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

Fall 2005

MES 381 • State & Society in the Middle East

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41040 W
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
GAR 205

Course Description

This graduate seminar is devoted to exploring in depth the reshaping of the Middle East during the last two centuries of Ottoman imperial rule. The unprecedented transformations of the period; in government, economy, social relations, and culture; marked the introduction in the region of what is often termed "modernity." The course examines the realities of premodern Middle Eastern society, and the domestic and external forces that shaped their transformation, using recent case studies and social histories to understand the dynamics of this process as they affected various aspects of life. The seminar addresses some of the historiographical debates about the period, and broader questions touching on the absorption of the region into the international economic and nation-state systems, the specific Middle Eastern path to modernity, and the legacy of the Ottoman imperial order.

Grading Policy

Class participation 25% Research paper 40% Book reviews 25% Class presentation 10%


Cole, Juan. Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East. Commins, David. Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria. Doumani, Beshara. Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900. Fahmy, Khaled. All the Pasha's Men: Mehmed Ali, His Army and the Making of Modern Egypt. Fortna, Benjamin. Imperial Classroom: Islam, the State, and Education in the Late Ottoman Empire. Makdisi, Ussama. The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon. Marcus, Abraham. The Middle East on the Eve of Modernity: Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century. Rogan, Eugene. Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921.


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