The goal of this course is to introduce students to major intellectual, political, social and cultural issues and practices in the Middle East from late 18th century until the present. The emphasis throughout will be on identifying the ways in which specific events and long-term processes such as the impact of colonialism and nationalist movements, political Islam, political liberalization, the role of non-state actors, gender, ethnicity, class, and popular culture have informed social and political realities in the contemporary Middle East. The second half of the course will deal with contemporary issues ranging from the Arab-Israeli conflict, the impact of the Iranian Revolution, the emergence of Islamic movements, and the recent Arab revolutions. In addition, the class will be based on various types of readings ranging from primary documents, historical narratives, and historiography, to works of fiction and movies. This is intended to familiarize students with the craft of historical work and the process of creating the historiographies of the Modern Middle East.
Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors, and events, and has familiarised themselves with the academic understanding of history and the history specific to the chosen area, with an emphasis on the last two centuries. Furthermore, the student has acquired a basic understanding of the theories used in the field of History and those with specific relevance to the Middle East.
The student has acquired basic research skills, which he/she has put into practice for the first time in the shape of a small individual research project.
Acquired a comprehensive understanding of the historical, political, social, and cultural developments of the Middle East.
Acquired familiarity with the main debates in the histiography of the region, as well as the research methods used to investigate and explain trends and events of the contemporary Middle East.
Mode of instruction
Attendance is not obligatory for lectures. The conveners do not need to be informed in case of missed classes. Information and knowledge provided in the lectures greatly contribute to the subsequent courses of the programme. In order to pass the course, students are strongly advised to attend all sessions.
Each student will be graded on the basis of two formal assignments: (1) midterm project (50%) (2) final project (50%). Further information will be discussed in class.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final projects is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of taking an exam, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final project grades.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Anderson, Betty. A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.
Cleveland, William and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. New York: Westview Press, 2016.
Shlaim, Avi “Israel and the Arab Coalition.” In The Modern Middle East: A Reader, ed. by Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury, and Mary C. Wilson, 535-556. New York: IB Tauris, 2005.
Other selected readings.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office de Vrieshof.
Students with disabilities
The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol. Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the above mentioned protocol.
Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).