This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague may take about 45 minutes.
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.
The student has:
Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors, and events, and has familiarised him- / herself 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 Area History. Finally 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 knowledge and understanding of the concepts and conceptual structures relevant for the study of history from an area perspective, i.e. local, national, regional but also transnational and from a comparative, international, and global perspective.
A basic understanding of the methodologies used in the field of History. Both the methods and theories will be explained and activated through exercises based on the handbook common to all Area History courses and used for the overall History track in the programme. Robert Williams, The Historian's Toolbox; A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History* will be the common frame of reference. The student will make a first attempt to put into practice one relevant method in an individual research project.
The student also has:
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.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance. Being absent at more than two of the tutorial sessions will result in a lowering of your tutorial grade (40% of the end grade) with 1 point for each session missed after the first two sessions. Please note that being absent at any tutorial session may have a negative impact on the grade of the assignment due for that particular tutorial session. This is at the discretion of the tutor.
Final Wikipedia project:
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of Tutorial grade, Midterm project grade, and Final project grade.
The weighted average of the Midterm project grade and the Final project grade needs to be 5.5 or higher.
This means that failing project grades cannot be compensated with a high Tutorial grade.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the weighted average of Midterm- and Final project is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 60% of the material in the form of a written exam, replacing both the earlier Midterm- and Final project grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the Resit Exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2022 – 2023.
Exam review 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 organised.
Anderson, Betty. A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.
And additional readings to be announced on Brightspace.
- Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA International Studies
All other information.