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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 MOS Timetable BA Taalwetenschap

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total 140 hrs

  • Lectures: 26 hrs

  • Studying compulsory literature: 82 hrs

  • Bookreview: 30 hrs

  • Exam: 2 hrs

Assessment method

  • 10% homework

  • 30% book review

  • 60% final exam

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.



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.


F. Kootstra, MA