At the November 3rd faculty meeting, IDOCS will move approval of PSCI ME 254 as the Field Supervised course for the Fall 2006 Term in the Middle East. Sheri Breen, Instructor.
Course: PSCI ME 254: Islam and Civil society
Offered: Term in the Middle East, Fall 2006
Catalog Description: This course will examine Islamic conceptions of civil society and citizenship. In our initial overview we will briefly review Western understandings of civil society and then examine a range of Islamic approaches to civil society and citizenship. With civil society as our framework, we will focus special attention on questions of private/public good, democratic pluralism, modernity/tradition, and gender, integrating students' daily experiences and regional expertise in the program's four sites.
GE credit: None
Other credit: Political Science major
Rationale: This course is the faculty supervisor's contribution to the academic content of the Term in the Middle East for 2006-2007. The course will augment but not duplicate the scheduled courses to be taught on "Political Institutions in the Middle East" in Turkey and "Social Changes in Moroccan Society." It will focus on the philosophical understandings and tensions that define political society, integrating a range of Islamic political approaches to civil society and citizenship. At the same time, the course will examine the cultural foundations of our own understandings of civil society and Islamic challenges to Western definitions of modernity, individuality, gender, and democracy. Using a seminar format, the course's readings, writing assignments, and discussions are designed to give liberal arts students an analytical framework to help them understand and evaluate Islamic political philosophy in comparison with the Western approaches to civil society and citizenship to which they will return at the end of the Term in the Middle East. A political science major would gain exposure to a significant area within Islamic political thought, which is not covered within the current political science curriculum.