Week 5.2 Lila Abu-Lughod – Reproduction & Honor and Shame

Focussing on one of the assigned chapters for this week (Chapter 3, Reproduction or Chapter 5, Honor and Shame), discuss how the stories show how each of these institutions (norms around reproduction; the honor and shame norms) are reproduced in everyday practices. How are the women in the book also challenging or reframing these institutions through their practices? How do these women express their agency?

5.1 Lila Abu-Lughod – Patrilineality

How do the stories in this chapter engage with the anthropological assumptions about “patrilineality.” In what ways is patrilineality practiced in this Bedouin community? In what ways it do the stories of the chapter challenge the assumptions about how patrilineality is practiced?

Week 2 – Braudel (continued)

You may answer one set of questions

(chapter 5) How does Braudel discuss social change in medieval Mediterranean? What are some social groups that emerge in the Mediterranean societies east and west, north and south in the 16th century? What are some analogies across the different regions?

(chapter 6) How does Braudel define the relationship between the two worlds (the Christian and Muslim worlds) in 16th century Mediterranean? How do these worlds differ? How doe they intertwine? What is the role of the anecdote in the lessons of social history?

Week 2 – Tuesday – Geography, history, and culture (1)

Social historian Fernand Braudel provides a sweeping social history of the Mediterranean region. Unlike other forms of social history, Braudel’s begins with geography and further, in chapter 1, with the mountains and plains then, in chapter 2, with the sea. How are geographic characteristics of the Mediterranean region discussed in these chapters in relation to culture and society? What are some cultural and social features of Mediterranean societies outlined in these chapters?

Refugee Crisis – Forum

This forum focusses on the readings in “Refugees and the Crisis of Europe” (link: https://culanth.org/fieldsights/911-refugees-and-the-crisis-of-europe) Below are some questions from the introduction that I want us to address in this forum discussion. You do not have to respond to all the questions but address at least one of them (depending also on which readings you choose from the list). Please post your response as a reply to this thread.

“How, we ask, ought we interpret the media focus on Syrianrefugees, and how might this focus reinscribe a (racialized) distinction between “deserving” or “real” refugees and so-called economic migrants? How do we locate the migration crisis between a Liberal Europe committed to moral humanism and a Fortress Europe committed to expelling undesirables? How do the strategies of, on the one hand, custody and control (of foreign bodies and borders) and, on the other, rescue and care (of victims of human trafficking, asylum seekers, and refugees) reflect and refract the nature of power and sovereignty in Europe today?”


To help you out with your readings this week (week 3), I want to ask you to think about identifying particular arguments (paradigms) for thinking about the Mediterranean as a cultural space. Make a list of these various paradigms. Flesh out their components. Then flesh out the critiques by the authors. Then think about your own assessments.

Hostility Towards Mediterraneans, Past and Present



The current debate over whether to accept Syrian refugees has echoes of a different time when another wave of people were leaving a Mediterranean country. They were seen by some Americans as being so alien in religion, culture, education, politics and law, that they could never be assimilated. They were even suspected of ties to terrorism. These were the Italians.