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The Muslim Ban and Refugee Crisis in a Historical Perspective

This course will trace how the intertwined histories of the Middle East and United States set the stage for the contemporary moment. We will begin by examining the 19th-century origins of some of the first instances of modern ethnic cleansing in the Middle East—the Armenian Genocide and Greek-Turkish population exchanges—and delve into how these humanitarian disasters shaped conceptions of Islam in the United States. We then will study the creation of the US immigration and deportation system, its history of systemic religious and racial discrimination, and its relationship to the global regime of passports and borders. We will end the course by looking at how the bloody state response to the 2011 revolution in Syria and the lingering aftereffects of US policy in Iraq generated a wave of refugees, just as 19th-century legal precedent and deeply engrained stereotypes led to their exclusion.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • A more nuanced understanding of the history of US-Middle East relations, religious conflict, and global immigration restrictions
  • Greater knowledge of some of the first instances of modern ethnic cleansing in the Middle East from the 19th century

Ideal for

  • Anyone who is interested in gaining a better understanding of contemporary US and Middle Eastern relations
  • Those with personal or professional interest in the Middle East
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.