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Summer School – Understanding the Middle East

“Identity in the Middle East and North Africa: actors, strategies and dynamics”


17th – 21th June 2019 

Within the context of the TOMidEast initiatives, the Department of Culture, Politics and Society, University of Turin, is pleased to announce the sixth edition of the Summer School “Understanding the Middle East” dedicated, this year, to the issue of identities and their politiziation.

Identity labels have projected and reinforced a very specific image of the Orient in the West. In particular, identity markers have been associated to primordialist readings of the region and they have been employed often to understand social, political and economic dynamics of the region. The reality on the ground is different, as identity become as malleable instrument, which is politicized. The process of interaction between identity(ies) and Arab States affected the political evolution of the region but also how the region has been studied, analyzed and narrated.


The sixth edition of the summer school “Understanding the Middle East” critically unpacks identity and its politicization, exploring the role they have had across time and space to read and represent regional political and social events.  Identity is thus used to frame relevant topic such as class, the status of minorities, State formation, sectarianism, language, and gender issues, among others.


In short, the objective of the summer school is to offer useful tools of analysis to better understand the complexity of the Middle East and, at the same time, to facilitate explanations away from oversimplifications.



Scientific Committee:

Rosita Di Peri, University of Turin (Summer School coordinator); Gilbert Achcar, SOAS, London; Francesco Cavatorta, Laval University, Quebec City; Raymond Hinnebusch, St. Andrews University, St. Andrews; Fadia Kiwan, St. Joseph University, Beirut; Ilter Turan, Bilgi University, Istanbul.

TOMidEast Project Officer:

Mrs Marcella Re

She can be contacted via email writing to the following address: middleeast.to@gmail.com,              or

by writing to:


c/o Department of Culture, Politics and Society

Lungo Dora Siena 100 

10153 Torino – ITALY

Check out the promotional video of the Summer School:


Enjoy and join us!

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