Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research). Students from other programmes are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.
Like all world regions the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is subject to severe environmental stress and degradation, processes that have serious implications for society. Water resources are under great strain, agrarian change has resulted in more intensive forms of farming, and climate change will have an unpredictable effect on the region’s habitats. This seminar course examines these themes. It proceeds by establishing a theoretical framework that examines society-nature relations and the importance of the environment to society and the economies of the region. It then examines the history of the relationship of environmental exploitation in the region in the colonial and post-colonial eras. The course will then proceed to examine more specific forms of environmental problems and their causes, and governmental and societal responses.
Tentative Seminar Topics
- Introduction. Theoretical and methodological framework
- Historical roots one. Colonial exploitation of regional resources and extraction of value
- Historical roots two. The postcolonial period and the commons. From state-led development to free market growth
- Oil and gas
- Water. Wars or waste?
- Agrarian change. Farming without farmers
- Food security. Stuffed and starved
- Urban growth
- Waste and pollution
- Conflict and environment
- Poverty and environment
- The climate crisis
- Sustainable growth and renewable energy
Develop a theoretical approach that allows us to conceptualise society-nature relations in the MENA.
Learn the significance of the region’s environmental resources in phases of colonialism and Imperialism.
Analyse the relationship between the status of the environment and international and regional economic flows of capital and commodities.
Understand the role of environmental degradation in developmental outcomes in the region.
Learn about the forms of environmental governance within MENA and the role of international institutions.
Discuss potential future scenarios.
Mode of instruction
Attendance and participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.
|Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hours||280 hours|
|Attendance of weekly classes (13 * 2 hours)||26 hours|
|Extra contact hours for Research MA students||6 hours|
|Reading / studying material||125 hours|
|Completing assignment||123 hours|
Students should familiarize themselves with the notion of academic integrity and the ways in which this plays out in their own work. A good place to start is this page. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students may not substantially reuse texts they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.
Students must submit their assignment(s) through Brightspace, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.
Assessment and weighing
|Engagement (informed participation; presentation; discussant duties)||30%|
The final paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.
The actual deadlines for submission of the first and final versions of the paper will be communicated by the convenor of the course through Blackboard (after consulting with students in the first session. (The deadline(s) mentioned in uSis is/are fictional for administrative purposes only.)
Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late papers will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.
The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.
Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (40%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.
A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.
If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized. To request a review the student should send an email to the instructor of the course.
The book titles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where they can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand will be posted on Brightspace.
For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. Six hours of extra sessions will be used to discuss the additional literature.
Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr”. You can also have a look at the FAQ. (Tip: use the search term “uSis”.)
Students with disabilities
The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.