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Elise Burton (24 Seminars)

This research seminar traces the historical response of Middle Eastern societies and diasporas to Western scientific discourses of race and ethnicity from the 19th century to the present. We examine notions of racial classification and hierarchy as they emerged in Islamicate and European imperial contexts and their scientific application to Middle Eastern populations. We further investigate how the nationalist ideologies of modern Middle Eastern nation-states relied on and perpetuated race science. Finally, we consider the experience of Middle Eastern migrants to Europe and North America and their engagement with scientific definitions of Aryan, Caucasian and white racial identity.

Prerequisites: A minimum of 4.0 course credit or instructor’s approval
Recommended Preparation: 1.0 credit in HPS, History, Philosophy, NMC, Anthropology, Sociology or related humanities fields
Depth Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course
Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)


Course Information

  • Course Code: HPS442H1
  • Course Credits: 0.5cc