Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies is required.
What is the Middle East? Does the historiography of the Middle East display defining characteristics that distinguish it from, for example, European historiography? Can the study and analysis of Middle East historiography and Islamic Studies reveal as much about Western perspectives of the Middle East and Islam as it does about the “actual” history of the region? Using these broad questions as points of departure, this course will survey the Western canon of historical writing on the region we now know as the Middle East. In the process, it will seek to place this body of literature in the context of larger historical and historiographic trends by reviewing major theoretical and methodological developments in the humanities and social sciences, examining their employment in concrete research projects focusing on the Middle East, and analyzing the resulting debates that have ensued within the profession. This course is designed for graduate students who have an interest in the Middle East and Islamic Studies.
to develop the skills and insights that are necessary to evaluate existing research and to design and carry out empirical research projects;
to obtain familiarity with the theories developed in social sciences and history and their application in the study of the Middle East and Islam;
to understand the merits and drawbacks of these theories both in general and in specific cases;
to develop and carry out a small research project on a well-defined topic, based on primary source texts;
to report on research findings orally (by reading a paper) and in writing, in accordance with the basic standards of historical scholarship.
Mode of instruction
Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. The convener needs to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course. In case of unforeseen absences make sure to have another student report on what you missed; you are responsible for seminar information and announcements whether present or not.
|Total course load: 10 EC x 28 hours||280 hours|
|3 contact hours per week||39 hours|
|12 hours reading for each class||156 hours|
|Brightspace assignments||5 hours|
|Preparing the presentation||5 hours|
|Short essay||15 hours|
|Final paper||60 hours|
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). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.
Students must submit their assignment(s) through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.
Assessment and weighing
Students will be graded on the basis of three assignments:
(1) Attendance, Preparation, & Participation (45%).
This component includes:
Presentations. Please see additional guidelines. (15%)
At least one in-class oral “reaction” to the presentation (10%)
Participation and preparation in the general discussions, including two questions submitted on blackboard to generate discussion for each of the week’s readings (20%)
(2) Peer assessment/feedback on the draft of your final paper (25%).
Students will be split into groups and offer written feedback on the rough draft of their peer’s proposals. A copy of the marked up proposal and additional comments will be uploaded on to Blackboard.
(3) Paper (30%). Each student will write a 10-12 page (2500-3000 words) draft of the thesis proposal.
Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hs late = -0.5; 24-48 hs late = -1.0; 48-72 hs late = -1.5; 72-96 hs late = -2.0. Submissions more than 96 hours late, including weekends, will receive a failing grade, in casu a 1.0 for this partial assessment.
The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.
Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower), the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper or project(including papers handed in more than 96 hours after the deadline), a re-sit of the project is possible (50%). In that case the convener of the course may decide to assign a (new) topic. The deadline for this version will be determined in consultation.
A re-sit of the other components is not possible
Final paper comments will be given only if a student requests them within 30 days of their final paper results.
Selected readings (check the course syllabus on Brightspace).
Students with disabilities
The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). 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 abovementioned protocol.