Grade Level—11, 12
Length--One or Two Semesters (Fall and/or Spring)
Course Type--Crystal; UC course approval
Criteria for Enrollment--NoneCore Questions
Method of Instruction and Assessment
- Why are religion and state so intertwined in the Middle East?
- How has the history of Islam influenced the development of the modern Middle East?
- How can historical patterns shed light on intra-regional conflicts that continue to exist in the Middle East?
- Why is the Middle East so important to U.S. foreign policy?
- How do artistic expression, the role of women and economics help us to understand the diversity of cultural experiences in the Modern Middle East?
- How can we demystify this region by breaking down stereotypes based on fear and sweeping generalizations?
- How has the Arab Spring shifted the political climate in the Middle East? Do these revolutions represent change or continuity in the historical record?
Student understanding will be measured through a combination of assessment to include reading quizzes, tests, research papers, presentations, and an iMovie.Course Description
Semester Two: The second semester will begin with two major case studies in the Modern Middle East. Starting with the secular, Western legacy of Ataturk, students will examine the experience of Modern Turkey as a nation that literally spans East and West; the Middle East and Europe. In contrast, we will then move to study the development of Modern Iran, starting with the pro-Western, secular Shahs, and moving towards the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Through exploring these extreme examples of secular and religious nationalism, we will shift to working on independent film projects, in which students have an opportunity to research countries we have not studied, to highlight their experiences with not only political development, but artistic expression, gender roles, religious identity, and both economic and demographic indicators. The course will culminate with a Middle East Film Festival in April, in which student filmmakers will serve as panelists to present their films and answer audience questions.