HISTORY 443 - Modern Middle East History
Section: 001 From Young Turk Revolution to the Twitter Devolution
Term: FA 2016
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The Syrian Civil War has been raging for over four years now. Political stalemate, extreme violence, and the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time have defined our discussion about the conflict. What is often forgotten is that this conflict started as part of a wave of demonstrations and protests calling for democracy as well as social and economic justice that swept across the "Middle East." The years since December 2010, have been turbulent ones for people living in the region. From the Tunisian uprisings triggered by the self-immolation of the young Mohammed Bouazizi to the most recent challenges to the neo-liberal policies of the Erdogan regime in Turkey, anti-corruption protests in Lebanon, the call for democratic change in the region has been perceived as an unprecedented awakening of Middle Eastern society. This course will place the more recent popular uprisings in the region in their historical contexts and highlight the long tradition of social protests and dissident movements. Moreover, we will work against conventional wisdom that frames the region to be uniquely, i.e. culturally, predisposed and “susceptible to irrational political radicalism, authoritarianism, and terrorism.” Instead, this course will highlight the contentious politics of the poor, women, the working classes, dissident youth and intelligentsia, and various forms of Islamism as responses to socio-economic and political problems and constraints within their historical context. We will utilize Social Movement Theory (SMT), a popular field of study in European and North-American social sciences, to help us understand some of the underlying dynamics of contentious politics in the Middle East while at the same time challenging its presumed universal applicability. Throughout the course, we will focus on countries in the Middle East that were sites of mass “youth” protests in the last five years, i.e. Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The course materials are made up of academic articles, social biographies, memoirs, music, art, and poetry to give us a broad social and cultural insight into: Why do people contest power? How do people mobilize? Why are some movements institutionalized while others are short-lived and transitory? What kinds of media facilitate mobilization? And what might be their meanings in the national, regional and international contexts?

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HISTORY 443 - Modern Middle East History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
Th 9:00AM - 10:00AM
005 (DIS)
Th 11:00AM - 12:00PM
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