled to follow these questions? How do classical sociology and its theories about forms of authority and power (e.g. Max Weber; Karl Marx; Pierre Bourdieu) fare when applied to the Middle East? This course is opened only to Junior and Senior students. It is a double-coded class, which takes place at the same time as a graduate course. The class combines lectures with seminar discussions. Lang students will have less assigned readings, and will benefit from weekly presentations made by graduate students, allowing for a common discussion. Students enrolled in the LSOC 4581 level class will submit reading logs for six sessions during the semester and provide written feedback on the final projects presented by graduate students. Instead of a final, students are asked to write a creative / narrative essay that builds on the documentary “The Lost Leonardo” (2020) about the evolving place that the Middle East occupies in the world. Students who register for the UG section will earn undergraduate credit at the completion of the course. Students wishing to earn Graduate credit must register for the graduate section of the course. Students intending to apply a graduate course toward the senior capstone requirement must register for the graduate section.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Sociology (LSOC)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 12

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:34am EST 1/30/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 9:55am - 11:45am
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 510
Date Range: 8/31/2022 - 12/7/2022