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CSPO 2905A - From Tan-Tan to Tehran – Introduction to classic and contemporary music from the MENA region

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

“Music and Politics from the Contemporary MENA region” offers to analyse the evolution of Northern African and Middle Eastern societies through the study of the most famous songs, musical artists and movements of the 20th and 21st century. Supporting or opposing regimes in place, from rebellion to conservatism, from frenzy to scandal, music has continuously been much more than a mere entertainment practice: its impact mirrors the political, economic and socio-cultural dynamics at change, when it does not amplify or provoke them. From protest songs to mass entertainment, from oral transmission to working tunes, this elective course also aims at addressing the history of influence to and from other parts of the world, including first and foremost Europe and the United States, but also Africa and the Far East. It will therefore show how the perception of modernity as a purely Western concept can be challenged, and how modernity in the MENA region, as well as identity, reflects the human diversity and multiple cultural influences.


HOUSSAIS, Coline E. (Consultante)

Course validation

- Written presentation : 30% - Group synthesis : 50% - Group synthesis debrief : 10% - Participation : 10%

Required reading

Due to the character and subject of the course, there is no compulsory reading. A fair understanding of the social, economic, cultural and political background of the MENA region is expected.

Additional required reading

  • Blanchard Pascal, Deroo Eric, El-Yazami Driss, Fournié Pierre, Manceron Gilles, 2003, Le Paris arabe : 2 siècles de présence des Orientaux et des Maghrébins, 1830-2003, La Découverte
  • Goebel Michael, 2017, Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism, Cambridge University Press
  • Said Edward, 1978, Orientalism (also available in French from various publishers), Pantheon Books
  • Documentary Trésors de scopitones arabes, kabyles, berbères by Michèle Collery and Anaïs Prosaic (1999)
  • Kaouah Abdelmadjid, Stétié Salah, 2010, Arabes en/de France, Nouvelles Editions Loubatières
  • Yahi Naïma, 2013, La France arabo-orientale, La Découverte