Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Modern Middle Eastern History Syllabus

Here, sans bureaucratic sections, is my Spring 2015 syllabus for "History of the Modern Middle East."

HIS 344: The Modern Middle East
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, 2-4:00 p.m. W

Required Texts:

The Middle East in Modern World History, Ernest Tucker
The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Documents, Julia Clancy-Smith and Charles Smith
The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories, Neil Caplan
For Better, For Worse: The Marriage Crisis that Made Modern Egypt, Hanan Kholoussy

Course Overview:

This course will cover the history of the Middle East from the 18th century to the present.  It is divided into two sections.  The first half will deal with the region during a long 19th century characterized by rapid transformations analogous to those found elsewhere in the world with the shift from an agrarian to an industrial social and economic order.  In particular, we will emphasize the rising significance of Europe for the Middle East, the forms of colonialism found in the Middle East and North Africa, developments within Middle Eastern society and culture, and the articulation of new political concepts and ideologies which have continuing importance in the region.  At the end of this section of the course, students will have an appreciation for events and developments which loom large in the Middle Eastern historical memory, an understanding of key concepts, an appreciation for the ways in which aspects of the region often described as “traditional” or even “medieval” are in fact part of the modern world, and a sound basis for comparing Middle Eastern developments in this period with those in other regions.

The second half of the course will focus on the important developments in the region during the 20th century, including but not limited to those conflicts which frequently make the headlines in American media.  Important subthemes include the role of foreign powers in the region’s politics and the continuing transformation of society and culture within the Middle East.  In furtherance of Shippensburg’s integrated history curriculum, we will also highlight the ways in which different constructed historical narratives figure into the region’s conflicts, with a special focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict.  At the end of this section of the course, students will be conversant with Arab, Iranian and Turkish nationalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, political Islam, and the political economy of the region.


Quizzes and Paragraphs: 10%
Participation: 10%
Photo Interpretation Essay: 10%
Hanan Kholoussy Essay: 12.5%
Research Paper: 15%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 22.5%

Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments

January 21 – Course Intro
January 23 – Tucker, 17-25 (Islam and Middle Eastern history)

January 26 – Tucker, 41-5; Sam White, The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.137-9, 174-9, 222-5, 247-8, 275, 291-7. (For this books’ pages in EBL navigation bar at top, add 24) (Ottoman Decline)
January 28 – Dina Rizk Khoury, “The Ottoman centre versus provincial power-holders: an analysis of the historiography,” The Cambridge History of Turkey, Vol. III, ed. Suriya N. Faroqhi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 135-56. (18th century Ottoman Empire)
January 30 – Tucker, 54-67 (Selim III – Auspicious Incident)

February 2 – Clancy-Smith and Smith, 65-70; Judith Tucker, “Decline of the Family Economy in Mid-Nineteenth Century Egypt,” Arab Studies Quarterly 1 (1979): 245-71 (Mehmet Ali)
February 4 – Tucker, 71-86; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 70-4 (Tanzimat Era)
February 6 – Clancy-Smith and Clancy, pp. 44-8; Haim Gerber, “The Ottoman Land Law of 1858 and Its Consequences,” The Social Origins of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner: 1987), 67-90. (Tanzimat Era)

February 9 – Tucker, 104-7; Kemal Karpat, “The New Middle Classes and the Naksbandia,” The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 89-116 (Islamic reformism)
February 11 – Clancy-Smith and Smith, 57-9, 76-7; Laurence Louer, “The Formation of a Central Religious Authority,” Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 69-82. (Shi’ism)
February 13 – Tucker, 91-5; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 29-43 (colonialism)

February 16 – Ehud Toledano, “Social and economic change in the ‘long nineteenth century,’” Cambridge History of Egypt, Vol. II, ed. M.W. Daly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 252-84. (Late 19th century Egypt)
February 18 – Tucker, 99-104; Kemal Karpat, The Politicization of Islam, pp. 145-54, 185-8 AbdulHamid II)
February 20 – Tucker, 67-9, 87-9, 95-6 (19th-century Iran)

February 23 – Tucker, 107-9, 112-24; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 77-84 (Constitutions) (Photo Interpretation Essay Due)
February 25 – Tucker, 128-43; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 109-13; 60 Minutes on Armenian Genocide (World War I and Armenian Genocide)
February 27 – Exam ID Section

March 2 – Exam Essay Section
March 4 – Tucker, 162-6, 243-9, 364-5; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 157-61 (Modern Turkey)
March 6 - Ervand Abrahamian, “The Iron First of Reza Shah,” A History of Modern Iran (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 63-96. (Reza Shah)


March 16 – Tucker, 144-59; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 113-8, 120-30, 134-5 (New Order)
March 18 – Caplan, 1-55 (Arab-Israeli Conflict intro)
March 20 – Tucker, 175-8; Kholoussy, 1-22; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 166-8, 170-3 (Arab world interwar period: Egypt)

March 23 – Tucker, 184-8; Kholoussy, 23-75 (Arab world interwar period: Syria and Lebanon)
March 25 – Tucker, 181-4; Kholoussy, 77-127 (Arab world interwar period: Iraq and Jordan) (Hanan Kholoussy Essay due)
March 27 – Caplan, 56-100 (Mandatory Palestine)

March 30 – Tucker, 190-200; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 194-7; Orit Bashkin, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012), pp. 112-25 (World War II)
April 1 – Tucker, 202-11; Caplan, 101-30; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 207-9 (1948)
April 3 – Tucker, 213-29; Caplan, 131-43; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 211-2 (Pan-Arabism)

April 6 – Albert Hourani, “The Algerian War,” A History of the Arab Peoples, (Cambridge: Belknap, 1991), pp. 369-72; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 216-24 (Post-French North Africa)
April 8 – Tucker, 249-56; Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: New Press, 2013), pp. 205-26 (Mossadeq and Muhammad Reza Pahlavi)
April 10 – Tucker, 231-41; Caplan, 143-77 (1967 and after)

April 13 – Tucker, 258-70, 282-5; OPEC reading TBA (oil and 1973)
April 15 – James Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 290-9; Clancy-Smith and Smith, 233-5; Barbara Zollner, The Muslim Brotherhood: Hasan al-Hudaybi and Ideology (New York: Routledge, 2009), pp. 106-29  (Infitah and Islamism)
April 17 – Tucker, 272-82, 309-15; Caplan, 178-94 (Camp David and Lebanon)

April 20 – Tucker, 287-303, 323-7 (“Long” 1980’s)
April 22 – Tucker, 327-35, 350-5; Caplan, 195-210 (Intifada and Peace Process)
April 24 – Caplan, pp. 221-67 (Philosophical Discussion)

April 27 – Michael Axworthy, “Iran Since the Revolution: Islamic Revival, War and Confrontation,” A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind (New York: Basic Books, 2008), pp. 259-81. (Research Paper Due)
April 29 – Tucker, 337-41, 346-50; Nir Rosen, Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World (New York: Nation Books, 2010), pp. TBA (Post-9/11 Wars)
May 1 – Clancy-Smith and Smith, 292-8; Reflections on the Arab Uprisings, essays by Vickie Langohr, Quinn Mecham, David Siddhartha Patel, Curtis Ryan, and Mark Tessler (Arab Spring and Aftermath)

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