The Middle East from the 18th Century to the Present

History 109C

Summer 2018
Second 6 Week Session
209 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuWTh, 1–3:30 p.m. | July 2–August 10
Class Number: 

The Middle East is both a very old and a very new place. The region is home to some of the world’s longest-standing cities and societies, yet most of the countries that make up the Middle East did not exist a century ago. How did today’s Middle East come about? This course will introduce you to the political, social, and cultural history of the Middle East from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. By looking at the effects of colonialism and war, but also grassroots movements, culture, and art, we will come to understand how the last 250 years of global political, economic, and social transformations impacted the region, always with an eye to the experiences and responses of ordinary people. Throughout the course, we will explore the broad themes of the region such as global capitalism, imperialism, nationalism, women’s rights, political Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the oil revolution, the impacts of the Cold War and American foreign policy. Such issues are not merely the purview of history and scholarship, but directly affect our lives today and will continue to do so for some time to come.