Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ali F Igmen
HIST 463
Seattle Campus

History of the Middle East Since 1789

Critical issues and themes in the changing Middle East, including Westernization, growth of nationalism, Arab-Israeli dispute, Iranian revolution, and the role of Islam.

Class description

Modern Middle East history begins with the reign of the Ottoman Sultan, Selim III in 1789 followed in 1798 by the conquest of Egypt by Napoleon at the Battle of Pyramids. While officially this marks the extension of European Imperialism in the Middle East, it is also a period of awakening, introspection, humiliation and self-reckoning by the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, the Arab world, and Iran. This course will deal with critical world issues that helped shape the present Middle East: European and great power rivalries in the 19th and 20th centuries, imperialism, nationalism, WWI, the disintergration of the Ottoman Empire, the Mandate, WWII, formation of the state of Israel, the cold war rivalries, the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the rise of Fundamentalism, the new world order, "clash of civilizations," globalization and finally the war on terror. The course will essentially concentrate on a thematic approach to the study of the region, adopting an introspective study of each of the major regional players. Issues to be studied in addition to the historical approach are cultural identity and cultural pluralism, tradition versus modernity, the problems of legitimacy and ethnicity, nation building and national identity, and Muslim ostracism since September 11th.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Successful completion of HIST 161 or some familiarity with the History of the Middle East before 1789 as well as European and world history of the 19th and 20th centuries is recommended.

Class assignments and grading

The course will consist of a combination of lectures, historical and documentary films on selected topics followed by class discussions. Particular attention will be granted to topics of contemporary interest such as Islamic Fundamentalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the American involvement in Iraq.


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 Moran Tompkins
Date: 02/03/2005