Ethnographic Contexts (Arabic and Islamic)


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 dos Anjos Maltez Cardeira da Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





ABU-LUGHOD, Lila. 1989 “Zones of Theory in the Anthropology of the Arab World”, Annu. Rev. Anthropol., 18:267-306
BOURDIEU, Pierre. [1972] 2002. Esboço de uma teoria da prática. Precedido de três estudos de etnologia Kabila. Oeiras: Celta
EICKELMAN, Dale 1998 [1989, 1981], The Middle East - An Anthropological Approach. New Jersey: Prentice Hall
ESPOSITO, J. L. 1988-1994. Islam. The Straight Path. Oxford University Press
MAHMOOD, S., 2006, “Teoria Feminista, Agência e Sujeito Liberatório: Algumas Reflexões sobre o Revivalismo Islâmico no Egipto” Etnográfica,
Volume X, Número 1pps 121-158
RABINOW, P. Reflexions on Fieldwork in Morocco. 1977. Berkeley, Univ. California Press
SAID, Edward. 1978. Orientalism. NI: Vintage Books
SILVA, Maria Cardeira da, 1999 Um Islão Prático. O Quotidiano Feminino em Meio Popular Muçulmano. Oeiras:Celta
TIESLER, Nina, 2005 “Novidades no terreno: muçulmanos na Europa e o caso português”. 2005 Análise Social. , n. 173, Vol. XXXIX, pps 827-849

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.
Texts and other materials and tools supporting the course should be consulted in the Moodle platform and at the blog

Evaluation method

c) a final written test. (40%), a) the regular participation on debates; b) a midterm test(60%)

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.e. 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
IV.a. Globalized and revivalist movements
IV.b. Migration, diaspora and ´European Islam´
IV.c.Tourism, archeology and heritagization
IV.d. New Media


Programs where the course is taught: