Course Description: relies on both historical writing and primary source materials (literature, art, and architecture) in order to provide a basic historical knowledge about Middle Eastern societies. The course spans twelve centuries, from the beginning of the Islamic Era in seventh century to the advent of Colonialism the nineteenth. We will begin by discussing the emergence of Islam, with a special focus on the faith’s social aspects through a series of Muslim Empires. Next, we will take a long look at the Ottoman Empire. There will also be a briefer look at Persian Empires in the Islamic Period. Connections between Middle Eastern societies and other global societies will be this course’s overarching theme. We look at major political events linking these regions together, but also at broader patterns of human activity like migrations, conversions, and commerce. During much of the time period this course will cover, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and European societies shared a single cultural “world;” we will attempt to discern the ways this was so.