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History of the Middle East 2 (1500-present)


Admission requirements



This course provides an overview of major events and processes that have shaped the history of the Middle East, Persia/Iran and Turkey from 1500 until the present. It focuses on political, social and intellectual developments in specific countries and the region as a whole. These include major phenomena such as Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, the impact of Colonialism and the creation of nation states, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the emergence of political Islam, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the effects of the end of the Cold War, the 2011 Arab uprising and its aftermath. The method of the course rests on comparative historiographies of the region and analysis of primary documents, including legal texts, chronicles, diaries, as well as images, documentary and film excerpts to render these historical developments more tangible to students.

Course objectives

This course seeks to expose students to different methods and intellectual traditions that have shaped our understanding of historical processes, critical junctures and personalities in the Middle East since the 1500s. The principal aim is to empower students in critically engaging with past and current interpretations of social, political, economic dimensions of Middle Eastern societies.



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.

Course Load

5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hrs
Lectures (13 x 2) 26
Study of compulsory literature in preparation of classes and exam 110
Exam(s) 4

Assessment method

Partial Assessment Weighing
Midterm exam: written examination with closed questions (e.g. multiple choice) 40%
Final exam 60%


There is only one resit opportunity (in June 2019) which will make up 100% of the mark.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • reading and other material related to the course

Reading list

  • Cleveland, William. History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009 or more recent edition. ISBN: 978-0813343747

  • other selected readings will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. M. Calculli


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

Academic Integrity

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).