Spring 2023 - HIST 469 D100

Islamic Social and Intellectual History (4)

Class Number: 4901

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: one of HIST 249 or 352.



Advanced analysis of specific problems in Islamic social and intellectual history, with an emphasis on traditional patterns and on their transformation in the modern world.


Recent years have seen a resurgence of a politically and socially activist Islam throughout the Muslim world. This seminar seeks to examine the textual, conceptual, and contextual background to this activism. We will explore some of the ideas in foundational texts concerning political and social action, focusing on the concepts of khilafa (“caliphate”), umma ("community"), 'adl ("justice"), zulm ("tyranny"), jihad ("activism"), fitna ("revolt"), ridda (“apostasy”), munafiq (“hypocrisy”), hijra (“immigration”), and hijab (“gendered structures”). Next, we will explore how these concepts are invoked and transformed in particular contexts, beginning with the eighteenth century. A wide range of modern political and social movements in various parts of the Muslim world will then be subjected to analysis, including movements of resistance against Muslim imperialism or European colonialism, movements of modernist accommodation, and movements of resistance against Muslim national states and elites. How do these movements differ? What do they share? To what extent do the new contexts of declining Muslim power, European hegemony, and post-colonial nationalism affect the re-appraisals of the contested texts and concepts? Special attention will be devoted to textual resources and contextual background. 


  • Textual Essay 15%
  • Intellectual Essay 15%
  • Historiographical Essay 10%
  • Participation 20%
  • Islamic Movement Essay (Final Paper) 40%



Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge    

       University Press, 2014) [ISBN 0521732972]

Hamid Dabashi, The End of Two Illusions: Islam after the West 

       (University of California Press, 2022) [ISBN 9780520376922]


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