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History of the Middle East 2 (1500-present)


Admission requirements



The goal of this course is to introduce students to major intellectual, political, social and cultural issues and practices in the Middle East from 1500 until the present. We will focus on important events, movements and ideas that shaped the history of the Middle East from the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, through the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, to the creation of modern states. The second half of the course will deal with contemporary issues ranging from the Arab-Israeli conflict, the impact of the Iranian Revolution, the emergence of Islamic movements, and the recent Arab revolutions. In addition, the class will be based on various types of readings ranging from primary documents, historical narratives, and historiography, to works of fiction and movies. This is intended to familiarize students with the craft of historical work and the process of creating the historiographies of the Modern Middle East.

Course objectives

Students gain an overview of the most important historical events and processes that took place in the past five centuries in the Middle East. They learn to connect political events and to contrast them with socio-cultural changes in the Middle East. On the basis of a textbook and primary sources they learn to analyze historical events and processes, and to contextualize them.
Through diversity of information, students learn the essential skills to select, reproduce, organize combine, and analyze knowledge production.


Time table

Time table

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Course load

To be announced.

Assessment method

Midterm exam (40%), final exam (60%), resit (100%).

Reading list

  • Cleveland, William. History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 201209. ISBN: 978-0813343747

  • other selected readings.


Registration via uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact information




Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).