INAF-245 America In the ME Since 1776
Fall for 2017-2018
The United States is today extensively and substantially—it might also be argued existentially—involved in the Middle East. It is the source of some its most vital resources, and the object of its most concerted diplomatic and military efforts. Arabic words such as Jihad, al-Qaeda and Wahhabi have entered the American lexicon, and many Middle Eastern place-names—Falluja, for example, and Jenin—have become more familiar to many Americans than those of their own Midwest. Nevertheless, in spite of their extensive interaction with the region, most Americans remain unaware of their country's long and multi-faceted history in the Middle East—a history inextricably entwined with that of the United States.
The course will survey over two hundred years of American engagement with the Middle East, from the War of Independence to the Iraq War. In addition to examining the formulation of American foreign policy toward the Middle East, the lectures will trace the evolution of American cultural, economic, and religious ties with the region.
The course will stress the ways in which America's relationship with the Middle East has differed from that of other Western nations. Emphasis will be placed on the distinguishing themes of that rapport—power, faith and fantasy—and their interplay throughout American history. The aim is to examine the unique nature of America's Middle East involvement and its continuity from the period of George Washington to that of George Bush.
Other academic years
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