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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2007

HIS 388K • Modern Arab Renaissance: An Inquiry

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39995 TH
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
MEZ 1.122

Course Description

This class examines the political, intellectual, social and scientific aspects of the Arab project of modernity, the Nahda. We will review the first encounters with European enlightenment, the initial cultural optimism that characterized Arab thinkers, the birth of the modern Arab intellectual, the great schism between religious and secular thought, the rejection of Western-style modernity and the search for an indigenous path to progress and prosperity. Considering several different projects of Nahda, from early 19th century encounters to the radical thought of the early 21st century, we conclude by exploring the question: What is Arab modernity?

Grading Policy

20% reaction papers 50% Seminar paper 30% Participation


Selected Sources: Charles Kurzman, Modernist Islam 1840-1940: A Sourcebook (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) Mansoor Moaddel, Kamran Talattof (eds.), Modernist and. Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader (NY: Palgrave, 2002) Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, An Imam in Paris: Account of A Stay in France by an Egyptian Cleric, 1826-1831 (London: Saqi, 2004) Malcolm H. Kerr, Islamic Reform; the Political and Legal Theories of Muhammad `Abduh and Rashid Rida (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966). Banna Hasan, Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna' (1906-1949 : a Selection from the Majmu'at rasa'il al-Imam al-shahid Hasan al-Banna' (Berkeley, 1978). Binder, Leonard, Islamic Liberalism: A Critique of Development Ideologies (Chicago: 1988). Sayed Khatab, The Power of Sovereignty: the Political and Ideological Philosophy of Sayyid Qutb (London; New York: Routledge, 2006). Carre, Olivier, Mysticism and politics: a critical reading of Fi Zilal al-Qur'an by Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) (Leiden, 2003). Ian Buruma, Avishai Margalit, Occidentalism: the West in the Eyes of its Enemies (New York: Penguin Press, 2004) Osama Bin Laden, Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden Boullata, Issa, Trends and Issues in Contemporary Arab Thought (Albany: 1990) Arab Human Development Report 2003 by the United Nations Development Program Mohammed Arkoun, Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers (Colorado, 1994)


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