9/11 Historical Perspective (HIST*2160) | College of Arts

9/11 Historical Perspective (HIST*2160)

Code and section: HIST*2160*DE

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Eid Mohamed


Method of Delivery:

Online (DE = remote asynchronous)


This course will explore the history of the moment to understand why 9/11 happened and examine 9/11’s lasting legacy for both the West and the Arab-Muslim world. It will examine how the West was historically perceived in the Arab World, as well as the growth of Islamophobia in the US, Canada and Europe. This course will reflect on the intellectual climate of the US and the Arab world within a historical and political context often neglected, misunderstood, or ignored by proponents of the “clash of civilizations” argument.

Pre-Requisite(s): 2.0 credits

Co-Requisite(s): none

Restriction(s): none

Final Exam

There is no final exam in this course.

Required Textbook

There is no required textbook for this course. The required readings are provided online. 

Course Website

CourseLink (powered by D2L’s Brightspace) is the course website and will act as your classroom. It is recommended that you log in to your course website every day to check for announcements, access course materials, and review the weekly schedule and assignment requirements. 

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1.    Identify and explain the historical, social, cultural, and transformations and continuities that shaped the USA and its relationships with the Arab and Muslim world in the aftermath of 9/11. 
2.    Formulate arguments and opinions on the role of 9/11 within the cultural history of the US and beyond.
3.    Distill pertinent arguments of each reading’s factual content and its relevancy to the topics of the course.
4.    Develop an interdisciplinary approach to the study of 9/11 and its aftermath from a historical perspective (i.e., to consider the traumatic events of 9/11 and its aftermath from cultural, political, social, and historical—as well as literary—perspectives). 
5.    Use analytical and literacy skills necessary to read and critique any cultural text as a historical document.
6.    formulate arguments and opinions on the role of 9/11 within the cultural history of the US and beyond.
7.    Demonstrate skills in researching, planning and writing papers, incorporating an analytical understanding of key concepts in the course. Also, Strengthen communication skills. 

Course Structure

The course is organized around 12 main topics related to 9/11 and its lasting legacy for both the West and the Arab-Muslim world.
The 12 topics for this course are:

  • Unit 01    Overview: 9/11 Historical Context and Memory
  • Unit 02    What happened? What did and does it mean?
  • Unit 03    U.S. Interests in the Arab and Muslim World
  • Unit 04    The Islamic State and Media Framing of Terrorism
  • Unit 05    State of Deception
  • Unit 06    The Iraq Question
  • Unit 07    The Rise of Islamists: Al-Qaeda and its Successor ISIS
  • Unit 08    A New International System
  • Unit 09    9/11 Impact on America’s National Character
  • Unit 10    Social Movements
  • Unit 11    Middle East/Imperialism and U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Unit 12    Media and Globalization

Assessment Descriptions

Book Review
You will provide a succinct summary of the assigned book, and analyze the effectiveness and success of the authors’ methodology and overall argument. 

Graded Discussions
You will participate in three graded discussions which will allow you to provide a summary, your perspectives, thoughts and ideas related to a particular reading or video/film.

Research Essay
You will prepare an essay (2000 words) to be submitted in two stages. The paper may take the form of an analytical discussion that may employ theory to analyze a novel, film, short stories, play, television program, or other relevant cultural product as a historical document. This writing assignment is designed to develop and enhance your critical reading, analytical, and writing skills. 

Evaluation criteria include: critical and integrative analysis of texts, clarity of thought, ability to synthesize readings and occasionally, class discussions into the argument, and ability to formulate a theoretical grounding for it.

**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.**