History Department
History Department

Shaherzad Ahmadi



B.A. in History at UC Davis


HIS F306K • Intro M East: Rel/Cul/Hist Fnd

83505 • Summer 2016
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM CAL 422
(also listed as MES F301K, R S F314K)

The purpose of this course is two-fold: one, to examine the history of the Islamic Middle East; second, to understand the discipline of history and the work of historians. In this class, we will grapple with questions like: Why did Islam spread so quickly? How were non-Muslims treated in the Islamic world? Did medieval Muslim women have rights comparable to their counterparts in the rest of the known world? Were Muslims aware of homosexuality? Did Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, change depending on the historical context? as well as other topics that inspire us to think deeply about faith, politics, and sexuality.

As stated earlier, the other purpose of this course is to teach students the discipline of history and the work of historians. How do historians analyze primary sources and engage secondary sources? I forego textbooks in favor of articles that are in conversation with each other. I also provide primary sources, thereby teaching students the analytic skills used to produce works of history. In reading primary and secondary sources, this course teaches students about the history of the Middle East while using the region as a prism through which to analyze global themes, like the spread of monotheism, the cultural effect of trading networks, and the development of philosophies and sciences. 

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