Introduction to Modern Middle East

Modern Middle East01:563:100
(cross-listed with 01:685:100)

This is the foundational course for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University. The course introduces students to Middle East Studies as an interdisciplinary academic field. Throughout the semester, we study key debates, events, and literature in several of the disciplines that constitute the field. Three major “modules” comprise the course but history is a defining discipline. The first module introduces Middle East Studies as a professional academic field in Euro-American universities by focusing on the relationship between power and knowledge. The second module explores major debates in the field from the vantage point of three major disciplines - History, Political Science, and Anthropology – as well as the key interdisciplinary framework of Political Economy. The third module provides a curated overview of major events, ideologies, and encounters that continue to shape the Modern Middle East: colonialism, nationalism, war, the nation-state system, and political Islam.

Introduction to the Modern Middle East is an intensive undergraduate level course meeting Core Curriculum learning goals and requiring 25-35 pages per session. The classes are a mixture of lectures and discussions. Students are expected to come to classes having prepared the reading(s) for the day and ready to discuss them in detail.

This course fulfills Core requirements CCO, HST or SCL, AHo.

Fall 2020 taught by Dr. Neda Bolourchi synchronously.

Guidance from Professor Bolourchi regarding Fall 2020: Obviously this Fall semester will be different than any other! The Modern Middle Eastern Studies course will be fully remote and synchronous. This means that although we will not meet in person, we will meet for class online together at the same time. You will need a computer, mobile phone, or other similar device with a video camera and microphone so you can participate, which is a requirement of the course. We will meet as a whole class at the appointed time most days for lecture as well as Q&A. At other times, meetings will occur via "break out" sessions where students do group work. I will of course maintain office hours during which time you will have regular, weekly opportunities to connect with me. Due dates/times for all assignments are, per usual, clearly listed on the syllabus you will receive during the first session of the course.

Have questions? You can email Dr. Neda Bolourchi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Instructions for Remote Learning Fall 2020