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ERIC Number: EJ1148988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2167-8669
Teaching Media and Culture of the Middle East to American Students
Muhtaseb, Ahlam; Algan, Ece; Bennett, Anne
International Research and Review, v4 n1 p8-17 Fall 2014
Americans know very little about the Middle East in general despite the fact that the region is at the heart of American foreign policy. While no one doubts the importance of teaching the history, culture, and politics of the Middle East in the United States, lack of basic knowledge coupled with the strong antipathy toward Arabs and Muslims make classroom teaching about the region quite challenging. Given that the current Islamophobic discourse in mainstream media and imperialistic American foreign policy misinform students about who Middle Easterners are, the so-called "war on terror" causes educators to be uneasy about discussing the Middle East in their classrooms. A strong pro-Israel lobby and other pressure groups make it even more difficult to have an independent intellectual discussion of the Middle East because of intimidation and anti-Semitism accusations that follow discussions of the Palestinian plight or the issue of the Palestinian refugees. This essay will address the challenges and dilemmas the authors confronted when designing and teaching two courses on the Middle East at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) in Southern California. San Bernardino is the poorest county in California and therefore the university has an important role in serving the most underprivileged student populations, both in terms of economic class and race. CSUSB has the second highest African American and Hispanic [especially Hispanic] enrollments of all public universities in California and seventy percent of those who graduate are the first in their families to do so (Office of Institutional Research, 2013). Taking into account the added challenge of the socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial composition of the university's student body, this essay describes the two classes developed under the grant, and identifies the challenges of teaching them and some of the pedagogical strategies and tools used to overcome these challenges
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (San Bernardino)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A