Middle East in Conflict: Anthropological Approaches - ANTS6370

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module aims to provide perspectives on the political anthropology of the Middle East with a particular focus on post-Ottoman and post-colonial territories such as Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt. It uses anthropological tools to explore the effects of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, its legacy and other colonial regimes on the constitution of different nation-states in the region. Drawing on historical and anthropological studies about multiple sovereign actors as well different forms of citizenship, this module will introduce students to the diversity of identities, political struggles, memories of violence, traumas, and hopes in the politically volatile Middle East. Through lectures and seminars, students will explore critically anthropological works in dialogue with historians and political scientists on the following themes: nation-building, Islamist movements, secularism, minorities, sectarianism, ethnic conflicts, forced migration and displacement, authoritarian regimes, and resistance movements.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Resting in 2022-23

Optional to : BSc: Anthropology (including cognate programmes)

Available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Research Essay (3000 words) (60%)
Case Study Presentation (20%)
Short reflection Essay (1000 words) (20%)

Reassessment method
Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Allen, Lori. 2010. The Rise and Fall of Human Rights. Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine.
Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
Biner, Zerrin Ozlem. 2019. States of Dispossession: Violence and Precarious Coexistence in
Southeast Turkey. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
Deeb Lara and Jessica Winegar, 2016. Anthropology's Politics: Disciplining the Middle East.
Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
Hafez, Sherine.2019. Women of the Midan. The Untold stories of Egypt's Revolutionaries.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press
Randa Nucho, Joanne 2016. Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon: Infrastructure,
Public Services, and Power. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ekmekcioglu, Lerna. 2016. Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide
Turkey. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Be conversant in the main themes and trends of the anthropology of a specific ethnographic area;
8.2 Critically understand the ethnographic area in economic, political, and social depth, the cultural diversity of the region, and at regional, national and global levels;
8.3 Critically interpret the political development of those societies and cultures;
8.4 Apply anthropological insights to contemporary economic, political, religious and social developments in the area;
8.5 Understand the impact of study of the ethnographic area on the anthropological study of politics, nationalism, conflict and violence
8.6 Demonstrate knowledge of key theoretical contributions of the anthropology of the ethnographic area to the wider discipline and their leading role in shaping wider anthropological debates and disciplinary reflexivity.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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