Department of History

 

Bashiri
1043 Heller Hall
Telephone: 624-3314
Office hours: M 11:15-12:00; F 1:15-2:00

or by appointment

e-mail: bashi001@umn.edu
Web: www.irajbashiri.com 

 

 

SYLLABUS

Modern Iran

HIST 3506, RELS 3713

Spring 2013

 

Conceptual Frame:

 

Modern Iran covers Iranian history from the fall of the Sassanids (7th c. CE) to the present. Part 1 discusses the coexistence of Islam and Iranian culture culminating in the adoption of Shi'ism as the official religion of Iran (16th c. CE). Part 2 examines the role of the Safavids, Qajars, and Pahlavis in the cotext of modernization and westernization of Iran. Part 3 examines the impact of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on Iranian society.

Objectives:

       Acquaint students with the culture of modern Iran in the context of the cultures of the region and the world.

       Equip students with the means for a better understanding and interpretation of events in Iran and the Middle East.

       Teach students to distinguish different social, political, and economic trends and accept them for what they are.

        Discuss the roots of conflict between the Shi'ite and Sunni branches of Islam, focusing on Iran's Zoroastrian past.

       Discuss the role of continuity and change in Iranian history. The continuity is attributed to Iran's adherence to the principle of divine right of kings; the change reflects the diverse backgrounds of Iran's past rulers.

       The course shows why major Iranian revolutions (1906-11; 1962; 1979) have failed in bringing Iran prosperity. More important, why fundamental changes must take place; otherwise the conflict between divine right and peoples' rights will continue.

 

 

Class Sessions:

Month/Day

 

January

 

23 Introduction to the course; course content, materials to be covered,

office hours, tests, reports, paper, & grades.

         Assignment: Wilber, pp. 16-74, Bashiri, pp. 3-11

E-Reserve link: http://eres.lib.umn.edu/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=2341

 

25 Pre-Islamic Iran: Mazdian Cosmology

         Assignment: Bashiri, pp. 13-47

 Oral Reports assigned.

    

28  Pre-Islamic Iran: The Saint-heroes of Iranian Mythology

         Assignment: Bashiri, pp. 69-93; 131-154

 
30 
Pre-Islamic Iran: The Achaemenids and the Sassanids

         Assignment: Boyce, pp. 132-144

 

February

Pre-Islamic Iran:  The Revival of Zoroastrianism

         Assignment: Shahid, pp. 3-29.

             

Pre-Islamic Arabia; Rise of Islam

         Assignment: Esposito, pp. 1-31

   

6    Muhammad and the Qur'an

         Assignment: Esposito, pp.68-114

 

8    Oral Reports I

11    Oral Reports I

13    Oral Reports I

 

15  Religious Beliefs and Practices

         Assignment: W.125 Iran and Islam to AD 1400; Frye, pp. 136-161; Bosworth, 162-197

 

18  The Samanids, the Ghaznavids, and the Shahname I

         Assignment: Mottahedeh, pp. 161-182

Study Guide I posted

 

20  Iranian intellectual life

         Assignment: Momen, pp. 172-184; Sachedina, pp. 214-218. (e-reserve)      

 

22  Doctrine of Twelver Shi'ism (Buyids); Shi'ite Imams I

         Assignment: Boyle, 340-417

 

25  Test One

 

27  Shi'ite Imams II

         Assignment: Same

 

March

Islamic conquests

         Assignment: Schimmel, pp. 98-186

 

4 Mongol Conquests in Central Asia and Iran

         Assignment: Roemer, pp. 189-278; Nasr (Vali), pp. 31-61; Busse, pp. 250-305

 

The Ilkhanid State and Islam

         Assignment: Roemer, 331-350

 

8                    Sufism: stations and states of the tariqah

Assignment: same

 

11    Shi'ism: Iran's state religion; the role of the Mahdi

         Assignment: Stevens, pp. 421-451.

 

13    Window on Europe: Western visitors to the Safavid court;

Art and Architecture

Assignment: Abrahamian, pp 36-49; Keddie, pp.174-212. 

 

15                Oral Reports II

18-22         Spring Break

 

25 Oral Reports II

27 Oral Reports II

29  The Qajar Dynasty

         Assignment: Landen, 127-143; 174-177 

 

April

Foreign concessions: tobacco and oil

         Assignment: Abrahamian, pp 50-101

 

Constitutional Revolution 1906-11; creation of the Majlis

        Assignment: Abrahamian, pp 135-165; Upton, pp. 64-80

 

Reza Shah Pahlavi; the oil dilemma; reforms; Nazi connection

         AssignmentAbrahamian, pp 281-325

          Study Guide II posted

History of the Communist Movement in Iran

         AssignmentHambly, pp. 144-293

10    "Boykot"

         Assignment: Same

 

12    Muhammad Reza Shah; early reforms; land distribution; Musaddiq

         Assignment: Goodell, pp 161-186.

 

15    Test Two

 

17    The White Revolution: motivation, shortcomings; results

         Assignment: Algar, pp. 13-23.

 

19  "Ayatollah Khomeini's Life"

         Assignment: Cottam, pp. 55-87

        

22 The Islamic Revolution: onset; Iran-Iraq War

         Assignment: Peter Avery, pp. 289-297. Nashat (1982), pp. 165-194. 

 

24  Oral Reports III

26  Oral Reports III

29  Oral Reports III

 

May

1  Discussion: (Beeman's The "Great Satan" vs. the "Mad Mullahs)

 

Women in the Islamic Republic: gains and losses

         Assignment: The Nowruz Scrolls (optional)

Book Report Due

 

Religious and national festivals (the Nowruz)

 

"Divorce Iranian Style"

  Study Guide III posted

 

10    "The Iranian Press"

  Final paper due

 

Test Three (final exam) for this class is on Friday, May 17, 2013, 10:30-12:30 p.m.

  

Assignments

 

There will be 3 tests, 1 oral report, 1 book report, and 1 final paper. Attendance and active participation in classroom discussions also carry points.

  

Tests

There will be three tests in essay format. The actual dates for the tests are geared to the completion of the sections of the course devoted to the main topics in that part of the course. The exams will cover classroom discussions, reading assignments, and oral reports. There will be no make-up tests. Exceptions will be made for hardship cases on an individual basis. The instructor should be informed in advance of the reason for not taking the test. Test 1 carries 10 points; test 2 carries 12 points; test 3 carries 15 points. The tests altogether are worth 37 points.

 

The final test (test 3) is on Friday, May 17, 2013, 10:30-12:30 p.m.

 

Oral Report

Option 1: Comprehensive Powerpoint

Option 2: Written text of lecture presented (2 pages, double-spaced)

Each student participates in the gathering and delivering of information for 1 oral report.  After topics are assigned, each student prepares a presentation to present to the class (either PowerPoint or lecture). The report (comprehensive PowerPoint presentation or full text of lecture) is emailed to the instructor 2 days before the presentation for review. After the presentation, the instructor makes necessary corrections and emails them to all the students. Students are responsible for knowing the content of all the reports they receive for tests. Guidelines for Oral Reports is designed to help students in preparing their oral reports.

 

The oral report is graded for the quality of its overall contribution to the class. Failure to present your report at the time assigned results in the loss of 5 points. Failure to provide the class with a copy of the report results in the loss of the rest of the points. The time limit for the Oral Report is 15 minutes. The Oral Report carries 15 points.

 

Book Report

(2 pages, double-spaced)

Any book on modern Iran or about Iran's participation in international/intercultural affairs. The book for the book report must have the instructor's approval. The book report is due on May 3, 2013. It carries 10 points. Here are some Guidelines for Writing Book Reports .

 

Paper

(10 pages, double spaced)

The paper should be 10 pages double-spaced, printed, and presentable. It should deal with aspects of Iran in the context of the Islamic world and beyond. The paper should include an introduction, a reasonable development of the topic proposed, a conclusion, and a clear indication of diligent research. The bibliography is NOT included in the 10 pages for the paper. Look at Guidelines for Writing Papers  for information on writing the paper. The paper must be presented in hardcopy. The Paper is due on Friday, May 10, 2013. It carries 30 points as follows:

 

 

 

Aspects of paper

# of points

presentability

1

relevance and originality

6

introduction

3

structure

4

content

9

conclusion

3

footnotes & bibliography

4

Total

30

 

Attendance and Participation

 

Attendance is taken by passing a roster to be legibly signed. Each absence is worth half a point. Attendance carries 3 points. Active participation in class carries 5 points. Absences affect the number of points for participation. They also indirectly affect the outcome of the tests.

 

Grading Scale

4.0 scale

Grade

%

4.0

A

93-100

3.667

A-

84-92

3.333

B+

76-83

3.000

B

68-75

2.667

B-

59-67

2.333

C+/S

49-58

2.000

C/S

43-50

1.667

C-/S

34-42

1.333

D+

26-33

1.0

D

25

 

Selected Bibliography

The following book is available from Cognella Publishers:

Bashiri, Iraj. Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, Cognella Publishers, 2012 through their website: https://students.universityreaders.com/store/ (available at the bookstore only for students who have scholarship/grant money for purchase of books).

 

The following books are available at the bookstore:

Abrahamian, Ervand.  Iran Between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982

Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010

Beeman, William O. The "Great Satan" vs. The "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other. The University of Chicago Press, 2008

Momen, Moojan. An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985

Wilber, Donald N. Iran: Past and Present, Princeton University Press, 1976

Nasr, Vali. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the future, Norton & Company, 2006

 

The following readings are available at the Reserve Room at Wilson Library or on E-reserve.:

 

Abrahamian, Ervand.  Iran Between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982.

Algar, Hamid, Islam and Revolution, Mizan Press, Berkeley, 1981.

Avery, Peter. Modern Iran, Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., Publishers, 1955.

Bashiri, Iraj. Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, Cognella Publishers, 2012.

Beeman, William O. The "Great Satan" vs. The "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other. The University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Bosworth, C. E. "The Eartly Ghaznavids," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 4, pp. 162-197.

Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge & Kagan Paul, 1979.

Boyle, J.A., "Dynastic and Political History of the Il-Khans," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 5, pp. 303-421.

Busse, Heribert. "Iran Under the Safavids," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 4, pp. 250-304.

Cambridge History of Islam, edited by P. M Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis, 4 vols., Cambridge University Press, 1970.

Cottom, Richard W. "The Iranian Revolution," Shi'ism and Social Protest, edited by Juan R. I. Cole and Nikki R. Keddie, Yale University Press, 1986.

Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Frye, R. N. "The Samanids," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 4, pp. 136-161.

Goodell, Grace E. The Elementary Structures of Political Life: Rural Development in Pahlevi Iran, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Hambly, Gavin. "The Pahlavi Autocracy," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 7, pp. 144-293.

Keddie, Nikki. "Iran Under the Later Qajars, 1848-1922; Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 7, pp. 174-212.

Landen, Robert G. The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970.

Momen, Moojan. An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985.

Mottahedeh, Roy. "The Shu'ubiyyah Controversy and the Social Historyof Early Islamic Iran," International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 7, np. 2 (April 1976), pp. 161-182.

Nashat, Guity, "Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Iranian Studies, Vol. XIII, Nos. 1-4, 1982.

Nasr, Vali. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the future, Norton & Company, 2006.

Romer, H. R. "The Safavid Period," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6, pp. 189-351.

Sachedina, Abdulaziz. IIthna Ashariyah," The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, vol.3, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 214-218.

Schimmel, Annemarie, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Stevens, Roger. "European Visitors to the Safavid Court," Iranian Studies: Journal of the Society for Iranian Studies, Studies of Isfahan, Part II, Volume VII, Number, 3-4, Summer-Autumn, 1974, pp. 421- 451.

Wilber, Donald N. Iran: Past and Present, Princeton University Press, 1976.

 

 

Books on E-reserve:

Sachedina, Abdulaziz. IIthna Ashariyah," The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, vol.3, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 214-218.

 

General:

The following books are available either at the Reserve Room or from the general collection at Wilson.

 

Abrahamian, Ervand.  Iran Between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982.

Adib-Moghaddam, Arshin. Iran in World Politics: the Question of the Islamic Republic. London: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Akhavi, Shahrough. Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran: Clergy-State Relations in the Pahlavi Period, State University of New York Press, 1980.

Amoretti, B. S. "Religion in the Timurid and Safavid Periods," The Cmbridge History of Iran, Vol. 6, pp. 610-656.

Arjomand, Said Amir. The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, Chicago University Press, 1984.

Avery, Peter. Modern Iran, Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., Publishers, 1955.

Bashiri, Iraj. Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, Cognella Publishers, 2012.

Beeman, William O. The "Great Satan" vs. The "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other. The University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge & Kagan Paul, 1979.

Dabashi, Hamid. Iran, The Green Movement and the USA: The Fox and the Paradox, Zed Books, 2010.

Dale, Stephen F. The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Esposito, John L. Islam: The Straight Path, NY: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Diba, Farhad. Mossadegh: A Political Biography, Croom Helm Ltd, 1986.

Filippani-Ronconi, Pio, "The Tradition of Sacred Kingship in Iran," in Lenczowski, George (ed.), Iran Under The Pahlavis, Hoover Institution Press, 1978. pp. 51-83.

Friedl, Erika, Women of Deh Koh: Lives in an Iranian Village, Smithsonian Institution, 1989.

Goodell, Grace E. The Elementary Structures of Political Life: Rural Development in Pahlevi Iran, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Hambly, Gavin. "The Pahlavi Autocracy," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 7, pp. 144-293.

Kazemi, Farhad. Poverty and Revolution in Iran, New York University Press, 1980.

Khomeini, Ruhullah. Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini, Mizan Press, 1981.

Landen, Robert G. The Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970.

Lockhart, Laurence. "European Contacts with Persia, 1350-1736," The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 6, pp. 373-412.

Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah's Democracy: An Iranian Challenge, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2010.

Momen, Moojan. An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985.

Mottahedeh, Roy. "The Shu'ubiyyah Controversy and the Social Historyof Early Islamic Iran," International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 7, np. 2 (April 1976), pp. 161-182.

Nashat, Guity and Louis Beck, eds., Women in Iran from the Rise of Islam to 1800, University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Nashat, Guity, "Women in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Iranian Studies, Vol. XIII, Nos. 1-4, 1982.

Nasr, S. H. "Spiritual Movements, Philosophy and Theology in the Safavid Period," The Cmbridge History of Iran, Vol. 6, pp. 656-698.

Nasr, Vali. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the future, Norton & Company, 2006.

Romer, H. R. "The Safavid Period," Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 6, pp. 189-351.

Sachedina, Abdulaziz. IIthna Ashariyah," The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, vol.3, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 214-218.

Schimmel, Annemarie, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Shahid, Irfan. "Pre-Islamic Arabia," The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 1A, Cambridge University Press, 1970, pp. 3-29.

Stevens, Roger. "European Visitors to the Safavid Court," Iranian Studies: Journal of the Society for Iranian Studies, Studies of Isfahan, Part II, Volume VII, Number, 3-4, Summer-Autumn, 1974, pp. 421- 451.

Takeyh, Ray. Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the Age of the Ayatollahs, Oxford University Press, 2009.

Upton, Joseph M. The History of Modern Iran: An Interpretation, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University Press, 1970.

Wilber, Donald N. Iran: Past and Present, Princeton University Press, 1976.