Fall 2017  -  Get temporary access to course materials (Amherst College and Five-college students only)

Sectarian Modernity

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-280

Moodle site: Course

Faculty

Mona Oraby (Section 01)

Description

Sectarianism and modernity are often understood as diametrically opposed phenomena. Subnational ethnic and religious identities, it is said, prevent the development of modern politics, cultures, and social affinities. And yet, sectarian difference in states like Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq seems to be a necessary condition for their coherence as modern political entities. What if sectarianism, which undermines the secular national ideal of universal citizenship, is instead understood as distinctly modern, its emergence dating no further back than the nineteenth century? This course examines the intertwined genealogy of sectarianism and modernity, paying particular attention to the administration of law, religion, and society in three phases of historical development: the late Ottoman Empire, the French and British Mandate periods, and the postcolonial present. Under what conditions did sectarianism emerge as a meaningful analytic category for the study of Middle East politics? What legal innovations have constituted and transformed the meaning and practice of sectarianism over time? In what ways do global sovereignties contribute to the persistence of sectarian identities? Why does sectarianism endure?

Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Visitng Assistant Professor Oraby.

If Overenrolled: Priority will go to LJST majors

Keywords

Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Writing

Offerings

2017-18: Offered in Fall 2017