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Viewing: HIST 306 C1: Islamic Empires

Last approved: Wed, 26 Sep 2018 20:33:40 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 25 Sep 2018 13:17:52 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Oscar Aguirre Mandujano oscaragm ASST PROFESSOR A School of Arts and Sciences History
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Islamic Empires
In the sixteenth century, the political landscape of the Middle East, Central Asia, and India changed with the expansion and consolidation of new Islamic empires. Gunpowder had transformed the modes of warfare. Diplomacy followed new rules and forms of legitimation. The widespread use of Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages across the region allowed for an interconnected world of scholars, merchants, and diplomats. And each imperial court, those of the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals, found innovative and original forms of expression in art and literature. The expansion of these Islamic empires, each of them military giants and behemoths of bureaucracy, marked a new phase in world history. The course is divided in four sections. The first section introduces the student to major debates about the so-called gunpowder empires of the Islamic world as well as to comparative approaches to study them. The second section focuses on the transformations of modes of warfare and military organization. The third section considers the cultural history and artistic production of the imperial courts of the Ottomans, the Mughals, and the Safavids. The fourth and final section investigates the social histories of these empires, their subjects, and the configuration of a world both connected and divided by commerce, expansion, and diplomacy.
NELC 306 - Gunpowder, Art and Diplomacy: Islamic Empires in the Early Modern World
Every Other Year

Foundational Approach

Course usually offered in spring term
Cross Cultural Analysis
Oscar Aguirre Mandujano
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty

Methods of Assessment

2 response papers of 4-5 pages each (1500 words +- 10%)
1 final paper of 9-10 pages (3000 words +- 10%)
The midterm and final exams will be take home exams. They consist of 2 and 3 short essay questions respectively.

Cross Cultural Analysis

This course examines three major Islamic empires in the early modern world through a cultural approach. It analyses primary sources in translation, as well as visual material, in relation to the social, cultural, and political contexts in which these were produced. At the end of the course, the student will have a sound knowledge of historical narratives produced within these empires by members of different social classes, professional backgrounds, and religious confessions.
The nature of this course is a comparative approach to the cultural history of three major empires that extended from the Indian subcontinent to Vienna. Every class is built to highlight the connections and disconnections between these large empires, the people that inhabit the lands they ruled, and the multiple ways of cultural, social, and political interaction. The student will be able to derived a sound understanding of the history of empires by studying different material and intellectual products, including but not limited to art, literature, religious debates and treaties, poetry, and philosophical discussions.
This course covers a variety of cultural elements, that range from social organization to diplomatic language, representation, artistic production, etc. The class is built to foster discussion about these cultural products in relation to the social, material, and political context in which they were produced. This in turn will lead the student to understand and approach critically and historically general aspects of the societies under review.
Each session is built around a primary source, visual or textual. The student reads historiography that has problematized this source as well as general historical information. In class, the student will participate in discussions led by the instructor designed to place the intensive analysis of the primary source into a larger context, and in comparison to other empires. Each primary source highlights an aspect of the societies under study. As the semester progresses, the student will have the building blocks necessary to embark on a more holistic approach.

Cultural Diversity in the US


Quantitative Data Analysis


Formal Reasoning


Administrative Fields

Key: 807