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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Cabeiri Debergh Robinson
SIS 406
Seattle Campus

Political Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism

Study of resurgence, since mid-1970s, of political Islam and what has come to be called Islamic fundamentalism, especially in the Middle East. Topics include the nature and variety of political Islam today, causes and implications of the current resurgence, and comparison with previous resurgences. Offered: jointly with POL S 432.

Class description

Focusing on recent analysis of Muslim civil society and the Islamic public sphere, this course examines political Islam as a phenomenon produced at the intersection of universalistic and particularistic political cultures and in the spaces between political, religious, and social authority. The course first examines the terms of analysis that social scientists employ to discuss ‘political Islam’ and ‘Islamic fundamentalism.’ Students will examine the relationship between different forms of authority in Muslim societies and categories of Islamic political movements. Second, the course will examine how different publics produce moral judgments about political practices, focusing on anthropological case studies from South Asia, South East Asia, and the Middle East.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Each class will begin with a 60 min general lecture and continue with discussion and analysis of the weekly readings and films.

Recommended preparation

One previous course dealing with the study of a contemporary Muslim Society in any Area studies tradition (or in Islamic studies) and one advanced course in a social science.

Class assignments and grading

There will be short answer/essay midterm and final exams on lecture and reading materials in which students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of key concepts. Short in-class assignments and class discussion,taken together, will be an indication of students’ participation in class work. Students will integrate analytic perspectives and case studies in an 8 page term paper.

The final grade will reflect students’ full participation in this course weighted as follows: class participation 30%; midterm exam 20%; final exam 30%; and essay paper 20%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 10/25/2004