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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Denis Basic
JSIS 478
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Content varies from quarter to quarter.

Class description

In this interdisciplinary, reading seminar, we shall explore the causes of the turbulent socio-political events, which have been engulfing the Arab world since December 2010 until today, popularly known as the "Arab Spring" in the West and as the "Arab Revolutions," "Revolts," or "Uprisings" among the native Arab population.

In order to discern the root-causes of this complex phenomenon and to understand its violent nature, we shall have to look at recent, but also older history of the region. However, we shall not study the Arab Revolutions through the prism of historiography only, but shall also use journalism, political sciences, sociology, and cultural and gender studies as our research apparati.

The key questions that we shall ponder in this course are the questions of why the change in many contemporary Arab societies has had to happen through revolution rather than evolution and what role imperialism, colonial economy, nationalism, Islamism, nationalization, privatization, women, narratives of power, intelligentsia, mass media, as well as the art have played in the Arab Revolts.

For more details, check the link to the course website below.

Student learning goals

Thorough knowledge of the sequence and mutual relationships of the Arab Spring events.

Detailed knowledge of the root-causes of the Arab Revolutions.

Solid understanding of the causes for the violent nature of a great many of the Arab movements for change.

Close familiarity with the role of women, media, and arts in the Arab Uprisings.

Solid awareness of possible consequences and influences of the Arab Revolutions.

General method of instruction

This course is envisioned as a reading seminar. We shall be meeting once per week for two hours mainly to discuss the materials that we have read on our own. Besides working on written materials, we shall also be watching and discussing some documentary movies and TV programs on the subject.

Recommended preparation

Regular class attendance, reading and movies watching, quiz taking, and early start on the term paper will guarantee a complete success in the course.

Class assignments and grading

- Five short quizzes on pre-assigned questions from the readings will be given before the class discussion every other Tuesday. - Term paper - 15 double-spaced pages, not including bibliography and cover page, in Times New Roman font 12pt. The topic of the term paper needs to be related to the main theme of the course.

- Class attendance 5% - Participation in discussions 15% - Term paper 20 % - Five quizzes 60% (12% each) - No formal final exam.


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.
Course Website
Last Update by Denis Basic
Date: 03/25/2013