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This is a paper on the historical anthropology of the Middle East with a focus, primarily, on post-Ottoman and post-colonial Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. Through a series of lectures and seminars, we examine, study and critically discuss historical and anthropological works on the following themes: Orientalism and cultures of representing the Middle East; colonial and post-colonial state practices; nation-building and contested geographies; gender, sexuality and intimacy; cultures of ‘modernity’; political cultures and subjectivities; Islam, secularism and the governmentalization of religion; pious communities, ‘ordinary Islam’, and Islamist movements; political violence and memory; minorities and minoritization practices; inter-communal relations and ‘sectarianism’; and media, popular culture and literature, among others. Lectures and seminars will be based on ethnographic and historical sources, including visual materials.

Further information including a list of lecture courses and background reading can be found in the Paper Guide in the Paper Resources section to the right of this page.

Paper Resources

SAN4c Paper Guide 2024-25

SAN4c Paper Guide 2023-24

For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports for all ethnographic areas please see the SAN4 Moodle Course.

Please note teaching staff and students enrolled on SAN4 will automatically be enrolled on the SAN4 Moodle course and you will find a link to the course in the ‘My Home’ section of Moodle.

If you are a member of the University of Cambridge and you wish to view the reading lists, past exam questions and exam reports then you can access the SAN4 Moodle Course as a guest. For more information on how to access Moodle Courses as a guest please see Moodle Help.