History 1503

Required Texts

Mehran Kamrava, The Modern Middle East   (3rd Edition University of California Press)

Alaa Al-Aswany, The Yacobian Building       (any copy)

Map Quiz 5%

Novel Paper 10%

Film Paper 10%

Quiz 1 10%

Quiz 2 10%

Quiz 3 10%

Primary Source 20 %

Secondary Source 10%

Attendance 10%

Participation 5%



Please note that there are no plus or minus grades below C so be mindful that if you fall below 70 there is no cushion. Keep on top of your grades and come see me during office hours if you feel like you are lagging behind.


Also note that missing one or more assignments nearly guarantees that you will not get a score above a D.  If you cannot do an assignment or attend a test, you must inform the professor in advance and ask for an extension. THERE IS NO LATE WORK


Course and Classroom Policies:

In order to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect that fostered intellectual cooperation and free thinking the following criteria for the classroom are not negotiable.  These policies are based on my experience as a professor and do not necessarily reflect you as individuals or students.

  1. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia or verbal abuse of another student or the professor is unacceptable.  The classroom is a space to encourage intellectual exchange and must always be treated as such.  If there are differences of opinions, they will be discussed in intellectual enriching ways.  Shouting matches are not acceptable. Shame is not allowed either.
  2. All students and professor recognize that this classroom is a learning environment. Shouting out during class, dominating discussions or question and answer periods silence students who are less comfortable with talking in class. Please be courteous to your colleagues and recognize that while they may not share your perspective-it is everyone’s classroom. Learning is uncomfortable in many ways. Students and the professor may offer perspectives that you may not agree with, may find offensive and may wholeheartedly believe are wrong. However, it is everyone’s classroom and being confronted with ideas that upset our worldview is a healthy and necessary process in a globalized world.
  3. If you have any concerns or health related issues that you would like to share, in order to offer a perspective on who you are as a student, please bring them forward via email or in person at the beginning of the semester. We all have struggles and difficulties that may affect how we learn and understand material and the classroom experience. For me to be a better teacher, mediator and mentor-this information helps.
  4. All reading and writing assignments are mandatory and must be turned in at the start of class. If you arrive late without notice, your paper will not be accepted. If a student requires an extension this must be discussed prior to the due date of the assignment.
  5.  I give extensions, but there are NO late papers.
  6. Tardiness is disruptive.  Please arrive at the scheduled meeting time. If you are 20 minutes or less late, I will mark you absent. If you are 30 minutes or more late, I will not allow you to enter the class. Three late arrivals are equal to one absence.
  7. Texting or use of a cell phone in class is not allowed-ever.  If you must text or call someone, go outside. If you text in class, I will not shame or berate you, but I will mark you absent for that day. Laptop and Tablet use are at my discretion. If it is abused, it will be revoked. This is non-negotiable.
  8. Do not email me papers, I only accept hard copies.  If you are going to be absent on a day that an assignment is due, get it to me in hard copy beforehand. (Put it in my box N611 or bring to my office at Pearl 410)
  9. Don’t do homework from other classes. I will mark you absent. Stay home and do your homework in your room.
  10. Attendance is mandatory; all absences are unexcused unless the instructor is notified in advance. Unexcused absences will affect the student’s final grade. Six unexcused absences equal an F in this course.
  11. No sleeping. If you are too tired to attend the class then send the instructor an email and do not attend.   You will be marked absent if you sleep.
  12. Chatting with other classmates during a lecture is unacceptable. It will be noted and affect participation grade.
  13. Plagiarism of any kind will result in an F in the course.  (Plagiarism and forms of plagiarism are defined below)
  14. All interactions between students and instructor are to be respectful.  All emails and conversations will be one of mutual respect in which neither party ridicules, insults or is disrespectful to the other. If there are any disagreements about perspectives between professor and student, the student recognizes that the professor’s perspective comes from years of reading, learning and lecturing. The professor expects that the student comes directly to her to discuss any differences in a calm respectful manner.
  15. The instructor will provide well prepared lectures, assist students at any length and answer all questions and concern with respect and courtesy.
  16. I respond to emails between 9-5pm M-F- If you send me an email late at night or over the weekend, it will take me longer to get back to you then when I am at school during the week.
  17. If you stop attending class then you will receive a WU, if you have poor attendance that results in missed assignments then you will receive an F.
  18. I give lots of feedback- It is meant to help you improve for your next assignment.  It is never meant to hurt or insult you.
  19. If you have a question about an assignment, grades or anything related to this course, please refer to this syllabus first. Most answers can be found here.
  20. The syllabus is the law regarding grades, policies and assignment deadlines.  However, it is a guide regarding pace and content.  The culture of the class affects the pace.
  21. This syllabus will serve as a contract between student and instructor and if at any time there is any question with regard to the policies of the classroom, this syllabus will serve as the foundation.


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