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HIST 195   History of the Middle East (3 Hours)

This course introduces students to the environmental, political, economic, religious and ethnic landscape of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Though its focus is historical, the course prepares students for an understanding of the contemporary challenges faced by the region. Particular attention is paid to the Middle East and Northern Africa as the intersection of three monotheistic traditions, the central role of aridity and natural resources in its development, the interfacing of multiple cultures with Islam, the religious and ethnic diversity of the region today, and modern encounters with the nation-state system and western secularism. Students will also explore the contributions of the region to the larger world and the interactions of Middle Eastern and Northern African countries and people with Asia, Europe and the United States. 3 hrs. lecture/wk.