Dr. Andrea W. Herrmann, professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at UALR, offers students a way to tour the Middle East without leaving Arkansas. All it takes is enrolling in her Tuesday evening class, â€śReading and Writing in the Middle East.â€ť
â€śThis is a great class because it allows the participants to experience life in the Middle East through the eyes and words of residents â€” that is, talented writers who have taken some very interesting journeys of discovery during their lives,â€ť Herrmann said. â€śWe see the ups and downs, for example, of being a woman in certain Middle Eastern countries where residents in general and females in particular may have few rights â€” at least according to our own cultural experiences.â€ť
One of the readings students will understand what it is like to undergo a female circumcision and how that impacts a womanâ€™s life forever after. Â The class will read about and discuss lives of committed intellectuals, how they developed intellectually despite their societyâ€™s lack of intellectual freedom.
â€śStudents are encouraged to consider issues of ethnocentrism, their cultural assumptions, and to examine more closely their own values and how they acquired them,â€ť she said. â€śThis is a literature course where students learn to see how successful these books works as literature. Â And this is a writing course, where students learn to develop their writing abilities by creating a variety of focused and organized essays based on their experiences reading the texts.â€ť
And they will learn about the the Middle East through its literature, Herrmann said.
â€śWe will talk a lot about the Middle East, an area of the world I have a special interest in,â€ť Herrmann said, who lived in Morocco for two years, one year in Iran, and recently spent a month in Turkey.
The class, Â â€śTopics in Nonfiction Writing: Â Reading/Writing @ the Middle East, Rhet 4/5347.01, will meet from 6 to 8:40 p.m. Tuesdays this fall and is open to graduate as well as undergraduate students. Contact Herrmann at 501-569-8331