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geschiedenis van het Midden-Oosten 2 (1500-present)





The course is a sequel to the History of the Middle East I, 600-1500 and covers the history of the Middle East from the advent of the “Gunpower” empires to the present. While paying special attention to everyday social life, important historical events and processes such as colonialism, nationhood, pan-Arabism, self-determination, and pan-Islamism are treated. There is also focus on the process of modernization in the Middle East, where students are encouraged to think about alternative interpretations of modernization in the Arab countries, Iran and Turkey. Also, political and socio-religious movements such as nationalism, constitutionalism, secularism, socialism and Islamism in the modern Middle East will be mapped. Finally, the course discusses historiography of the period in question with special focus on Orientalism, Occidentalism, nativism, self-perception, and its historical representation of nation states, ethnic and religious minorities. The final lecture will focus on regional relationships and the challenges of globalization that the Middle

COURSE OUTLINE\Weekly Overview

Week 1, Feb. 2 Introduction to the course and literature:
The modern Middle East: who, what, where?

Lapidus: pp. 197-225.

Week 2, Feb. 9 The advent of the Ottomans

Lapidus: Ch. 14, pp. 248-253.

Week 3, Feb. 16 The Ottoman Empire: Center and Provinces

Lapidus: Ch. 14, pp. 253-182.

Week 4, Feb. 23 The Safavids

Lapidus: Ch. 13, pp. 234-247.

Week 5, March 2 The Qajar dynasty in Iran

Lapidus: pp. 453-468; Ch. 22, pp. 469-476.

Week 6, March 9 Tanzimat and other nineteenth century reforms

Lapidus: Ch. 23, pp. 489-511.

Week 7, March 16 A new order: the first World War and its aftermath

Lapidus: Ch. 25, pp. 535-546.

Week 8, March 23 No class, mid-term break

Week 9, March 30 No class, many students abroad.

Week 10, April 6 The Second World War and the struggle for independence

Lapidus: Ch. 25, pp. 546-557.

Weeks 11, April 13 Political reform: Arab states, nationalism, & Islam Oil Politics

Lapidus: Ch. 25, pp. 566-580; 580-585.

Week 12, April 20 Egypt in the drive: pan-Arabism and Islamism

Lapidus: Ch. 24, pp. 512-534. Week 13, April 27 No class

Week 14, May 4 “Zionism” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Intifada and the peace process

Lapidus: Ch. 25, pp. 557-566.

Week 15, May 11 The Islamic Revolution in Iran

Lapidus: Ch. 22, pp. 476-488.

Week 16, May 18 Political Islam & the challenges of the 21st century

Lapidus, pp. 814-850.

Week 17, May 25 No class, reading period


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.


Woensdag 15-17


Weekly two-hour meetings. Combination of formal lectures, Q&A sessions, discussion, and – possibly – students’ presentations.
This is a lecture class in which active student participation is expected. For each week, the students read selected chapters of literature and primary sources (on Blackboard). And also students participate in a discussion forum on Blackboard prior to class.


At the end of blok 1 students sit for a first exam (deeltoets) composed of multiple choice questions and short definitions (40%); at the end of blok 2, they sit for the final exam (open/essay questions) (60%). Students cannot sit again for the first exam (deeltoets). An insufficient average of the two exams can only be repeated once after the final exam. The outcome of this second chance counts for 100%. Students successfully complete the lecture class if they, for at least five times, have responded to questions on the required literature (see below).


The course uses Blackboard. Blackboard is a place in which participants find material and information on the lecture class. In addition, students participate in a discussion forum at least five times during the semester prior to the class through a question placed on Blackboard about that specific week of study. Students have to respond to the comments of their fellow students on Blackboard, and thus become familiar with the material for the lecture class.


Literature\ Required textbook:

I.M. Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

All other readings can be downloaded from Blackboard, are available electronically, or can be copied from a master copy.


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Bij de docent Prof.dr. P.M. Sijpesteijn