Guthorn, Harrison

Arab Cold War

HIME
3000
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
The Cold War played a large role in shaping world politics in the 20th century. The hegemonic clash between the United States and the Soviet Union had an effect on every part of the world for 45 years. This is particularly true when we look at the history of the Middle East during this period. This course will explore the immense impact that the Cold War had on the development of the Middle East as a whole. Throughout the semester we will discuss the mandate system in the Middle East, the 1948 Israeli war of independence, the Baghdad Pact, Operation AJAX in Iran, the Suez Crisis in Egypt, the 1967 war, the war of attrition between Israel and Egypt, the 1973 war, the Iran- Iraq war and the Afghan-Soviet wars.
 
Beyond these armed conflicts, we will also discuss how the Cold War influenced the development of Arab Nationalism, Islamism, interregional and international economics, and regional power dynamics. Although the Cold War officially ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, this course will illustrate how policies and opinions concocted during this 45-year conflict continue to dictate Middle Eastern policy until today.
 
This course will be a combination lecture/discussion course with lecture on Tuesdays and discussion on Thursdays. You will be expected to read an average of 150-200 pages a week of both secondary and primary sources. Weekly discussions will always focus on the primary sources for that week. Reading centers on primary sources, and the textbook:  W. Cleveland's A History of the Modern Middle East (the basic textbook).  Other books include: Rashid Khalidi’s Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East. The course will include two papers and a final exam.
Course Instructor: 

History of Modern Middle East

HIME
2002
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
This course introduces the history of the Middle East from the 16th-century rule of Selim I to today.  We begin with a comparison of the early modern empires of the Ottoman Turks and the Safavid Persians. We will explore how an ascendant Ottoman Empire threatened Western Europe for two centuries. The rise of capitalist-driven states in Western Europe weakened these empires in the 18th century.  We will then discuss how and why the Ottomans survived, while the Safavid dynasty collapsed.  We then study how the Ottomans battled their European rivals with vigorous reforms in the 19th century, and how a new center of power, in Egypt, rose in response to Napoleon's 1798 invasion.  The Middle East entered the 20th century with constitutional revolutions, but reformers had little time before World War I brought an end to 400 years of Ottoman rule and to the 120-year-old Qajar dynasty in Persia. 
 
The second half of the course focuses on the period since 1918, and especially efforts of Arabs, Turks, Persians and Jews to build nation-states that would compete in a world dominated by industrial powers. The colonial and post-colonial period in the Middle East tracks the attempts of Arabs, Turks, Persians, and Jews to construct nation-states and overcome political, economic, and infrastructural limitations imposed by Western powers.  Politics became a game of nationalist, communist, and religious mass movements that struggled for autonomy from European control.  We study the origins of the Palestine-Israel conflict, the growth of political violence, and why people embraced religious revival in the closing decades of the century.
 
This is a four-credit lecture course, with weekly reading assignments of 125-50 pages and discussion sections.  Reading centers on primary sources, and the textbook: William Cleveland’s History of the Modern Middle East (textbook) and Akram Khater’s Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East (source book). Additional texts will be posted on Collab. The course will include a map quiz, a vocab quiz, 2 papers, a midterm, and a final exam.
Course Instructor: 

Nationalism and Identity in the Modern Middle East

HIME
1501
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
The nation-state has been the defining political, economic, and cultural entity of the last 100 years. The seeming permanence of nation-states has convinced most that the institution had always existed and that it is a “natural” entity. This seminar course will explore the development of nationalism and nation-states throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss the impact of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the repercussions of the colonial inter-war period, and the emergence of post-colonial nation states throughout the Middle East. We will pay special attention to the political, social, religious, legal, and economic ramifications of nationalism. Although nationalism’s hold on the Middle East remains strong, numerous transnational movements like the Islamic modernism, Arab Nationalism, Communism, and Islamism have begun to undermine the hold of the nation-state.
 
This is a writing-intensive course. Beyond familiarizing you with the history of nationalism in the Middle East and North Africa, our goal in this class is to develop your ability to read, write, and think critically, to analyze sources, and to deploy evidence to back up your arguments. You will be expected to read an average of 100 pages a week. This seminar course will have three major paper assignments: a 4-5 page response paper, a 6-8 page midterm paper, and a 10-page final research paper. In addition to your papers, class participation in seminar will be exceptionally important and comprise 20% of your total grade. Most readings will be posted on Collab. We will rely on William Cleveland’s History of the Modern Middle East as our textbook.
Course Instructor: 
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Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

Contact:
(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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