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

Abraham Marcus

Professor Emeritus Ph.D., 1979, Columbia University

Professor Emeritus in History
Abraham Marcus

Biography

Research interests

Social and cultural history of the early modern and modern Middle East; cities and urban life; Islamic law and legal practice; music and society.

Courses taught

His major teaching fields are early modern and modern Middle Eastern history, the Ottoman Empire, and music cultures of the Middle East.

Awards/Honors

Albert Hourani Book Award of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, 1991.

 

Recent Publications: 
The Middle East on the Eve of Modernity: Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1989, 418pp. Paperback edition, 1992.

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, volume 6: The Middle East
(New York: Routledge, 2002), Consulting Editor.

An Encyclopedia of World History, 6th revised edition, General Editor Peter Stearns (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001), Editor for the Middle East and North Africa.

The Encyclopedia of Social History, General Editor Peter Stearns
(New York: Garland, 1994), Editor for the Middle East.

 

Interests

Social and cultural history of the early modern and modern Middle East; cities and urban life; Islamic law and legal practice; music and society.

MES 328 • History Of The Arab World

41675 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 331J )
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HIS 331J (unique 39180)             Fall 2010
MES 328 (unique 41675)            TTh 2:00-3:30          
Dr. Abraham Marcus            GAR 1.126           

History of the Arab World

This survey course is an introduction to the history, politics, and societies of the Arab Middle East, with a principal focus on the last three 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 history of the region since. The lectures and readings cover both developments specific to the different Arab countries and broader regional issues shaping the contemporary Middle East, including the patterns of authoritarian rule, the rise and impact of Islamic political movements, the politics of oil, the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the role of the United States in the region.

The class sessions are organized around lectures, with time provided for questions. A schedule of the topics, readings, and assignments is given below.

Students are advised to attend the lectures regularly and to read the assigned material ahead of each lecture.

Reading

The required reading includes the following texts:

Eugene Rogan, The Arabs: A History, 2009.

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 (selection).

Copies of the books by Rogan and Cleveland are available for purchase at the University Co-op. The material from Gelvin’s book is posted on Blackboard.

Writing assignments

Two short essay papers (5 double-spaced pages pages each) are required. The assigned topics will be posted on Blackboard. The papers should follow the requirements outlined in the ‘Tips for Essay Writing’ posted on Blackboard. Papers are due in the class session on the dates for which they are assigned; papers submitted late will not be accepted.

Exams

There will be a midterm exam (on October 14) and a final exam (December 9, 2-5 p.m.). The final exam will be comprehensive, covering the material for the entire course. The exams will include essay questions and short identifications. Blue books are required.

Grading

Papers––20%; midterm exam––35%; final exam––45%.

The assignment of final letter grades for the course will be based on the following scale:

90-92 is an A-; 93-100 is an A; 80-82 is a B-; 83-86 is a B; 87-89 is a B+; and similarly for the grades in the C and D ranges. A grade below 60 is an F.

Office hours and contact information

Hours: TTh 3:30-4:30, and by appointment (GAR 3.406).
Phone: 475-7229; e-mail: amarcus@uts.cc.utexas.edu

Please check your e-mail regularly to remain updated on course-related messages.
Course material and assignments will be posted on Blackboard.

Policy on scholastic dishonesty

Students’ academic work will be monitored for acts of plagiarism and cheating. Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.

Special accommodations

At the beginning of the semester, students with disabilities who need special accommodations should notify the instructor by presenting a letter prepared by the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. To ensure that the most appropriate accommodations can be provided, students should contact the SSD Office at 471-6259 or 471-4641 TTY.

Policy on religious holidays

By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

 

Schedule of Topics, Readings, and Assignments 

August 26            Introduction to the course           

August 31            The Arab world today: a profile of the countries and peoples

 

I.  The Arabs in the Pre-Modern Period: An Overview

 Sept. 2            The Arabs and Islam in the medieval period
                        Cleveland, pp. 1-35.

Sept. 7            The Arab lands under Ottoman imperial rule, 16th-18th centuries
                                    Cleveland, pp. 37-49; Rogan, ch. 1.

Sept. 9            New realities: internal shifts of power and the threat of Europe, 17th-18th centuries
                                     Cleveland, pp. 49-51; Rogan, ch. 2.

II.  Confronting Modernity in the Shadow of European Penetration, c. 1790-1920

Sept. 14            The beginnings of state-sponsored reform and modernization, c. 1790-1840
                       Cleveland, pp. 57-80; Rogan, ch. 3.

Sept. 16            The acceleration of Western-inspired change and its effects on daily life, 1840-1914          
                        Cleveland, pp. 81-102; Rogan, ch. 4; Gelvin, ch. 6.

Sept. 21            The beginnings of European colonial rule
                                    Rogan, pp. 109-136; Cleveland, pp. 103-109.

Sept. 23            New ideas and movements: nationalism, Islamic reform, and constitutionalism
                        Cleveland, pp. 119-143; Rogan, pp. 136-146.          
                        *First paper due*

Sept. 28            World War I and the creation of new Arab states
                        Rogan, ch. 6.
 

III.   Nation Building, European Control, and Independence, c. 1920-1950

Sept. 30            The Arab states under British colonial control
                       Cleveland, ch. 11; Rogan, pp. 175-196, 207-210.

 Oct. 5             The Arab states under French colonial control
                        Cleveland, ch. 12; Rogan, pp. 211-218, 224-232, 240-246.

Oct. 7            The Arab-Jewish struggle over Palestine: origins and developments up to 1949
                        Cleveland, ch. 13.

Oct. 12            Review session for the midterm exam

Oct. 14            Midterm exam

 

 IV.  New Regimes, Ideologies, and Regional Conflicts, c. 1950-1970

 Oct. 19            The Egyptian Revolution and its transformations
                       Cleveland, pp. 273-274, 301-322; Rogan, ch. 10.           

 Oct. 21            Post-war Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon: domestic and regional upheavals          
                        Cleveland, ch. 16; Rogan, pp. 333-343.

Oct. 26            Conflict with Israel: the Arab states and the Palestinians                                                                        Cleveland, ch. 17; Rogan, pp. 340-354.

 

V.  The Arab World Since the 1970s: New Political and Socioeconomic Patterns

 Oct. 28            Egypt after Nasser and Lebanon in civil war
                                   Cleveland, pp. 369-395; Rogan, pp. 379-386, 410-423, 456-463.

 Nov. 2            Syria and Iraq under Ba‘th Party rule: authoritarianism and its features
                        Cleveland, ch. 19.

Nov. 4            The emergence of militant Islamic movements and their political challenge
                       Cleveland, pp. 440-449, 541-556; Rogan, ch. 13.

 Nov. 9            The politics of oil and the transformation of the Arabian Peninsula
                        Rogan, pp. 355-364; Cleveland, ch. 21.

Nov. 11            Arab-Israeli politics, 1970-1990
                       Rogan, pp. 364-379, 386-395, 429-437; Cleveland, pp. 363-367, 474-478.

Nov. 16             The 1991 Gulf War: a watershed moment
                        Cleveland, pp. 478-497; Rogan, pp. 439-456.

Nov. 18            Arab-Israeli politics, 1991 to the present
                        Cleveland, ch. 23; Rogan, pp. 464-479.          
                        *Second paper due*

Nov. 23            Documentary film (shown in class)

Nov. 30            U.S policies and their shifts after the Cold War and September 11
                        Cleveland, ch. 25; Gelvin, ch. 17; Rogan, pp. 483-497.

Dec. 2            Review session for the final exam

This course contains a Global Cultures flag.

MES 381 • State & Society In Middle East

41725 • Fall 2010
Meets W 300pm-600pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as HIS 388K )
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This graduate seminar is devoted to exploring the Middle East and its historical dynamics during the last two centuries or so of Ottoman imperial rule. It examines the realities of state and society before the great transformations of the nineteenth century and the ways in which domestic and external forces reshaped various aspects of the region’s politics, economy, social relations, and culture to create distinct adaptations to modernity. The readings include recent case studies and social histories that illuminate issues important for understanding this critical transition period in Middle Eastern history. The texts and discussions will serve as a springboard for addressing the historiographical debates and broader issues underlying the scholarship on the period, such as the interplay between state and society, the patterns of center-province relations in the later Ottoman state, the world of non-elite groups, the absorption of the region into the international economic and state systems, and the distinct Middle Eastern path to modernity.

The seminar sessions are organized around a general discussion of the topics and assigned readings for each week.

Grading

Class participation: 20%; research paper: 40%; book reviews: 30%; oral presentation of the research paper: 10%.

Texts

The required reading includes a course reader and the following books:
Cole, Juan, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East: Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt’s ‘Urabi Movement.
Doumani, Beshara, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900.
Fortna, Benjamin, Imperial Classroom: Islam, the State, and Education in the Late Ottoman Empire.
Hourani, Albert, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939.
Kayali, Hasan, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918.
Marcus, Abraham, The Middle East on the Eve of Modernity: Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century.
Owen, Roger, The Middle East in the World Economy, 1800-1914.
Quataert, Donald, The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922.

MES 301L • Intro M East: Adj/Chg Mod Time

42155 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.110
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What is the modern Middle East? This course sets out to explore what constitutes the modern Middle East as it has developed from late 18th century to the present. The geographical scope includes the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and North Africa. We will discuss the emergence of Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Secularism, Postcolonialism, Religious Modernism, and Fundamentalism. We will identify the place of the Ottoman Legacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in shaping the modern Middle East. Other themes will revolve around the significance of the oil economy, Iran and the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring."

MES 301L • Intro M East: Adj/Chg Mod Time

41385 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.132
show description

What is the modern Middle East? This course sets out to explore what constitutes the modern Middle East as it has developed from late 18th century to the present. The geographical scope includes the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and North Africa. We will discuss the emergence of Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Secularism, Postcolonialism, Religious Modernism, and Fundamentalism. We will identify the place of the Ottoman Legacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in shaping the modern Middle East. Other themes will revolve around the significance of the oil economy, Iran and the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring."

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