1_The Contemporary Middle East in a Comparative perspective
History of the Middle East and North Africa in a Comparative perspective
Anno accademico 2019/2020
- Codice attività didattica
- Prof. Lorenzo Kamel (Titolare del corso)
- Corso di studio
- laurea triennale in Storia
- 1° anno, 2° anno
- SSD attività didattica
- M-STO/04 - storia contemporanea
- Tipologia esame
- Scritto ed orale
- Tipologia unità didattica
- Corso integrato
- History of the Contemporary Middle East (corso aggregato) (STS0205)
Sommario del corso
The course (held in English) will examine the contemporary history of non-European/American cultures and contexts. The first part will mainly focus on India and Africa (Sub-Saharan), and will provide the analytical, linguistic, and theoretical frame required to approach non-Western contexts. This conceptual background will be also discussed through specific case studies.
The second part will focus on the contemporary history of the Middle East and North Africa, giving special attention to the crucial junctures of the region’s ‘long 19thcentury’, when exceptional circumstances worked to shape the region’s ethno-religious, political, economic and cultural dimensions.
Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi
By the end of the course students should be able to:
-acquire a comparative understanding of contemporary history
-become familiar with the impact of colonialism on national and non-national cultures
-acquire a deeper understanding European colonization and its implications for India, Africa and the Middle East
-get acquainted with contemporary issues that result from “racial”, “tribal”, ethnic, and religious identities
-acquire a gender understanding in relation to local responses to colonial rule.
-enhance their verbal presentation and written skills.
Attending students will prepare the readings following the schedule which will be distributed at the beginning of the course. All teaching materials for attending students will be made available to students in a dedicated page on dropbox.
The following reading list is divided into 12 parts, each corresponding to one lesson of 3 hours each. Students are requested to prepare the required readings carefully, in order to be able to participate to class discussions.
Additionally, each week one student (or a group of students, depending on the class size) will be asked to prepare a short oral presentation (about 15 minutes) on one source included in the reading list (see below). Students are prompted to think also about the context in which texts are produced, by whom and for whom they are written, and for which aim, and to assess their potential effects. The list of presentations will be agreed during the first lesson.
Lesson 1: Overview of the course (presentation of the syllabus; audiovisual tools; hashtags; journals; archives) and preliminary inputs
Suggested reading: J. Osterhammel, Time: When Was the Nineteenth Century? (ch. 2 of J. Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2014, ch. 2.
Lesson 2: The Age of Imperialism and Colonialism
Required reading: S. Beckert, Empire of Cotton, Random House, Toronto 2014, ch. 12. And: R. JC Young, Postcolonial Remains, in “New Literary History”, 43(1), Winter 2012, pp. 19-41.
Presentation delivered by one student: P.M.E. Lorcin, Paradoxical Lives: Women and Their Colonial Worlds (ch. 1 of P.M.E. Lorcin, Historicizing Colonial Nostalgia, Palgrave, New York 2012). Or: J. Clancy Smith, The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Document, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, pp. 19-32.
Lesson 3: Stereotypes, Religions and Societies
Required reading: Z.Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2010, ch. 6.
Presentation delivered by one student: L. Kamel, The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019, ch. 1.
Lesson 4: India, Africa and the Middle East: History in a Comparative Perspective
Required reading: L. Robson, Colonialism and Christianity, Univ. of Texas Press, Austin 2011, ch. 2.
Presentation delivered by one student: J.P. Daughton, An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2006, ch. 1.
Lesson 5: The 'Jewel in the Crown': Approaching Modern India
Required reading: N. Ferguson, Empire, Basic Books, New York 2004, (only the conclusion). And: S. Tharor, Inglorious Empire, Scribe, London 2017, ch. 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: B. Gammerl, Subjects, Citizens, and Others, Berghahn, New York 2018, pp. 95-105. R. Travers, Imperium in imperio: the East India Company, the British Empire and the revolutions in Bengal (ch. 1 of R. Travers, Ideology and Empire in Eighteenth-Century India: The British Bengal, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007)
Lesson 6: The “long-19th century” in Africa
Required reading: S. Press, Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) 2017, ch. 5.
Presentation delivered by one student: T. Green, Africa in its Fullness, AEON, January 16 2020, available on-line. In alternative you can opt for the two chapters below: F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, Grove Press, New York 1963, pp. 7-45. And: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance, Basic Books, New York 2009, ch. 1.
Lesson 7: The Era of Transformation in the Ottoman Empire
Required reading: J. Clancy Smith, The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Document, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, pp. 61-73.
Presentation delivered by one student: L. Kamel, From Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019, ch. 3.
Lesson 8: World War I in the Middle East: Shaping a New Order
Required reading: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, ch. 9.
Presentation delivered by one student: R.G. Suny, A History of the Armenian Genocide, Princeton UP, Princeton 2015, ch. 9.
Lesson 9: Competing Visions and Narratives: a Local-Global Conflict
Required reading: L. Kamel, Israel and a Palestinian State: Redrawing Lines? (ch. 7 of M. Beck, D. Jung, P. Seeberg, The Levant in Turmoil, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2016).
Presentation delivered by one student: N. Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict. Contested Histories, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden 2009, ch. 1. Or: L. Kamel, Whose land? Land tenure in late 19th and early 20th century Palestine, «British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies», 41(2), 2014, pp. 230-242.
Lesson 10: The racialization of Nationalisms and the Struggle for Independence
Required reading: S. Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and Crisis of Empire, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015, only the Introduction. And: P.J. Yearwood, Guarantee of Peace, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, ch. 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: S. Altorki (ed.), A Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East, Wiley Blackwell, Chichester 2015, pp. 452-472.
Lesson 11: Stateless nations in the 19th and 20th centuries: the Kurdish case and beyond
Required reading: L. Kamel, From Pluralization to Fragmentation: The Kurdish Case from an Historical Perspective, «Nuova Rivista Storica», 103(1), Feb. 2019, pp. 251-266.
Presentation delivered by one student: E. Gareth Stanfield, M. Shareef (eds.), The Kurdish Question Revisited, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017, ch. 4.
Lesson 12: Borders, States, Nations, and Minorities in the post-colonial spaces of the MENA region
Required reading: B. White, The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2011, introduction, and L. Kamel, The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019, chapter 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: U. Makdisi, The Problem of Sectarianism in the Middle East in an Age of Western Hegemony, in N. Hashemi-D. Postel (eds.), Sectarianization, Hurst, London 2017, chapter 1. Or: L. Kamel, Reshuffling the Middle East: a Historical and Political Perspective, «The International Spectator», 51(3), 2016, pp. 132-141.
Modalità di insegnamento
Frontal lectures, students' presentations, use of media, class discussion.
Students’ presentations should be organized in the following way: 1) present the thesis that the reading proposes; 2) summarize the main arguments used by the author to support the thesis; 3) present your comments on the article; 4) raise a number of questions to be discussed in class.
Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento
Grades in this course will be based on the following assignments:
Class participation 40%
Oral presentations 20%
Final examination 40%
Grading criteria for participation:
- Demonstration of reading assigned materials prior to class
- Contribution to discussion
- Ability to critically analyze the readings
Grading criteria for oral presentation:
- Well-organized and clear structure (the presentation has a clear Intro, body, and conclusion)
- Demonstration of understanding the main ideas/thesis that the article intends to propose
- Raise critical comments to readings
- Raise questions to be discussed in the class
Grading criteria for final exam:
- 10 multiple choice & 5 open questions: all taken only from the required readings
Testi consigliati e bibliografia
The required readings for attending students are listed in the program above.
Non-attending students are requested to study 2 among the following 3 books and the chapter by Ngugi wa Thiong’o to prepare their final oral exam (that will be held in English):
S. Beckert, Empire of Cotton, Random House, Toronto 2014.
S. Press, Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) 2017.
L. Kamel, The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance, Basic Books, New York 2009, chapter 1.
- Apertura registrazione
- 02/09/2019 alle ore 00:00