This course examines Middle Eastern history from the era of Suleyman the Magnificent, the 16th-century Ottoman sultan, to the late 20th century. It traces the roots of current Middle Eastern politics to social changes-- as the region lost its pivotal role in the world economy in the 19th century but gained oil wealth-- and to the political aftershocks of colonial occupation a century ago. Themes include the emergence off dictatorship and violence in politics during the 20th century, and especially the conflicts centered on the emergence of Israel; the rise of new political ideologies, nationalism, liberalism, and Islamism; the rise of women’s rights movements, and the reasons that political conflict has come to center on women’s status; and the polarization of rich and poor classes that continues to destabilize domestic politics. (Prerequisites: HIST300/HS334 for History and Military History majors only)
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