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Catalog Archive / Fall 2020

Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East
Edited by Omnia El Shakry

The Harvey Goldberg Series for Understanding and Teaching History
John Day Tully, Matthew Masur, and Brad Austin, Series Editors

“This book is unique in its breadth and scope. There is no comparable volume that offers guidance on teaching the Middle East at the university or high school level. Chapters include a diverse range of voices, and the gender balance among the contributors is commendable and significant, placing it at the cutting edge of academic pedagogy.”
—Rachel Harris, editor of Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Many students learn about the Middle East through a sprinkling of information and generalizations deriving largely from media treatments of current events. This scattershot approach can propagate bias and misconceptions that inhibit students' abilities to examine this vitally important part of the world. Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East moves away from the Orientalist frameworks that have dominated the West's understanding of the region, offering a range of fresh interpretations and approaches for teachers.

The volume brings together experts on the rich intellectual, cultural, social, and political history of the Middle East, providing necessary historical context to familiarize teachers with the latest scholarship. Each chapter includes easy-to-explore sources to supplement any curriculum, focusing on valuable and controversial themes that may prove pedagogically challenging, including colonization and decolonization, the 1979 Iranian revolution, and the US-led "war on terror." By presenting multiple viewpoints, the book will function as a springboard for instructors hoping to encourage students to negotiate the various contradictions in historical study.


Omnia El Shakry is a professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt and The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt and the editor of Gender and Sexuality in Islam.




“With the emphasis on the diversity of elements involved in the topics covered and a conscious avoidance of 'essentialist' approaches, the authors individually and the volume as a whole succeed in presenting analyses that are not Orientalist or civilizationalist, while avoiding ideological polemics.”
—John Voll, Georgetown University

“Provides a useful challenge to old Orientalist frameworks that have previously informed the study of the region. . . . A vital pedagogical tool for classrooms.”

“This effective, rigorous, and critical volume is an excellent contribution to help rethink and reframe teaching and understanding the modern Middle East. . . . A welcome and ambitious intervention that doesn’t shy away from addressing difficult topics. It anticipates many of the problems and questions that often emerge in classrooms and proposes novel ideas on how to address them. . . . This superb volume is highly recommended.”
The History Teacher



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Understanding and Teaching the Age of Revolutions
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Understanding and Teaching the Modern Middle East: Cover showing a world map in which the land is black and the water is gray, with a pattern of repeating yellow circles, resembling sonar, emerging from the center of the map. Above the map is a manilla block containing the title and editor text.

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October 2020
384 pp. 6 x 9
10 b/w illus.

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Cloth $39.95 A
ISBN 9780299327606
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