Humanities in Class Online Courses

Understanding the Modern Middle East

women protesters
Female protesters marching in Egypt during the Arab Spring

Far too often, the Middle East appears as doubly alien: out of place and out of time. A century of popular culture caricatures, at least two centuries of Orientalist representations, and decades of American military interventions, have all fed into the notion of the Middle East as a turmoil-laden, sectarian, and tribal premodern region. In this course, we will go beyond these stereotypes to look at the historical forces that shaped the region across the twentieth century to understand the complexities of its peoples and societies.

This course has been designed with the generous support of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Duke–UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.

Lead Scholar: Akram Khater, North Carolina State University (NHC Fellow, 2006–07)
Professional Development Hours: 35

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Fall 2021, Session 2: November 8–December 17
Spring 2022, Session 1: January 24–March 4
Spring 2022, Session 2: March 21–May 6


Sample Activities

  • Hidden Stories: Analyzing Middle Eastern Map Histories
  • Mindmapping Perceptions of the Middle East
  • Bread, Freedom, Social Equality
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