HIST088 - FROM OIL FIELDS TO SOCCER FIELDS: THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE 20TH CENTURY

Description: 
How did the Middle East become modern? This seemingly simple question requires a complex appraisal of civic society. Life changed in spectacular ways for the denizens of the Middle East in the span of a century. Oil – once considered a scarce natural commodity – was discovered and exported in substantial quantities that altered the economic landscape of the region and the world. Movie theaters, sewage systems, and public housing projects changed the urban backdrop of Middle Eastern cities and towns. Soccer, swimming, and volleyball became some of the new-fangled sports embraced by Middle Eastern communities. This course will traverse these fascinating and fraught cultural transformations of the Middle East in the twentieth century. Although inclusive of the military battles and conflicts that have affected the region, this class will move beyond the clichés of war to show the range of issues and ideas with which intellectuals and communities grappled. The cultural politics and economic value of oil as well as the formation of a vibrant literary life will be among the topics covered. 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 history of U.S. involvement in the region, the Iran-Iraq War, the Arab/Israeli conflict, and the current crises in the Persian Gulf. Students are required to participate in every lecture and recitation, as on Thursdays, part of the class time will be devoted to discussing select documents provided by the instructor. Please keep in mind that lectures do not duplicate the readings, but rather supplement them. We will also watch video clips in the course of the lectures. In addition, students are expected to complete each week’s reading in a timely fashion. Course requirements include satisfactory performance on a Powerpoint presentation related to the weekly readings, 2-3 short quizzes, and a ten-page paper. The paper should be on a topic of contemporary interest covered in the course that is placed in the proper
Instructors: 
KASHANI-SABET, FIROOZEH
Day and Time: 
TR 1200PM-0130PM
Room: 
COLLEGE HALL 318
Activity: 
LEC
Cross Listings: 
    Registration Notes: 
    CROSS CULTURAL ANALYSIS