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Debate | Workshop

Workshop Teaching the Middle East

Tuesday 26 October 2021
On line on Zoom

Organized by Judith Naeff

On line on Zoom

This workshop is open to all lecturers teaching courses on the Middle East and North Africa at Leiden University, in the BA Middle Eastern Studies, the BA International Studies, the MA Middle Eastern Studies or in other programmes. The workshop has two interrelated aims:

  • to exchange particular challenges of teaching topics related to the MENA region and sharing strategies for how to address them;
  • to critically assess whether and how we wish to innovate the curriculum to engage with issues and concerns, in particular those concerning the environment and racism.


14:30 opening

14:35-15:15 Two Comenius projects

The first session consists of two short presentations by Comenius laureates Hossam Ahmed and Tsolin Nalbantian. They will tell us more about their teaching innovation projects “Including heritage learners in Arabic language courses” (Hossam) and “Bridging the Gap Between Classroom and Society: Using Wikipedia to Make Students Public Actors” (Tsolin) and will answer your questions.

15:15-15:45 Discussion: Teaching race and racialization in the MENA
Maaike Warnaar & Sai Englert

The second session is a discussion between Maaike and Sai addressing ways to integrate the issue of race and racialization into our teaching about the MENA region. In the wake of mass mobilization around Black Lives Matter that amplified existing calls to decolonize the curriculum, and in light of growing scholarship that addresses racism in our field, and how racialization intersects with sect, class, nationalism, gender, and ethnicity in case studies across the MENA region, we seek ways to integrate this knowledge and training into our own teaching where it has remained largely absent.
Please check our collective reading list for inspiration and feel free to add more sources:

15:45-16:15 Panel 2 Environmental concerns in Humanities education
Judith Naeff & Maurits Berger

In this discussion, Judith and Maurits will reflect on the question how to integrate the pressing issue of environmental degradation beyond more obvious places in the curriculum such as the petroleum industry in courses on the political economy and international relations. We have started compiling a collective reading list on the topic, but it is still very incomplete. Please add your own suggestions to the list.

16:15-16:30 closing words

On line on Zoom

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