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History 2353

The Middle East in the 20th century


Credit hours: 3
GEC categories: history, global
Prerequisites: none

Text Books:

Title Author(s) Publisher ISBN
What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam (2/e) John L. Esposito Oxford U.P.
David Lamb The Arabs Vintage Books
Bernard Lewis The Crisis of Islam Random House
Vali Nasr The Shia Revival WW Norton

Example Syllabus:

Course Objectives: History courses develop students’ knowledge of how past events influence today’s society and help them understand how human beings view themselves. (1) Students acquire a perspective on history and an understanding of the factors that shape human activity. (2) Students display knowledge about the origins and nature of contemporary issues and develop a foundation for future comparative understanding. (3) Students think, speak, and write critically about primary and secondary historical sources by examining diverse interpretations of past events and ideas in their historical contexts. (4) International Issues courses help students become educated, productive, and principled citizens of their nation and the world. (5) Students exhibit an understanding of political, economic, cultural, physical, and social differences among the nations of the world, including a specific examination of non-Western culture.

Course Content: In this seminar we will explore the political and social development and dynamics of the modern Middle east. We begin with a brief overview of the basic tenets and practices of Islam and a history of the interactions between Islam and the west. The goal of this course will be to more fully understand the context of the current conflicts, the terrorist attacks against the U.S., as well as the nature of Middle Eastern society in the early twenty-first century.

Method of Presentation: A few lectures, but primarily small group and class discussions of the readings. There are also a couple of films

Method of Evaluation: class participation -- 30% research paper -- 25% small group presentation -- 5% midterm -- 10% final -- 20%


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