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NEAR E 535 A: Language Conflict and Identity in the Middle East and North Africa

language_conflict
Meeting Time: 
W 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Location: 
DEN 213
SLN: 
18170
Joint Sections: 
NEAR E 335 A
Instructor:
Hussein Elkhafaifi
Hussein Elkhafaifi

Syllabus Description:

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Language Conflict & Identity in the Middle East and North Africa

NEAR E 335 A/535 A

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Winter 2022

Class Time:                 Wednesday 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm

Location:                     ONLINE LEARNING

Instructor:                   Hussein M. Elkhafaifi

Office:                         M 220C Denny

Phone:                         (206) 543-9596

E-mail:                          hme3@uw.edu

Office Hours:              By appointment

Course Description

This course explores social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. The central goal of the course is to introduce students to the interplay between social and linguistic variables in the context of the Middle East from a contemporary sociolinguistic perspective. The course examines the interaction of language and social variables such as class, ethnicity, gender, and education. We will explore the relationship between language and national/ethnic identity from the perspective of intra- and intergroup conflict. The course also touches on politico-linguistic issues in the region such as language planning, linguistic conflict, and linguistic rights, as well as considering how language policies and practices in colonial and post-colonial states evolved. Additionally, we observe the effects of colonialism on modern language policy and planning, as well as institutional language reform and individual strategies of accommodation and resistance to these policies.

Other issues include how language use relates to the sense of belonging to a national or local entity, and the concept of social identity. We will also look at identity politics and ethnic conflict, and the conflict between official languages and linguistic minorities. These topics have been discussed by scholars from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, sociolinguistics, education, economics, political science and sociology. In this course, the contributions of these disciplines will enhance our understanding of language use as we focus on the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

Learning Goals

In this course, you will learn about:

  • The history of Arabic as a Semitic language.
  • The diglossic situation in Arabic-speaking countries.
  • The differences between major dialects of Arabic.
  • The different registers of Arabic and code-switching.
  • Language policy and politics in the Arab world.
  • The relation between language and ethnicity, religion, and gender.
  • The construct of identity and its interpretation in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The residual effects of colonization throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
  • Language, ideology, and socio-ethnic conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

Required Texts:

  1. Suleiman, Yasir. 2004. A War of Words: Language & Conflict in the Middle East. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Selected readings provided on Canvas for the course https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1518128/files/folder/SULEIMAN%20READINGS
  3. Other materials in different formats will be made available.

Student Assessment:

Reading Responses

30%

Group Oral Presentations

15%

Class Participation

25%

Discussion Board

30%

TOTAL:

100%

Grading Policy

Refer to the Grading Scale at the end of this syllabus.

This course is a seminar, with a considerable amount of weekly reading, viewing assigned videos, and heavy emphasis on preparation and discussion. Attendance and participation are essential.

Course Requirements:

Reading/Viewing Responses:

Every week, you will submit a 2-3-page overview of the readings and videos, identifying the major substantive issues. This should not be a summary of the readings; it should highlight the key analytical issues raised in the readings.

Group Oral Presentation

Each class session, a group of students will take responsibility for presenting the readings by highlighting the key issues, concepts and debates and by posing questions for class discussion. Presentations should be about 15-20 minutes and should be designed to initiate focused and critical discussion of the readings. The group will prepare a PowerPoint and upload it to Canvas by the due date.  The Notes pages for the PowerPoint must be uploaded as well. Each group will cover one class session. Note: Students who are presenting that week must also submit the written 2-3-page reflection to Canvas.

Class Participation

You are expected to attend all classes and to arrive on time. Class participation includes doing the assigned readings/viewings PRIOR to class, raising and answering questions in class, as well as taking part in general class discussion in a substantive way each week.

Discussion Board:

Your active discussion of the class readings and lecture content is part of your class participation requirement. You must submit comments and questions to the group, via Assignments. https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1518128/assignments . Please use the discussion board to pose course-related questions for your classmates concerning the assignments, readings, videos, or lectures. The discussion board is also a place for you to ask specific questions, such as “what is pidgin,” or “I don’t know what is meant by “diglossia.” Please observe common courtesy and respect with postings just as you practice these in class. I’ll read the postings, but mostly be quiet. I want this to be a place where you can think out loud together about course content, without intrusion from me.

Diversity in the Classroom

I consider this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect, and I welcome individuals or all ages, backgrounds, beliefs, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, national origins, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, ability and other visible and nonvisible differences. All members of this class are expected to contribute to a respectful welcoming and inclusive environment for every other member of the class.

I will gladly honor your request to address you by your chosen name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of your preference at any time during the quarter.

 

INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Student Conduct

The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at https://www.washington.edu/studentconduct/.

 

Access and Accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course

 If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or uwdrs@uw.edu or disability.uw.edu. DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Religious Accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).

Student Concerns

To all students in this course: if you have any concerns about the class, try to resolve them first with your classroom instructor. If the matter is not resolved that way, you can turn to the Chair of the NELC Department (Prof. Naomi Sokoloff, naosok@uw.edu). If the matter is not resolved that way, there are other resources available to students to resolve complaints or grievances, including Humanities Academic Services https://hasc.washington.edu/, the Bias Reporting Tool, https://www.washington.edu/bias/, the Office of the Ombud, https://www.washington.edu/ombud/, the University Complaint and Resolution Office, https://www.washington.edu/compliance/uciro/, and Disability Resources, https://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/complaint-mediation/

 

GRADING SCALE

%

GRADE

%

GRADE

%

GRADE

≥ 95

4.0

84

2.9

73

1.8

94

3.9

83

2.8

72

1.7

93

3.8

82

2.7

71

1.6

92

3.7

81

2.6

70

1.5

91

3.6

80

2.5

69

1.4

90

3.5

79

2.4

68

1.3

89

3.4

78

2.3

67

1.2

88

3.3

77

2.2

66

1.1

87

3.2

76

2.1

65

1.0

86

3.1

75

2.0

64

.9

85

3.0

74

1.9

63

.8

62

.7

 

Per FERPA we cannot discuss grades via email. Please make an appointment to talk privately if you have concerns.

Catalog Description: 
Explores social and linguistic aspects of the languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the relationship between language and national/ethnic identity from the perspective of group conflict. Considers language policies in colonial and post-colonial states, and individual strategies of accommodation and resistance to these policies.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Credits: 
5.0
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 27, 2021 - 6:53am
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