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Language and Identity in the Middle East


Admission requirements



This course explores the role of language in constructing social identities in the Middle East. The course will introduce students to linguistic and cultural theory as they relate to the construction of various forms of identities, including rural and urban, gender, race and ethnicity (including minorities), socioeconomic class, and religious. Although the focus is on the Middle East, the topics covered – language politics and policy, models of sociolinguistic variation, language ideology, linguistic standardization, etc. – are applicable to any region.

Course objectives

Students will become familiar with:
1) The ways in which language behavior reflects the diverse cultural patterns of the Middle East.
2) The role of language in the formation of national identities
3) The relationship between economic class, race and ethnicity, gender, religion, urbanization, and linguistic choice
4) The specialized language of religion and politics
5) Processes of language revival and revitalization


Timetable BA Midden-Oostenstudies

Timetable BA Taalwetenschap

Timetable Pre-master Middle Eastern Studies

Mode of instruction

Attendance is not obligatory for lectures. The conveners do not need to be informed in case of missed classes. Information and knowledge provided in the lectures greatly contribute to the subsequent courses of the programme. In order to pass the course, students are strongly advised to attend all sessions.

Course Load

Total 140 hrs

  • Lectures: 26 hrs

  • Studying compulsory literature: 82 hrs

  • Bookreview: 30 hrs

  • Exam: 2 hrs

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Homework 10%
Book review 30%
Final exam 60%

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


There is only a resit for the final exam if the overall grade is lower than 5,5. The resit will count for 60% as well.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.



Reading list

The literature will be announced on Blackboard.


Students are required to register through uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte nor Contractonderwijs is possible for this course.


Dr. M. van Putten