CCOG for HST 104 Summer 2024

Course Number:
HST 104
Course Title:
History of the Middle East
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Surveys the Middle East from ancient to modern times. Includes political, diplomatic, economic, social, religious and cultural themes. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events in the history of the Middle East.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well-organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

According to the PCC General Education Philosophy Statement, PCC students will have an “appreciation of history both from a global perspective and a personal perspective, including awareness of the role played by gender and by various cultures.” In doing so, the Philosophy Statement not only explicitly references the field of history, but also accurately characterizes the core of what students learn in history classes. Each PCC history course requires students to situate the subject of the class in its broader international and transnational environment. All history courses thus explore themes such as migration, globalization, formal and informal international relations, and transnational intellectual and religious movements. At the same time, students also develop an appreciation of history from a personal perspective by creating their own interpretations of the past through the analysis of primary-and-secondary source documents. Finally, history classes at PCC also pay particular attention to the role of gender and culture. Students examine the ways that often-rapidly shifting constructions of gender have both reflected and impelled critical social changes in different societies, and they explore how ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity has shaped—and been shaped by—historical development. The History of the Middle East clearly addresses this vital component of the PCC General Education Philosophy Statement. The course examines the Middle East’s history from a global perspective by exploring its cultural and economic relations with regions such as Africa and South Asia as well as its longstanding and, most importantly, by examining in detail its complex relationship with the West. The class also calls on students to develop a personal understanding of the Middle East’s development by having them create their own interpretation of the region’s history through the analysis of primary-and secondary source documents. The course also fosters an appreciation of the role that gender and culture played in shaping the region’s development by having students examine the ways in which women gained important, emancipatory legal rights as a result of the emergence of Islam in the early seventh century only to see those newfound freedoms evaporate with the reassertion of patriarchy in the eighth and ninth centuries. Finally, the class fosters an awareness of the part that culture has played in the development of the Middle East by examining the emergence of diverse religions traditions such as Sunnism, Shiism, and the Alawite ethnoreligious group.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Service-learning projects
  • Class participation and discussion
  • Other creative assignments

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

 Competencies and Skills:

  • Identify the characteristics of Middle Eastern civilization
  • Identify key political, geographical, social, economic and cultural aspects of Middle Eastern civilization
  • Appraise how civilization changed over time
  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources
  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
  • Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own
  • Recognize and understand the basis for various interpretations and views of historical issues
  • Identify an historian's thesis and supporting evidence
  • Select what is important from a large body of material
  • Connect past and present

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • Geography and natural environment of Southwest Asia and North Africa
  • Pre-Islamic Middle East
  • Political and religious development of the Hebrews
  • Mohammed and the emergence of Islam
  • The early Caliphate and the expansion of Arab Culture
  • Umayyad and Abbasid eras
  • The evolution of Islam and Islamic civilization
  • Fatimid and Mamluk Egypt
  • Forces of fragmentation such as Shiism, Crusades, Mongols
  • Rise of the Ottoman Empire
  • Evolution and decline of the Ottoman Empire
  • The Safavid Dynasty
  • Imperialism and impact of WWI on the Middle East
  • Emergence of the modern states of the Middle East
  • Zionism and Arab Nationalism
  • Arab-Israeli conflict and the peace process
  • Oil and economic development in the twentieth century
  • Iranian Revolution and Islamism
  • United States and the Middle East

Considering such factors as:

  • Geography
  • Social hierarchy
  • Institutions
  • Political and economic structures
  • Law
  • Cultural contributions
  • Philosophies and religions
  • Gender
  • Diversity