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A Century in a Summer: Political History of the Modern Middle East

A Century in a Summer: Political History of the Modern Middle East
This course surveys the major events, developments, challenges and conflicts that have marked the political landscape of the post-Ottoman century in the Middle East (1918-2020), with particular emphasis on the Near Eastern Arab “core region” of Syria, Palestine/Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.
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Following the Ottomans’ defeat in the First World War, these territories experienced both the late phase of European colonialism and new statehood. In the decades after independence, their new national populations met with military defeat, coups d'état, interstate rivalries, popular mobilization through modern ideologies, the intervention of outside powers, and authoritarianism. Has the historical record confirmed Jean Said Makdisi’s suspicions that, for the Middle East at least, “modernity was not all it was trumped up to be”? Or is the story of the modern Arab world greater than the sum of its upheavals, tragedies and disappointments?


This course will employ varied and dynamic online strategies, and an array of stimulating primary and secondary sources to introduce major historical themes and historiographical questions pertaining to the region. Participants may expect one to two hours of homework per day, between reading assigned texts and watching approved videos.

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Who Should Attend?

Teachers, educators and any adult or mature student interested in the Middle East.


Participants who are curious about the modern Middle East will benefit from this instructive overview of the history of the region and of major scholarly interventions in an efficient, compressed summer schedule. Participants will complete the course having secured a bedrock of familiarity upon which they may construct their own modern Middle East history courses, or better incorporate the Middle East more generally into their teaching.

  • US $750/530 JD
  • Early bird discount: Get 25% off when you register before July 19

  • Group discount: Get 30% off when two or more register from the same institution
Course Instructor: Dr. Shaadi Khoury

Ohio native and Syrian-American Dr. Shaadi Khoury earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and his master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He also obtained a doctorate in Modern Middle Eastern History from George Washington University.

Dr. Khoury is a faculty member in the Department of History, Religion and Society at King's Academy.