2014 Spring Workshop
Middle East Studies Center Spring 2014 Workshop: Teaching Arab Culture through Literature and Film
About the Workshop | Registration | Professional Development Units | Getting Here | Schedule | Speakers | About the Curriculum | Contact |
About the Workshop
Saturday, February 22, 2014
9:00 am–4:00 pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, room 294 at Portland State University
During this workshop, participants will be introduced to Arab Culture through Literature and Film, a five-unit high school curriculum to increase knowledge about Arab culture. Through this curriculum, students study life and culture in the Arab world, spanning from Morocco in the west to the Gulf countries in the east, by engaging with primary sources including films, short stories, and poems. Giving voice to the Arab people and putting human faces on the Arab world will increase understanding and tolerance in the American classroom.
This workshop is presented with funding from the Qatar Foundation International
Registration is now open!
This workshop is free. To register, click here.
Professional Development University
All participants will receive seven Professional Development Units for participation in this workshop.
8:00 am—Registration and breakfast
8:30-9:00 am—Welcome and opening remarks
9:00 am-9:45 am–Why Teach about Arab Culture?
9:45 am-10:45 am–Introduction to the Arab World
10:55 am-12:15 pm—Exploring Religious Presence in Arabic Literature
12:15 pm-12:30 pm—Begin lunch
12:30 pm-3:00 pm–Working lunch: Gendered Roles and Gendered Space in the Arab World
3:00 pm-3:30 pm–Closing remarks
Elisheva Cohen is the Outreach Coordinator for the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University and a co-author of Arab Culture through Literature and Film, a five-unit high school curriculum. She holds a Masters Degree in International Education and Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and Bachelors Degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in Middle Eastern Studies and Hebrew Literature, respectively. She has lived, studied, and traveled throughout the Middle East in countries including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco.
Ruth McDonough is a secondary school Arabic language teacher in New England. After graduating from Swarthmore College with a BA in Religion and Peace and Conflict Studies in 2008, Ruth went on to spend time in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, and Syria. Since beginning her teaching career in 2009, she has lead programs in Morocco and Jordan for American high school students. She is currently working toward a Masters in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language at Middlebury College with a focus on cultural content in language classes. She has been serving as a curriculum consultant for the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University and is co-author of Arab Culture through Literature and Film, a five-unit high school curriculum.
About the Curriculum
Arab Culture through Literature and Film is a five unit high school curriculum that provides students with knowledge and tools to analyze and understand the Arab world. The materials utilize a student-centered pedagogical approach that promotes critical thinking and respect and encourages engaged global citizenship. Through this curriculum, students study life and culture in the Arab world, spanning from Morocco in the west to the Gulf countries in the east, by engaging with primary sources including films, short stories, and poems (with translation). Giving voice to the Arab people and putting human faces on the Arab world will increase understanding and tolerance in the American classroom. To view the curriculum, click here.
The curriculum is organized in the following five units:
- Introduction to Culture and the Arab World: This unit defines key terms and set a framework for the curriculum by introducing themes of unity and diversity in the region. Students will consider what one can learn about Arab culture by studying its art, film and literature.
- Expressions of Religion in the Arab World: This unit challenges students to consider the complexities of religion and religious express in a region in which its presence is unavoidable.
- Language and Ethnicity: This unit introduces students to ethnic groups in the Arab world and guides them through an understanding of their lived experience as minorities in the region.
- Gender Roles: In this unit, students explore the dynamics of gender in the Arab world and consider their varied manifestations, as well as how traditional gender roles and expectations are negotiated and contested.
- Daily Life: Kinship, Marriage and Family: Students will explore Arab families and the role of kinship and marriage in culture and society.
This curriculum was created by Ruth McDonough and Elisheva Cohen, sponsored by the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University with funding from the Qatar Foundation International.
Elisheva Cohen, Outreach Coordinator
Middle East Studies Center
Portland State University
PO Box 751 – MESC
Portland, OR 97207-0751