New Course in Middle Eastern History
Economic History of the Islamic World. "This course is designed to introduce students to the economic history of the Islamic World - a broad region stretching from West Africa to Indonesia - over the duration of roughly 1300 years of history. We explore the ideologies, institutions, and practices of commerce in Muslim society, paying close attention to the actors, artifacts, and encounters, that gave it shape over the course of a millennium, ending with the rise of Islamic banking in the twentieth century. We will explore the relationship between Islamic law and commerce, Muslim engagement with an expanding world of trade, and how the forces of global capitalism shaped (and transformed) Muslim society. To do this, we will combine broad sweeps of events in Islamic and world history with fine-grained analyses of primary documents and close readings of secondary sources. No prior knowledge of Islamic history or economic history is assumed.