2_History of the Contemporary Middle East
History of the Middle East and North Africa
Anno accademico 2019/2020
- Codice dell'attività didattica
- Prof. Lorenzo Kamel (Titolare del corso)
- Insegnamento integrato
- Corso di studi
- laurea triennale in Storia
- 1° anno 2° anno
- SSD dell'attività didattica
- M-STO/04 - storia contemporanea
- Modalità di erogazione
- Lingua di insegnamento
- Modalità di frequenza
- Tipologia d'esame
The course will be held in English. The first part (3 lessons) will provide an analytical overview of the Middle East and North Africa from the “long 19th century” up to the present. Particular attention will be given to the late Ottoman era, WWI and the inter-war period, as wel as to the historical phase in between the end of WWII and the 1970s energy crisis.
The second part (9 lessons + 2 “laboratories” at the end of the course) will consiste in an in-depth historical analysis focused on the following contexts: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan), Israel, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya
Overall, the course will analyze, among a number of other issues, the emergence of bottom-up grassroots ideas and local anti-colonial movements; the formation of modern nation states; the role of Islamic and non-Islamic groups in the “political reform processes”; the influence and legacy of long-standing regional conflicts; the (active) role of local women in pressure groups and political movements; the impact of colonialism and imperialism on the Middle East and North Africa; the lives of ordinary men and women in the late modern and contemporary era; the “Arab cold war”; the “revival of Islam” and the role of non-Muslim communities; and the rising regional orders in the 2000s and 2010s.
Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi
By the end of the course students should be able to:
-acquire an in-depth understanding of the history of some of the most important countries – and their inhabitants – in the Middle East and North Africa
-acquire a deeper and more informed knowledge of where to look for, and how to get, scholarships, grants, and research funds, for national and international projects or programs
-enhance their verbal presentation and written skills
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:
- 8 multiple choice & 8 open questions: all taken only from the required readings
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 of dropbox.
The following reading list is divided into 14 parts (12 lessons + 2 final “laboratories”), each corresponding to one meeting of 3 hours. Students are requested to prepare the required readings carefully, in order to be able to participate to class discussions. To this end, they will be asked to send 2 or 3 questions/inputs to me regarding the content of the required reading of each lesson, within the evening before the lesson.
Additionally, each week one student (in turn) will be asked to prepare a short oral presentation (no longer than 15 minutes) on one source included in the reading list (see below). The list of presentations will be agreed during the first lesson.
Lesson 1: Setting the Stage
Suggested reading: J.L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East, Oxford UP, Oxford 2011, chapter 4. And: L. Kamel, "Stabilising" the Middle East: A Historical Perspective, Istituto Affari Internazionali, March 2019, pp. 1-5, available on-line: https://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/iaicom1924.pdf
Lesson 2: From the end of WWII to 1970s Oil Crisis: a Diacronic Overview
Required reading: J. Clancy Smith, The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Document, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, pp. 203-237
Presentation delivered by one student: B.S. Anderson, A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels and Rogues, Stanford UP, Stanford 2016, chapter 6 (“Rebel and Rougues”)
Lesson 3: The “Resurgence of Islam”: the Middle East and North Africa from the 1970s to the Present
Required reading: M. Kamrava, The Modern Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley 2011, chapter 6 (“The Gulf Wars and Beyond”)
Presentation delivered by one student: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, chapter 20 (“The Iranian Revolution and the Resurgence of Islam”)
Lesson 4: Framing and Deconstructing “The Iranian Century”: the Rising of “Political Shiʿism”
Required reading: L. Kamel, Whose Stability? Assessing the ‘Iranian Threat’ through History, chapter 9 of: L. Kamel (ed.), The Middle East, Thinking About and Beyond Security and Stability, Peter Lang, Bern 2019.
Presentation delivered by one student: M.R. Kalantari, The Shi’I Clergy and perceived opportunity structures: political activism in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, in “British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies”, 2019, pp. 1-15. Or: M. Abedi, An Iranian Village Boyhood, chapter 16 of: E. Burke III (ed.), Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley 2006.
Lesson 5: “A House of Many Mansions”: the Past’s Present of Lebanon
Required reading: F. Trabulsi, A History of Modern Lebanon, Pluto Press, London 2007, chapter 6 (“From Mandate to Independence”).
Presentation delivered by one student: K. Salibi, A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered, I.B. Tauris, London 2002, chapter 11 (“The war over Lebanese history”). Or: J. Alagha, The Shifts in Hizbullah’s Ideology, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2006, chapter 1 (“A Survey of Hizbullah’s History”).
Lesson 6: Egypt: A Gender-Centered Historical Approach
Required reading: B.S. Anderson, A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels and Rogues, Stanford UP, Stanford 2016, pp. 612-637.
Presentation delivered by one student: L. Abu-Lughod, Migdim: Egyptian Bedouin Matriarch, chapter 14 of: E. Burke III (ed.), Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East, University of California Press, Berkeley 2006. Or: A. Al-Arian, Muslim Brotherhood Between Past and Present. Available on-line: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/02/muslim-brotherhood-trump-terror-list-170201090317237.html. Or: L. Kamel, M. Ezzat ElKholy, Youth Exclusion and Cultural Activism in Egypt’s Sohag Governorate, in O. Bortolazzi (ed.), Youth Networks, Informal Society and Social Entrepreneurship. Case Studies in Post-Revolutionary Arab World, Bononia University Press, Bologna 2015, pp. 93-103.
Lesson 7: “Al-Marar al-Arabi”: Saudi Arabia between Past and Present
Required reading: J. Wynbrandt, A brief history of Saudi Arabia, Facts of File, New York 2010, chapter 9 (“Birth of a Kingdom”).
Presentation delivered by one student: A Vassiliev, The history of Saudi Arabia, Saqi Books, London 1998, chapter 2 (“Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his Teaching”) and G. Steinberg, Wahhabi ‘ulama and the state in Saudi Arabia, 1927 (pp. 77-61), in C.M. Amin, The Modern Middle East, Oxford UP, Oxford 2006
Lesson 8: Zionism and the Birth of the State of Israel
Required reading: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, chapter 13 (“The Palestine Mandate and the Birth of the State of Israel”)
Presentation delivered by one student: D. Moses, Partitions, Hostages, Transfer, in A.M. Dubnov, L. Robson (eds.), Partitions, Stanford University Press, Stanford 2019, epilogue (pp. 257-295). Or: O. Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel, Stanford University Press, Stanford 2017, chapter 2 (“Children of Iraq, Children of Israel”).
Lesson 9: Palestine, between Ruptures and Continuities
Required reading: L. Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times, I.B. Tauris, New York and London 2015, chapter 2.
Presentation delivered by one student: L. Kamel, The impact of “Biblical Orientalism”, «New Middle Eastern Studies», 4, 2014, pp. 1-15. Or: L. Kamel, De-Threatenization of the Other. An Israeli and a Palestinian Case of Understanding the Other’s Sufferance, in “Peace and Change”, 37(3), 2012, pp. 366-388.
Lesson 10: Why Syria does not have an “Independence Day”?
Required reading: I. Ouahes, Syria and Lebanon under the French Mandate, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2018, pp. 12-35.
Presentation delivered by one student: J.A. Reilly, Fragile Nation, Shattered Land: The Modern History of Syria, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2018, chapter 5 (“France and the Creation of the Syrian Territorial State”).
Lesson 11: “Al-Gharb”: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco
Required reading: P.C. Naylor, North Africa, University of Texas Press, Austin 2009, chapter 6 (“European Colonialism in North Africa”) and R. Rouighi, How the West made Arabs and Berbers into Races, Aeon, available on-line: https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-west-made-arabs-and-berbers-into-races
Presentation delivered by one student: P.C. Naylor, North Africa, University of Texas Press, Austin 2009, chapter 9 (“Post-Colonial and Contemporary North Africa: Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara”)
Lesson 12: The Libyan Case, and the Case for Libya
Required reading: D. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012, chapter 2 (“Italy’s Fourth Shore and Decolonization”)
Presentation delivered by one student: I. Fraihat, Unfinished Revolutions, Yale University Press, New Haven 2016, chapter 1 (“Libya”)
“Laboratory” n. 1: Iraq and the “Kurdish exception”
Required reading: A. Dawisha, Iraq, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2009, chapter 2 (“Consolidating the Monarchical State”) and: L. Kamel, From Pluralization to Fragmentation: The Kurdish Case from an Historical Perspective, in “Nuova Rivista Storica”, 103(1), 2019, pp. 251-266.
Presentation delivered by one student: F. Haddad, Sectarianism in Iraq, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, chapter 3 (“Sectarianism in Iraq”). Or: F. Haddad, Shia-Centric State-Building and Sunni Rejection in Post 2003 Iraq, Carnegie, January 2016.
“Laboratory” n. 2: The Future Ahead Seen Through History
Required reading: L. Kamel, D. Huber, Arab Spring: A Decentring Research Agenda, in “Mediterranean Politics”, 20(2), 2015, pp. 272-280.
Presentation delivered by one student: J. Clancy Smith, The Modern Middle East and North Africa: A History in Document, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, chapter 7 (“Unknown Destinies”). And: J. Foster, Oil and Global rivalry, in “Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives”, June 2019, pp. 36-37.
Testi consigliati e bibliografia
The required readings for attending students are listed in the program above.
Non-attending students are requested to study 3 among the following 4 books to prepare their final oral exam (that will be held in English):
U. Makdisi, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World, University of California Press, Oakland 2019
J.A. Reilly, Fragile Nation, Shattered Land: The Modern History of Syria, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2018
D. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012
L. Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times, I.B. Tauris, Lodnon and New York 2015