Updated January 12, 2013
Dear Students of HIST120,
The main course syllabus is available through OAK. I will be posting here about the discussion section syllabi, weekly readings, and assignments.
HIST120: The Arab Spring and Its Contexts
F 10:10-11:00am Calhoun Hall 219
Zoe LeBlanc firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanderbilt University Buttrick Carrel 3-60
Spring 2014 twitter.com/Zoe_LeBlanc
Office hours: MW 11-12 or by appointment
Preliminary Thematic Questions:
What is the Arab Spring?
Where is/was the Arab Spring? Why was the Arab Spring more influential in some countries than others?
Why did the Arab Spring happen when it did?
What are the contexts that produced the Arab Spring?
How has the ‘context’ of the Arab Spring changed since spring 2011?
What are the trends of the Arab Spring?
What are the borders of the Arab Spring and Arab world?
What issues and people are/were involved in the Arab Spring?
What is the role of outside ‘powers’ in the Arab Spring?
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Preliminary Thematic Topics:
Events of the Arab Spring from 2011 onwards
Arab World before and after the Arab Spring
Modern Middle Eastern and North African history and politics
Religion and the Rise of Islamism
Terrorism and Civil War
Ideology and New Media
Youth and Women
Revolution and Constitutions
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Participation in weekly discussions is one of the central pillars of the course and all students are required to attend all section meetings, with the exception of outstanding circumstances. Sections are a venue to discuss the readings and media content, and learn from one another. Thus, students should be prepared to contribute to what will hopefully be lively discussions. Attending section without participating will not be sufficient to gain full marks. Many of the topics we will discuss pertain to current events and students are encouraged to feel comfortable in expressing their opinions. However, in tackling such controversial issues, students are reminded to be respectful of others. Please remember that a discussion section is only as good as those who contribute to it, so please make the effort for the benefit of yourself and everyone else.
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In the first week of section, all students will be assigned a week to provide the country update for discussion section. Given the contemporary nature of this course, country updates are intended to help us stay current with the latest events of the Arab Spring. Each student will be responsible for a 5-7 minute presentation at the beginning of section where students are intended to summarize some of the latest events in the assigned country. The format for the presentations is up to the student but remember that these updates are meant to be informative and brief, not an essay on the topic. Students are welcome to bring in different medias.
Each week has been assigned the following country:
• Week Two: Tunisia
• Week Three: Saudi Arabia and the Gulf
• Week Four: Iraq
• Week Five: Libya
• Week Six: Lebanon
• Week Seven: Syria
• Week Eight: Egypt
• Week Nine: Jordan and Morocco
• Week Ten: Egypt and Yemen
• Week Eleven: Algeria and Palestine
• Week Twelve: Islamic World outside of the Arab World (choose one or two countries either in Africa or Asia and give update on impact of Arab Spring. Possibilities include: Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc…)
• Week Thirteen: Al-Qa’ida (choose one region where Al-Qa’ida or its affiliates operates and give update. Possibilities include: Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, Taliban, Al-Shabbab, etc…)
*If you cannot remember your assigned country, please email me and I will inform you.*
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Reading Responses via Twitter:
In preparation for each week’s sections, students are required to post at least two responses (whether statement or question) to the week’s readings via twitter. These responses will be discussed in section and must be posted by midnight the Wednesday before section. The section hashtag is #HIST1202 and must be included in the tweet. Students are encouraged to use the twitter backchannel of the course to post articles or media clips that are relevant to the course. If a student does not post response tweets, the student will not receive full participation marks for discussion section that week.
Students are welcome to use existing accounts or create a new twitter account solely for the course. If a student decides to tweet under a pseudonym, please inform the section of your username. If a student decides to tweet under an existing account, please make sure the privacy settings are set to public so that we can see your tweets. Remember that these are public posts so please be respectful in your tweets.
Examples of response tweets:
• “It’s interesting to see the intricate balance btwn Nasser’s pragmatism and his Arab nationalist feelings play out in the 6-day War #JS256”
• “hahn pg61: “carter expressed willingness to work with PLO” – surprised to read that. was there a public reaction to this? #JS256”
• “Comparing Miller Ch. 3 with mentions of Israel in Hagel Senate hearing this week; priorities are clear: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/02/after-effects-of-the-hagel-fight/272898/# … #JS256”
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The following is the course grade breakdown.
Map quiz: worth up to 15% DUE 29 January 2014
ID quiz: worth up to 15% DUE 26 February 2014
2 short papers, worth up to 10% each = 20%
Paper 1 DUE 6 February 2014
Paper 2 Due 10 March 2014
Final Paper: worth up to 40% DUE 21 April 2014
Participation: worth up to 10%
For a grand total of a possible 100%
The short papers will be 2-3 pages long (12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced); the final paper, due on the last day of classes, will be 7-10 pages (same specifications). Students are encouraged to start exploring potential paper topics as soon as possible.
Delivery: all papers must be delivered electronically by midnight of the due date. Late delivery will incur lower grades.
Grading and Office Hours:
If you having any questions regarding the course, material being covered or more general academic concerns, please feel free to either see me during office hours or email me to schedule an appointment. After all assignments and exams are returned, there is a twenty-four hour moratorium on discussing grades so that you have the chance to read my comments. If you disagree with the grade you receive, I will be happy to review your work. However, I reserve the right to either lower or raise the grade at my discretion. I will do my best to reply to emails as quickly as possible but I cannot promise that I will be able to reply to queries the night before an exam or assignment is due, so please if you have concerns bring them to my attention sooner rather than later.
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As Vanderbilt student, it is expected that you will abide by the Vanderbilt Honor Code. Any assignments or exams that contain plagiarism will immediately receive a zero and the student may face a review by the Vanderbilt Honor Code Committee. If you are unsure about how to cite sources, please come speak with me prior to turning in an assignment.
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