International Program in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Academic Prgram for the Academic Year 2019-2020*
1. Dr. Moshe Naor, Arab-Jewish Relations in Mandatory Palestine, elective class outside the department, 4 semestrial hours
This course examines the relations between Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine, beginning with the emergence of Jewish and Arab nationalism in the late Ottoman period and up to the 1948 war. We will examine the sources, characteristics, and significance of the conflict, as well as the development and maintenance of relationships of affinity, cooperation, and coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Within the broader context of Jewish history in the Middle East and the Islamic countries, this course will examine social, political, and cultural aspects of the relations between Arabs and Jews. The course will discuss the social, political and cultural role of Oriental and Sephardi Jews during the Mandate period while focusing on such ideas and concepts as integration, separation, dual society, mixed cities, post-colonialism, the relational thesis and Oriental Zionism. Other issues we will examine include the different stances within the Zionist movement on the "Arab question," and the political contacts between the Zionist leadership and representatives of Palestinian and Arab nationalism, against the backdrop of the changes created by the transition from Ottoman rule to the British colonial administration.
2. Dr. Ido Shahar, Politics, Culture and Society in the Middle East, seminar, four semestrial hours
The course aims to achieve several goals: To provide students with information about various developments that took place in the Middle East during the modern era; to introduce students to various research perspectives, methodologies and disciplines which are employed by scholars studying the modern Middle East; and to introduce students to a variety of research themes which occupy scholars of the
Middle East. In accordance with these goals, the course will combine theoretical and methodological discussions with empirical and thematic discussions. Among other themes, the course will deal with issues such as: gender relations in the modern Middle East, nomadism and sedentarisation; education and literacy, militarism, popular culture, social revolutions, and more.
3. Current Affairs Seminar, department personnel, discussion Section, four semestrial hours, bi-semester class, coordinator Dr. Yoni Furas
This course is made up of weekly meetings during the Fall and Winter semesters with members of the department’s faculty and emeritus personnel to discuss current-day politics in the Middle East framed in terms of its historical background. We will discuss issues as varied as the nation states in the Middle East, the rise of fundamentalist movements, economy and demography in the current Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Syria, Iranian involvement in the region, and the water crisis in the region.
4. Field Trip Seminar: Minorities in the region of Haifa and Galilee, department personnel (discussion section, 1 trip for this semester), four semestrial hours, yearly class
The course is made up of four excursions led by members of the department throughout the year to various religious communities in the Haifa region and northern Israel, including Baha’is, Druze, Ahmadis, Cherkes, Bedouin, Muslims and Christians. In the framework of the tour we will get to know each community, learn about its history, its relationships with the state and with other communities, the challenges facing each community and the issue of multiple religious, civilian, local/regional/trans-regional identities.
5. Civil Society Organizations in Israel, discussion section (practicum), four semestrial hours (bi-semester class)
This course will allow students to experience work in civil-society organizations or governmental institutions in the Haifa region which deal with Israel’s minorities and to learn in about the challenges, dilemmas, and diffuclties fhey face.
6. Dr. Soli Shahvar, Iran in the Middle East: A Continued Quest for Hegemony, seminar, four semestrial hours
Regional hegemony has been a characteristic of Iran and Iranians from pre-Islamic times. Four major pre-Islamic Iranian empires controlled many parts of the Middle East and beyond. Although the Arab Islamic conquest of Iran in the 7th century AD initiated a millennium of foreign domination over Iran, one major goal of Iranian rulers after re-gaining their independence in the 16th century was to resume this regional hegemony. In this respect, the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran are no exception. Starting with a short introduction to Iranian regional hegemony in distant past, and by employing theories of hegemony (such as cultural hegemony and hegemonic stability), the course will focus on the periods of the last Pahlavi rulers and that of the Islamic Republic's rule over Iran, comparing this drive for regional hegemony in terms of strategy, tactics, ends and means, circumstances, and symbols. It is then compared to other, non-Iranian motivations for regional hegemony, in the country's regional and external rivals.
7. Dr. Maha El-Taji Daghash, Islamic Fundamentalism in the Arab World, elective course outside the department
This course will examine the resurgence of fundamentalist movements that advocate the return to the original sources of Islam to guide social, political and civic life in the contemporary Arab world. The nature and specific characteristics of these Islamic movements, and the causes and implications of Islamic resurgence, will be studied within their relevant regional, local, historical, political and social contexts. The interaction between these Islamic ideologies and modernity, democracy and feminism will also be surveyed. Students will be exposed to the writings and principles of some of the main contemporary Islamic fundamentalist thinkers and leaders, and to the ideology and political influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Al Qaeda. Students who complete this course will gain a better understanding of the current cultural, social and political issues facing the Arab world, specifically, and the entire world in general.
8. Dr. Yakub Halabi, Syria: History, Politics and Society, elective class, four semesterial hours
This course explores the modern history, domestic and foreign politics and social structure of Syria. The course examines these issues in light of the international and regional environments, ideologies and economic conditions in which modern Syrian was established and has evolved. We will study the various political, sectarian, and cultural trends which have contributed to the ways in which modern Syria has developed, highlighting the changing relationship between the state and society, the impact of Western economic, political and culture on the Syrian nation, the linkage between the Arab-Israeli conflict and the domestic political arena in Syria, the search for Syrian political and cultural unique identity, and finally, economic transformation and development. We will investigate the formation of the Syrian state and the ruling regimes, societal power bases and systems, socio-political movements and ideologies, legitimacy and modern state power, and the scope and opportunities for political participation, liberalization and inclusion/exclusion. Finally, we will conduct a comparative analysis of the Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011 and will try to understand why the Syrian uprising has so far failed in achieving the goals of regime change and democratization. There will be a trip to the Golan Heights which will include a lecture and a meeting with a group of local residents in one of the Druze villages.
Current Affairs Seminar (see fall semster above)
Field Trip Seminar: Minorities in the Galilee and the State (1 trip this semester)
Civil Society Organizations in Israel, discussion section (practicum, see fall semester above)
9. Dr. Eran Segal, Historiography and Research Methods, mandatory methodology seminar, four semestrial hours
This course will discuss the methods and philosophies in the field of history. It will provide students with a grasp of the techniques and practices of history and how to find and use both primary and secondary sources. The course will focus on how history has been and continues to be written. We will discuss the development of historiography, the emergence of social and cultural history and their impact on Middle Eastern historiography, and the major controversies in the study of Middle Eastern history in recent decades. Current Affairs Seminar, Department Personnel (discussion section, final assignment), yearly class
Field Trip Seminar: Minorities in the Galilee and the State
Elective outside the department (2)