Early Islamic World (HIST*2890) | College of Arts

Early Islamic World (HIST*2890)

Code and section: HIST*2890*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Renee Worringer


Course Overview:

Early Islamic World is an introductory survey of the themes, events, and issues that define pre-modern Islamic civilization, from its inception in Arabia as a minority religion among a small community of believers in the 7th century CE, to its development into a formidable political empire, and across continents and cultures to create a powerful if diverse world civilization that has endured.  This course will begin with the emergence of early Islamic society and the Muslim faith.  We will explore the challenges which arose as Islamic expansion and encounters with different peoples and traditions influenced the evolution of this far-reaching civilization.  Due to the constraints of time, subject matter in this course will proceed chronologically from this early Islamic era up to roughly the 15th century; other courses will examine later periods of Islamic history.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical & Creative Thinking:  Students will be able to identify and explain key historiographical issues related to the early Islamic world, the rise of Islam and the evolution of Islamic civilization.
  2. Global Understanding:  Students will be able to evaluate the diversity of the Islamic world over time and place.
  3. Communicating:  Students will improve their analytical and writing skills through the paper assignment, and midterm/final exams that are partially essay-based.


20%    Midterm Exam in class    
10%    Topic abstract and list of sources for essay
35%    Term Paper/Essay Assignment 1500-2000 words
35%    Final Exam

Required Texts:

Vernon O. Egger, A History of the Muslim World to 1405: The Making of a Civilization (NJ: Pearson, 2004).
Reza Aslan, No God But God: the Origins, Development, and Future of Islam (NY: Random House, 2006).

Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.