Islamic Civilization | spring 2002
I. Course Description
This course is a survey of Islamic civilization from its foundation in the 7th century to the present. It offers a chronological and topical approach to the study of Islamic civilization. The main objectives of the course are: (1) to survey the contours of Islamic history; (2) to familiarize students with a non-western civilization, its value systems, and its contributions to humanity; and (3) to teach analytical methods for understanding diverse peoples, cultures, and patterns of social identity.
II. Course Requirements
The final course grade will be determined on the basis of Class Attendance and Discussions (20%), Position Papers and Responses (30%), Group Presentations (15%), Global Review and Seminar Series (10%), Research Paper(25%), Course Summary and Evaluation (0.0%).

1. Class 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 available on-line. 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.

2. Thought 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 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.

3. Weekly Critiques: In addition you are required to respond to at least 10position 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.

4. 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. "Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere" Seminar Series meets on Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Schroeder 417. Please send me a brief summary/analysis of the lectures to

5.Research Paper: All students are required to apply the critical approaches and concepts learned in this course to a final research project on Islam. Your final research project must be directed toward a professional audience and should be of publishable quality. All papers must be presented at the 18th semiannual Rhetoric and the Historical Imagination Conference, scheduled for April 24, 2002. One short memo-proposal describing your research paper due by February 6, 2002. This should be accompanied by a concise title and a one-page working bibliography identifying both primary and secondary sources.

6. Course Evaluation: You will be required to write a critique the course, the instructor, the teaching intern, 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 April 24.

7. 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 April 24. 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.

8. Writing 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.

III. Grades
IV. Required Readings
To see a list of required reading materials for this course please download the corresponding word file.
copyright 2004 Mohamad Tavakoli Targhi