AMES 221: Arab Society and Culture in Film

Reader requirements: Interest in the Arab world plus a background in cultural studies, international politics or law. 

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Mbaye Lo

Examination of Arab worldviews (including cultural variations, artistic expressions, view about gender, and religion, and perspectives toward the U.S.). Explores the development of images of the Arab and seeks to understand them in the context of the Arab world as well as in its relationship to the West. Analyzes the dynamics between norms of modern civil society and those dictated by religious traditions. Critically examines current Western assumptions, representations and understanding of Arab societies, and the moral frameworks in which different choices are debated in the Arab context.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Book review (5-6 pgs)
For whom? Targeting a broad readership


Student – Reader Interactions

This is a Duke Immerse course. Students will leave the country February 22 and return March 20.

Here are the deadlines for students in the reader project:

  • Intro Meetings: Before February 21
  • Students send draft to Readers: March 7 (same as date due to instructor)
  • Students and Readers “meet” to discuss draft: March 20 – 26
  • (Optional) Meet once more before paper is due
  • Final paper due: April 7

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is an fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Instructor’s response questions:

  • Does the student communicate the main idea of the book effectively?
  • Does the student introduce legitimate criticisms of the book?
  • Does the student leave the reader with something to remember?
  • Does the reader finish the review feeling he learned something useful?