ARAB 211
Understanding 9/11 and the War in Iraq Spring 2024
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed HIST 116
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Class Details

What were some of the causes of 9/11/2001 and what were some of the consequences? Why and how did the United States invade Iraq in 2003 and what impact did the subsequent occupation of that country have on the rest of the Middle East and the world in general? In this course on recent political and cultural international history, that will also consider this history in film and popular culture, the monumental ramifications of the “War on Terror” will be considered and how this framework has shaped the 21st century. In the first part of the course, US-Middle Eastern relations will be explored and the eventual emergence of al-Qaeda in the late 1990s. Then the terrorist attacks on American soil on 9/11 will be studied. In this segment, students will engage with oral histories and memoirs related to the fateful events of that day. In the following module the political and cultural responses will be considered. Particular attention will be on the prelude to the Iraq War, especially how that war was justified and rationalized. Here students will analyze political rhetoric, public discourse, and activism through a range of sources including in the media, the academy, and in popular culture. Then the attention will be turned to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and the eventual occupation of Iraq. The myriad Iraqi responses will be studied along with American military experience. Finally, the course will evaluate the significance of the first decade of the 21st century and how these events, and the memory of this decade, continue to reverberate today.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3845
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Several short papers and a final oral history.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: First-years and sophomores.
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARAB 211 Division II HIST 116 Division II
WS Notes: In this writing-intensive first-year seminar, students will engage with primary sources such as oral histories, autobiographies and political tracts and write short interpretive essays that will go through several editing stages. The final writing project will be an oral history of an individual who has a direct personal connection with either 9/11 and/or the wars in Iraq. The students will learn how to synthesize a range of experiences into a 10-12 page paper.
DPE Notes: This course will consider power and difference in a number of ways. First, it will evaluate how the US government used its political power to convince the public to support a military operation under questionable premises. Second, it will critically assess the "War on Terror" and who has benefited from it. Third, it will examine how the American military occupied Iraq and the ways in which Iraqis tried to resist the American designs on their country.
Attributes: HIST Group E Electives - Middle East
HIST Group G Electives - Global History

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