Middle Eastern History & Culture
3 Credit Hours

This course is an introduction to the history and culture of the modern Middle East from the late 18th century to the present. The course briefly surveys the early history of the region, beginning with the origins of Islam, but mainly focuses on the great pre-modern empires, their collapse under European pressures, the renaissance of Middle Eastern culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the move toward independent states in the 19th and 20th centuries, and pan-Arabist and Islamist ideologies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Considerable attention will be devoted to the region since 1945 and to the problems and promises of the present day. Discussions about the post-colonial present, exploring recent socioeconomic transformations, continuities, as well as struggles over political and religious authority, ethnic identity, gender, religion, the arts and humanities, media, popular culture, and access to resources, will be featured.