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Regional and Topical Surveys

HIST 084 From Oil Fields to Soccer Fields: Topics in 20th Century Middle East


Taught as schedule allows (consult the Course Directory)

From the familiar narratives about the creation of modern nation-states to the oft-neglected accounts of cultural life, this course surveys the multi-faceted societies of the twentieth-century Middle East. Although inclusive of the military battles and conflicts that have affected the region, this course will move beyond the cliches of war and conflict in the Middle East to show the range of issues and ideas with which intellectuals, citizens, and governments grappled throughout the century. The cultural politics and economic value of oil as well as the formation of a vibrant literary life will be among the topics covered in the course. By considering illustrative cultural moments that shed light on the political history of the period, this course will adopt a nuanced framework to approach the Arab/Israeli conflict, the history of the states in the Persian Gulf, the Iran-Iraq War, and U.S. involvement in the region.