Visual Politics in the Contemporary Middle East

Course Description:
The inundation of images in our daily lives has arguably reached unprecedented levels. In the case of conflict zones like the Middle East, the visual landscape in which images are produced and globally circulated becomes an ever more crucial site to understanding the dynamics of the politics, societies and cultures that animate these tensions. This demands that we learn to critically read what we see.  Through an interdisciplinary approach that bridges between political science, media and cultural studies as well as anthropology and sociology, this class will focus on the translation and reception of images from and about the Middle East by studying how states and security, conflicts and displacements, social movements and revolution, aesthetics, art and global media are linked, characterized and analyzed.

"This course uniquely contextualizes the study of the politics and societies of the Midde East region within the framework of it's visual cultural production and practices. Students will learn the newest methodologies and theories being applied to study the region and their relationship to global process of image production, dissemination and representation. It places students in a unique position to understand not only the current developments in the region but how they relate to the wider visual field and the politics that frame them."
-Hanan Toukan

About Hanan:
Hanan Toukan is Visiting Assistant professor in Middle East Studies. She previously taught in Media and Cultural Studies as well as Politics and International Studies at the University of London and the Free University of Berlin. She has also held postdoctoral fellowships at the Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem, the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin and the Free University of Berlin.