Course registration open: Anti/post/decolonial Social Theory and the ‘Middle East’ region

Riemukaari, jonka takana näkyy kaupunkimaisema vuoristossa.

1.11.2021 – 15.12.2021

Lecture times are Mondays from 16:00-18:00 and Wednesdays from 14:00-16:00 (Helsinki time, UTC +2)
(Note! Mon 6.12. lecture is moved to Tue 7.12. from 16:00-18:00)

Registration period for the course is open until the 26.10.2021 at 16:00.
Course language: English
Format: Zoom-lectures, required readings, written assignments
Credits: 5 ECTS (subject to home institution recognition)
Organizer: Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME)

This course introduces students to post, anti, and de-colonial theories focusing on themes of significant relevance to the study of the so-called MENA region (West Asia and North Africa). The first part of the course will introduce and critically discuss a number of key concepts and themes in post, anti, and de-colonial scholarship. This discussion will seek to relate these questions and topics to salient social phenomena and challenges across the West Asia and North Africa region. The second part will introduce a number of key anti, post, and de-colonial scholars and activists from the West Asia and North Africa region to discuss their contributions to study of the region, as well as of the wider modern condition.

The course is designed for master’s and doctoral level students in the fields of sociology, political science, anthropology, international relations, Middle Eastern studies, postcolonial theory, and de-colonial studies. The course is free of charge.


Instructor: Dr. Ali Kassem

Dr. Ali Kassem holds a PhD in Sociology, from the University of Sussex. His research interests are in postcolonial and de-colonial theories, the sociology of religion and of knowledge, as well as migration studies. His dissertation is an investigation of Coloniality, as a global structure of power, and its effect on the (Islamic) lived through a case-study of Islamic dress in Lebanon. Kassem works as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and before that, he worked as a Postdoctoral researcher with the Arab Council for Social Sciences, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York with affiliation to the Beirut Urban Lab.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Identify of the key issues and debates in contemporary anticolonial, postcolonial and de-colonial scholarship
• Define Coloniality/de-coloniality in relation to power, knowledge, being, gender, and nature
• Think critically about the relevance of anti, post, and de-colonial theory to the study of the West Asia and North Africa region
• Grasp the effect of anti, post, and de-colonial critique on traditional and classical social theory
• Think critically about Eurocentrism and global social theory
• Identify the contributions of some key anti-colonial theorists and activists from the West Asia and North Africa region.


Class structure:
This course will be run in a seminar style. Students are expected to have read the assigned reading ahead of time. Each session will begin with a small lecture to then be followed by a discussion of the issues raised and the reading. The active participation of student is a cornerstone of this course.

Equivalency with courses at the University of Helsinki:
ALKU-LIJ313 Lähi-idän kansainvälinen politiikka (5 ECTS)
ALKU-LIJ311 Lähi-idän poliittisia kysymyksiä (5 ECTS)
ALKU-LIJ314 Lähi-idän yhteiskuntien erityiskysymyksiä (5 ECTS)
For equivalencies with other universities, please consult your own university institution.


Registration
The registration period for the course is until 26.10.2021 at 16:00. The selected participants will be informed by the 28.10.2021. The maximum amount of participants is 20 students for this course.

Kuva: Victoriano Izquierdo/Unsplash.