This course explores the literature and concerns of anthropologists conducting ethnographic research in the greater Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is designed for students with a background in social and cultural anthropology who wish to become familiar with the social and religious complexity of the MENA region, and the anthropological questions it has compelled. Islam has long been the area's principal social and historical force and thus provides the backdrop for much, but not all, of the ethnography considered in the course. Moreover, Muslim majority MENA countries exhibit considerable social and sectarian diversity. Readings and lectures attend to differences as well as resemblances, while considering issues such as gender roles, kinship, marriage, local level practices, medicine, secularism, 'public Islam,' nationalism, and the persistent problem of orientalism.