Spring 2024 - HIST 354 D100

Imperialism and Modernity in the Middle East (4)

Class Number: 4726

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2024
    Sat, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: one of HIST 151, 249.



This course examines the role of imperialism in the transformation of societies in the Middle East and North Africa over the last two centuries. Focusing mainly on the cases of Ottoman, British and French empire building, the course discusses the socio-economic, cultural and political changes brought about by the interaction of various segments of local societies with these imperial powers.


To this day, the encounters of peoples in the Middle East with imperialist politics shape the economic, political, and social realities of this region to a significant degree. This course allows you to understand the role of imperialisms in the transformation of societies in the Middle East and North Africa over the last two centuries, from the 1780s to the second Gulf War in 2003 and the Russian intervention in Syria today. Focusing mainly on the cases of Ottoman, British, French, Italian, and U.S. empire building, we will discuss the socio-economic, cultural, and political changes brought about by the encounters of local women and men with these imperial powers. Key themes of this course include different forms of economic domination; colonial, imperial, and nation state building; as well as the emergence of political Islam and organized labour. In this connection, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which these were contested, bypassed, and overturned through the actions of artisans, workers, journalists, farmers, nomads, bureaucrats, military men, bankers, merchants, and industrialists, and their competition over political influence and economic resources.



  • Mid-term examination 25%
  • Research Essay 25%
  • Final Examination 35%
  • Tutorial participation 15%



Mokhtar Mokhtefi, I was a French Muslim. Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter (New York: Other Press, 2021).


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Registrar Notes:


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