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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Shaun T Lopez
HIST 494
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in Historiography

Advanced seminar examining central issues in historiography. Emphasizes reading, discussion, and writing.

Class description

"Re-Thinking Colonialism in the Arab Middle East"

News about the Arab Middle East has come to occupy a significant place in the daily lives of Americans. Many have family members involved in America's military intervention in Iraq, others bemoan the rising price of oil from the region, and many remain fearful of attacks by Islamists in the wake of 9/11. Many Arabs, however, often view America's involvement in the region differently, placing it within a historical narrative of colonial rule that dates back as much as seven hundred years. In this course we will examine the history of colonialism in the Arab world, and consider how the experience of "foreign" rule has shaped the people, politics, institutions, and cultures of the region. Periods of intervention and rule by Ottoman Turks, Britain, France, Italy, Israel and the United States will be considered, and students will consider the experience of colonialism not only as historical, but as a factor in the political, social, and cultural shape of the Arab world in the present.

Student learning goals

Students will learn how to read primary and secondary sources critically, and how to discuss them with their classmates

Students will learn, in a several stage process, how to research and write an original research paper

Students will learn how to lead discussions and present readings to their classmates

Students will gain a better historical perspective on currents events related to the Arab Middle East, and thus be more informed and critical consumers of news related to the region.

General method of instruction

This course is a seminar. Students will expected to come to class prepared, (having completed the assigned readings) to regularly participate in discussion, and to (one time during the quarter) lead discussion. A high value will be placed on participation.

Recommended preparation

There is no historical background necessary, but this is a class for upper division history majors.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be required to: 1. come to class prepared and participate in class discussion 2. complete short writing assignments related to the readings--these will be done through a board on the course website, so that classmates can read and react to them. 3. Complete various stages of an original research paper (thesis, bibliography, outline, draft) culminating in a final paper approximately 10-15 pages long. 4. Lead class discussion (with a partner) once during the quarter.

Grades will be based on preparation and participation class discussion, and on timely completion of the writing assignments mentioned above.


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: 01/24/2008