Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Middle East Studies: 247 Fall 2012

Middle East Studies

INTL 247C (11678)
FALL 2012
Monday and Wednesday -17:30 - 18:45 PM

Instructor:  Tugrul Keskin

This course provides a foundation for upper level Islam and Middle East Studies courses at Portland State University. The “Middle East” as a region did not exist as such according to “Middle Easterners” such as Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Jews, Iranians, and other groups native to the area. The term “Middle East” is an artificial and fabricated concept, which was created by European and American imperialist powers in order to divide, conquer and exploit natural resources in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The objective of this course is to understand the basic social and political aspects of the Modern “Middle East” from the insider perspective, using the Non-Orientalist Approach. It is difficult to understand Middle Eastern societies and political actors without first exploring the fundamental principles and facts regarding the history of the region because events today are a continuation of the past. I will therefore introduce you to topics such as Orientalism, economic underdevelopment, the emergence of the nation-state, European and American occupations, and the revitalization of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East. The destruction of religious and ethnic harmony between the Jews, Muslims and Christians in the Middle East as a consequence of imperialist policies and occupations will also be explored. 

Required Reading:
  1. Mehran Kamrava. The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War. University of California Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780520241503
  2. Tugrul Keskin, The Sociology of Islam: Secularism,Economy and Politics. Ithaca Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-86372-371-1
  3. The Arab Awakening, The Nation Magazine: Special Issue, September 2011.