Travel Journals

There are 5 travel journal assignments, each worth 2% of your course grade.
  1. Food Posse - due November 30, shown to me in person.
    • Form a group of about 3 to 5 people in the class.
    • Using your Dubai travel books or various online resources, identify at least 4 restaurants that your group can have dinner at and have a specific plan about how you will get there from the hotel.
    • Show me a map that identifies the location of the hotel and the locations of the 4 restaurants. Two options:
    • This assignment is for the group; I only need to see one map for the whole group, and you can explain your plan about how to get to the locations verbally. 

  2. Five Questions - due November 30, emailed to me.
    • Write 5 questions that you would want to ask a politics expert from the region. 
    • Use the Marc Lynch book, and the Weeks and Lake chapters about Iraq and the Early chapter about the UAE, as your inspiration.
    • The questions must be about matters of opinion and judgement, and not just facts. So, "who is the President of Saudi Arabia" is a bad question, but "why wasn't there an Egyptian-style mass uprising in the UAE" is a good question. 

  3. Public presentations of political identity - due January 8, emailed to me. But better to do it early. 
    • In class we talked about political identity. In particular, we described Pan-Arabism (or Arab Nationalism) as one potential rallying point for political identity in the region, and we also discussed Islamism as an alternative potential rallying point.  
    • Take a picture of a public display that, in your opinion, was consciously designed to make an argument about appropriate political identity. This can be a display in a museum, or a public square, or piece of architecture, or anything else that is generally open to the public. In a brief paragraph, explain why you think it promotes a particular conception of identity.   

  4. Peoplewatching - due January 8, emailed to me. But better to do it early.
    • Describe some people you saw in a public place. You do not need to interact with them. What conclusions can you draw about them based on how they behave, dress, and so on? (For example, you might draw a conclusion about gender relations, their social status, relations between citizens and guest workers or foreigners, and so on.)
    • Take a picture of them if you can do it discretely but you don't have to if you feel it would be inappropriate.   

  5. Summary - due January 8, emailed to me. Probably wait until the end.
    • Pick one thing from the trip - something you saw, or did, or a person you met - not otherwise covered in one of the two previous journal assignments. Include a picture if appropriate but it's not necessary. 
    • Explain something about it that you found interesting, or surprising. 
    • It does not need to be on a politics topic.  
    • This may be completed as a group of up to 4 people - be sure to include all your names on it.