Arab and Islamic Ethnografic Contexts - 2nd semester


1. Historical and current analysis of the key areas of fundamental theory and anthropological writing about Arab / Islamic contexts
2. Historical outline and ethnographic themes salient in the Arab / Islamic contexts
3. The relevance of anthropology reading for the interpretation of ethnographic data about the contexts in question
4. Introduction to major current cultural debates
5. Conceptual tools for a critical analysis of specific phenomena in contemporary contexts
6. Elementary research on issues relating to the contexts in question

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Cardeira Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Abu-Lughod, L., 1989. “Zones of Theory in the Anthropology of the Arab World”, Annual Review of Anthropology, 18: 267-306. Bourdieu, P., 2002 [1972]. Esboço de uma teoria da prática. Precedido de três estudos de etnologia Kabila. Oeiras: Celta. Deed, L. & J. Winegar, 2015. Anthropology´s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East. Palo Alto: Stanford U. Press. Eickelman, D., 1998. The Middle East. An Anthropological Approach. N. Jersey: Prentice Hall. Haenni,P., 2005. L’Islam de marché. Paris: Seuil. Mahmood, S., 2006. “Teoria Feminista, Agência e Sujeito Liberatório: Algumas Reflexões sobre o Revivalismo Islâmico no Egipto” Etnográfica, 10 (1): 121-158 Mahmood, M., 2002, \"Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism\", American Anthropologist, 104 (3): 766-775 Vakil, A., 2004. “Do Outro ao Diverso Islão e Muçulmanos em Portugal: história, discursos, identidades”, Rev. Lusófona C. das Religiões, 5/6: 283-312 Said, E., 1978. Orientalism. NY: Vintage Books.

Teaching method

The course will work under a seminar regime. Classes will alternate moments of theoretical framework with thematic sessions of debate around texts, films and case studies presented by students for each of the thematic modules. The student participation will be essential and evaluated according to a pre-defined timetable. The pace of work will require the reading of at least one text for each class, as well as the progressive reading of the bibliography of general interest.

Evaluation method

Evaluation will include: a) the regular participation on debates; b) a midterm test; c) a final written test.

Subject matter

I. Basic concepts and procedures towards a cultural framing of the Arab and Islamic contexts I.a. ‘Arabness’, Middle East, Near East, and the Maghreb I.b. Cultural and historical development of Islam I.c. Huntington versus Said I. d. Understanding Islam as a religion II. Ethnographies of M. East and N. Africa II. a. The colonial construction of the medina II.b. Daily live in urban contexts II. c. Men and women: gender, sexuality and honour II. d. Tribe, kinship, marriage, patronage, neighbourhood and friendship III. Practical and fundamental areas of anthropological theory III. a. The ‘scandal’ of the daughter of his paternal uncle III. b. Mediterranean Anthropology revisited III. c. The debate around segmentarity III. d. Gender, Feminism, Islamic ´Feminism´ IV. Social and cultural expressions of post-colonialism and transnationalism IV.a. Globalized and revivalist movements IV.b. Market Islam IV.c. Migration, diaspora and ´European Islam´


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