HIST 535: Problems in Comparative World History
How can we interpret Middle Eastern and Islamic History? What are the major themes, controversies, and frameworks of studying this field? In response to these and similar questions, this course aims to serve as an in-dept introduction to the study of Middle Eastern and Islamic history. Innovative and representative texts of contemporary historical writing will be examined. Topics include origins of Islam, colonialism, gender, revolution, and Muslim city. We will highlight and discuss critical concepts, methodologies, ideological biases, cultural undertones, and schools of thought. We will critique existing paradigms and scrutinize new approaches. Different ways of historical thinking, analysis, and writing will be explored. Peculiarities of Middle Eastern and Islamic history and its shared rhythms with broader world history will be emphasized.
This course aims to serve as an in-depth introduction to major themes, problems, and interpretations of Middle Eastern and Islamic history. Innovative and representative texts of historical writing on various topics, such as origins of Islam, colonialism, and gender, will be examined. We will highlight and discuss critical concepts, methodologies, ideological biases, cultural undertones, schools of thought, and theoretical frameworks in contemporary historiography. Existing paradigms will be critiqued and new approaches will be put to scrutiny. Different ways of historical thinking, analysis, and writing will be explored. Peculiarities of Middle Eastern and Islamic history and its shared rhythms with broader world history will be emphasized.
In this course, Dr. Sachedina, an internationally recognized scholar of Islam, provides a rigorous introduction to theoretical and methodological issues in Islamic studies, preparing graduate students to undertake more advanced study and research in the field. Students will become familiar with various approaches to the study of Islamic texts; Islamic theology, law and ethics; and the history of Islamic intellectual and religious developments.
This course examines trends in historical scholarship, paying particular attention to the historical subfields that emerged since the 1960s (for example: the histories of race and ethnicities, women's and gender history, the history of imperialism and post colonialism, etc.). We will not look at all of these, but will try to understand the underlying processes behind new histories by examining some of them. Cultural and social history are the broad rubrics under which most of our work will fall, and we will also be interested in the ways disciplinary boundaries have been both crossed and enforced as history was influenced by trends in other disciplines and other disciplines turned to history. In examining changes in historical practice we will be looking both at how historical and social forces affected historical practices and at debates within and among historical camps. Attention to the ways that historians choose and interpret their sources, efforts to expand the realm of sources and the ways to use them, as well as changing forms of presentation will also form part of our discussions. The course is divided in two parts: Part I focuses on approaches and theories; Part II examines selected works of 20th century U.S. history. The texts chosen for Part II allow us to consider the value of the theories and methods studied in Part I. The main writing assignments will be a take home midterm essay and a historiographic review paper.
This course is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork methods and research design. Ethnography is the signature method used by anthropologists for researching issues in contemporary societies. In this course, you will become familiar with how to conduct ethnographic research and you will prepare for the research experience by discussing ethics, human subjects protection, the politics of representation and reflexivity, the importance of building rapport, the use of technology in data collection and analysis, and visual and textual analyses.