Spring 2022 - HIST 151 D800

The Modern Middle East (3)

Class Number: 8077

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SRYC 5100, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 26, 2022
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    SRYE 4016, Surrey



An introductory survey of the changing societies of the Middle East since 1800. Emphasis will be placed on familiarizing students with the basic aspects of Islamic society, the influence of European imperialism, the modernization of traditional societies, the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the social and political ferment in the period since the Second World War. Breadth-Humanities.


The Middle East is frequently described as a “problem region” by journalists and policymakers, where passion prevails over reason, where primordial loyalties are privileged over socio-economic or political coalitions. This course aims to step beyond such generalizations, by way of an overview of the region's modern history. This overview will provide a context with which students can approach further work in modern Middle Eastern studies. Perhaps more importantly, the course will, in its own right, enable students to adopt an informed, critical perspective on the region's current conflicts and challenges. Specifically, the course covers Egypt, Turkey, Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and the Arabian Peninsula. After surveying the Ottoman world in the nineteenth century, students will examine the emergence of the principal nation-states of the Middle East in the wake of the First World War. Although political currents are considered in depth, much discussion is devoted to associated social, intellectual, cultural, and economic developments. 


  • 1500-word essay, based on materials distributed to all students 20%
  • In-class mid-term examination 30%
  • Final examination 40%
  • Tutorial participation 10%


For further information, please visit http://paulsedra.com.



  • Betty Anderson, A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues (Stanford University Press, 2016).
  • Marvin Gettleman and Stuart Schaar (editors), The Middle East and Islamic World Reader: An Historical Reader for the 21st Century, revised and expanded edition (Grove Press, 2012).

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.