(Offered as HIST 190 [ME/TC/TEP] and ASLC 126) This course surveys the history of the Middle East from the outset of the Islamic period to the beginning of the modern period. It is divided into the following segments: the formative period of Islam, the classical caliphates, the classical courts, the Mongols, and the great empires of the Ottomans and the Safavids. The course is organized chronologically and follows the making and breaking of empires and political centers; however, the focus of the course is on the intellectual, social, cultural and religious developments in these periods. Two class meetings per week.
The course is designed to have substantial preparation (online readings and occassionally powerpoint lectures) done in preparation for class sessions which will be devoted entirely to discussion. All readings are available online. There are frequent response papers due, but no formal papers. This course is an introduction to Middle Eastern history and anticipates no prior knowledge.