(Originally aired: 02-01-99)

 

  

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Current TV Schedule

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INDEX GUEST LISTING BY NAME 01-01-73 TO 06-30-11

Public AccessTV, A Systems Consideration Graphics

Current Financial Crisis Oct., 2008

Autodidact Tutorials

Keynes Letter to Grandchildren 1930

Synergetic Educational Manifesto 1970

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      For details of airing see bottom of page

                 Guest For  FRIDAY APRIL 17,  2009

 

                              (Original air date: 03-14-91)

 

                        NUBAR HOVSAPIAN Ph.D

              

               Professor of Political Science

                    and International Studies

 

              

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                      Focusing on the Middle East                               

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The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnCPW1irvUY - NUBAR HOVSAPIAN Ph.D 

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More about: NUBAR HOVSAPIAN Ph.D

Dr. Hovsepian joined the Chapman faculty in 2004 as Associate Professor of

 Political Science and International Studies.  He completed his Ph.D. at the

 Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Before moving to Chapman,

 he was the Associate Director of the Middle East Center at the University of

Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).  He specializes in comparative politics and

 international relations, with research and teaching interests in Middle East politics,

 state formation and educational institutions, democratic processes, nationalism

 and social movements, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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Syllabus for Political Science: 211-001 Nubar Hovsepian
University of Pennsylvania Williams Hall 838
Subject: Politics of the Contemporary Middle East Tel: 898-4690
Term: Spring 2003 nubarh@sas.upenn.edu
Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00 to 4:30 Office Hours: TBA
Location: Chemistry B13
Note: The website for this course is in Penn’s Blackboard website (http://www.courseweb.upenn.edu/). All
readings designated by an # are on the Blackboard. In addition, I will use this site to communicate with you.
I will post questions which might help you in reading texts critically. I will send you reminders about due
dates.
Purpose and Objectives: Learning about other societies involves excavation and wandering. Michael Gilsenan
asks; “How should we walk, never mind where we are going?” For example, while doing research in northern Lebanon
Gilsenan’s daily routine involved taking long walks, “striding off determinedly with long paces, eyes forward, heels
clipping hard onto the path, self-conscious purpose in every move, going somewhere...even if only for a walk.” His
local friends and interlocutors “knew that the appearance of purpose covered a confusion of aims, an uncertainty
about what I would find or whether I would find it or whether I should even find it down that path, on that way. The
only real dupe of this oh-so determined stride was the walker himself--looking direct when he should be glancing
sideways, cutting a straight line when everything--tact, manners, self-interest, knowledge--demands that he move in
the slow, wide meandering stroll of his friends with frequent stops at almond trees, shoulders loose, hands arcing
expansively through the air...having some interchange with everyone they saw, apparently going nowhere, sitting,
and then, only then, approaching on an apparently momentary wish, the house of such a one. How disoriented these
drifting, tone-scuffing amblings were to me. Yet they were a central thread in the labyrinth of the village as it drew me
in, though it is only now that that clearly strikes me and can emerge as words on a page, that I have the uneasy smile
of one who says: ‘So that’s how it was!’” (Recognizing Islam, Pantheon 1982, 269-279).
The student is invited to join me in a journey that involves wandering and excavation in and through the
Middle East, to discern and dissect the interaction between politics and society. Through readings--
political, historical, philosophical, and journalistic essays--lectures, discussion and film, we will probe
three broad lines of inquiry: The competing (secular vs. religious) sources of identity; the struggles for
and over state-formation; and the dynamics of the post-colonial state in the Middle East. More
specifically, this course will probe several questions: How are nations and states (nationalism and
identity) conceptualized? How is state power used to enforce obedience, induce complicity, and isolate
citizens from one another? What is the basis of the state’s legitimacy, and which forces (social-politicalreligious)
are its detractors? What are opposition movements fighting for? In investigating these
questions we will deal with classic questions of political inquiry: Who gets what, when, where, why
and how--and who gets left out.
The potential number of topics as well as perspectives in an introduction to Middle Eastern politics and
society is formidable. The Middle East as a region can mean several things and can refer to a multiple
set of country clusters. At the crossroads of three continents, the Middle East as a concept often
incorporates three geographic clusters: North Africa, the Fertile Crescent and Southwest Asia (which
includes the Persian-Arab Gulf). It is impossible to cover its entire political landscape in a one semester.
Hovsepian Syllabus 2
Therefore, we will examine selected issues that dominate the region’s politics. The readings will
introduce you to factual information and competing narratives. However, the course’s primary concern
is to demystify the subject/object of study. The Middle East is not more unique, complicated, or
exceptional than any other region in the world. As Gertrude Stein would have put it, “there is no there
there.” Therefore, the course’s primary concern is to use the study of the Middle East to promote
critical and conceptual thinking about politics both here and there.
One of the requirements of this class is that you demonstrate a knowledge of the political and physical
geography of the Arab world and the Middle East. You must be able to identify the following countries
and territories and their capitals:
Algeria Oman
Bahrain Qatar
Egypt Saudi Arabia
Iraq Sudan
Israel Syria
Jordan Tunisia
Kuwait Turkey
Lebanon United Arab Emirates
Libya West Bank & Gaza (Palestine)
Morocco Yemen
Be able to identify the following physical features:
Mediterranean Sea Gulf of Aden
Nile River Persian Gulf
Red Sea Strait of Hormuz
Suez Canal Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Teaching Philosophy and Practice
The Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, partially published under the
auspices of UNESCO in 1995, emphasizes the importance of pluralism, multiculturalism, and creativity
in education. Despite these noble intentions, a careful reading of this 300 page report, reveals a limited
understanding of the dynamic nature of education. Completely missing from the Report is the
conceptualization of education as a way of encouraging people to think for themselves, to think against
authority and orthodoxy, to think in terms not of acquiescence and agreement but in terms of skepticism
and dissent.
I am convinced that education enables freedom. John Dewey said that we are free “not because of what
Hovsepian Syllabus 3
we statically are, but in so far as we are becoming different from what we have been.” Thus, education
enables individuals not only to make choices but to seek the power to actively pursue their goals and
purposes. Paulo Freire insisted that “humanization” is our primary vocation, where human beings are
“subjects of decisions” rather than merely objects. Thus men and women are involved in a constant
process towards their self-completion. Dewey, Freire, and Maxine Greene thus conclude that education
must pave the way for freedom. Greene, in particular notes: “it remains a matter, for men and women
both, to establish a place for freedom in the world of the given--and to do so in concern and with care,
so that what is indecent can be transformed and what is unendurable may be overcome” (The Dialectic
of freedom, 1996). This form of emancipatory education enables individuals to become challengers
armed with imagination that induces the exploration of alternative possibilities.

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                                                                               Friday April 17, 2009

                                 10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

 

                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 83 of the RCN 


                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

 

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at

 

                                              www.mnn.org

                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                                          & click on channel 34 at site

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