This course will cover the cultural and political interaction between the Arab world and the West in the contemporary world. Topics will include the long-term impact of the penetration of Europe into the Islamic World, Orientalism, and Occidentalism, Islamic immigration into western societies, the impact of 9-11 and the different armed conflicts afterwards, and the role of oil and the Middle East conflict.
Watch this short video to get an overview for this course!
Attendance is mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies. If a student misses more than three classes in any course 3% of the final class grade will be deducted for every unjustified student absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
Discuss their general knowledge and realistic views of the geographic, historical, social, economic, and political aspects of the Arab world today;
Interpret the chapters of the common history of interactions between the Arab World and the West;
Understand the specific cultural, religious, and social customs involved in Arab-Muslim behavior and practices;
Have a deeper understanding regarding diversity, stereotyping, and prejudice towards Muslims and Arabs in Western societies;
Utilize analytical study skills which include critical reading, use of Internet resources and listening, outlining and note taking, as well as effective writing and public speaking.
Method of presentation:
Lectures by the instructor, supported with bibliographical and other didactic materials, followed by debates with the students. At the same time, students will occasionally be required to watch films and/or videos outside of class. Students are also expected to thoroughly read before each class and participate in all class discussions. As a matter of fact, students’ participation grade is based on presence, punctuality, quantity, and most importantly, quality of in-class participation. The instructor will sometimes give in-class assignments or ask students to bring in and summarize examples to class.
Required work and form of assessment:
Student participation - 15%
Mid-term exam - 30%
Final exam - 30%
Essays & presentation - 25%
An introduction to the Arab World
A brief history of the Arab World
Mohammad the the Four Caliphs
The Ottoman Empire
The Arab World during the 20th century until the present day
Imperialism & Colonization
The creation of the Arab Nations
Geopolitics of conflicts
The Arab-Israeli problem
The social movements of 2011: a wave of democratization in the Arab World?
Challenges in the relationship between the Arab World & the West
Islamic Extremism: from Wahabism to the Islamic Caliphate
Immigration and challenges of Islam in Europe
The Arab Perspective on World Politics and the West
The instructor will provide mandatory reading material during the course. Most of it will be chapters and articles from the recommended reading list and news stories about the region.
Ali, Tariq. The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity. Verso, 2002
Amstrong, Karen. Islam. A Short History. Modern Library, 2002.
Azzam, M., “Islam: Political Implications for Europe and the Middle East”, in P. Ludlow (ed), Europe and the Mediterranean, London: Brassey's/CEPS, 1994, chapter 3.
Bin Sayeed, Khalid. Western Dominance and Political Islam: Challenge and Response. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995.
Dubai Press Club. Arab Media Outlook 2009-2013. Dubai: DPC, 2010.
Dubai School of Government. Arab Social Media Report. Dubai:DSG, 2011.
Esposito, John. Oxford History of Islam. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Fregosi, Paul. Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998.
Ghassan Salamé. Democracy Without Democrats? The Renewal of Politics in the Muslim Word. London:Tauris, 1994.
Goody, Jack. Islam in Europe. Cambridge: Politypress, 2004.
Hafez, Kai (ed). Islam and the West in the Mass Media: Fragmented Images in a Globalizing World. Cresskill, N.J: Hampton Press, 2000.
Hourani, Albert (ed.). The modern Middle East: A reader. University of California Press, 1994.
Hunter, Shireen T. (ed.) Islam, Europe's Second Religion: The New Social, Cultural, and Political Landscape. Praeger, 2002.
Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds. Islam and the West. Cambrigde: Harvard University Press 2004
Lewis, Bernard. Islam and the West. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Lewis, Bernard. The political language of Islam Chicago: Chicago University Press 1988.
Lust, Ellen (Ed.). The Middle East. Sage, 2013.
Maalouf, Amin. The Crusades through Arab eyes. Random House, 1989.
Ramadan, Tariq. Western Muslims and the future of Islam. Oxford University Press: 2003.
Ruthven, Malise. Historical Atlas of Islam. Harvard University Press, 2004.
Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf, 1993.