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Department of History

H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East

Course Code:
154800230
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

Pathways: Islamic World; Near and Middle East; Third World. 

This course is designed to provide first-year students with a foundational overview of the history of the Near and Middle East from the emergence of Islam to the 20th century. It will introduce students to the main themes, problems and debates in the history of the region providing them with an empirical and interpretive foundation for more in-depth study of the region through Intermediate and Advanced level courses taken in the second and third years. Three modules, each given over to a chronological period, will provide the basic schematic framework for the course. The course will survey how social and political institutions have developed over the course of the last 1.400 years. In the first part of the course particular attention will be given to the emergence and spread of Islam, the development of
Islamic institutions and their evolution over time and geographical diffusion.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This course is designed to provide first year undergraduates with a foundational overview of the history of the Near and Middle East from the emergence of Islam to the 20th century. It will equip them with the main themes, problems, debates and types of sources relating to that history. Like the other first year regional introductory courses it will enable students to acquire the basic skills of historical interpretation, argument and evidence, along with the specific terms, geography, institutions and concepts particular to the NME region. These skills will be reinforced through individual and group library work, project research, essay writing, oral presentation and evaluation.

Method of assessment

Exam (50%) , 3 x Coursework (40%) and Group Project (10%)

Suggested reading

  • Lapidus, I. A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge, 2002).
  • Morgan, D. Medieval Persia (London, 1988).
  • Goffman, D. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2002).
  • Hourani, A. History of the Arab Peoples (London, 1991).
  • Lewis, B. The Middle East, 2000 Years of History (London, 1995).