Fall 2019 - HIST 354 D100

Imperialism and Modernity in the Middle East (4)

Class Number: 4986

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2019
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Thomas Kuehn
    1 778 782-3310
    Office: AQ 6238
  • 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, imperialist politics shape the lives of peoples in the Middle East to a significant degree - from European military intervention in Libya to U.S. corporate interests in Iraq. This course allows you to understand the role of imperialism 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. In this connection, we will explore different forms of colonial, imperial, and nation state building, the emergence of political Islam, organized labour, and western economic domination and the ways in which they were elaborated through the competition of bureaucrats, military men, bankers, merchants, industrialists, artisans, workers, journalists, farmers, and nomads over political influence and economic resources.


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



William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East

Thomas Kuehn, Custom Courseware.

Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East: The History and Politics of Orientalism.

Registrar Notes:

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