History of the Modern Middle East – Part I

History of the Modern Middle East – Part I
5 sessions, 10 hours

The first of this two-part course introduces students to the history and culture of the modern Middle East from the dawn of Islam in the 7th century to the eve of World War I in the early 20th century. Participants will come to appreciate the diversity of a region that is often dismissed as monolithic by examining both contrasts in the physical landscape and distribution of resources as well as the intricate mosaic of ethnicities, religions, and languages. Part I will trace the rise of Islam and its impact on the peoples and cultures of the Middle East, including an unprecedented expansion that resulted in a multicultural and intellectually robust empire spanning three continents. We will explore the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia and examine the legacies of successive incursions from the West, beginning with the European Crusades and continuing under the imperial banners of Britain and France. This series will end with an exploration of competing 19th and 20th century nationalism, leading to fallen empires, broken promises, and current hostilities.

Note for ILR348: Though Part 1 and Part II are complementary each course stands on its own; taking the courses separately will not compromising the experience. Optional text: Students are encouraged to purchase a companion text titled A Concise History of the Middle East, 12 edition, Routledge, http://www.routledge.com. The book will provide participants with a foundation upon which to understand today’s rapidly unfolding events in the region with greater understanding and clarity.

Instructor: Linda Pappas Funsch, a 16-year veteran instructor in the ILR 55+ community, is a career specialist in modern Middle Eastern history and Islamic studies. With an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University, she has studied, worked, and traveled extensively throughout the region. A freelance writer, consultant, and author, Ms. Funsch’s latest book, “Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization,” was published 2015 and has been translated into Arabic. She has taught at both Hood College and Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is a frequent speaker at scholarly symposia across the U. S., including Georgetown University, the World Bank, the National Council on US-Arab Relations, the National Defense University, and the Council on Foreign Relations, Santa Fe, NM, as well as the World Affairs Councils of Washington, DC, Albuquerque, NM, and Brookings, SD. Ms. Funsch has escorted several small-group study visits to the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Oman.

ILR348 History of the Modern Middle East – Part I
5-Digit Number: 17262 | Wed, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., 2/20 – 3/20
Location: Sweadner Hall | Tuition: $40.00, Fee: $109.00, Total: $149.00
MD residents age 60+ pay fee only

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