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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Denis Basic
JSIS A 402
Seattle Campus

The Middle East in the Modern World

Economic, political, and cultural ties between the Middle East and the modern world between the eighteenth century and the present. Particular attention to the transformation of societies, formation of modern states, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and gender and society in the Middle East.

Class description

Special attention will be paid to the influences of colonialism, imperialism, and nationalism on the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the role of the U.S.A. in the Middle East, as well as to the role of religion in Middle Eastern conflicts. Therefore, students shall also get acquainted with general religious differences and similarities of the peoples in the region, as well as of other peoples whose governments influence the politics of the Middle East.

Student learning goals

Learn how colonialism has influenced the Near and Middle East.

Learn how imperialism has influenced the Near and Middle East.

Learn how modern states were built in the Middle East in the post-WWI era.

Familiarize yourself with causes and effects of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Study the relationship among politics, religion, and violence.

Examine the U.S. role in the Middle East, the U.S. perceptions and misperceptions of the Middle East, and vice versa.

General method of instruction

The course is based on lectures and discussions. The methodology used in the course will be interdisciplinary. Using the historical apparatus we will be studying the political history of the Middle East during the past two centuries, while anthropology and sociology will help us learn about the lives of ordinary Middle Eastern women and men during the same time frame.

Recommended preparation

Reading the assigned materials in advance, as well as a regular class attendance and participation in discussions will ensure a complete success in the course.

Class assignments and grading

There will be two exams: the midterm exam covering the materials of the first five weeks of the course and the final exam covering mostly the materials of the last five weeks. Students will also be asked to write a 15-page double-spaced term paper using the primary and/or secondary literature.

Class attendance and participation in discussions 20%, mid term exam 30%, final exam 30%, and paper 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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Denis Basic
Date: 11/13/2012