Spring 2016 - HIST 151 D900

The Modern Middle East (3)

Class Number: 4190

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SUR 5140, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2016
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SUR 5280, 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.


This course offers an overview of the modern history of the Middle East and seeks to look beyond stereotypes and examine select topics in order to provide context and understanding with which students can apply to further study of the Middle East. The course covers regional history since 1800, focusing on Egypt, the Levant, Turkey, The Fertile Crescent, Iran, and the Arabian Peninsula. While the basis of the course is a political survey, we will examine social, and cultural issues in the Middle East and discuss what everyday life has been like for the people of the region.

*The evaluation and course schedule are subject to change.


The objective of this course is to give you an overview of the history of the Modern Middle East and the historical forces which have influenced political, social, cultural, and economic life in the region. You will practice developing your own ideas on given subjects through discussion, by recording your ideas in in-class written responses, and in a series of assignments that you will assemble in a portfolio. You will also receive in instruction in analyzing primary documents. As you progress through the course, you will develop a more informed perspective with respect to the current affairs and conflicts in the Middle East today.


  • Spoken Participation 10%
  • Top Hat 10%
  • Mid Term Exam 20%
  • Primary Document Essay 20%
  • Portfolio 20%
  • Final Exam 20%



You will need to purchase the following book from the bookstore. Each chapter provides support for the weekly topics we will discuss and contains primary documents which will usually be the focal point of our weekly tutorials.

James L. Gelvin, The Modern Middle East: A History, (Oxford University Press, 2011) (3rd edition).

Guy Delisle, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, (Drawn and Quarterly, 2012).

Additional Handouts and Web-Based sources will be provided.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html