Study the past, understand the present, prepare for the future

The modern Middle East has long been a place of political upheaval, shifting alliances, sectarian violence, and competing economic interests. With the far-reaching implications of continued instability in this region, it is critical for us to understand the sources—and the outcomes—of these continuing struggles.

In this timely course, taught by Ross Brann, the acclaimed M. R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies at Cornell, you'll examine the modern history and politics of this volatile region, beginning with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century and concluding with Russia's involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Through discussions, readings, and films, you'll map the modern Middle East; learn about its peoples, land, and resources (including oil); and explore the region's history of social and religious reform.

You'll look at challenges of self-rule; discuss the causes and consequences of regional wars, failed peace accords, and 9/11; and speculate on the shape of things to come.