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

Summer 2009


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84920 MTWThF
2:30 PM-4:00 PM
GAR 0.128

Course Description

This survey course offers an introduction to the history, politics, and societies of the Arab Middle East, with a principal focus on the last two centuries. It seeks to provide essential background for understanding the forces that have shaped modern Arab history and the region's present-day realities, which now figure so prominently in the news. Beginning briefly with the rise of Islam and the key developments in the medieval period, the course reviews the story of the Arabs during their four centuries as part of the Ottoman Empire and then as part of the contemporary Arab state system that emerged following World War I, taking the narrative all the way to the present. The lectures and readings cover both developments in particular Arab societies as well as broader regional issues, including the nature of regimes, socio-economic patterns, Islamic political movements, the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the politics of oil, and the role of the United States. The class sessions are organized around lectures, with time provided for questions.

Grading Policy

Paper-–15%; midterm exam––35%; final exam––50%.


William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, 4th edition, 2009. James L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History, 2nd edition, 2008. R. Stephen Humphreys, Between Memory and Desire: The Middle East in a Troubled Age, 2nd edition, 2005 (selection).


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