History | Middle East History through Literature and Film
C305 | 28338 | Martin

Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA's only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class meets with NELC-N303

Course Description:
This course is designed to engage with major events and issues in
the history of the Middle East through the reading of fiction and
the viewing of films produced in or about the region. The course
meets twice weekly. One meeting will be dedicated to screening
films. The second meeting will be dedicated to a discussion of the
historical issues raised in that week’s film(s) and assigned
readings. The latter will consist of a novel or collection of short
stories and portions of a general historical narrative of Middle
East history. Students will be responsible for ALL outside readings
(avg. 50-75 pages per week) and will be graded on participation in
the aforementioned discussions. While no previous course work or
prior knowledge of Middle East history is mandatory for enrollment
in this class, students will be required to acquire and maintain
familiarity with the relevant historical events and historiographic
issues by completing each week’s assigned readings in a general
history text.

Course Format:
This course will meet twice weekly. Meetings will consist of film
presentations (Monday) and class discussions (Wednesday).

Course Requirements:
Assignments and Grading-
Each student will complete four in-class quizzes, three short take-
home essays (2-3 pages in length, topics to be announced), and
occasional in-class writing assignments. In addition, students will
be graded on their attendance and participation in weekly in-class
discussions. Each quiz is worth 10% of the final grade (total of
40%), each essay is worth 10% (total of 30%), and attendance and
participation is worth 30% of the final grade. However, failure to
complete ANY of these assignments may result in failure of the

Required Reading-
Readings will include (but not be limited to) excerpts from the
following texts:
Tareq Ali, "The Book of Saladin: A Novel."

Emile Habiby,  "The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist."

Ulfat Idlibi, "Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet."

Naguib Mahfouz, "Karnak Café."

Orhan Pamuk, "The White Castle."

Kamran Pasha, "Mother of the Believers: A Novel of the Birth of

Raja Shehadeh, "Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied