HIST 308
The Nile Spring 2019
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed HIST 308 / ARAB 308
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

For millennia, the Nile River has sustained civilizations in eastern and northern Africa. It is the only reason that Egyptians have been able to live in the Sahara Desert. It was at the banks of this river that some of the most significant human structures were built and some of the most beautiful artworks conceived. The Nile provided the silt and hence the alluvial soils on which all the great Egyptian empires were founded. Yet now in the 21st century, the Nile River is at a historical turning point. The water level and quality is dwindling while at the same time the number of people who rely on the river is ever increasing. This course will consider the history of the Nile and the peoples and cultures it has sustained. After a brief overview of the role of the river in ancient Egypt, we will explore the modern political and cultural history of the Nile. Who lives along this river and what kind of cultures have developed in the Nile valley? We will evaluate the numerous attempts to manage and control the Nile and the continuous efforts to utilize the river for human development such as agriculture and the tourism industry. At the end of the semester we will consider the relationship of the mega city Cairo with the Nile and whether the tensions among Nile riparian states will lead to “water wars” in East Africa and the Middle East.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3269
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: short papers and final project/paper
Prerequisites: none, though background in Middle East history is preferable
Enrollment Preferences: History and Arabic Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 308 Division II ARAB 308 Division II
DPE Notes: The course fulfills the DPE requirement because it evaluates the differing experiences of the Nile among different cultural groups. It will evaluate how the central government is constantly trying to change how people use their water and therefore over-determine how people interact with their natural environment.
Attributes: HIST Group E Electives - Middle East
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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