The Middle East Insitute - Columbia University



The Middle East Institute
Columbia University
Phone: 212-854-2584
Fax: 212-854-1413
606 West 122 Street
Knox Hall - Third Floor
New York, New York 10027
Mail Code 9640

Many lectures and discussions of Middle East topics -- at the Middle East Institute and elsewhere at the university -- are video taped and preserved on the Columbia website. You can check these out at:

In the following suite of online seminars, leading Columbia faculty offer their scholarly insights into the historical underpinnings, present policy, and media interpretations of the current crisis in the Middle East. The faculty created these e-seminars in conjunction with Columbia Digital Knowledge Ventures (DKV), the online course unit of Columbia University.

Iran - A Series of Three E-Seminars
Taught by Gary Sick

From the mid-twentieth century to today the relationship between the United States and Iran has undergone a series of remarkable transformations -- from staunch allies under the shah's regime to "Death to America" under Ayatollah Khomeini, from a "roadmap in relations" under the Clinton administration to the "Axis of Evil" under President George W. Bush. In his three-part series on Iran, Professor Gary Sick introduces us to a nation that is still actively struggling to find its balance between the competing influences of Islam and nationalism, economics and independence, and populism and autocratism.

E-Seminar 1, Islam, Revolution, and the Modern State

E-Seminar 2, U.S. Policy in the Persian Gulf

E-Seminar 3, Revolution, U.S. Policy, and Cold War Politics

**NOTE: Free to Columbia students and faculty. People registering outside of Columbia receive a discounted rate of $75 if they enroll for the entire series.**

Covering Terrorism - A Series of Two E-Seminars
E-Seminar 1, The Media and 9/11
E-Seminar 2, How the Media and Terrorists Shape Public Understanding
Taught by Brigitte L. Nacos

While thousands of Americans were affected directly by the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, millions of people worldwide watched as the catastrophe unfolded. Through television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, the mass media reported the events to audiences around the globe. In her two-part e-seminar series, Covering Terrorism, Brigitte Nacos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, examines the marriage of convenience that exists between terrorists and the media.

Israeli and Palestinian Nationalism
E-Seminar 1, Debates over Partition
Taught by Naomi Weinberger

This e-seminar series looks at the history of Israeli and Palestinian nationalism and the resulting conflicts that have arisen in the region. In this first e-seminar of the series, Professor Weinberger discusses the legacy of the Palestinian mandate, the evolution of Zionist ideology and Palestinian nationalism, and contemporary debates among Palestinian factions and Israeli political parties. She examines the major interstate wars (1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973) and peacemaking efforts.

Israeli and Palestinian Nationalism
E-Seminar 2, Competing National Movements
Taught by Naomi Weinberger

In the second e-seminar of this series, Professor Weinberger examines Palestinian nationalism and the history of early Zionist thinking, outlining the debate over whether Palestinian nationalism developed as an independent philosophy or merely a reaction to Zionism. Professor Weinberger highlights critical differences as well as striking parallels between the two national movements.

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 1, Battles and Bibles: 1776-1913
Taught by Richard W. Bulliet

This e-seminar examines the history of America and its relation to the Muslim world. The series will analyze, from an American perspective, the legacy of misunderstanding between the two cultures; the forgotten wars, now more than a century ago, between America and parts of the Islamic world; and the emergence of a significant Muslim population in the United States through immigration and conversion.

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 2, Wars and Fantasies: 1914-1960
Taught by: Richard W. Bulliet

In the second installment of this five-part series, Professor Richard W. Bulliet, a leading scholar of modern Islam, contrasts the period after World War I with the period immediately following World War II, in terms of real and imagined American engagement in the Muslim world. Although a major American role as protector of Kurds, Armenians, and Syrians was proposed after World War I, it never came to pass. Britain and France instead became the mandatory powers in the region.

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 3, Getting It Wrong: 1953-1979
Taught by: Richard W. Bulliet

In the third e-seminar in this five-part series, Professor Bulliet analyzes the period when Americans began to pay attention to Islam. While American awareness of the Muslim world increased, crucial misperceptions about Islam persisted into the 1970s among American tourists, government officials, and scholars, so that all were caught off guard by the Iranian revolution in 1979.

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 4, The Voice of Islam: 1979-1991
Taught by: Richard W. Bulliet

In the fourth e-seminar in this five-part series, Professor Richard W. Bulliet analyzes the period between the Iranian revolution and the Persian Gulf War. During those tumultuous 12 years, wars and political events in the Muslim world repeatedly appeared on the front pages of American newspapers, and the Black Muslim movement took root in the United States, leading to an increased awareness of Islam.

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 5, A Moment of Inclusion
Taught by: Richard W. Bulliet

In this fifth and final e-seminar in the series America and the Muslim World, Professor Bulliet examines the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. He considers how they have affected the large Muslim population in the United States and argues that Americans now have an opportunity to learn more about Islam and make their society more inclusive of Muslims.

The History of Pakistan
Taught by Philip Oldenburg

Professor Oldenburg, a leading scholar of South Asian culture and history, unravels the story of Pakistan, delving into the tumultuous past of this Muslim nation. Carefully examining its struggle to establish a national identity throughout the half-century of its existence, he narrates Pakistan's history from the viewpoint of its Muslim-majority population while also explaining the perspectives of those nations with whom Pakistan has been at war.

Oil in the Arab-Persian Gulf
Taught by Jean-Francois Seznec

This e-seminar examines the intricacies of the oil trade in the Arab-Persian Gulf and its global impact. In the course of looking at the interplay of oil and politics in the Gulf region as well as in Europe, Professor Seznec discusses new technologies being used to find and harvest oil, and goes on to consider the political fallout from the use of some of those technologies.

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