This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to major intellectual, political, social and cultural issues and practices in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries. The emphasis throughout will be on identifying the ways in which specific events and long-term processes have informed social and political realities in the contemporary Middle East. Geographically, we will focus on Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt. We will study some of the most significant political, social, economic and cultural developments in the region, including (but not limited to): the rise and formation of modern nation states, the role of imperialist and colonial powers, the emergence of nationalism and pan-Arabism, authoritarianism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the politics of oil, the rise of Islamic political movements, and will examine the “Arab Spring.” In addition, the class will be based on various types of readings ranging from primary documents, historical narratives, and historiography, to works of fiction. This is intended to familiarize students with the craft of historical work and the process of creating the historiographies of the Modern Middle East.
This course provides an introduction to the modern history of the region of North Africa and West Asia between the Atlantic and Central Asia, commonly known as the Middle East. It covers the period from the end of the 18th century until the present. In addition, the class will be based on various types of readings ranging from primary documents, historical narratives, and historiography, to works of fiction. 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 timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
One two hour lecture per week; bi-weekly tutorials.
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%
If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.
There is an optional extra-credit assignment that is due on May 1 via Blackboard by 17:00.
Students may write a response/reaction paper to Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, Men in the Sun & Other Palestinian Stories, pp. 21-74. This paper is not expected to be drawn from outside readings and should not be a book review or a summary. Instead, it ought to be a focused analysis of the work. The main purpose is to encourage you to read the material closely and stimulate discussion through the written paper. This essay will add up to 1.0 points to your mid-term exam grade.
Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity (http://www.regulations.leiden.edu (English) and http://www.reglementen.leidenuniv.nl/index.php3?m=&c=63 (Dutch). Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, I assume that work is your own and that all sources are indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to me. Another incredibly helpful resource is: Mary Lynn Rampolla’s A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s; 6th edition, 2009). ISBN: 978-0312535032.
Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.
William Cleveland and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. New York: Westview Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0813348339
Nikki Keddie. “Iranian revolutions in Comparative Perspective.” In The Modern Middle East: A Reader, edited by Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury, and Mary C. Wilson, 615-637. New York: IB Tauris, 2005.
Edward Said. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979, pp. 1-28.
Avi Shlaim. “Israel and the Arab Coalition” In The Modern Middle East: A Reader, edited by Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury, and Mary C. Wilson, 535-556. New York: IB Tauris, 2005.
Feroz Ahmad. War and Society under the Young Turks, 1908-1918. In The Modern Middle East: A Reader, edited by Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury, and Mary C. Wilson, 125-143. New York: IB Tauris, 2005.
Ziad Abu-Amr. Hamas: A Historical and Political Background. Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4. (Summer, 1993).
Extra Credit Reading:
- Ghassan Kanafani. Men in the Sun, Men in Men in the Sun & Other Palestinian Stories, pp. 21-74.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs