Department of History to offer two new topics courses

Department of History to offer two new topics courses

The Department of History will offer two new topics courses for the spring 2009 semester.

Dr. Anne Klejment will teach Religious Practices of the U.S. Catholic Laity, and Odeh Muhawesh will teach History of the Modern Middle East.

Religious Practices of the U.S. Catholic Laity
This course will use the sources and methods of history to analyze religious practices of the U.S. Catholic laity with emphasis on the late 19th and 20th centuries. A variety of topics will be covered, including habits of prayer, devotionalism, the reception of sacraments, the use of sacramentals, the practices related to selected liturgical seasons and holy days, participation at Mass and social justice activism. Specific topics may include Marian devotionalism, the rosary crusade, processions, Eucharist and Reconciliation, Catholic Worker spirituality and activism, and lay associations. Analysis of practices rooted in ethnic, racial and gender identities constitutes an essential part of the course. Texts include original sources and historical interpretations of lay religious practices.

History of the Modern Middle East
This course will focus on the modern history of the Middle East starting with the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, its influence on contemporary Muslim thought, and the rise of colonialism and its role in shaping the current geographical and ideological map of the Middle East. The course will further explore the modern Islamic movements, nationalism and pan-Arabism, and the recent wars of the Middle East; in addition, it will focus on America’s role and presence on Middle Eastern soil, and study the economic and political drivers behind this presence.

For more information about the courses contact the Department of History, (651) 962-5730.