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: Final



  • Gelvin, James L. The Modern Middle East: A History. 4th ed. Oxford University Press , 2016.
    • ISBN-978-0-19-021886-7
  • Khater, Akram Foud. Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.
    • ISBN-978-0-618-95853-5
  • Majd, Hooman . The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran. Bantam Doubleday Dell, 2008.
    • ISBN-978-0-7679-2801-4

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  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 Objectives

  • To identify the major countries, regions and ethnicities of the Middle East.
  • To describe the major events, persons and ideas that shaped the period and how these events fit into the course of Middle Eastern history.
  • To analyze primary sources (in translation) and synthesize these materials in various formats, e.g., oral presentations, class discussions, research papers.
  • To develop a more nuanced understanding of the historical context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
  • To develop an understanding of the interrelated forces of Western imperialism, Arab nationalism, Zionism, and political Islam on the region.
  • To develop a broader historical context by which to better understand contemporary tensions between many Middle Eastern Western states.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Trace the development of reform movements in the 19th century Ottoman Empire and Egypt.
  • Discuss the origins of Zionist immigration into the Palestine.
  • Explain the emergence of revolutionary movements in the Ottoman Empire and Iran in the early 20th century.
  • Discuss the impact of World War I and the postwar peace settlements on the Middle East.
  • Describe the growth of Arab nationalism, Zionism and authoritarian reform during the interwar period and World War II.
  • Discuss Islamic feminism with the emergence of women's movements in the early 20th century.
  • Discuss the politics of oil and the Cold War in the Middle East.
  • Analyze the Arab-Israeli conflict and the radicalization of Arab politics from the early 1950s to the late 1970s.
  • Explain the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the post¬≠ revolutionary Iranian state.
  • Outline the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Analyze developments in Iraq from the early 1980s to the present.
  • Describe the main issues raised by the Arab Spring of 2011, including the role of women in society, and various democratization and reform efforts.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 630-700 90-100%
B 560-629 80-89%
C 490-559 70-79%
D 420-489 60-69%
F 0-419 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Weekly Discussions 160 23%
Discussion of Analysis Paper 5 1%
Critical Analysis Paper of Ayatollah Begs to Differ 75 11%
Thesis and Outline of Scholarship Paper 20 3%
Midterm Exam 100 14%
Scholarship Paper 160 23%
Final Exam 180 26%
Total 700 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment - Thesis and Outline 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday
Midterm Exam 100

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment - Scholarship Paper 160

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Critical Analysis Discussion 5 Wednesday
Discussion 7 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment - Critical Analysis Paper 75

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 - Initial and Follow-up Posts 20 Wednesday
Final Exam 180 Saturday
Total Points: 700

  Assignment Overview


Each week there will be at least one discussion question for you to respond to.  You are expected to not only respond to the initial prompt, but also to respond to the posts of your classmates.  You must provide substantial responses to at least 2 of your classmates as well as respond to my follow ups.  I highly encourage you to post your initial posting earlier in the week so that you can engage in the discussions throughout the week. Grades for the discussion will be based on the content of your response as well as your level of engagement with your classmates.  Participation in all discussions will improve performance on exams and will be considered holistically by the instructor.  Please see the grading rubric for more detailed grading criteria.

Critical Analysis Paper

The critical analysis paper is a historical study. This review will be based on your analysis of The Ayatollya Begs to Differ. There will be a small discussion of the paper during week 7, which all students are to participate. The paper should be 3-4 pages in length using common font, type and spacing.  In addition to using this class text, you will research 1 other source that is either a contemporary or critique of the selected text.  There will be some guiding questions in the Content Area to help with the focus of this paper. Remember that is a critique, not a summary of the text. You are cautioned to make the review your own work. The instructor will use plagiarism tools to check for original work. The criteria for the analysis will be located in the Week 1 Content area. Be sure to read the definition of plagiarism by using the sites listed in the syllabus.  These papers will be reviewed for plagiarism through Turnitin.com.

Thesis and Outline of Scholarship Paper

You will submit a clear thesis statement which identifies the topic and argument of your scholarship paper.   The thesis statement will be between 1-5 sentences and should clearly convey your historical argument. Along with the thesis, you will create and submit an outline of your paper.  This outline must contain a minimum of 3 main topics, with a minimum of 3 subcomponents for each main topic.

Midterm Exam

The midterm exam will be an open book/note exam within the course environment; it will be available in the Quizzes area.  You will have 2 hours to complete the exam.  The exam will include 4-6 identification type questions along with 2 short essays.

Scholarship Paper

Historical research provides each student with the opportunity to develop research and writing skills as well as synthesize knowledge about an important subject. The scholarship paper will be required each student to research related secondary sources and critically analyze primary resources when developing the scholarship paper. Students will select their own topic within the framework of the course content.  Each paper will:

    • Assert a well developed and articulated historical argument.
    • Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
    • Elaborate on major points with a degree of specificity
    • Avoid spelling errors, improper grammar, flawed punctuation, and awkward language.
    • Includes 5-6 pages of fully typed text, using one inch margins, double spaced, 12 point font.
    • Use the Chicago, Turabian or another accepted style of citation for footnotes and bibliography.
    • Include a bibliography—with a minimum of 2 primary sources and 4 secondary sources.

Final Exam

The final exam for the course will be proctored. The exam will have two essay questions.  You will have two hours to complete the exam.  You will take the exam within the course environment; it will be available in the Quizzes area.

  Course Outline

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

Discussion 1 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      Discuss the strengths of using a primary source in historical research?  What are the challenges? What was the most interesting primary source you have read?
  2. What is the importance of a historical perspective of the Middle East to understand current developments?  Specific examples?
  3. What are three key events that occurred prior to 1800 that you feel greatly impacted the development of the Middle East?
  • Gelvin: Chs. 2 & 3
  • Khater: Ch. 2 docs 4 & 5
  • Content area Maps
Discussion 2 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      From the Gelvin readings, describe the relationship and significance of the transformation from the military-patronage states to the gunpowder Empires.
  2. What were a few fundamental factors in the relationship between the Middle East and what was considered the modern western world?  Did the economics (or a commercial revolution) of the Middle East empires force further integration?
  • Gelvin: skim pages 49-54 & 69-75, Chs. 6 & 9 
  • Khater: Ch. 4 doc 5
Discussion 3 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      Describe Gelvin’s argument of defensive developmentalism. Do agree with Gelvin that this defensive developmentalism impacted European countries or was impacted by European countries?
  2. Did this end of an empire have a relation to increased imperialism in Middle East?  Did this imperialism have a relation to Secularism and Modernity? Was it a positive or negative? Why?
Dropbox Assignment - Thesis and Outline
Thesis and Outline of Scholarship Paper due by Sunday.
  • Gelvin: pps 189-192, Chs. 11 & 12
  • Khater: Ch. 4 docs 3, 4, 5 & 7
Discussion 4 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      Describe the elements of the World War and its aftermath in relation to the transformation brought to the Middle East and the struggle for Middle East Independence.
  2. What were the advantages and disadvantages of state-building by decree vs state-building by revolution and conquest?  Provide at least 3 specific examples which illustrate your point.
Supplemental Study
Midterm Exam
The exam is open from Wednesday until Sunday midnight.
  • Gelvin: pps. 259-269, Ch. 15
  • Khater: Ch. 3 docs 2, 3, 4 & 5, Ch. 5 doc 6, Ch. 6 doc 2, Ch. 9 docs 1 & 2
Discussion 5 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      From 3 of the primary source readings, describe the evolution or not of the role of women. Be specific in terms of which countries you are referring.
  2. What were a few key objectives of Egyptian feminists in the 1920s.  Did the issue of class play a part in the goals?  What does this illustrate about the challenges with the political, economic, and social change (or lack thereof)?
  • Gelvin: Chs. 13 & 14
  • Khater: Ch. 5 docs 5, 7 & 8
Discussion 6 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      Explain how and why nationalism spread in the late Empire.  Provide a few examples of the form this nationalism took.  Did political groups play a positive or negative role in this spread?
  2. What was the Arab case for Palestine? (Ch 5,)  Potential problems?
Supplemental Study
Dropbox Assignment - Scholarship Paper
Scholarship Paper Due by Sunday.
  • Gelvin: Ch. 16 & 17
  • Khater: Ch. 7 docs 5 & 7, Ch. 10 docs 2, 3 & 9
Critical Analysis Discussion
Critical Analysis Paper Discussion: Ayatollah Begs to Differ—What is the paradox of Iranian political system?
Discussion 7 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  1.      How does/did the exploitation of oil impact both internal and external relations of social, political and economic development? Role of a 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. Define and describe 4 issues in the relations between the US and Middle East that made finding ‘a new beginning’ so challenging.
Supplemental Study
Dropbox Assignment - Critical Analysis Paper

Critical Analysis Paper on The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, Due by Sunday

Discussion 8 - Initial and Follow-up Posts
  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” uprisings possible?  Did this Arab Spring prompt significant change and/or future possibilities?
Supplemental Study
Final Exam
Proctored, closed book. Open between Tuesday and Saturday.

  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.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

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

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

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.

Other late assignments are accepted with at 25% penalty per day.  If there are extenuating circumstances, 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 Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. 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.