Spring 2024 - HIST 151 D900

The Modern Middle East (3)

Class Number: 4643

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2024
    Wed, 12:00–12:00 p.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.


All too often, the Middle East is described as a region where "primordial loyalitie" are priviledged over socio-economic and political factors.  This course unpacks and ventures beyond such generalizations, by way of an overview of the region's modern history.  It aims to equip students to develop an infomed, critical perspective on the region's current conflicts and challenges--and enable them to undertake further work in Middle Eastern studies.  Specifically, the course covers Egypt, Turkey, Iran, the Fertile Crescent, and the Arabian Peninsula.  After surveying the Ottoman world in the 19th century, we examine the emergence of the principal nation-states of the Middle East in the wake of World War I.  While political currents are considered in depth, much discussion is devoted throughout the course to associated social, intellectual, cultural, and economic developments, including the evolving role of civil society.  Multimedia resources will supplement the course texts.


  • Midterm Review Essay 30%
  • Tutorial Presentation 20%
  • Active Participation 10%
  • Final Exam 40%



• William L. Cleveland & Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East.
6th Edition (Westview, 2016).
• Marvin E. Gettleman & Stuart Schaar, The Middle East and Islamic World Reader. 3rd Edition
(Grove, 2012).

• Further resources will be posted on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


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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