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Towards a Pedagogy of Data and the Digital in the Middle East Classroom
In this panel, I discuss my experiences teaching pre-Islamic and Islamic Middle Eastern history and archaeology through the lens of applied Data Science and Digital Humanities approaches. The application of digital tools and methods to Middle East Studies has played a significant role in my practice of introducing students to experiential learning opportunities, sometimes known as the “hidden curriculum.” I suggest that digital and data-driven approaches can offer innovative pedagogical opportunities to destabilize Europe in academic conversations on the Middle East and Islamic World and their relevance to global networks. To do this, my teaching incorporates open-source museum data and my own international survey research in collaboration with local communities in the Middle East. My students use these data to develop their own digital research projects. This student engagement with data helps decenter Eurocentric and Islamophobic attitudes and exposes them to local voices who have not traditionally been recognized in Academia. I value the generative, overlapping space between teaching and scholarship and the opportunities to develop new practices of academic knowledge production that are generated within and in collaboration with individuals culturally connected to the Middle East. This pedagogical approach creates opportunities for public participation in research and especially appeals to students who have been traditionally marginalized in Academia, as they are introduced to the wide-ranging interdisciplinary applications that Middle East studies can offer.
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All Middle East
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