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Course Details

Fall 2010-2011
* NES 201 / HIS 223 (HA)   na, npdf

Introduction to the Middle East

Michael A. Cook

A broad background that could help you understand why the Middle East and the United States are increasingly at odds with each other. We reach back into the Middle Eastern past--the rise of Islam, the Caliphate, the coming of the Turks, the European expansion, the discovery if oil--and use these developments to explain the unsettled political, social, economic, and religious landscape of the region today. Thus we will set ourselves to explain why Turkey is a secular republic whereas Iran is an Islamic one, why so many Arab governments confront threats from violent religious radicals, and what role oil plays in all this.

Sample reading list:
Koran (selections)
Ibn Hisham, Life of Muhammad (selections)
Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah (selections)
Sayyid Qutb, (selections)
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Letter to Zarqawi
Osama Bin Laden, Messages to the World (selections)

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 70 pages of reading a week. Writing: Weekly talking points, two four-page papers, one eight-page term paper, quizzes.

Quizzes - 10%
Papers - 30%
Term Paper(s) - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Freshmen are encouraged to enroll..

Other information:
There will be background reading, but the main focus will be on close study of short primary-source texts; these are to be read the way historians read them.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20125 L01 02:30:00 pm - 03:20:00 pm M W   McCosh Hall   62   Enrolled:47 Limit:60
P01 09:00:00 am - 09:50:00 am Th   Frist Campus Center   205   Enrolled:14 Limit:15
P02 01:30:00 pm - 02:20:00 pm Th   Frist Campus Center   212   Enrolled:11 Limit:15
P03 03:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Frist Campus Center   212   Enrolled:11 Limit:15
P04 07:30:00 pm - 08:20:00 pm Th   Frist Campus Center   212   Enrolled:11 Limit:15