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Nadir Ozbek

Fall 2000
MW: 3:30-5:00
Office Hours:
MW: 1:50-3:20 , LT 604

This course deals with contemporary social and political issues in the Middle East from the perspective of its recent history and will treat Middle Eastern history within the broader context of world history. Particular attention will be given to a wider geographic area including the Balkans, the Caucasus, Eastern Mediterranean, and North Africa. The course begins with an overview of nineteenth and twentieth century Middle Eastern history. We will focus on domestic developments in various states: the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, the Gulf War, the Kurdish question, the rise of political Islam in Algeria, and the Iranian Revolution. The nationality question in the Caucasus (Chechnya) and the Balkans (Kosovo) will be surveyed. We will also study oil in the Middle East and the Caucasus.

The following books are available in the University Bookstore. All these also are on Library Reserve.

  1. Donald Quataert, The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  2. William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, (2nd ed.), 2000.
  3. Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic, University of California Press, 1993.
  4. Fred Halliday, Islam and the Myth of Confrontation, Religion and Politics in the Middle East, I.B.Tauris, 1996.
  5. Ricardo Rene Laremont, Islam and the Politics of Resistance in Algeria, 1783-1992, Africa World Press Inc., 1999.
  6. Robert Olson (ed.), The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East, University Press of Kentucky, 1997.
  7. Julie A. Mertus, Kosovo: How Myths and Truths Started a War, University of California Press, 1999.
  8. Gary K. Bertsch, Cassady Craft, and Scott A. Jones (eds.), Crossroads and Conflict: Security and Foreign Policy in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Routledge, 1999.
  9. Sibel Bozdogan and Resat Kasaba (eds.), Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, University of Washington Press, 1997.
  10. Roger Owen and Sevket Pamuk (eds.), Middle East Economics in the twentieth Century, Harvard University Press, 1999.

Format and Course Requirements:

This is a lecture course, with ample time for discussion. Films will be shown on issues related to social and political life in the Middle East. There will be a midterm exam during the semester and a final examination. The midterm and final exam each count forty percent of the final course grade. Each exam consists of an essay portion and short identification questions. Class participation and short class presentations count twenty percent of the final course grade.

In discussions offered throughout the semester, we will engage in a number of activities: Discussing The New York Times' reports on the country or subject currently being lectured on. Students will be encouraged to make brief presentations on these subjects and countries; Brief discussions on the movies and documentaries shown.

There will be no makeup exams except for documented medical emergencies. Attendance at lectures is expected.


Lecture Schedule:

Week 1: Introduction: The Wider Middle East, Geography, Problems, and Issues.

8/28: Introduction

8/30: Reading:

Fred Halliday, “The Middle East and International Politics”, pp.11-41.

Week 2: Historical Background, World War I, and the Making of the Middle East.

9/4: Labor Day (no class)

9/6: Readings:

Quataert, “Chapter 1: Why Study Ottoman History?”, pp.1-12; “Chapter 10: Legacies of the Ottoman Empire”, pp.192-198; “Chapter 9: Inter-communal co-operation and conflict”, pp.172-191.

David Fromkin, “How the modern Middle East map came to be drawn”, pp.166-170.

Week 3: Ottoman Background; Politics, Economics, and Society, 1800-1914

9/11; 9/13: Readings:

Quataert, “Chapter 4: The Nineteenth Century”, pp.57-73; “Chapter 7: The Ottoman Economy, Population, Transportation, Trade, Agriculture, and Manufacturing”, pp.110-139; “Chapter 8: Ottoman Society and Popular Culture”, pp.140-171

Week 4: Turkey, Paradoxes of Modernization: Modernization and Political Islam.

9/18; 9/20: Readings:

Resat Kasaba, “Kemalist Certainties and Modern Ambiguities”, pp.15-36;

Caglar Keyder, “Whither the Project of Modernity? Turkey in the 1990s”, pp.37-51;

Haldun Gulalp, “Modernization Policies and Islamist Politics in Turkey”, pp.52-63; all in Bozdogan & Kasaba (eds.)

Week 5: Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkish and Middle Eastern Politics.

9/25; 9/27: Readings:

Gulistan Gurbey, “The Development of the Kurdish Nationalism Movement in Turkey Since the 1980s”, pp.9-37;

Henry J. Barkey, “Under the Gun: Turkish Foreign Policy and the Kurdish Question”, pp.65-83, all in Olson (ed.).

Week 6: Iran: The Islamic Revolution.

10/2; 10/4: Readings:

Ervand Abrahamian, “Chapter 1: Fundamentalism or Populism?”, pp.13-38;

Halliday, “The Iranian Revolution in Comparative Perspective”, pp.42-75.

Week 7: State, Society, and Reform in Iran 1990s

10/9: Yom Kippur (no class)

10/11: Readings:

Zohreh T. Sullivan, "Eluding the Feminist, Overthrowing the Modern? Transformations in Twentieth-Century Iran", in Lila Abu-Lughod (ed.), Remaking Women, Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1998, pp.215-242.

Afsaneh Najmabadi, "Hazards of Modernity and Morality: Women, State and Ideology", in Albert Hourani (ed.), The Modern Middle East, California University Press, 1993, pp.663-687.

Week 8: Islam and the Politics of Resistance in Algeria.

10/16; 10/18: Reading:

Ricardo Rene Laremont, Islam and the Politics of Resistance in Algeria, 1783-1992, Africa World Press Inc., 1999.

Week 9:

10/23: Review.

10/25: First exam.

Week 10: The Israel-Palestine Problem

10/30; 11/1: Reading: Cleveland, pp.233-264; 336-358; 458-462.

Week 11: The Israel-Palestine Problem: The Peace Process since the Gulf War

11/6: Reading: Cleveland, pp.483-499.

11/8: no class

Week 12: Gulf War

11/13; 11/15: Reading: Fred Halliday, “The Gulf War, 1990-91”, pp.76-103.

For the history of Iraq: Cleveland, pp.201-209; 317-321; 395-409; 463-475 new!

Week 13: Continuity and Change in the Middle East Since the Gulf War

11/20: Reading: Cleveland, pp.500-525.

11/22: no class

Week 14: Expanding the Middle East, The Caucasus and Central Asia

11/27; 11/29: Readings:

Scott A. Jones, “Introduction”, pp.1-21;

Elkhan E. Nuriyev, “Conflicts, Caspian Oil, and NATO”, pp.140-151;

Ewan W. Anderson, “NATO Expansion and Implications for Southern Tier Stability”, pp.129-139, all in Gary K. Bertsch, Cassady Craft, and Scott A. Jones (eds.).

Week 15: The Yugoslavia Crisis and Kosova

12/4; 12/6: Reading:

Dennison Rusinov, “The Ottoman Legacy in Yugoslavia’s Disintegration and Civil War,”, in L. Carl Brown, ed. Imperial Legacy. The Ottoman Imprint on the Balkans and the Middle East, New York 1996, pp.78-99;

Gale Strokes, John Lampe et al, “Instant History: Understanding the Wars of Yugoslav Succession”, Slavic Review, Spring 1996, pp.136-160;

Julie A. Mertus, “Chapter 1: 1981 Student Demonstrations”, pp.17-55.

12/11-15: Final Exam

Last Updated: 8/12/16