Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Current Graduate Students

Bryan Sitzes

PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Bryan Sitzes



Environmental Histories of the Persianate World




Bryan Sitzes received his Master's from the Center of Middle Eastern Studies in 2018. His thesis, under the direction of Dr. Kamran Aghaie, was titled "Alienating Iranians from their Environment: Irrigation, Flood Control, and Public Health in Late Pahlavi Khuzestan". In Fall 2018 he started the doctoral program in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Bryan is currently pursuing two channels of research. The first involves tracing the development of modern environmental thought Iranian society. The second project seeks a better grasp of how the movement of people, animals, plants, and objects between Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia changed between the 18th and 20th centuries. In turn, this project will explore what role these shifting relationships played in the creation of modern identities and socio-economic structures in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.


MES 301L • Mid East: Adj/Chg Mdrn Time-Wb

40919 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM
Internet; Synchronous

What is the modern Middle East? This course sets out to explore what constitutes the modern Middle East as it has developed from late 18th century to the present. The geographical scope includes the territories of the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and North Africa. We will discuss the emergence of Imperialism, Colonialism, Nationalism, Secularism, Postcolonialism, Religious Modernism, and Fundamentalism. We will identify the place of the Ottoman Legacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in shaping the modern Middle East. Other themes will revolve around the significance of the oil economy, Iran and the Middle East, and the "Arab Spring."

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