This module explores the careers of British archaeologist T.E. Lawrence and Czech scholar Alois Musil. Both men were scholars, but also agents for their respective governments. As with many figures active in the age of European colonialism, Lawrence and Musil created an important intellectual legacy, but their value as contemporary witnesses is diminished somewhat by their imperial outlook and subsequent inability to attain any approximation of objectivity.
This course will introduce the student to the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the twenty-first century. The course will emphasize the encounters and exchanges between the Islamic world and the West. By the end of the course, the student will understand how Islam became a sophisticated and far-reaching civilization and how conflicts with the West shaped the development of the Middle East from the medieval period to the present day. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: identify and describe the nature of pre-Islamic society, culture, and religion. They will also be able to describe the subsequent rise of the prophet Muhammad and his monotheistic religion, Islam; identify and describe the elements of Islamic law, religious texts and practices, and belief systems; identify and describe the rise of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties in the Middle East. Students will also be able to compare and contrast the two empires; identify and describe the emergence of the Umayyad dynasty in Spain. Students will also be able to analyze the conflicts between Muslims and Christians on the Iberian Peninsula; identify and describe the Crusades. They will be able to describe both Muslim and Christian perceptions of the holy wars; identify and describe the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Middle East; compare and contrast the Ottoman and Safavid empires; analyze the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of European imperialism/domination of the Middle East in the 1800s; identify and describe how and why European powers garnered increased spheres of influence after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the end of World War I; analyze and describe the rise of resistance and independence movements in the Middle East; identify and describe the rise of Islamic nationalism and the emergence of violent anti-Western sentiment; analyze (and synthesize) the relationship between the Middle East and the West between the 600s and the present day; analyze and interpret primary source documents that elucidate the exchanges and conflicts between the Islamic world and the West over time. (History 351)
A fusion of linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups with rich diverse roots and intersecting histories make up South Africa. However, the literature on most of the smaller groups tends to be thin and uneven, and often tends to relegate them to the margins of the country's major narratives. This innovative study introduces readers to a fascinating world of linguistic, religious, and cultural politics in the South African port city of Durban, from around 1950, the world of the Arabic Study Circle. This Association was led by a group of largely middle class Indian Muslim Gujurati-speaking men who were passionate about breaking out of the narrow confines of their origins and connecting to a larger changing world of learning rooted in Arabic and an Islamic modernity. They were gentlemen who believed in the transformative powers of reading and conversation. They exemplify the broader process common among educated, but disadvantaged, people in apartheid South Africa, and across the decolonised world in search for meaning community and authenticity.
This kit covers stereotyping of Arab people, the Arab/Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq and militant Muslim movements. Students will learn core information and vocabulary about the historical and contemporary Middle East issues that challenge stereotypical, simplistic and uninformed thinking, and political and ethical issues involving the role of media in constructing knowledge, evaluating historical truths, and objectivity and subjectivity in journalism.