Approaches to Afghanistan (SCT2144.01)

Noah Coburn

Too much of how the international media portrays Afghanistan is based on stereotypes and cliches that ignores some of the deep, rich scholarship of the country over recent years. What are the different ways that scholars attempt to make sense of Afghanistan? What can we learn from studying these approaches? What does it teach us about Afghanistan and the world more broadly?

This is a remotely-accessible joint course offered by Bennington College and the American University of Afghanistan. It is composed of a series of visiting lectures, presentations and interviews with scholars and others who focus their work on Afghanistan. Each week we will consider one approach to the country, asking how does discipline (e.g. political science, media studies, anthropology), methodology (e.g. ethnography, archival research, activist-research) and theory shape our understanding of a place. While not focused specifically on the current crisis, we will consider what we can learn from past approaches to the country and what that may mean for Afghanistan’s future.

Assignments include two reflection papers and a final research proposal using a specific disciplinary or interdisciplinary orientation and methodological approach chosen by the student.

Class will be a two hour recorded session, followed by a two hour interactive session on Zoom, with an asynchronous option.


Learning Outcomes:
-Understand how scholars deploy different disciplinary lens to better understand Afghanistan’s past, present and future
-Reflect on and communicate about a series of multimedia presentations
-Construct a research project based around a line inquiry that responds to some aspect of the current moment in Afghanistan
-Build connections and engage with other class members and scholars with interests in Afghanistan located around the globe



Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Updates , SCT , Remotely Accessible
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