Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

ANTH 319: *History And Democracy In The Modern Mi

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  Course Description

As an introduction to the social, political, religious, and intellectual history of the Middle East from the 1700’s to the present day, this course pays particular attention to the following topics: the nature of the Middle Eastern social and political institutions; tensions between reform and purifying impulses in Islamic religious currents; the Ottoman period; western imperialism; paths of modernization; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the historical context for the emergence of political Islam; and the Arab Spring of 2011.  Cross-listed as ANTH/HIST 319. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite: HIST 102 or HIST 112

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.



  •  Khater, Akram Foud. Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. 2nd ed, London: Cengage, 2011.  eText
  •  Gelvin, James L. The Modern Middle East: A History. 4th ed, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.  eText

Choose One

  •  Axworthy, Michael. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind. 1st ed, Basic Books, 2016.  Physical Book
    • Note: In this course, you will write a Critical Analysis Paper. You will choose between this text and the Hooman Majd text, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran.
  •  Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran. 1st ed, Doubleday Publishing, 2008.  Physical Book
    • Note: In this course, you will write a Critical Analysis Paper. You will choose between this text and the Michael Axworthy text, A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind.


  •  Rampolla, Mary Lynn. (2017). A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (9th ed). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

With a short foundation of the history prior to 1800s, this course will focus on the geographic area we now call the Middle East from 1800 to the present. We will analyze the complexities of this area’s culture, political, religious, intellectual, social, and economic activities.  Evolving from empires, through the rise and spread of Islam, into an area of European imperialism and the struggle for independence, the Middle East has seen many challenges and changes. With the see-saw of war, peace, and revolutions there has been much transformation within the Middle East.  We will look at this transformation as well as the relation of the Middle East to the rest of the world. Of particular interest will be the impact of imperialism, the role of oil, the increase of Arab nationalism, and the rise of political Islam.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the major countries, regions and ethnicities of the Middle East.
  2. Describe the major events, persons, and ideas that shaped the period and how these events fit into the course of Middle Eastern history.
  3. Analyze primary sources (in translation) and synthesize these materials in various formats, e.g., oral presentations, class discussions, research papers.
  4. Describe the historical context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
  5. Analyze interrelated forces of Western imperialism, Arab nationalism, Zionism, and political Islam on the region.
  6. Contextualize contemporary tensions between many Middle Eastern states.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (9) 250 25%
Critical Analysis Paper (1) 100 10%
Thesis Statement and Outline of Scholarship Paper (1) 25 2%
Midterm Exam (1) 150 15%
Final Exam (1) 250 25%
Scholarship Paper (1) 225 22%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion -- Sunday
Discussion 1 30 Thursday/Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 30 Thursday/Sunday
Proctor Information N/A Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 30 Thursday/Sunday
Critical Analysis Discussion 10
Critical Analysis Paper 100 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 30 Thursday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 150 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 30 Thursday/Sunday
Scholarship Paper Thesis Statement and Outline 25 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 30 Thursday/Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 30 Thursday/Sunday
Scholarship Paper 225 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 30 Thursday/Saturday
Final Exam 250 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week you will be assigned various readings from the course textbooks. These readings, as well as any other required "Instructional Materials," will be listed in each weekly module in the "Content" area of the course. Be sure to complete all readings and review all instructional materials prior to attempting the weekly assignments.


Each week you will participate in one online class discussion. These discussions are meant to deepen your understanding of the topics addressed in the course. You will create a 500 word initial posting in response to a discussion question. You will also be required to reply to at least two other students' postings each week. Your reply should have a minimum of 100 words and should be substantive, respectful, and helpful. Remember the goal of the discussion is to provide sounding boards for each other and to learn from each other. 

Weekly reading materials or other related sources must be referenced in the discussion posts and should be properly cited and referenced using Chicago Manual Style (CMS).

Each of these weekly discussions is worth 30 points with the exception of the Critical Analysis Paper Discussion which is worth 10 points. Grades for the postings will be based on the content of the responses as well as the level of engagement with classmates.

Your initial discussion posts are due on on Thursdays by 11:59 PM CT. Your response posts are due Sundays by 11:59 PM CT, with the exception of Week 8, where your response posting is due on Saturday by 11:59 PM CT.

Critical Analysis Paper

The paper will be an analysis of one of two book choices (you are only required to choose one):  Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran. Bantam Doubleday Dell, 2008 or Axworthy, Michael. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind. Basic Books, 2016.

The paper must be 5-6 pages in length and should be typed and formatted according to standard rules including the use of 12-point font, double-spaced lines, 1-inch margins, and numbered pages. Chicago Manual Style formatting must be used for the bibliography and for all citations and footnotes.

This paper will be submitted to the corresponding Dropbox bolder and is due Sunday 11:59 PM CT of Week 3.

Critical Analysis Paper Discussion

Students will post a response to one of two discussion topics or questions based on whichever text he/she chose to read, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ or The History of Iran, Empires of the Mind. Students will respond to at least two other students' postings on the same text.

Direct quotations and references to the text must be cited and referenced using Chicago Manual Style formatting.

This discussion is worth 10 points.

The initial posting is due on Thursday by 11:59 PM CT and the response postings are due on Sunday by 11:59 PM CT.

Scholarship Paper Thesis Statement and Outline

You will submit a clear thesis statement that identifies the topic and argument of your scholarship paper. A thesis statement provides parameters of your argument and must go beyond a simple broad topic. Rather than a broad topic like the "history of Iran," a clearer thesis statement would be "women played an integral role in the organization of the 1979 revolution."

The Thesis Statement will be between 1-5 sentences.

The Thesis Outline must contain a minimum of 3 main topics, with a minimum of 3 sub-components each.

The Thesis Statement and Outline must be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox folder by Sunday at 11:59 PM CT of Week 5.

Scholarship Paper

The paper must be 15 pages in length and should be typed and formatted according to standard rules including the use of 12-point font, double-spaced lines, 1-inch margins, and numbered pages.

The paper must include a bibliography with a minimum of 3 primary sources and 5 secondary sources. Chicago Manual Style formatting must be used for the bibliography and for all citations and footnotes.

The paper must be submitted to the corresponding Dropbox folder and is due Sunday by 11:59 PM CT of Week 7.


Midterm Exam

  • Proctored
  • 2 hours for completion
  • Will include 4-6 short answer questions along with 2 short essay questions.
  • Essay answers will contain an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Final Exam

  • Proctored
  • 2 hours for completion
  • Will include 2 essay questions and 2 short answer questions.
  • Essay answers will contain an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • Gelvin:  Introduction & Chapter 1
  • Khater:  Introduction, "How to Read a Primary Source" 
  • Begin reading the text for the Critical Analysis Paper due in Week 3.
Introduction Discussion
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow students.
  • Please give your name, your major, and discuss any special interests.
Discussion 1
  1. Discuss the strengths of using a primary source in historical research. What are the challenges of using primary sources? What is the most interesting primary source you have read?
  2. Identify three key events that occurred prior to 1800 that greatly impacted the development of the Middle East. How is an understanding of the historical perspective of the Middle East relevant to understanding current developments? Please give specific examples.
  • Gelvin:  Chapters 2 & 3
  • Khater:  Chapter 2 docs 2, 4 & 5
  • Content Area Maps
Discussion 2
  1. From the Gelvin readings, describe the significance of the transformation from the military-patronage states to the gunpowder empires.
  2. Describe several fundamental factors in the relationship between the Middle East and what was considered the modern western world. Did the economics (or a commercial resolution) of the Middle East empires force further integration?
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
  • Gelvin:  Skim pages 49-54 & 69-75; Chapters 6 & 9
  • Khater:  Chapter 4 doc 5
Discussion 3
  1. Describe Gelvin's argument of defensive developmentalism. Do you agree with Gelvin that this defensive developmentalism impacted European countries or was it impacted by European countries?
  2. Did the end of empires create an opportunity for increased imperialism in the Middle East? How did this increased imperialism impact Secularism and Modernity in the Middle East?
Critical Analysis Discussion

If you read, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, answer this question:  What is the paradox of the Iranian political system?

If you read, A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind, answer this question:  According to Axworthy, the "empire of the mind" centers on the cultural themes that run the history of Iran.  Is there a continuity or paradox in the cultural and political institutions in Iran?

Critical Analysis Paper

The critical analysis paper is a historical study. This paper will be based on the student’s analysis of the text he or she chose to read. The student will analyze the author’s argument, perspective, and use of sources, as well as the overall arrangement of the text. This is not a summary of the text, but rather an analysis.

All direct quotations from and references to course textbooks or other sources must be properly cited and referenced using the Chicago Manual Style.

The Critical Analysis Paper is due this week and should be submitted to the corresponding course Dropbox. Please see the Assignment Expectations section of this document for specific assignment requirements.

  • Gelvin:  Read pages 189-192; Chapters 11 & 12
  • Khater:  Chapter 4 docs 3, 4, 5 & 7
Discussion 4
  1. Describe the elements of world war and its aftermath in relation to the transformation brought to the Middle East and the struggle for its independence. Provide 2-3 specific countries as examples.
  2. What were the advantages and disadvantages of state-building by decree vs. state-building by revolution and conquest? Provide at least 2 specific examples which illustrate this point. In the answer, include the idea of political stability; consider whether it was a natural occurrence of either state-building process.
Midterm Exam
This proctored exam will be open from Tuesday 12:01 AM CT until Sunday 11:59 PM CT. Please see the Assignment Expectations section of this document for specific exam information.
  • Gelvin:  pp. 259-269; Chapter 15
  • Khater:  Chapter 3 docs 2, 3, 4 & 5; Chapter 5 doc 6; Chapter 6 doc 2; Optional: Chapter 9 docs 1 & 2
Discussion 5
  1. Select 3 Middle Eastern countries and describe how the role of women evolved in these countries. Explain how the cultural and/or political systems impacted the role of women in each country.
  2. What is meant in the articles that “gender roles are constructed by the society”? Did the autocratic state play a part in the role of women? What does this illustrate about the challenges of the political, economic, and social change (or lack thereof)?
Scholarship Paper Thesis Statement and Outline
The Thesis Statement and Outline of Scholarship Paper is due this week and should be submitted in the corresponding course Dropbox. Please refer to the Assignment Expectations section of this syllabus for thesis and outline assignment details.
  • Gelvin:  Chapters 13 & 14
  • Khater:  Chapter 5 docs 5, 7 & 8
Discussion 6
  1. Explain how and why nationalism spread in the late Empire. Provide a few examples which illustrate the form this nationalism took. Did political groups play a positive or negative role in this spread?
  2. Using references to both Gelvin and Khater, describe the Arab case for Palestine. Is this case logical? Be certain to notice the author and potential bias in the primary document. Identify any potential problems in the argument for Palestine.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • Gelvin:  Chapters 16 & 17
  • Khater:  Chapter 7 doc 5 & 7; Chapter 10 docs 2, 3, & 9
Discussion 7
  1. How does/did the exploitation of oil impact both internal and external relations of social, political and economic development? What has been the role of the rentier state? Has oil really been a defining factor in the Middle East? Provide a minimum of 3 specific events to support your answer.
  2. Identify and describe 4 issues in the relationship between the U.S. and Middle East that have made finding “a new beginning” so challenging.
Scholarship Paper
The Scholarship Paper is due this week and should be submitted to the corresponding course Dropbox. Please see the Assignment Expectations section of this syllabus for specific assignment information.
  • Gelvin:  Chapter 18, 19, & the Conclusion
  • Khater:  Chapter 6 docs 1 & 2; Chapter 7 doc 3; Chapter 8 docs 1, 3, 4, & 5
  • Watch portions of the documentary film, The Square
Discussion 8
  1. Using the primary documents of the Shah’s rule in Iran as well as the chapter from Gelvin, characterize the inevitability (or not) of the Iranian Revolution.
  2. What factors made the “Arab Spring” uprising possible? Did this “Arab Spring” prompt significant change and/or future possibilities?
Final Exam
This will be a proctored, closed-book exam. It will be open between Tuesday 12:01 AM CT and Saturday 11:59 PM CT. Please see the Assignment Expectations section for detailed information regarding this exam.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Dropbox assignments are accepted with a 25% penalty per day. If there are extenuating circumstances, please email the professor.

Late exams are only accepted under extreme extenuating circumstances. Please email the professor.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.