Middle East History | Fall
I. Course Description
This course offers a basic orientation to the
foundational myths, key concepts, and diverse linguistic, ethnic, religious, and
intellectual traditions of the Middle East. It investigates the competing
creation stories and reflects on the similarities between the
Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious traditions and their world historical
imaginations. Familiarized with the basic methods of historical analysis,
students study race, slavery, gender, and modernity in Middle Eastern and
Islamic history and evaluate Islam's contribution to the world history and
civilization. This course enables students to reflect critically on the popular
view of Islam and the Middle East as static monoliths and as exotic others of
Attendance: You are expected to attend all the lectures and discussions.
Lectures will frequently include materials not covered in the assigned readings
and for which you are responsible. Every student enrolled in the course must
prepare carefully for class and participate in on-line and class discussions.
All required and recommended readings are listed in the attached course outline
and are available in the Reserve Room of the Milner Library. You are urged to
complete the assigned reading prior to the class session at which they will be
introduced. During each class session we participate in an in-depth discussion
of the issues and problems raised in lectures, readings, and on-line debates.
Students who miss more than four class sessions may not pass this course.
Questions/Position Papers: To facilitate discussion, and to allow me to
gauge students' participation regardless of her/his personal assertiveness, you
are required to write a total of 5 one-page, single-spaced position
papers. Your thought papers should be made available to other students via
email@example.com 24 hours prior to the
class meetings. Your position papers should identify important events and
arguments and raise significant question concerning the readings, lectures, or
critical events in the Middle East.
In addition you are
required to respond to at least 5 position papers written by your peers.
Your correspondence should be spaced evenly over the course of the semester.
On-line discussions must be cordial, informative, and reflective.
3. Global Review
and Seminar Series: Because one of the goals of this course is to expand
students understanding of the Middle East in a world historical context, each
student will be asked to attend at least four class related public
events. There are two Middle East related weekly lecture series on campus.
Global Review meets every Thursday, 7:00 p.m. The meetings of South and South
West-Asian Studies Seminar series will be announced later. Please send me a
brief summary/analysis of the lectures you attend.
Evaluation: You will be required to write a critique the course, the
instructor, the teaching assistant, and the way the course has been carried out.
I would sincerely appreciate your specific comments, both positive and negative,
as well as your recommendations for improvement. Although I will not read the
evaluations until after I've calculated the grades, these evaluations are a
requirement of the course and are due no later than December 7.
Synopsis: Each student is required to write one 10-page computer
generated synopsis of central points covered in lectures and in the
assigned readings (including historical figures, institutions, concepts, and
dates). Most lectures will be accompanied by a handout outlining main points in
the lectures and a list of important names and terms. These lists provide a
convenient outline for writing your report. You are instructed to use personal
computers for all assignments. This will enable you to easily rewrite your
reports for extra credit. If you are not familiar with personal computers, you
are encouraged to attend a computer training workshop. Synopsis is due on
December 3. Late papers will not be accepted!
Self-Evaluation: You are required to turn in a statement evaluating your
work along with the grade that you think is appropriate. Your
self-evaluation must be submitted no later than December 3. This type-written
statement should include the following:
a. the goals you set
for yourself in the course;
b. the criteria by
which you are judging your work;
c. a description of
the way in which you have achieved your goals;
d. the grade you
think appropriately rates your performance.
Portfolio: Every student is required to submit a portfolio which includes
all class assignments and on-line discussions, synopsis, position papers,
self-evaluation, course evaluation, extra credit works, and your rewrites.
The final course grade will be determined on the basis of Class Attendance and Discussions (20%), Position Papers and Responses (30%), Global Review and Seminar Series (10%), Final Synopsis (20%), Course Summary and Evaluation (0.0%).
IV. Required Readings
To see a list of required reading materials for this course please download the corresponding word file