Course Offerings

100 Introduction to the Modern Middle East

01:685:100 Introduction to the Modern Middle East – Synopsis (3 credits)

Pre-requisites: None

Course Description
This is an introductory course to Middle Eastern Studies. It introduces students to some of the major historical, political, cultural and urban conditions that comprise Middle Eastern Studies. It is an interdisciplinary course that examines major historical and political moments that have shaped and redefined the Modern Middle East through major themes: Modernity, colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, identity, state formation, economic development, democratization, wars and geography, gender and religion while emphasizing the need to critically rethink concepts of territoriality, sovereignty and citizenship, among others.

Course Learning Goals
• Students will come to appreciate the complexities in the political, social and cultural tapestries of the modern Middle East and its relationship to Europe and North America.

• Students will also develop the skills necessary to critically engage with differing perspectives found in contemporary scholarship and public discourses.

This course is certified for the Core Curriculum and meets the following learning goals:
• 21st Century Challenges [21C]

a. Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person's experiences of and perspectives on the world.
b. Analyze a contemporary global issue from a multidisciplinary perspective.

• Areas of Inquiry: Social and Historical Analysis [SCL & HST]

h. Understand the bases and development of human and societal endeavors across time and place.
k. Explain the development of some aspect of a society or culture over time, including the history of ideas or history of science.
m. Understand different theories about human culture, social identity, economic entities, political systems, and other forms of social organization.

• Areas of Inquiry: Arts and Humanities [AH]

o. Examine critically philosophical and other theoretical issues concerning the nature of reality, human experience, knowledge, value, and/or cultural production.

*This course is cross-listed with 01:563:100. Credit will not be given for both courses.

Required Texts
• Beverley Milton-Edwards, Contemporary Politics in the Middle East, 3rd ed. (Cambridge:Polity Press, 2011).
• Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East (Cambridge: University Press, 2004).


5 Critical Response Papers (1 double space page each on a topic of your choice) 25%
Take-home final exam and/or research paper (5-7 pages due December 15) 30%
In-class Assignments, Group Presentations and Participation in Discussions 30%
Attendance (more than two unexcused absences will affect your grade) 15%