Thursday, August 28, 2008

HIST 259: Introduction to the Modern Middle East

For those who might be interested, this is my Modern Middle East syllabus for the semester:

HIST 259: Introduction to the Modern Middle East
111 Alumni Hall, 11:20 MWF
Dr. Brian Ulrich

Office: 309 Alumni Hall, Ex. 7556 (Office Hours: 10 – 11 a.m. MWF or by appointment)

Required Texts:

The Modern Middle East: A History, 2nd Edition, James L. Gelvin
The Modern Middle East, 2nd Edition, ed. Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury and Mary C. Wilson
Confronting Iran, Ali M. Ansari

Reserve Texts with Required Readings:

A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire, M. Sukru Hanioglu
Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East, Akram Fouad Khater
Electronic reserves found on Blackboard

This course will deal with the major changes and trends in the Middle East for the past 200 years, with particular influence on those which are most significant for current issues in the region. At the same time, it will introduce students to aspects of how historians work with primary and secondary sources to approach historical problems, as well as how historical events can become the subject of different interpretations, and how these different interpretations can become part of what drives conflicts today.

Among the readings, Gelvin and Hanioglu will convey important background information in a general way, while Ansari and the anthologies of articles and primary sources will be used more as discussion pieces and in skill building exercises. Electronic reserves fall into both categories. Exam dates will not change for any reason, and students who have unavoidable conflicts must see me for alternate arrangements as soon as they become known. Small assignments will usually be announced one or two class periods in advance, and will receive reduced credit if handed in late. Occasional quizzes will check student comprehension of readings and other course material and cannot be made up. Attendance in class is mandatory, and missing more than three class periods will result in a reduced participation grade. Participation, however, is more than just attendance, and will reflect your asking and answering of questions and participation in discussions. The instructor may change readings during the course of the semester.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and handled according to Colgate procedures. Any text an assignment taken from another source must be noted with quotation marks and the original source indicated. On some assignments, all information, regardless of whether exact words are used, must be cited via footnotes. Furthermore, due to the importance of participation and handing in assignments in a timely manner, misrepresentation of the reasons for an absence or late assignment will be considered a case of academic dishonesty.


Small Assignments and Quizzes: 30%
Participation: 20%
Mid-Term Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 30%

If you feel you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, you should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. If you have not already done so, please contact Lynn Waldman at the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services in the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research. Ms. Waldman is responsible for determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities on a case-by-case basis, and more generally, for ensuring that members of the community with disabilities have access to Colgate’s programs and services. She also assists students in identifying and managing the factors that may interfere with learning and in developing strategies to enhance learning. Her services are available free of charge to all students.

Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments

September 1 – Intro
September 3 – Gelvin, pp. 1-34
September 5 – Gelvin, pp. 35-59

September 8 – Hanioglu, pp. 6-41
September 10 – Gelvin, pp. 73-87
September 12 – Hourani, “Ottoman Reform and the Politics of Notables”

September 15 – Gelvin, pp. 148-54; Hanioglu, pp. 72-108
September 17 – Tucker, “Decline of the Family Economy,”
September 19 – Quataert, “Ottoman Women, Households, and Textile Manufacturing 1800-1914”

September 22 – Gelvin, pp. 88-99; Khater, pp. 38-65
September 24 – Diana K. Davis, Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa, (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2007), pp. 26-44, 96-102.
September 26 – Gelvin, pp. 110-10,158-61

September 29 – Gelvin, pp. 123-31, 161-2
October 1 – Gelvin, pp. 132- 38
October 3 – Lambton, “Social Change in Persia”

October 6 – Gelvin, pp. 139-46, 163-7
October 8 – Ansari, pp. 1-18.
October 10 – Justin McCarthy, Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims 1821-1922, (Princeton: Darwin Press, 1995), pp. 138-164; Khater, pp. 184-92.

October 13 – Gelvin, pp. 112-22
October 15 – Examination
October 17 – Gelvin, pp. 171-96; Khater, pp. 128-30, 145-51.

October 20 – FALL BREAK
October 22 – Gelvin, pp. 197-205; Dawn, “From Ottomanism to Arabism”
October 24 – Beinin and Lockman, “1919: Labor Upsurge and National Revolution”

October 27 – Khoury, “Syrian Urban Politics in Transition”
October 29 – Gelvin, pp. 206-14, Khater, pp. 114-28, 131-6 (Zionism)
October 31 – Michelle Campos, “Remembering Jewish-Arab Contact and Conflict,” Reapproaching Borders: New Perspectives on the Study of Israel-Palestine, (Plymouth: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), pp. 41-65.

November 3 – Avi Shlaim, “The debate about 1948,” The Israel/Palestine Question: A Reader, 2nd ed., ed. Ilan Pappe, (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 139-60.
November 5 – Gelvin, pp. 223-46
November 7 – Gelvin, pp. 247-67

November 10 – Robert Vitalis, America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 88-105.
November 12 – Ansari, pp. 19-53
November 14 – James L. Gelvin, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 165-82.

November 17 – Humphreys, “The Strange Career of Pan-Arabism”
November 19 – Gelvin, pp. 290-99; Selections from Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones
November 21 – Gelvin, pp. 278-89

November 24 – Read Ansari while professor is at a conference


December 1 – Ansari (complete book)
December 3 – Gelvin, pp. 268-77 (Arab-Israeli Conflict)
December 5 – Charles Tripp, A History of Iraq, 3rd Ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 250-76.

December 8 – Society and Culture Presentations
December 10 – Society and Culture Presentations
December 12 – Society and Culture Presentations

December 19, Noon – Final Exam Period



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