Spring; Grades 11–12
May be taken as a history/social science or literature elective
Students examine the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the resulting formation of the current Middle East and how this geo-political construction laid the foundation for many social changes in the region later in the twentieth century. Subsequently, students study the formation of the State of Israel and the Armenian Genocide, followed by a deep dive into the Iranian revolution of the late 1970s and the Arab Spring of the last decade. These topics are explored using history, literature, and art as ways to further understand the complex societies in which these revolutions occurred. Current issues of the Middle East also are part of course content and ultimately serve as a sound post for answering whether these cultural revolutions effectively changed the societies in which they occurred or reproduced the problems of the past in new forms. The course uses primary source documents, documentaries, poetry, and graphic novels. In addition, students select literature of their choice from a classroom library of Middle Eastern writing to augment their work.