Summer 2023 - HIST 486 D100

Studies in History II (4)

19thC OttomanPoliticalHist

Class Number: 3249

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jun 27 – Aug 4, 2023: Tue, Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Special topics.


Political Thought and Action in the Ottoman Mediterranean during the long 19th century

The overall aim of the course is to explore the political and economic transformation of the Ottoman Empire with a specific emphasis on political thoughts and their implementation across the Ottoman Mediterranean during the long 19th century. The first two weeks are dedicated to providing a brief background on the Ottoman Empire prior to the 19th century and also familiarizing students with the decline paradigm as it used to be the prevalent intellectual setting within which the Ottoman modernizations were discussed. In roughly chronological order, we analyze the roots, articulation, and implementation of political ideas and actions by traveling around the Ottoman Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Anatolia, and the Ottoman Balkans). The course explores some key figures of the period including Mehmed Ali Pasha (1769-1849), Ahmet Cevdet Pasha (1823-1895), Butrus al-Bustani (1819-1883), and  Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905). However, we will also pay attention to historically excluded groups such as non-elites, women, non-Muslims, and slaves and their understanding of and contribution to these major changes.


By the end of this course students will:

  • have a better toolkit to examine the transformation of the Ottoman Empire in the long 19th
  • Engage with scholarly debates and familiarize themselves with the historiographical debates about political thought and actions in the late Ottoman context.
  • Make comparisons and relate with the content of previously taken History courses to better discern shared patterns across the World and the specifics of the Ottoman case if there is any.
  • be able to formulate a research question, develop an argument and write a research essay.


  • Active class participation 10%
  • In-class presentation of one of the week’s readings 20%
  • Research paper outline 10%
  • In-class presentation of the research paper 10%
  • Research paper 50%



Weekly readings will be available in electronic form through the SFU Library website.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


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Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.