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Modern Middle East History
Department of History University of Michigan
History 443 Winter, 2010
Course Title: Modern Middle East History Office Hours: Th 1:30 - -2:30
Instructor: Juan Cole     Telephone: 763-1599; e-mail:
The modern Middle East has been one of the more dynamic and geo-politically crucial areas of the world. This exciting course covers the past two centuries and right up to the present. It treats not just high politics but the compelling stories of the people at all levels of society--including women, peasant farmers and workers--who made this history. It deals with Ottoman reformist attempts to meet the European challenge, the age of British and French colonialism, the rise of nationalism, development strategies of socialism and capitalism, the impact of Israeli and Palestinian nationalism, the petroleum factor, the emergence of Muslim fundamentalism, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the US war on terror. Grading is based upon class attendance (required), a midterm, and a final.
Required texts: (Available at Shaman Drum, 313 S. State St., tel. 662-7407, and at Reserve Reading Room, Shapiro Undergraduate Library):
Ervand Abrahamian. A History of Modern Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot, A History of Egypt: From the Arab Conquest to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn., 2008.
Charles C. Smith. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 6th Rev. Edn. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. A balanced examination of the Palestine issue that employs both Israeli and Arab sources to construct a synthetic narrative.
Charles Tripp. A History of Iraq (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, rev. edn. 2007).
Erik J. Zurcher, Turkey: A Modern History, London: I. B,. Tauris, 2005, rev. edn. .
A short coursepack will be available at: Dollar Bill
Jan. 7 Orientation
Part One: Background to the Modern Middle East
Jan. 12 Historical Background and Islamic Civilization
Marsot, pp. 1-47Jan. 14 The Early Modern Ottoman Empire and the Arab World
Marsot, pp. 48-64.Part Two: Economic Transformation and Bureaucratic Reform 1800-1914
Zurcher, pp. 9-29
Jan. 19 Ottoman Reform to World War I
Zurcher, pp. 30-111Jan. 21 From Ottoman Egypt to British Egypt
Marsot, "The Beginnings of the State System, pp. 65-97Jan. 26 The Levant in the 19th Century
Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Wahhabis, "Unbelievers and the Problems of Exclusivism." Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2. (1989), pp. 123-132.
Leila Fawaz, "The City and the Mountain: Beirut's Political Radius in the Nineteenth Century as Revealed in the Crisis of 1860 International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4. (Nov., 1984), pp. 489-495.Jan. 28 Iran: Qajars to the Constitutional Revolution
Smith, Palestine, chs. 2 & 3
Abrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 1-62Feb. 2 Ottoman Baghdad
Tripp, Modern Iraq, pp. 8-57Part Three: European Colonialism and Nationalist Response, 1914-1979
Juan R. I. Cole; Moojan Momen, "Mafia, Mob and Shiism in Iraq: The Rebellion of Ottoman Karbala 1824-1843," Past and Present, No. 112. (Aug., 1986), pp. 112-143. (
Feb. 4 Turkey: Kemalism to 1950
Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 111-220Feb. 9 Egypt from Monarchy to Republic
Marsot, Egypt, pp. 98-155
Feb. 11 Iraq: Colonialism, Monarchy and Revolution
Tripp, pp. 57-82; 97-185Feb. 16 Rise of Israel and Palestinian Response
Smith, Palestine, pp. 111-225Feb. 18 Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict to 1967
Smith, Palestine, chs. 6 & 7Feb. 23 Class Discusssion
Feb. 25 Midterm Examination
Mar. 9 Iran: Capitalist DictatorshipAbrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 63-154Mar. 11 Israel and Palestine 1967-1984
Smith, Palestine, chs. 8 & 9
Mar. 16 Turkey: Militarism versus Democracy, 1950-1980Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 221-277Part Four: Globalization: Nationalism, Imperialism, Islam 1979-2001
Mar. 18 Iran: Revolution and Islamic Republic
Abrahamian, Modern Iran, pp. 155-195***6-8 PAGE PAPER DUE 2:30 PM TUESDAY MARCH 23
Mar. 23 Petroleum Revolutions in the Middle East
Gwenn Okruhlik , "Rentier Wealth, Unruly Law, and the Rise of Opposition: The Political Economy of Oil States," : Comparative Politics, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Apr., 1999), pp. 295-315. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/stable/pdfplus/422341.pdfMar. 25 The Rise of (Sunni) Political Islam
Gerd Nonneman, " Saudi-European Relations 1902-2001: A Pragmatic Quest for Relative Autonomy," International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs Vol. 77, No. 3, Changing Patterns of European Security and Defence (Jul., 2001), pp. 631-661
Roy Licklider, "The Power of Oil: The Arab Oil Weapon and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and the United States," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 205-226
William Ochsenwald , "Saudi Arabia and The Islamic Revival," International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3. (Aug., 1981), pp. 271-286. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0020-7438%28198108%Mar. 30 Nationalism and Sectarianism in Lebanon and Syria
Saad Eddin Ibrahim. "Egypt's Islamic Activism in the 1980s." Third World Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2, Islam & Politics. (Apr., 1988), pp. 632-657. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28198804%
Ziad Abu-Amr. "Hamas: A Historical and Political Background." Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4. (Summer, 1993), pp. 5-19. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X%28199322%2922%3A4%
Andrew Hartman. 'The Red Template': US Policy in Soviet-Occupied Afghanistan. Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3. (Jun., 2002), pp. 467-489. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28200206%2923%3A3%
John F. Devlin. "The Baath Party: Rise and Metamorphosis." The American Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 5. (Dec., 1991), pp. 1396-1407 Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8762%28199112Apr. 1 Baathist Iraq
Elaine C. Hagopian. "Maronite Hegemony to Maronite Militancy: The Creation and Disintegration of Lebanon." Third World Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 4, Ethnicity in World Politics. (Oct., 1989), pp. 101-117. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0143-6597%28198910%2911%3A4%
Dona J. Stewart. "Economic Recovery and Reconstruction in Postwar Beirut." Geographical Review, Vol. 86, No. 4. (Oct., 1996), pp. 487-504. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0016-7428%28199610%2986%3A4%3C487%
Augustus Richard Norton, "Hizballah and the Israeli Withdrawal from Southern Lebanon," Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1. (Autumn, 2000), pp. 22-35. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X%28200023%2930%3A1%
Tripp, Modern Iraq, pp. 186-276Apr. 6 Oslo, the Second Intifada and the Oslo Process
Smith, Palestine, chs. 10, 11Apr.. 8 Mubarak's Egypt
Marsot, Egypt, pp. 156- endApr. 13 Turkey 1980- : Secularism, Capitalism, Ethnic Conflict and Islam
Zurcher, Turkey, pp. 278- end
R. Quinn Mecham, "From the Ashes of Virtue, a Promise of Light: The Transformation of Political Islam in Turkey," Third World Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2004), pp. 339-358
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/stable/pdfplus/3993685.pdf
Part Five: The Middle East in the 21st Century
Apr. 15 Al-Qaeda and Muslim Radicalism
Robert S. Snyder, "Hating America: Bin Laden as a Civilizational Revolutionary," The Review of Politics, Vol. 65, No. 4. (Autumn, 2003), pp. 325-349.
Apr. 20 Class Review