BA Politics and Modern History / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
Histories of the Islamic World
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Islam has been one of the most important transformative forces in the world for the past 1500 years. Not only has it been one of the largest religions in human history, its political, cultural, and intellectual influences have been vast. Historically, the Islamic world has reached far beyond the Middle East, from Asia and the Indian Ocean to West Africa; and today its reach is truly global. This module examines the history of the Islamic world. It explores the importance of Islam in creating states, in fostering trade, and in circulating ideas. The module therefore provides a key foundation in understanding the emergence of the modern, globalised world, which could not have occurred without these transformations.
This module is only available to students on History-owned programmes; and History joint honours programmes owned by other subject areas. Available to students on an Erasmus programme.
The course will:
- provide a history of the influences of Islam across the Middle East;
- introduce students to major developments in politics, empire, and culture in the Islamic world;
- expose students to major themes in world history;
- foster comparison between different regions of the world; and
- introduce practices of note-taking and writing in lectures and seminars.
By the end of the module students will:
Representative topics include:
- Ottoman Empire in the long 19th century
- Persia in the long 19th century
- The Creation of the Modern Middle Eastern State System
- Resource nationalism in the Middle East
- Authoritarian state systems
- 20th century reform movements in Africa
- Protest movements in the contemporary Islamic world
Teaching and learning methods
2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 1 hour seminar per week, 1 x course unit office hour per week.
All the support materials for the course will be on BB, and the essay will be submitted and returned via this medium.
Further weekly meeting times will be scheduled with the lecturers on the course for drop-in sessions.
Knowledge and understanding
- be familiar with some processes of historical change across the Islamic world;
- deepen their understanding of the relationship between religion and social change;
- be more sensitive to problems of historical comparison; and
- understand major theoretical issues in non-Western history.
- apply a range of theoretical approaches to a range of empirical case studies,
- demonstrate their ability to bring the qualities of one to bear on the other, and
- regularly practise how to extract arguments from academic writing.
Students will learn how to
- prioritise tasks,
- identify arguments in scholarly writing,
- write critically, and
- engage in comparative analysis.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Critical reading ability
- Clear, precise writing ability
- Ability to engage in critical discussions
- Analytical skills
- Written communication
- Britain¿s large populations of Muslims makes Islamic history important for public-facing employment inside the U.K. This module develops the normal skills of a first-year history module of critical reading, writing, presentation, and analysis.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||50%|
Oral feedback in seminar discussions - formative
Written feedback on all coursework and assessments - summative
Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment) - formative
Choueiri, Youssef M., ed. A Companion to the History of the Middle East. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.
Gelvin, James. The Modern Middle East: A History, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Robinson, Francis. Islam and Muslim History in South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Laura Veccia Vaglieri, “The Patriarchal and Umayyad Caliphates,” in The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 1A, eds., P.M. Holt, Ann K.S. Lambton and Bernard Lewis (Cambridge: University Press, 2005): 57- 103.
Fred McGraw Donner, The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton, NJ: University Press, 1981).
Irfan Shahid, “Pre-Islamic Arabia,” in The Cambridge History of Islam, eds., P.M. Holt, Ann K.S. Lambton and Bernard Lewis (Cambridge: University Press, 2005): 3-29.
Montgomery Watt, “Muhammad,” in The Cambridge History of Islam, eds., P.M. Holt, Ann K.S. Lambton and Bernard Lewis (Cambridge: University Press, 2005): 30-56.
H.R. Roemer, “The Safavid Period,” in The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 6, eds., Peter Jackson and Laurence Lockhart (Cambridge: University Press, 2006): 189-350.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Steven Pierce||Unit coordinator|
Source Analysis, summative, 1000 words, 25%
Essay, summative, 1000 words, 25%
Exam, summative, 2 hours, 50%