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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Summer 2005

MES F321K • History of the Arab World

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
86795 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Course Description

This survey course is an introduction to the history, politics, and societies of the Arab Middle East, with a principal focus on the last two centuries. Beginning with the rise of Islam and the Arab conquests in the Middle East, the course reviews the main developments in the history of the Arabs in the medieval period, their experience as part of the Ottoman Empire for four centuries, the emergence of the modern Arab state system after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, and the eventful developments since. The lectures and readings cover both the specific developments in the various Arab countries and some broader regional issues, including the nature of the regimes, the social and economic challenges, the Islamic political movements, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the politics of oil, and the role of the United States in the region. Recent events have highlighted the importance of an informed understanding of these broader issues.

Grading Policy

Reports - 20%; midterm - 35%; final - 45%.


James L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History, 2005. William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, 3rd edition, 2004.


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