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History of the Middle East 2 (1500-present)


Admission requirements



This course covers the history of the Middle East, Persia/Iran and Turkey from 1500 until the present. The emphasis is on political developments, but sociocultural processes are also addressed. The course gives an overview over the most important historical events and processes that shaped the history of the Middle East, such as the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, the Ottoman and Iranian Constitutional Revolutions, the creation of nation states, the Iranian Revolution, the emergence of political Islam, and the Arab Spring. The course is based on a text book and various other sources.

Course objectives

Students gain an overview of the most important historical events and processes that took place in the Middle East in the past two centuries. They learn to identify key events, personalities and processes, to evaluate and contextualize sources and to consider different perspectives on historical questions.


Time table

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2 × 13 = 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature in preparation of classes and exam: 110 hours

  • Exam(s): 4 hours

Assessment method

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


Blackboard will be used for:

  • reading and other material related to the course

Reading list

  • Cleveland, William. History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2009 or more recent edition. ISBN: 978-0813343747

  • other selected readings will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


“Dr. A. Stremmelaar”:


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).