HS1OWI-Western Imaginaries of the Middle East

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Dina Rezk

Email: d.rezk@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.

Aims:
The aim of the module is to explore Orientalism as an ideology and why it is significant both historically and today. It also provides an introduction to Edward Said's main arguments alongside the criticisms that have been levelled at him.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
• identify the sources of the topic in question
• trace its historical development
• be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development
• understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts
• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
• demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:
• to encourage students to think independently
• to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
• to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
• to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
This option allows the exploration of the single most important debate in Middle Eastern studies from a multidisciplinary perspective. It examines how the West has ‘imagined’ and depicted the Middle East and the contested debate about how elite and popular knowledge about the region has entered the Western psyche. The work of one particular author, Edward Said, brought this issue to the world’s attention with the publication of his landmark book, ‘Orientalism’ in 1978. This text argued that Western elites had constructed a fictional ‘East’ that was fundamentally inferior to an imagined ‘West’ in order to justify political and cultural domination of the region. The aim of this option is to develop an appreciation of Orientalist stereotypes in a range of texts and media and critically analyse the arguments of Said and his critics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Written exam 50%:
one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Written assignment, including essay 50%:
1 essay of c. 2000 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin by latest 12 noon on the Monday of 11th week of each term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1 hour

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 20 October 2016

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