Saturday, August 17, 2013

Medieval Islam Syllabus

Below is my syllabus for my survey of premodern Islamic history, minus the more bureaucratic sections:

HIS 339: The Central Islamic Lands, 500-1700
208 Dauphin Humanities Center, MWF 9:00 a.m.
Dr. Brian J. Ulrich
Office: 201 Dauphin Humanities Center, ex. 1736
Office Hours: 11-11:50 a.m. MWF, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. W, also by appointment
Required Texts:
Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History, Ira Lapidus
The Formation of Islam, Jonathan Berkey
Islam and the Muslim Community, Frederick Denny
Women in Islam and the Middle East: A Reader, Ruth Roded
Electronic reserves found on Blackboard
Course Overview
This course will cover the regions where Islam was a significant presence either culturally or politically from its origins until the period of the “Gunpowder Empires” in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Key themes will involve the origins of Islamic doctrines and institutions, the development of Islamic polities and high culture, the spread of Islam and diversity of Islamic societies, and the interaction of economics, politics, culture, geography and societies in history.  Its contribution to an integrated history curriculum includes an awareness of issues in approaching premodern primary sources, the nature of premodern polities, and the way time periods and regions are often bounded in ways contingent on particular themes and questions.
This course will feature two exams combining IDs and essays.  On November 4, there will be group presentations on an aspect of Islamic art or science in class.  Students will also complete a study of an academic monograph as a project from conception to impact (“Book Project”).  Pop quizzes will occasionally check reading, and paragraph writing assignments will occasionally ask you to engage with readings.  Quizzes and some paragraph writing assignments cannot be made up, but the lowest grade in that section will be dropped from the final calculation.  Attendance in class is mandatory, and 5% will be deducted from students’ participation grades for each class missed over three.  Participation, however, is more than just attendance, and will reflect asking and answering of questions and participation in discussions.
Quizzes and Paragraphs: 15%
Participation: 10%
Art and Science Presentations: 8%
Book Project: 22%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 25%
Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments
August 26 – Course Intro
August 28 – Denny, 12-5; Lapidus, pp. 1-25; Berkey, 3-9 (Late Antiquity I)
August 30 – Berkey, pp. 10-39; Chronicle of Zuqnin, Part III, pp. 94-99. (Late Antiquity II)

September 2 – LABOR DAY
September 4 – Lapidus, pp. 31-8; Berkey, pp. 39-53; James Lindsay, “Traditional Arabic   Naming System,” Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2005), pp. 173-178 (Pre-Islamic Arabia)
September 6 – Denny, pp. 23-37; Berkey, pp. 57-60; Chase F. Robinson, “The Emergence of  Genre,” Islamic Historiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 18-30; Gregor Schoeler, “The Relationship of Literacy and Memory in the Second/Eighth Century,” The Development of Arabic as a Written Language, ed. M.C.A. Macdonald (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2010), pp. 121-126. (Historiographical issues)

September 9 – Lapidus, pp. 39-54; Roded, pp. 32-47 (Muhammad)
September 11 – Denny, pp. 40-64; Roded, pp. 27-31 (Islam I)
September 13 – Denny, pp. 77-88, 98-106; Asma Afsaruddin, “The Concept of Jihad,” The First Muslims: History and Memory (Oxford: Oneworld, 2008), pp. 108-120; Ethar El-Katatney, “To Mecca and Back Again” (web link) (Islam II)

September 16 – Lapidus, pp. 58-79 (Rashidun Caliphate I)
September 18 – Lapidus, pp. 80-3; Berkey, pp. 61-75 (Rashidun Caliphate II)
September 20 – Lapidus, pp. 83-7; Berkey, pp. 76-90 (Early Umayyads)

September 25 – Lapidus, pp. 114-25; Berkey, pp. 91-101 (Religious change)
September 23 – Roded, pp. 58-73; Tabari, Vol. 19, pp. 65-74 (Shi’ism)
September 27 – Lapidus, pp. 87-90; Berkey, pp. 102-110; Tabari, Vol. 27, pp. 61-70 (Abbasid Revolution)

September 30 –Lapidus, pp. 91-104; Berkey, pp. 113-123; Roded, pp. 84-91 (Abbasid Empire)
October 2 – Lapidus, 126-31; Berkey, pp. 125-9; Ira M. Lapidus, “The Separation of State and Religion in the Development of Early Islamic Society,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 6 (1975): 363-85. (Religious authority)
October 4 – Denny, pp. 64-70; Lapidus, pp. 141-49; Berkey, pp. 141-151; Roded, pp. 48-57 (Sunnism and hadith)

October 7 – Lapidus, pp. 154-67, 174-80 (Shari’a, Shi’ite Sects)
October 9 – Denny, pp. 71-76; Lapidus, pp. 167-73; Berkey, pp. 152-158; Roded, pp. 128-134 (Origins of Sufism)

October 14 – FALL BREAK
October 16 – Exam I ID Section
October 18 – Exam II Essay Section

October 21 – Guest Speaker
October 23 – Berkey, pp. 159-175; Michael Morony, “The Age of Conversions: A Reassessment,” Conversion and Continuity: Indigenous Christian Communities in Islamic Lands Eighth to Eighteenth Centuries, ed. Michael Gervers and Ramzi Jibran Bikhazi, (Toronto: PIMS, 1990), pp. 135-150 (Non-Muslims and Conversion)
October 25 – Lapidus, pp. 225-30, 238-43; Berkey, pp. 130-140; Roded, pp. 112-4 (Regional states and “Shi’ite Century”)

October 28 – Ronnie Ellenblum, The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 3-11, 76-87, 240-8.
October 30 – Michael Chamberlain, “Military Patronage States and the Political Economy of the Frontier, 1000-1250,” A Companion to the History of the Middle East, ed. Youssef M. Choueiri, (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005), pp. 235-53; Roded, pp. 117-27 (Seljuqs)
November 1 – Lapidus, pp. 254-63; Berkey, pp. 179-202 (Characteristics and narrative of High Middle Period)

November 4 – Islamic science and art presentations
November 6 – Lapidus, pp. 330-40; Berkey, pp. 203-223 (Military patronage states and Islam)
November 8 – Berkey, pp. 224-230; Roded, pp. 131-134, 140-58 (ulama)

November 11 – Lapidus, pp. 302-15; Berkey, pp. 231-247 (Sufism institutionalized)
November 13 – Lapidus, pp. 321-4; Berkey, pp. 248-257 (Popular religion)
November 15Lapidus, pp. 264-73; Roded, pp. 103-11, 135-9, 159-67; Yossef Rapoport, Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 111-4 (Society in the High Middle Period)

November 18Lapidus, pp. 369-406 (North Africa and Spain)
November 20 – Lapidus, pp. 588-606 (West Africa)
November 22 – Lapidus, pp. 507-21; Richard M. Eaton, “Sufi Folk Literature and the                               Expansion of Indian Islam,” History of Religions 14 (1974): 117-27 (South Asia)

November 25 – Lapidus, pp. 561-6; Geoff Wade, “Early Muslim Expansion in South-East Asia, eighth to fifteenth centuries,” The New Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 379-403. (Southeast Asia)
November 27 - THANKSGIVING
November 29 - THANKSGIVING

December 2 – Lapidus, pp. 233-8; 490-506 (Ilkhans and Safavids)
December 4 – Lapidus, pp. 427-62 (Ottoman Empire)
December 6 – Lapidus, pp.  521-35, 538-42 (Mughal Empire)

Final Exam: December 13, 8 a.m.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home