A study of a special topic at an advanced level. This and all 300-level courses are small discussion classes. Descriptions of HIST 300 courses offered in a given semester are available on the History department Website or in the History department office prior to registration for that semester. May be repeated for credit with different topics.
Fall Semester informationTheresa Dazey
300A: Tps: Travel, Knowledge, and Imagination: Pilgrims, Traders, and Other Travelers in the Middle East
The terms 'Near East', 'Middle East', and 'Orient' often invoke fantastical images which bear little resemblance to the realities of most residents' everyday lives, but have enduring influences over how many still think of the people, cultures, and places in North Africa, the southeastern Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, Anatolia, Iran, and beyond. We will explore the origins of some of these ideas, and to examine how travelers' journeys and writings about them have shaped their readers' thoughts and feelings about the regions' people and places. The course will also introduce the idea of Orientalism, as well as its limits and modifications, by focusing on accounts by travelers primarily from north-western Europe and North America. We will analyze long-term trends such as changes in motivations, travelling conditions, and geo-political contexts, as well as diversity among individuals' cross-cultural experiences and the accounts of their travels.