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Major Seminars

History 201-206 seminars are open to history majors only during pre-registration. If the course does not reach its enrollment maximum, it will be open to all students beginning with drop/add on a first-come first-serve basis.

HIST 206 Middle East and the United States


Taught as schedule allows (consult the Course Directory)


Foe or friend, Satan or saint&mdash:America has often been depicted in the Middle East as either a benevolent superpower or an ill-meaning enemy. In America , too, stereotypes of the Middle East abound as the home of terrorists and fanatics. This undergraduate seminar will explore the relationship between the United States and the Middle East by moving beyond such facile descriptions. Our goal is to understand why a century of interaction has done little to foster greater understanding between the two societies. By reading novels, memoirs, and historical accounts, we will examine the origins of this cultural and diplomatic encounter. The readings will shed light on this relationship by considering its origins in the late nineteenth century and extending to the contemporary period.