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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Florian Schwarz
HIST 498
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in History

Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.

Class description

Law and society in the pre-modern Middle East. This seminar explores the history of law in practice in Muslim societies from the middle ages to the 18th century. It will introduce students to the basic rules and interactions of legal systems in pre-modern Middle Eastern societies - Islamic law (shari'a), imperial law (qanun), customary law (adat, urf)-, but the focus will be on the societal and cultural implications of law in practice, in particular with regard to gender, authority, property and relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. Discussions will be based on English translations and studies of (mostly) court cases.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Classroom discussion of primary source texts (in English) and secondary literature.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Response papers on primary and secondary sources, group presentations, one research essay.

Course assignements and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.


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 Florian Schwarz
Date: 01/29/2009