The course aims at providing students with an understanding of the basic concepts and institutions of Islam, and of the modern and contemporary history of the Middle East. At the end of the course students will have ALSO acquired the analytical tools to understand the most recent events taking place in this part of the world and the geostrategic, economic, cultural and religious forces driving them.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will be acquainted with the evolution of the Islamic doctrine and Middle Eastern history, and with an in-depht udnerstanding of the historical processes that have shaped Islamic revivalism. They will thus have acquired the conceptual and terminological tools that are necessary to comprehend and analyse in a critical manner the most recent events taking place in the Middle East; students will also have acquired an adequate terminology. These skills will allow the students to continue their studies in an autonomous manner.
The following issues will be dealt with: birth of islam, sunnism and shiism, classical political theory, relationship between political power and religious authority, sufism, the gunpowder empires and their crisis, colonialism and the Middle East, Arab nationalism, Islamic revivalism, fundamentalism, partition of the Middle East and independence movements, islamization in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the 1979 revolution in Iran, the two Gulf wars, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the birth of al-Qaeda and its subsequent development, the Algerian civil war, tthe Arab springs, Iran-Saudi relations
Prerequisites for admission
W. Cleveland e M. Bunton, Storia del Medio Oriente Moderno, Mondadori, 2020, except part 6
1. W. Cleveland e M. Bunton, Storia del Medio Oriente Moderno, Mondadori, 2020, part 1 and 2 2. M. Emiliani, Medio Oriente, Dal 1918 al 1991, Laterza, any edition, except ch. 11
W. Cleveland e M. Bunton, Storia del Medio Oriente Moderno, Mondadori, 2020
1. W. Cleveland e M. Bunton, Storia del Medio Oriente Moderno, Mondadori, 2020, part 1 and 2 2. M. Emiliani, Medio Oriente, Dal 1918 al 1991, Laterza, any edition 3. M. Emiliani, Medio oriente. Una storia dal 1991 a oggi, Laterza, any edition, except par. 3-4 (ch.2), 3 (ch. 3), from 2.2 to 2.4 (ch. 4), da 4 a 4.4 (ch. 5)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam with the aim of assessing the knowledge of the themes dealt with by the programme, the capacity to interpret them in a critical manner and to espouse them with an adequate terminology