New course offers different perspective on Arab Spring

In this photo, Oak Hall – the home of the Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies department – is seen. The department's new course, “Narrating the Arab Spring,” will only be offered this semester. (Matthew Zabierek/The Daily Campus)

A new course offered by the Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies department about the Arab Spring will be available for University of Connecticut students this semester.

The class, CLCS 3888 or “Narrating the Arab Spring,” will only be offered during this semester, said head of literature, cultures and languages Gustavo Nanclares. The course is not in the UConn course catalog and is listed as a variable topics class, which can make it hard for students to find out about, he said.

Students will analyze the Arab Spring in time frames: before, during and its outcome, according to the Middle East studies website.

“They [students] will explore the ways that the Arab Spring dismantles the myth that Arabs are not ready for democracy and that they need dictators to serve as guardians of their countries,” said Professor Amara Lakhous.

Students will be looking at a variety of different narratives in order to view the complexity in the Arab world, Lakhous said. Those who enroll in the class will understand what happens in the Middle East has worldwide effects, he added.

It is unclear if the course will be offered in future semesters because there are currently no faculty members who specialize in the subject, Nanclares said.

Professor Lakhous, who is teaching the class, is a visiting professor that will be at UConn this semester and is very knowledgeable about the Middle East and in the Arab Spring.

“This is a very important event of recent history that we've lived through the media,” Nanclares said. “We thought it would be good to look at the cultural production that has come out of it as a way to gain a deeper insight and understanding of the complex and diverse phenomena that people call the Arab Spring.”


Annabelle Orlando is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at annabelle.orlando@uconn.edu.