Middle Eastern History and Culture
3 Credit Hours

This course is an introduction to the history and culture of the Middle East, with an emphasis on the modern era. It briefly surveys the early history of the region, beginning with the origins and evolution of ancient civilizations and the rise of monotheistic religions; but mainly focuses on the great pre-modern Islamic 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 the development of pan-Arabist and Islamist ideologies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Other topics include the Middle East's geography and natural resources; literature and other fine arts; economic development and commerce; governments and foreign relations; science and technology; media and popular culture; and gender, ethnicity, and cultural identity. Knowledge of diverse cultures and an understanding of global interconnectedness are important skills for achieving success in many occupations and professions; thereby directly contributing to a higher quality of life.