Thursday, August 20, 2015

Medieval Islamic History Syllabus

Here, bereft of bureaucratic language, is the syllabus for the current incarnation of my medieval Islamic world survey:

HIS 339: The Central Islamic Lands, 500-1700
202 Dauphin Humanities Center, MWF 10:00 a.m.
Dr. Brian J. Ulrich

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
Book of Travels, Nasir-i Khusraw
Electronic reserves found on D2L
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.  The first half of the course will deal with the elaboration of Islamic doctrines and practices in the Middle Eastern imperial context, with close attention to the debates and issues surrounding the primary sources for the period.  The second will focus on the way such doctrines and practices shaped and were shaped by the society, politics, and economy of later centuries, as well as the spread of Islam to new geographic regions.  This course’s 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 2, students will submit an essay on Nasir-i Khusraw’s Book of Travels.  Students will also complete a study of an academic monograph as a project from conception to reception (“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.  A student may receive credit for handing an assignment in on time by sending an e-mailed copy before the time the assignment was due, but must still hand in a hard copy for grading.  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.

Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments

August 24 – Course Intro
August 26 – Denny, 12-5; Lapidus, pp. 1-25; Berkey, 3-9 (Late Antiquity I)
August 28 – Berkey, pp. 10-39, 50-3; Chronicle of Zuqnin, Part III, pp. 94-99. (Late Antiquity II)

August 31 – Lapidus, pp. 31-8; Berkey, pp. 39-49; Aziz al-Azmeh, The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 126-33; James Lindsay, “Traditional Arabic  Naming System,” Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2005), pp. 173-178. (Pre-Islamic Arabia)
September 2 – Denny, pp. 23-37; Berkey, pp. 50-60; Chase Robinson, “Origins,” Islamic Historiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 2003), pp. 1-17   (Historiographical issues)
September 4 – Lapidus, pp. 39-54, 183-5; Ma’mar b. Rashid, “The Incident Concerning the Clan of al-Nadir,” The Expeditions, trans. Sean Anthony (New York: New York University Press, 2014), pp.  66-75; “Reconstructing the Historical Muhammad” and three posts linked to at bottom of that page (Muhammad)

September 7 – LABOR DAY
September 9 – Denny, pp. 40-64 (Islam I)
September 11 – 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 14 – Lapidus, pp. 58-65; Robert Hoyland, In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 56-65; Fred Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing  (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1998), pp. 174-82. (Early Conquests)
September 16 – Lapidus, pp. 66-83; Berkey, pp. 61-75 (End of “Rightly Guided Caliphate”)
September 18 – Lapidus, pp. 83-6, 114-22; Berkey, pp. 76-82; Fred Donner, “Umayyad Efforts at Legitimation: The Umayyads Silent Heritage,” Umayyad Legacies: Medieval Memories from Syria to Spain, ed. Antoine Borrut and Paul Cobb (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 187-212 (Second Civil War and Islam)

September 21 – Berkey, pp. 83-90; Tabari, Vol. 19, pp. 65-74 (Shi’ism)
September 23 – Lapidus, pp. 122-25, 149-53; Berkey, pp. 91-101; 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.  (Marwanid Period)
September 25 – Lapidus, pp. 87-90; Berkey, pp. 102-110; Tabari, Vol. 27, pp. 61-70; Steven C. Judd, "Medieval Explanations for the Fall of the Umayyads," Umayyad Legacies: Medieval Memories from Syria to Spain, ed. Antoine Borrut and Paul Cobb (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 89-104 (Abbasid Revolution)

September 28 –Lapidus, pp. 91-104; Berkey, pp. 113-123 (Abbasid Empire)
September 30 – Lapidus, 105-13, 126-34; Berkey, pp. 124-9 (Ninth Century)
October 2 – Denny, pp. 64-70; Lapidus, pp. 153-67; Berkey, pp. 141-151 (Sunnism and shari’a)

October 5 – Lapidus, pp.174-80; Berkey, pp. 130-40; Antoine Borrut, “Remembering Karbala: The Construction of an Early Islamic Site of Memory,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 42 (2015), pp. 249-82. (Shi’ite Sects)
October 7 – Denny, pp. 71-76; Lapidus, pp. 167-73; Berkey, pp. 152-158 (Origins of Sufism)
October 9 – 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 12 – FALL BREAK
October 14 – Exam I ID Section
October 16 – Exam II Essay Section

October 19 – Ronnie Ellenblum, The Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 3-11, 76-87, 240-8. (“Big Chill”)
October 21 – Berkey, pp. 179-88; Lapidus, pp. 225-33; 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 (Seljuqs)
October 23 – Lapidus, pp. 134-6, 254-63, 315-9; Nasir-i Khusraw, pp. 1-12 (Persian culture)

October 26 – Lapidus, pp. 271-3; Nasir-i Khusraw, pp. 13-48 (Random)
October 28 – Lapidus, pp. 238-43; Nasir-i Khusraw, pp. 48-81 (Fatimids)
October 30 – Nasir-i Khusraw, pp. 81-133 (Hajj, Arabia, Basra, Iran)

November 2 – Lapidus, pp. 243-54; Berkey, pp. 189-216 (Military patronage states and Islam) (Nasir-i Khusraw Essay due)
November 4 – Lapidus, pp. 306-13; Berkey, pp. 216-230, Leonor Fernandes, “The Foundation of Baybars al-Jashankir: Its Waqf, History, and Architecture,” Muqarnas 4 (1987): 21-42.  (ulama)
November 6 – Lapidus, pp. 302-15; Berkey, pp. 231-247 (Sufism institutionalized) 

November 9 – Lapidus, pp. 321-4; Berkey, pp. 248-257; Patricia Crone, The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 472-88. (Popular religion)
November 11 – Lapidus, pp. 264-71; Ibn Abdun, “The Market Inspector at Seville”; Women in  Islam and the Middle East: A Reader, ed. Ruth Roded (London: I.B. Tauris, 1999): TBA (Society in the High Middle Period)
November 13 – Lapidus, pp. 369-406 (North Africa and Spain)

November 16 – Lapidus, pp. 588-606 (West Africa)
November 18 – 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 20 – 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 25 - THANKSGIVING
November 27 - THANKSGIVING

November 30 – Lapidus, pp. 233-8; 490-506 (Ilkhans and Safavids) (Book Project due)
December 2 – Lapidus, pp. 427-62 (Ottoman Empire)
December 4 – Lapidus, pp.  521-35, 538-42 (Mughal Empire)

Final Exam: Monday, December 7, 10:30 a.m.

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