• Class Number 2632
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof James Piscatori
    • Dr Raihan Ismail
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This interdisciplinary course will examine the emergence of the modern Middle East.  It will be organised thematically rather than chronologically and its aim is to acquaint beginning students with the major historical, religious, social, economic, and political dimensions of the Middle East. 

Students will be exposed to lectures and a variety of readings that cover such topics as the construction of identities, the place of tradition and history, the impact of imperialism, the development of nationalism, and the reasons for revolution and conflict in the region.  The course will also look at the contemporary challenges of globalisation, religious radicalisation, democratisation, and transnational terrorism.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge & understanding of the  important events, places, and time periods in the development of the modern Middle East. 
  2. Demonstrate an ability to comprehend  historical and political developments &   how they  relate to underlying cultural, social, and religious trends in the region and to broader forces such as imperialism, conflict, and radicalism. 
  3. Critically analyse some of the developments in the modern Middle East and   to question whether these trends and forces make the Middle East unique or exceptional. 
  4. Demonstrate the capacity to develop evidence based argument & evaluation by  drawing on specific historical and contemporary examples, and by evaluating  differing perspectives on key Middle Eastern issues. 
  5. Participate in group discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view.
This course also aims to achieve the following generic learning outcomes:
6. Prioritising material:  Students will learn how to manage a large amount of empirical material and order it in a comprehensible manner.
7. Synthesis:  Students will be able to draw on the material presented in lectures and the readings to make connections and draw conclusions.
8. Critical thinking:  Students will learn how to look at contested interpretations of history, culture, and politics and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. 
9. Communication:  Through tutorials and essays, students will learn how to present their ideas, both verbally and in writing, in a structured and clear way.

Examination Material or equipment

Paper-based Dictionary - for students with written School approval only (must be clear of ALL annotations). Information will be distributed once it comes to hand. 

Required Resources

There is no textbook for this course. 

Readings marked as ‘Essential’ in this course guide are available online on the course Wattle site. It is crucial that you read these weekly set readings. On the course page under the subheading ‘Further Readings’ additional sources are provided for students interested in pursuing the weekly topic further.

Students are encouraged to read widely, including key pieces of essential reading for each week but also other sources. Reading lists supplied for each seminar are intended to give students a lead and provide starting points for seminar discussion. Students are encouraged to conduct their own research, and draw materials from alternative sources, such as the electronic media and World Wide Web.

The books listed below provide a useful introduction to the course, especially for students with limited knowledge of the modern Middle East. The lecturer can advise which of these books would be of the most helpful reading depending on your prior knowledge. 

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples. London: Faber&Faber, 1991. Particularly Parts 1-3.

Mehran Kamrava, The Modern Middle East available as an e-book via the ANU Library catalogue. 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Essay: written feedback
  •  End of semester exam: no feedback will be provided. Exam results will be known when overall semester results are issued
  • Tutorial Participation: No formal feedback will be provided. 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the Middle East: Geography and ‘Nature’
2 The Construction of Identities
3 The Weight of History and ‘Tradition': Muslim, Jewish and Christian Societies and the Past
4 Empires and the Legacy of Imperialism
5 States and Nationalism
6 Modernisation and Women Essay due: 3.00 pm, Thursday 4 April 2019
7 Economies and Populations
8 Revolutions and Civil Wars
9 Conflict Across Borders
10 Democracy or Liberalised Authoritarianism?
11 Religious Radicalism and Terrorism
12 Take-Home Examination Take-Home Examination: Available on Wattle from: 3.00 pm, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 Due: 3.00 pm, Friday, 31 May 2019

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
All assessment tasks 100 % 22/06/2019 28/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 22/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

All assessment tasks

Please refer to the MEAS1001 course guide on the Wattle site for details of all assessment tasks.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

The essay needs to be deposited in the essay box chute in the Library door (on the ground floor of the CAIS Building), no later than 3pm on the due date. Essays should not be left anywhere else, and if they are, they may not be received or accepted. Assignments must include the cover sheet available here. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.  

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof James Piscatori

Research Interests

Prof James Piscatori

Monday 15:00 17:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Dr Raihan Ismail
+61 2 6125 4982

Research Interests

Dr Raihan Ismail

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions