HIST 289 - Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History
Credits: 3 in fall or winter; 4 in spring
Planned Offering: Fall
A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in Asian or African history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Winter 2014 Topic:
HIST-289-01: Profit and Prophecy (3). This discussion-intensive course engages the ideals and realities of Islamic commerce, from the 7th century in which Muhammad was reported to have been a merchant, to the roots of modern Islamic banking in the Middle East and South Asia. Through social and intellectual historical inquiry, students investigate a range of themes, including: poverty and charity, economic justice and regulation of merchant capitalism, gender and inheritance, debt, trade with non-Muslims, slavery and wage labor, taxation, usury and gambling. Students learn to take a source-critical approach to Islamic writings in translation, including prophetic literature, commentaries, chronicles and histories. Prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic history is not required. (HU) Blecher.
HIST 289-02: History of South Africa (3). No prerequisite. Survey of the history of South Africa and its neighbors, examining the region both on its own terms and as a part of world history. Topics include the evolution of humans; the arrival of Bantu-speaking peoples; Dutch settlement and British colonization; expansion of the Zulu kingdom; the Anglo-Boer War; colonialism and independence; and the rise and demise of apartheid. (HU) Jennings
Fall 2013 Topic:
HIST 289-01: Modern Islamic Political Thought (3). Perequisite: Open to any senior, junior or sophomore, and first years who have credit in Hist 107 and 108 or Hist 101 and 102. This course investigates Islamic political thought and action from the 18th century to the present in light of Islamic writings on politics from the classical and middle ages. Students learn to approach primary and secondary sources critically on a variety of themes, including: Islamic law and the state; just war and violence; Islamism and democracy; women’s participation in the public sphere and in politics; colonialism and the impact of technology and new media in the Middle East and South Asia; blasphemy and free speech; relating to non-Muslims and Muslim minorities in the West; and the changing role of religious education and traditional authority. Blecher.
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