Modern Middle East (HIST*3830) | College of Arts

Modern Middle East (HIST*3830)

Code and section: HIST*3830*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Evren Altinkas


AD-S Virtual:

This course will be taught online in a Synchronous format on the following scheduled day(s) and time(s):

WF    10:00 am - 11:20 pm

Details provided by instructor: Following the University of Guelph’s guidelines, the class will be conducted in a virtual synchronous format via Zoom.

Pre-Requisite(s): 7.50 credits including (1 of HIST*2890, HIST*3840, POLS*3060)

Course Synopsis:

This course will examine the following questions: What is the concept of Orientalism? How did it affect the people living in the region? How did European imperialism affect the region leading up to World War I? What indigenous religious and secular movements attempted to meet the challenges posed by Western encroachment in the Middle East? How did the Ottoman Empire collapse and which nation-states were established on its territories after World War I?

In examining these questions, students will learn about the struggle for national independence in the subsequent interwar period by many of these newly created states. Other topics to be explored include the impact of the developing oil industry upon regional politics, the creation of the state of Israel and the resulting Arab-Israeli conflict that has destabilized the area for over half a century, the rise of American influence in the region after World War II, the divisiveness of Cold War politics, Post-Cold War events and the rise of religious politics, all of which still play a tremendous role in subsequent social, political, and economic underdevelopment of the Middle East.

Learning Objectives:

In this course, students will:

  • Understand the primary dynamics, events and actors in the history of Modern Middle East
  • Evaluate and critique the historical aspects of Great Power Involvement in Middle East

Skills‐Based Learning:

Through synchronous activities, including the weekly discussions, and assignments, students will:

  • advance their critical thinking
  • improve their writing skills
  • improve their communication skills
  • develop professional skills such as leadership skills and ethical behaviour


  1. Mid-term Essay. Worth 30%
  2. Research Essay Presentation (Online) 20 % Research Essay 35%
  3. Participation in Weekly Courselink Discussions 15%

Texts Required:

  1. William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, 6th ed. (Routledge, 2016).

*Please note: This is a preliminary website 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.