ANTH 228
Jihad Fall 2019
Division II

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Most studies of the global jihad movement focus on ideology, operations, and strategy. Numerous studies have also focused on the individual psychology of those who join jihad groups. Often ignored are the cultural dimensions of Islamic jihad. This course examines both the “global” culture of jihad–those cultural elements of the movement that are common across national and linguistic borders–and the particular ways in which jihadi groups reflect and respond to the local cultures in which they operate. Among the topics to be considered are the ways in which jihad adherents use ritual, poetry, graphic imagery, dress and grooming codes, music, film, social media, dream interpretation, and mythology to fix their place in the world and advance their political and social agendas. The course will also examine the role of violence in creating a distinctive and exclusionary social milieu within jihad groups and in defining the relationship between these groups and the societies that surround and, in some cases, support them. Of particular interest for the course will be the ways in which cultural elements of jihadi groups and the jihadi “lifestyle” are mobilized to attract new recruits to the jihadi movement.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 12-15
Class#: 1062
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, four short and informal blog posts (1-page each), two longer response papers (2- to 3-pages each), one research paper (12- to 15-pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors and students who have taken one or more Anthropology or Sociology courses
Distributions: Division II

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