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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Shaun T Lopez
HIST 290
Seattle Campus

Topics in History

Examines special topics in history.

Class description

This course, "War and Society in the Modern Middle East" examines the political, social and cultural impact of War on Middle Eastern Societies. The focus will be on how the preparation for, conduct of, and aftermath of wars have affected the people of the region. This is not a military history course, so students should not expect detailed explications of military strategies or technologies of war. Rather than attempt to cover chronologically all wars in the modern history of the region, this course will be divided into an introduction and four units, with each unit built around a specific case study. Each unit will include lectures, readings, either a novel or a film, and a writing assignment. The four case studies to be examined in the class are: 1)the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, 2)The Algerian War of Independence, 3)the Lebanese Civil War, and 4)the First Gulf War (1991). In each case students will examine how the war and its aftermath shaped the Middle East that we see today.

Student learning goals

Students will learn the basic narrative of the Middle East's twentieth century history, and how the conduct and aftermath of war has shaped that history

Students will learn how to read both primary and secondary texts critically, and how to discuss them among their classmates

Students will gain experience in writing critical analyses of primary and secondary texts, including films and novels.

Students will better understand the present moment in the Middle East by have some sense of the historical processes that have shaped the region.

General method of instruction

This is a lecture course with mandatory exam sections that meet every Friday. Students are required to keep up with readings, watch and analyze films, participate in discussions, and complete several short writing assignments. This course fulfills the "W" requirement, so expect to write a lot and receive feedback for that writing.

Recommended preparation

No previous background is necessary...

Class assignments and grading

There are two short papers (3-4 pages), a take-home exam (approx 4-6 pages long), a map quiz, and two short reaction papers. Discussion participation will also count for 20% of the grade.

Grades will be determined by the following: 1. Two short writing assignments (40%) 2. A Map Quiz (5%) 3. Two Reaction papers (10%) 3. A slightly longer final writing assignment (approx. 5-7 pages)(25%) 4. Class participation (20%)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Shaun T Lopez
Date: 01/26/2010