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The Modern Middle East

Course Code: HIST 1125
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: History
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

History 1125 The Modern Middle East is a survey of the political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual developments of the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with a survey of the Ottoman Empire in 1800, the course charts the development of national movements and the emergence of nation-states after World War I. The course covers Egypt, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Asia Minor, the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Afghanistan. Canada’s relations and policies toward the region will also be examined.

Course Content

A sample course outline would include the following topics.

*Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1.  Introduction: Land, People, Climate
  2. The Ottoman World
  3. Tanzimat and Islamic Reforms
  4. National Movements: Arabism, Turkism, Zionism
  5. World War I and Lines in the Sand
  6. The Palestinian Mandate and the Emergence of the State of Israel
  7. Oil, Saudi Arabia, and Pan-Arabism
  8. Lebanon: Society and Sectarianism
  9. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1948-present
  10. Canada & The Middle East: Foreign Policy, Peacekeeping, and Diasporas
  11. Islamism and the Iranian Revolution of 1979
  12. Afghanistan: Peace, War, and Intervention
  13. Authoritarianism, the Revolutions of 2009, 2011, and current conflicts
  14. Sectarianism, Gender, and Health

Methods of Instruction

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills


Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans. 

There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation. 

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

Any combination of the following totalling 100%:

  • Participation 10%
  • Quizzes and Map Tests 10%
  • Primary Document Analysis Essays 30%
  • Portfolio 20%
  • Midterm Exam 15%
  • Final Exam 15%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.