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

Kamran Scot Aghaie

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1999, University of California at Los Angeles

Associate Professor; Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Kamran Scot Aghaie

Contact

Biography

I was born in Oregon in 1967, but spent much of my childhood growing up in Isfahan, Iran. I moved back to the United States as a teenager in 1980. In 1991, I graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the fields of History and Asian Studies. While still a student at UT Knoxville, I completed the Summer Intensive Arabic program at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. I then entered the Doctoral program in History at the University of California, Los Angeles. I completed my MA in 1995 and my PhD in 1999, both in the field of History. However, in 1992, I interrupted my studies at UCLA for one year in order to study Arabic in the CASA program (Center for Arabic Study Abroad Program) at the American University in Cairo, located in Egypt.
 
My area of specialization is modern Iran and Islamic History with a particular focus on Shi'i symbols and rituals in modern Iran. My primary research areas include: Modern Islamic history, Islamic rituals, social and cultural history, religious and political discourses, historiography, nationalism, and gender studies. I have published, or am currently researching, in all of these areas. My language areas include Persian and Arabic.

Interests

The Modern Middle East, Iran, the Arab world, Islamic Studies, Shi'ism, Nationalism, Historiography, Gender Studies, and Crime.

Research

My research focuses on Modern Iranian History, Shi’ism, Historiography, and Nationalism. My main publications include The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi‘i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran, The Women of Karbala: The Gender Dynamics of Ritual Performances and Symbolic Discourses of Modern Shi‘i Islam, Mourning and Memory (a special issue of the Journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East), which was Co-Edited with Rebecca Saunders, and Rethinking Iranian Nationalism (a forthcoming volume, co-edited with Afshin Marashi).

I’m currently working on two projects, "Religious Nationalism in Iran and the Muslim Middle East", and the politics of crime in the late Qajar period.

Courses taught

Survey of Modern Iranian History; Introduction to Islam; Prophet of Islam; The Qur’an; Muslim Travelers and Traders; Modern Iranian History and Historiography; the Islamic Revolution of Iran; Iranian Historians: Texts and Historiography; Shi’ite Islam; Nationalism and Politics in Iran; and Shi’ite Religious and Political Ideologues.

HIS 388K • Islamic Revolution Of Iran

40165 • Fall 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as MES 385, R S 390T )
show description

This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic Revolution that took place in Iran in 1978-­‐79. In order to provide an appropriate historical context for the study of the revolution students will be exposed to a broad survey of Shi'ism and Modern Iranian History. Students will learn the many theories regarding why the revolution happened, what factors contributed to its development, and how Iranian society, culture, politics, and religious beliefs and practices were affected by the revolution. In addition to weekly reading assignments, students will discuss these texts and present their research in class. In addition to class participation, students will write a graduate level research paper, as well as a short proposal for this paper.

Texts

Course packet containing selected articles and texts will be assigned.

Grading

Class participation 30%

Short paper (due week ten) 20%

Research paper (due at end of semester) 50%

HIS 388K • Mod Iranian Hist & Historiog

39855 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.122
(also listed as MES 385 )
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This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the historical developments in Modern Iran. Students will learn how Iranian society, culture, and politics have evolved throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course will also introduce students to many of the key debates in the field of Modern Iranian history. Students will read, analyze, and discuss selected titles from a list of the most influential scholarly books on Modern Iranian History. Readings in primary historical documents will also be required. Whenever possible, these will be in the original Persian language. However, for students who do not have sufficient Persian language skills, translations will be used. One of the goals of the course is to give students the necessary research and writing skills, along with the requisite knowledge of the field, to conduct meaningful research in the area of Modern Iranian History.

Texts:

A Course Packet, available for purchase at Speedway Copies, which is located on the ground floor of Dobie Mall

Grading:

Class participation                                                       25%

Short paper (due in week nine)                                    25%

Analytical paper on one week’s readings                    10%

Research paper (due at end of semester)                     40%

HIS 331L • Modern Iran

39303 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 216
(also listed as ISL 373, MES 324K )
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Course Description

This is an introductory class to the history of the Middle East in the 20^th century. The main question for consideration is which forces and what sort of developments transformed this region from a relatively peaceful region to a radicalized environment and a source for opposition against the “West.” By exploring critical political, social, intellectual and economic themes such as colonialism, Arab nationalism, secular modernism, the impact of Zionism and military conflict, the rise of political Islam, the status of women and the oil revolution, we would identify the main internal and external forces, as well as the critical processes, that shaped the region during the last century. Conducted in English. 

 

Texts

Abrahamian: A History of Modern Iran

Ansari: Modern Iran since 1921

Keddie: Modern Iran

Satrapi: Persopolis

 

Grading & Requirements

Class attendance and participation: 25%

Quiz grade: 15%

Midterm exam: 30%

Final exam: 30%

HIS 388K • Islamic Rev Of Iran, 1978-90

39733 • Spring 2012
Meets W 1200pm-300pm PAR 210
(also listed as MES 385 )
show description

This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic Revolution that took place in Iran in 1978-­‐79. In order to provide an appropriate historical context for the study of the revolution students will be exposed to a broad survey of Shi'ism and Modern Iranian History. Students will learn the many theories regarding why the revolution happened, what factors contributed to its development, and how Iranian society, culture, politics, and religious beliefs and practices were affected by the revolution. In addition to weekly reading assignments, students will discuss these texts and present their research in class. In addition to class participation, students will write a graduate level research paper, as well as a short proposal for this paper.

 

Texts

Course packet containing selected articles and texts will be assigned.

 

Grading

Class participation 30%

Short paper (due week ten) 20%

Research paper (due at end of semester) 50%

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

39365 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ISL 310, R S 319 )
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Topics in History

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

 

HIS 388K • Shi'Ite Polit/Relig Ideologues

40045 • Spring 2011
Meets T 500pm-800pm MEZ 1.206
(also listed as ARA 387, MES 381, PRS 384C )
show description

Students will learn about modern Shi'ism by focusing on the religious and political writings of selected Shi'i scholar, theologians and intellectuals, including the doctrines and symbols of modern Shi'ism, while at the same time learning about broader trans-national historical and political trends affecting Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. The course will focus on selected Shi'i ideologues, including prominent Iranian figures like Ruhollah Khomeini, Ali Shari'ati, Morteza Motahhari, and Abd al-Karim Sorush, as well as Iraqi and Lebanese figures like Musa al-Sadr, Mehdi Shams al-Din, Ali al-Sistani, Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah, and Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. Students will read two scholarly articles per week (in English) about the selcted ideologue for that week, as well as one 10-20 page selection from the writings of that figure (in both Persian and Arabic). Students can read either the Persian or the Arabic version. A separate discussion section of one hour per week in each language can be arranged based on student demand and interest. For students who are more advanced in language, additional texts can also be incorporated in the coursework on an informal basis.

Requirements:

Weekly readings, class discussions and presentations (in English), a translation into English of one short text, a short paper (10-15 pages), and a long paper (15-25 pages), using primary sources.

 

Grading:

Class participation    20%

Translation of one of the Persian/Arabic texts 15% Short paper (due in week nine)    25%

Research paper (due at end of semester)    40%

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

39610 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Introduction to Islam
Instructor: Kamran Scot Aghaie

Course Number:     ISL 310; HIST 306N (Topic 7); RS 319; MES 310 (Topic 1)
Class Room & Time:    MEZ 1.306    T. & Th. 3:30-5:00 PM
Office Hours:    WMB 6.102D    T. & Th. 2:00-3:15 PM
Phone:    (512) 475-6400
Email:     kamranaghaie@austin.utexas.edu
    The course website will be through Blackboard
Teaching Assistant:    James Casey
TA Office Hours:    FAC 27    T. & Th. 2:00-3:15 PM
TA Email Address:    jfbcasey@gmail.com



Course Description:
This course provides an introduction to the religion of Islam. It is designed for students with a general interest in the Islamic world, in religion, or in History. We will examine the theology, history, and main social and legal institutions of Islam. Islam, as a major system of belief in the world, is experienced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Consequently, besides studying the basic tenets and texts of the religion, this course will focus on the variety of ways in which Muslims and non-Muslims have understood and interpreted Islam. We will review the debates surrounding the life of the prophet of Islam, Islamic pre-modern and modern history, the Islamic concept of God and society, the role of women, and finally, Islamic government and movements. The course is designed for students with a general interest in the Islamic world, religions, or history. No prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic history is necessary.

Requirements:
Weekly reading assignments, short quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam. Students must complete all the reading assignments and participate in class.

Prerequisites:
None

Grading:
Attendance    25%
Seven short quizzes (drop the lowest grade)    25%
Midterm    25%
Final Exam    25%

Textbooks:
Fazlur Rahman. Islam.
F. M. Denny. An Introduction to Islam.
F. E. Peters. A Reader on Classical Islam
N. J. Dawood. The Koran. (or any other Qur'an translation)
Ira Lapidus. A History of Islamic Societies.
 
MISCELLANIOUS COURSE POLICIES

-Students must complete all readings prior to the class session for which they are assigned.

-Materials on the website are only for use by the students in this class. Distribution or dissemination of any sort is not allowed.

-Any Tech. devices that students bring to class must be turned off and put away during the class session. This includes computers, PDAs, cameras, audio or video recorders, cel phones, ipods, etc. The same applies to outside reading materials.

Note: The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259.


GRADING POLICIES

-Attendance will be taken at random times during class on randomly selected days, beginning after the last day to add the course. Any students who are absent at the moment when the attendance is taken will be counted as absent for that particular class session.

-Quizzes cover reading materials assigned for that week, not lectures or outsides materials.

-The midterm and final are essay exams, 1 hour and 15 minutes in length. Students must bring large-size bluebooks for the exam. A study sheet of questions will be available on the web site prior to the exams. Grades for the essay exams will be assigned based on the grading rubric provided below.

-Students have two choices for taking the final exam. The first option is the last class session and the second option is the regularly scheduled final exam time. Students will sign up for one or the other toward the end of the term.

-Plus and minus grades will be assigned as follows. All numbers that involve decimals will be rounded up or down; for example, an 85.4 is an 85, and an 85.5 is an 86.
F    D-    D    D+    C-    C    C+    B-    B    B+    A-    A
0-59    60-62    63-66    67-69    70-72    73-76    77-79    80-82    83-86    87-89    90-92    93-100

-Any student who feels that there may have been a mistake in the grading of his or her exam may submit it to be re-graded. In such cases the original grade will be erased and the paper will be re-graded using the same standards as the first time. Whatever the new grade is will be recorded in place of the original grade (whether it is higher, lower, or the same). Also, since the grading process must remain objective, students cannot be included in, nor can they directly influence, the grading process. Therefore, this option is available to any student as long as he or she has not discussed the content of the exam or the details of the grade with the TA or the instructor.

GRADING RUBRIC FOR ESSAY EXAM QUESTIONS:

The Superior Essay (A)
Question is answered directly, clearly and thoroughly. Thesis: Easily identifiable, plausible, novel, sophisticated, insightful, crystal clear. Structure: Evident, understandable, appropriate for thesis. Excellent transitions from point to point. Paragraphs support solid topic sentences. Evidence: Information used to buttress every point with at least one example. Examples support mini-thesis and fit within paragraph. Logic and argumentation: All ideas in the paper flow logically; the argument is identifiable, reasonable, and sound.

The Good Essay (B)
Thesis: Promising, but slightly unclear, or lacking in insight. Structure: Generally clear and appropriate, though may wander occasionally. May have a few unclear transitions, or a few paragraphs without strong topic sentences. Use of evidence: Examples used to support most points. Some evidence does not support point, or may appear where inappropriate. Analysis: Evidence often related to mini-thesis, though links perhaps not very clear. Logic and argumentation: Argument of answer is clear, usually flows logically and makes sense.

The Borderline Essay (C)
The essay does not adequately address the question asked on the exam. Thesis: May be unclear (contain many vague terms); provides little around which to structure the paper. Structure: Generally unclear, often wanders or jumps around. Few or weak transitions, many paragraphs without topic sentences. Use of evidence: Examples used to support some points. Points often lack supporting evidence, or evidence used where inappropriate (often because there may be no clear point). Logic and argumentation: Logic may often fail or be unclear.

The "Needs Serious Help" Essay (D)
Does not address the question at all. (or) Thesis: Difficult to identify at all, may be bland restatement of obvious point. Structure: Unclear, often because thesis is weak or non-existent. Transitions confusing and unclear. Few topic sentences. Use of evidence: Very few or very weak examples. General failure to support statements, or evidence seems to support no statement. Analysis: Very little or very weak attempt to relate evidence to argument; may be no identifiable argument, or no evidence to relate it to. Logic and argumentation: Ideas do not flow at all, usually because there is no argument to support. Simplistic view of topic.

The Failing Essay (F)
Shows obviously minimal lack of effort or comprehension of the assignment. Very difficult to understand owing to major problems with mechanics, structure, and analysis. Has no identifiable thesis, or utterly incompetent thesis.
 
WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

WEEK ONE     Introduction to the Course, Syllabus & policies
Aug. 27                                Denny, Chapter 1
                                           Lapidus, Chapters 1

WEEK TWO    The Message and the Messenger
Sept. 1-3                             Rahman, Chapter 1
                                           Denny, Chapters 2
                                           Peters, Chapter 2
                                           Lapidus, Chapter 2

WEEK THREE-FOUR    The Qur'an and the Traditions (Sunna)
Sept. 8-17                          Denny, Chapters 6-7
(Quiz 1, Sept. 15)               Rahman, Chapter 2-3
                                         Peters, Chapter 4, pp. 212-226
                                         Dawood, p. 9; pp. 165-175; pp. 416-435
                                         (Surahs 1, 12, 78-114)

WEEK FIVE     The Early Muslim Community
Sept. 22-24                       Denny, Chapter 3
(Quiz 2, Sept. 22)              Peters Chapter 3

WEEK SIX    Islamic Empire
Sept. 29-Oct. 1                 Denny, Chapter 4
(Quiz 3, Sept. 29)             Lapidus, Chapters 3-5

WEEK SEVEN-EIGHT    Sunni Orthodoxy & Sectarian Debates
Oct. 6-15                         Rahman, Chapter 5, 10
(Quiz 4, Oct. 13)              Denny, Chapter 8, 10, 11
                                      Peters, Chapter 7, 8
                                      Lapidus, Chapters 8-12

MIDTERM EXAM     Tuesday Oct. 20

WEEK NINE-TEN    Popular Beliefs and Ritual Practices
Oct. 20-29                      Denny, Chapter 5, 12, 13
(Quiz 5, Nov. 27)             Peters, Chapter 6
                                     Rahman, Chapter 8, 9, 11

WEEK ELEVEN    Islamic Orthodoxy, Law & the State
Nov. 3-5                        Rahman, Chapters 4 & 6
(Quiz 6, Nov. 3)             Denny, Chapter 9
                                    Peters, pp. 227-256
                                    Dawood, pp. 60-79 (Surah 4)
                                    Lapidus, Chapter 6, 7

WEEK TWELVE-THIRTEEN    Late Islamic Empires; Colonialism & Response
Nov. 10-19                   Rahman, Chapter 12
(Quiz 7, Nov. 17)          Denny, Chapter 14
                                   Lapidus, pp. 197-225, 453--468, Ch. 22-24

WEEK FOURTEEN    Revivalism, "Fundamentalism" and Modernism
Nov. 24                       Denny, Chapter 15
                                  Rahman, Chapter 13-14

Thanksgiving     November 26-28

WEEK FIFTEEN    Revivalism, "Fundamentalism" and Modernism
Dec. 1-3                     Lapidus, Chapters 25, 27, 30 and pp. 814-872


FINAL EXAM TIMES:    Date    Time    Room
    Option One:    Dec. 3 (Thur.)    3:30-4:45 PM    MEZ 1.306
    Option Two:    Dec. 9 (Wed.)    2:00-3:15 PM     TBA

HIS 388K • Rdngs In Iranian Natlism/Polit

40325 • Fall 2009
Meets W 500pm-800pm MEZ 2.202
(also listed as MES 381, PRS 384C )
show description

This class is designed for graduate students of the non-Western world with the Middle East serving as a canvas for examining a broad array of methodological, theoretical and historiographical concerns. By critically reviewing recent scholarship on the Middle East in the fields of political science, history, international relationship and intellectual history this course hopes to introduce graduate students to the professional study of the Middle East. The idea is to aid prospective scholars of the non-Western world such as Latin America, Africa and the Far East in gaining an understanding of the history of their craft, of current professional debates and of ongoing historiographical trends and fashions. Specifically, the course will assist students to define their topic of interest and frame it as an MA thesis or a PhD dissertation. To achieve this goal we will critically review various historiographical traditions and debates while at the same time introduce the students to modern historical realities in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

 

 

HIS 388K • Historcl Texts & Modern Media

39435 • Spring 2009
Meets T 500pm-800pm CAL 323
(also listed as MES 381, PRS 380C )
show description

This class is designed for graduate students of the non-Western world with the Middle East serving as a canvas for examining a broad array of methodological, theoretical and historiographical concerns. By critically reviewing recent scholarship on the Middle East in the fields of political science, history, international relationship and intellectual history this course hopes to introduce graduate students to the professional study of the Middle East. The idea is to aid prospective scholars of the non-Western world such as Latin America, Africa and the Far East in gaining an understanding of the history of their craft, of current professional debates and of ongoing historiographical trends and fashions. Specifically, the course will assist students to define their topic of interest and frame it as an MA thesis or a PhD dissertation. To achieve this goal we will critically review various historiographical traditions and debates while at the same time introduce the students to modern historical realities in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

 

 

HIS 388K • Islamic Rev Of Iran, 1978-1990

39437 • Spring 2009
Meets T 500pm-800pm CAL 323
(also listed as MES 381 )
show description

This class is designed for graduate students of the non-Western world with the Middle East serving as a canvas for examining a broad array of methodological, theoretical and historiographical concerns. By critically reviewing recent scholarship on the Middle East in the fields of political science, history, international relationship and intellectual history this course hopes to introduce graduate students to the professional study of the Middle East. The idea is to aid prospective scholars of the non-Western world such as Latin America, Africa and the Far East in gaining an understanding of the history of their craft, of current professional debates and of ongoing historiographical trends and fashions. Specifically, the course will assist students to define their topic of interest and frame it as an MA thesis or a PhD dissertation. To achieve this goal we will critically review various historiographical traditions and debates while at the same time introduce the students to modern historical realities in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

 

 

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