Empire, capitalism and the (re)production of the “Middle East”

Schools of Public Engagement: Global Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Empire,Capitalism, Middle East

Spring 2019

Taught By: Corinna Mullin

Section: A

CRN: 7179

Credits: 3

In his seminal 1978 book “Orientalism”, Edward Said argued that rather than approaching the Middle East as a fixed geographical space, one should instead view the region through the lens of the “relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony.” This course will consider both the ways in which (neo)colonial powers have metaphorically and literally produced the Middle East as well as the numerous forms of resistance such interventions have engendered, from the anti-colonial to the post-Arab uprising period. We begin with a consideration of how West Asia and North Africa have been ‘produced’ by what Edward Said characterized as the “epistemological domination” of the West, looking at how colonial legacies and neocolonial realities play out discursively, geographically (as the results of colonial mapping and contemporary geopolitics) and in the political-economic framework of “development.” However, we also go beyond the critique of Western colonial forms of knowledge production to foreground voices, perspectives, and resistance that work against this domination but also show how Western power has never been completely hegemonic. We will analyze this on multiple levels, including: the political-military level, in terms of anti-colonial struggles in places like Egypt, Algeria and Palestine; the transnational level, in terms of various forms of inter-state solidarity expressed through Arab nationalism, Pan-Maghrebism and Pan-Africanism, as well as regional participation in Bandung and the Tricontinental conferences; the political-economic level, with a focus on alternative development projects such as state-led industrialization and land reform in Egypt, Algeria and Syria; the epistemological level, in relation to decolonial artistic production such as the first Pan-African Cultural Festival and the Afro-Asian literary journal Lotus published in Lebanon; and the social movement level, with a look at recent social mobilization around issues such as gentrification, privatization and the organized abandonment of the state in urban centers in Lebanon and Morocco, and in opposition to the undermining of state sovereignty through the intervention of international financial institutions, as well as to the extraction and exploitation of natural resources by foreign companies in Tunisia.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Global Studies (UGLB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five 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: 4:17pm 4/25/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday

Times: 3:50pm - 6:30pm

Building: Academic Entrance 63 Fifth Ave

Room: 312

Date Range: 1/28/2019 - 5/13/2019