Fall 2015 - HIST 355 D100

The Arab Middle East in the Twentieth Century (4)

Class Number: 5958

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2015: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history credit. Recommended: one of HIST 151, 249, 251.



An examination of this century's major themes in the history of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as other states of the Arabian peninsula. Topics to be investigated include the origins of Arab nationalism and Islamic reformism; the origins and development of the Lebanese question; the emergence of the politics of the military in Iraq and Syria, and the special role of the Jordanian and Arabian monarchies.


This course examines major themes in the history of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and the states of the Arabian Peninsula during the twentieth century. Among the topics students will explore are the legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the Arab world; the development of narratives of Arab nationalism; the political cultures of peasants, workers, and women; the influence of the military upon Arab societies; and the internal dynamics and interactions of monarchical and republican regimes. As the course focuses principally on social, cultural, and political developments within the Arab world, there is little coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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


  • Three one-hour tests 30%
  • Term paper (due Dec. 1) 40%
  • Debate presentation 20%
  • Class participation 10%



The Modern Middle East: A History, fourth edition, by James Gelvin, Oxford University Press

The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East by Charles Tripp, Cambridge University Press

Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East, second edition, by Asef Bayat, Stanford University Press

Journal articles accessible through the SFU library website

Registrar Notes:

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