Fall 2021 - HIST 151 D100

The Modern Middle East (3)

Class Number: 3914

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Tue, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2021
    Thu, 8:30–11:30 a.m.



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 introduces students to the major themes of the last two centuries of Middle Eastern history and seeks to promote an understanding of the background to the current conflicts in this important region of the world.

The course begins with a study of politics and society in the late Ottoman Empire and Qajar Iran; it then traces the forces that transformed these states and societies and examines the efforts of Middle Eastern women and men to shape, resist or deal with change.

The second half of the course focuses on the period since World War I. It examines the era of Anglo-French dominance in the aftermath of the Ottoman defeat, the creation of a secular Turkish republic, the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the successes and failures of the Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak regimes in Egypt, the rise of Palestinian nationalism, the role of political Islam in Turkey, Iran, and Egypt, and the challenges to authoritarian rule in these countries during the opening decade of the 21st century.


  • 1600-word review essay 25%
  • Mid-term examination 25%
  • Final examination 35%
  • Tutorial participation 15%


The review essay will be based on materials distributed to all students. 



William L. Cleveland and Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East. 6th edition (Boulder: Westview Press, 2016).

Marvin E. Gettleman and Stuart Schaar, The Middle East and Islamic World Reader. Revised and expanded edition (New York: Grove Press, 2012).

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods 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 fall 2021 term.