RELS 0096: The Imaginary Lives of Muslims Professor Shahzad Bashir
How have Muslims understood the natural and social world that forms the backdrop for human lives? Rather than presuming that Islam is a unified entity that can be mapped or charted, its point of departure is that Muslims have understood their lives as religious subjects in a variety of fundamentally contested ways over the centuries. We will use this question to chart a variety of Islamic perspectives pertaining to thought and action. Topics include: worldviews contained in the Quran and other early Islamic materials; formal cosmologies that reflect continuity with late antiquity ideas; mystical thought pertaining to Sufis and Shi’is; reflection on politics and ethics; impact of modern science; and contemporary perspectives concerning the environment, gender, race, and class.
HIST 1440: the Ottomans: Faith, Law Empire Professor Faiz Ahmed
This is a wide-ranging survey course which explores the rise and fall of the longest-lived Islamicate dynasty in history and the principal regional power in the making of the modern Middle East: the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). This course covers six centuries of Ottoman rule from a diversity of perspectives and topics, including: social, economic, and political history; religion, culture, and law; majority-minority relations, nationalism and modern state formation; migration and competition with neighboring and European powers – concluding with the long-term legacies of the Ottomans in the Balkans, Anatolia and the Levant, and North Africa. Students will be provided with a broad and robust background for understanding the transformations and continuities shaping the modern Middle East in the present day.
HIST 1969C: Debates in Modern Middle East History. Professor Sreemati Mitter
This seminar investigates some of the major problems and debates that have dominated contemporary discussions on the political, economic, and social history of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries – including debates on colonialism and its legacies; problems associated with the postcolonial Middle Eastern states (authoritarianism and the role of the army; the position of minorities; directions of economic development; political Islam); and debates as to the causes and consequences of major events in modern Middle Eastern history, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the Iranian revolution; 9/11 and the Iraq invasion; and the Arab Spring.
MES 1993: Middle East Politics Professor Shamiran Mako
This course offers an introduction to the historic and contemporary dynamics that have shaped domestic, regional, and international politics of the MENA region. Students will develop a deeper understanding of issues relating to colonialism and state formation, institutional configuration, authoritarianism and regime typologies, the politics of oil, social and economic development, external intervention, ethnic and sectarian strife, gender and women’s mobilization, political Islam, civic activism, and social movements such as the Arab uprisings have drastically altered governance trajectories across the region since 2011. Students are expected to engage critically with weekly readings while also staying informed about current developments in the region.