Undergraduate History Courses
A chronological and topological survey of the political and socio-economic forces that have shaped modern Europe and the rest of the world. Attention is given to teaching students how to tackle historical problems and how to initiate and conduct research. Annually
An introductory survey of the social and political development of the United States from colonial origins through the early twentieth century. Principal themes include European settlement of the North American continent and the establishment of an independent United States; the tensions between North and South that culminated in civil war; and the social transformations brought about by the rise of a market-oriented, industrial society. Open to freshman students. Annually
An introduction to some of the main themes and problems of the study of history such as the structures, aims, and methods of historical writing, and related questions such as causation, periodization, and style. The readings in this course are drawn mostly from modern texts in the methodology of history. Offered occasionally
An introduction to the modern history of the Arab East from the Ottoman conquest until the outbreak of the Arab revolt. This course also uses case studies relating to the rise of local Arab rule and to Arab-Turkish relations in the late Ottoman period. Annually
A course that focuses on the origins of Islam in Arabia, Islamic expansion, internal divisions, and the establishment of the Umayyad dynasty. This course emphasizes the themes of Arab expansion and adaptation, the historical roots of Shiism, institutional developments, problems of societal integration, and the factors of decline. Alternate years
A survey of the Abbasid Caliphate from its establishment in 750 to the Seljuk take-over of Baghdad in 1055. This course studies the origins, interpretation, and results of the Abbasid revolution, the militarization of the state, the emergence of specific institutions, the process of political decentralization, and the flourishing of cultural-scientific achievements. Alternate years
A course that completes the three-part survey of the central lands of Islam, covering the period from the Seljuk conquest in the eleventh century until the Ottoman expansion into the Middle East at the beginning of the sixteenth century. This course will trace the fusion of societies that generated a new social and political order in the region. Alternate years
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A survey of the major stages of the Fatimid polity from the turn of the tenth century to its demise at the end of the twelfth century. Major themes will include the political institutions of the Fatimid state, the intellectual trends of the Fatimid movement, and the social and economic ramifications of the Fatimid Empire. Offered occasionally
An investigation of the politics and society of Egypt and Syria during the regime of the Mamluk Sultanate by means of a chronological and thematic survey of the period from 1250 to 1517. Using all sources available--historical, archaeological, literary--students will investigate the origins and nature of the Mamluk institution and its impact on society and politics in the Middle East. Alternate years
A term-specific variety of courses that focuses on provincial history and deals with the affairs, both urban and rural, of a particular region or locality. Courses may include such titles as Bilad al-Sham, 600 - 1097 and rural Syria in Ottoman Times. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Offered occasionally
A survey of Byzantine history from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 to the end of the Iconoclast controversy and the establishment of the Macedonian dynasty in the later ninth century. Readings focus on doctrinal controversies, the reconstruction of the empire in the seventh century, and foreign relations, as well as artistic and cultural expression. Alternate years
A continuation of HIST 225, down to the fall of Constantinople. Topics include the encounter with the Crusades and the Italian maritime states, changes in Byzantine society, and the erosion and fragmentation of the empire in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Alternate years
A survey of the history of the Crusades from the beginning of the movement in the eleventh century until the demise of the Crusader states in the Middle East at the end of the thirteenth century. This course will investigate the political and social conditions in the Levant that enabled the Crusaders’ initial success and subsequent failure. Alternate years
A course on the origin, expansion, and development of the Safavid state from the establishment of the dynasty as leaders of a Sufi order in the early fourteenth century until the fall of the Safavid dynasty and state in the eighteenth century. In addition to the political history of Persia during this period, this course also examines the economic, social, and intellectual life in Persia under the Safavids. Offered occasionally
A course that covers Arabia before the coming of slam, explaining in some detail the history of the various Arabian kingdoms of both Southern and Western Arabia. Particular importance is attached to the study of surviving epigraphy and the historical dimensions of Jahili poetry. Offered occasionally
A survey of the Rashidun and Umayyad period, with special emphasis on the politics and society of the Umayyad Caliphate and its place in early Arab Islamic civilization. Original texts are used in addition to modern studies. Offered occasionally
A course that covers the first two centuries of the Abbasid Empire until the arrival of the Buyids, who were the first dynasty openly to take the Abbasids under their wing. This course places particular emphasis on the culture of the period as well as on Abbasid institutions of government and society. Offered occasionally
A course that covers Arab history from the Buyids to the Mamluks, also discussing other major dynasties such as the Seljuks, Zengids, and Ayyubids. Offered occasionally
A course on the formation, consolidation, and expansion of the Ottoman state from its birth as a ghazi principality in northwestern Anatolia in the late thirteenth century until the end of the so-called Classical Age. This course emphasizes political and institutional developments. Alternate years
A continuation of HIST 237 which traces the change and transformation of the “classical” Ottoman system and the responses to it. This course examines the Ottoman reform efforts from traditional reform in the seventeenth century through the Tulip Age and down to the Tanzimat (modernization) of the nineteenth century. Alternate years
A course that covers the expansion of Ottoman rule into the Arab East and the nature of Ottoman domination and its consequences. Selected case studies investigate the emergence of local Arab autonomies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Alternate years
A course on the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the age of the Tanzimat, foreign intrusion into the region, and the Arab provinces’ progressive incorporation into a developing global economy. Special attention is given to Egypt’s bid for autonomy, the nahda and the emergence of national sentiment in the Arab provinces of the Fertile Crescent. Alternate years
Examines the historical trajectory and character of social groups - including peasants, workers, middle and upper classes - in the 19th and 20th century Middle East. Explores how the rise of modern interventionist states has transformed everyday social life. Considers the effects, characteristics, and limits of the region's integration into the world economy, and the effect of oil and inter-state warfare on state-society relations. Alternate years
The course focuses on the establishment of the mandate system, and other types of western control in the region, the struggle for Arab independence and the foundation of the post-colonial interventionist state. Alternate years
Focuses on the interaction between various social forces and the state in modern Iran. Examines the transformation of the state from a weak 19th century patrimonial monarchy, via an autocratic monarchy, to a post-revolutionary populist hierocracy; and discusses the transformation of tribes, the tribes, the clergy, merchants, the intelligentsia, peasants, and workers, throughout the modern period. Alternate years
A study of the history of the regions which came to constitute Greater Lebanon. This course analyzes the factors that contributed to the development of a distinctive Lebanese identity. Annually
A survey of North Africa and Andalusia from the Arab conquest until the eclipse of Muslim power in al-Andalus. Alternate years
A study of the history of the Western half of the Roman Empire during the crisis of the third century until the rise of the earliest nation states in Europe in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Offered occasionally
A course that covers the transformation of Europe under the twin influences of the Renaissance and the Reformation. Attention is given to the political and socio-economic reorientations provoked by the voyages of discovery and the rise of European colonial Empires. Offered occasionally
A survey of the political and socio-economic evolution of Europe from the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War to the Congress of Vienna. Special attention is devoted to the rise to primacy of England and France and to the revolutionary transformations which the latter experienced. Offered occasionally
A survey of the failure of the Vienna Settlement to preserve the European political status quo, the transformation of Europe under the impact of industrialization, and the emergence of dynamic new states in Italy and Germany. Offered occasionally
An examination of the socio-political and economic transformations which culminated in World War I. Attention is paid to the phenomenon of European imperialism and to the failure of the European state system and diplomacy to maintain peaceful co-existence. Offered occasionally
A survey of the attempts to reconstruct a new world order at Versailles, the revolutionary overturn of existing orders in Russia, Italy, Germany, and China, the slide into World War II, and its aftermath. Offered occasionally
A term-specific variety of in-depth courses involving a detailed and systematic analysis of a particular topic, region, or nation. Examples of courses offered include Arabia, Biblical, the history of Palestine under the mandate, and Egypt under Nasser. May be repeated for credit. Offered occasionally
An investigation of the history of gender roles, perception, and experiences in the social, political, economic, and legal contexts of classical Muslim societies. Through a topical approach, emphasis is placed on the variety of Muslim women’s experience. The reading material includes translations of primary sources that will be at the center of class discussions. Alternate years
A course that begins with the notion of how the study of the American past has been revolutionized in recent decades by social history, which focuses on the experiences of everyday people, particularly those from subordinate social groups. Employing this approach, the course looks at the lives of African-Americans, immigrant workers, and women, and shows how this alters the traditional picture of American history. Offered occasionally
A survey of the economic life of the United States from colonial times to the present. This course examines the development of the economy and business institutions and corresponding changes in public policy and cultural life. Topics addressed include the colonial economy within the mercantilist system, the economics of slavery, industrialization, the rise of large corporations, government regulation, the Great Depression, the recent decline of traditional manufacturing, and the emergence of a high-technology, service-oriented economy. Offered occasionally
An examination of the varying and complex relationship between the United States and the Middle East over the last two centuries. Subjects examined include images of the Middle East in early American political discourse, the activities of American missionaries and the founding of AUB, Arab immigration to the US, the role of American oil companies in the region and the rise of OPEC, Cold War diplomacy toward the Arab states and Israel, the Iran hostage crisis, US intervention in the conflict in Lebanon, and the Gulf War. Offered occasionally
A survey of the social, political, and cultural development of the United States from the early twentieth century until recent times. This course particularly emphasizes episodes of domestic political reform such as the New Deal, the changing social roles of African-Americans and women, the turmoil of the 1960s and its aftermath, and the role of the United States as a world power.
This course is designed as a companion course to History 200, although History 200 is not a prerequisite for History 274. Annually
A course emphasizing a particular subject, theme, period, or region in the history of the United States (e.g., Native Americans, US environmental history, Civil War and Reconstruction, the American West) to be offered by resident or visiting specialists with expertise in the field.
May be repeated for credit. Equivalent to AMST 215/230 Offered occasionally
An introduction to current theoretical trends and interpretations in history and archaeology, including postmodern interpretations. Alternate years
An applied library course focusing on the craft of historical and archaeological research and writing. Emphasis centers on historical and archaeological methodology in the identification and utilization of sources, analysis, synthesis, and exposition. Alternate years
A seminar in which students work in association on a select topic, report on their progress in class, and incorporate their findings in a detailed paper applying recognized historical methods of referencing and documentation. Alternate years
Graduate Courses in History
A collaborative investigation of select topics in Arab and Middle Eastern History viewed from multiple perspectives. Periodic progress reports and the incorporation of findings in an interpretive term paper are required. Students can receive credit for both 303 and 304.
An in-depth analysis of a selected topic entailing intensive research and the submission of a final analytical term paper. Students can receive credit for both 305 and 306.
A systematic analysis of a select Arab historian in the context of his time, employing primary sources and recent secondary literature on the subject. Students can receive credit for both 321 and 322.
An applied training course in the identification, critical evaluation, and utilization of primary sources and secondary sources, the techniques for their retrieval and modes of incorporation into a historical account. Students can receive credit for both 323 and 324.
A systematic study of social and intellectual trends in Arab history. Primary sources and recent theories and interpretations are emphasized. Students can receive credit for both 325 and 326.
A detailed analysis of socio-economic transformations in the modern Middle East based on primary sources, considered in view of recent theories of development and modernization. Students can receive credit for both 327 and 328.
A systematic examination of select modern interpretations of history and their impact upon historical methodology and historiography.
A directed individual examination of a selected topic entailing an intensive reading program, research, and the submission of a model term paper. May be repeated for credit.