This course is a sophomore seminar in history; topics vary per semester. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
This course concentrates on the social and economic history of the Indian Ocean world (IOW) from around the time of the emergence of Islam (seventh century CE) to the present. Along the littoral of the Indian Ocean, we will examine the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, the Indian Subcontinent, and especially the east coast of Africa - which historians have neglected until recently. Although we will engage with the histories of the states and empires that influenced this region of the world in this class, our primary focus will be on the lives of the people who lived, worked, and travelled in the IOW as part of this vast interconnected social and economic system. We will also spend an entire unit of the class on slavery in the region, as it is important not only to study the lives of people who traded in the IOW, but also the lives of the people who were traded. This is a reading and discussion-based history class built around the examination of primary source material: documents produced by people who lived during the period under consideration. Students will learn how to critically read and analyze these documents not only to learn "what happened" in history, but also how to be historians themselves. Prior knowledge of the subject matter is not required. 3 units.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM