Spring 2008

Seminar on Middle Eastern History: Modern Turkey--Modern Iran: From Authoritarian Modernization to Islamic Resistance

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-64  |  History, as HIST-93


Monica M. Ringer (Section 01)


(ME) (Also Asian 64.) In the early twentieth century Turkey and Iran seemed to be on similar trajectories towards modernization. Turkey and Iran today, however, evidence very different societies, political systems, and relationships to religion and the West. This course will examine the programs of the authoritarian modernizers of the twentieth century in historical context and seek to illuminate the basis of their very different political, cultural and social legacies. Why does Turkey follow a secularism that is intolerant of sartorial freedoms and cultural and religious minorities? Why, in such a secular state, is Turkey experiencing a rise of Islamist movements? Conversely, why does Iran follow an Islamic government that is likewise intolerant of sartorial freedoms and religious minorities? Both claim to be democratic-how and why are these claims validated? What are the roots of their visions of the modern world and where are these societies headed? One class meeting per week. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 20 students. Preference given to students who have taken at least one course regarding the Middle East. Second semester. Professor Ringer.

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