Islam in Hollywood (RLST 243.3)

Recent/Current Offerings

Syllabus / Public content Section Term Instructor
RLST 243 02 January 2018 Fachrizal Halim
RLST 243 02 January 2017 Fachrizal Halim
RLST 243 02 January 2016


This course will examine the representations of Islam and Muslims as they appear or are portrayed in the Hollywood film industry. From the early twentieth century up until the present era of the global War on Terrorism, Hollywood has manufactured images of Islam that have been closely intertwined with the dynamics of political and economic interests and ideological motives to dominate Other. Through lectures, discussion, and the screening of selected movies ? from the classic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to post 9/11 films such as The Kingdom (2007) ? we will closely analyze what has changed in the representations of Islam, what persists, and why. This course is not an entirely movie-based review and analysis. However, in order to present the images of Hollywood?s Islam in the lectures and discussion, the screening of selected movies is inevitable. This course will be divided into three themes: classical Oriental depictions of Islam (which portrayed Muslims as exotic, sensual, and irrational); national security concerns, from the post-1979 Iranian revolution to the Gulf War, and; the global War on Terrorism after 9/11.


3 credit units RLST 100-level or 18 credits at university level

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