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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 2
Wars and Fantasies: 1914–1960

E-Seminar 3
Getting It Wrong: 1953–1979

E-Seminar 4
The Voice of Islam: 1979–1991

E-Seminar 5
A Moment of Includsion

America and the Muslim World
A Series of Five E-Seminars

America and the Muslim World
E-Seminar 1, Battles and Bibles: 1776-1913

Taught by: Richard W. Bulliet

E-Seminar Description
Taught by Richard W. Bulliet, a leading scholar of modern Islam, this seminar examines the history of America and its relation to the Muslim world. The series of seminars analyzes, from an American perspective, the legacy of misunderstanding between the two cultures; the forgotten wars, now more than a century ago, between America and parts of the Islamic world; and the emergence of a significant Muslim population in the United States through immigration (primarily from the Middle East and Southeast Asia) and conversion (primarily among African Americans). The seminar considers the changes in American attitudes that are likely to result from the growing Muslim presence "at home."

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading |
Additional Information |Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Learn a series of largely unknown events in America's history.

•   Examine the deep roots of the negative feelings Americans often harbor toward the Islamic world.

•   Study how teaching about the Islamic world has changed over time in the United States.

•   Trace how Americans' understanding of Islam has affected U.S. foreign policy.

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1. First Encounters
2. The Nineteenth Century
3. The Missionaries
4. Legacy of Misperceptions
5. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Professor Richard W. Bulliet was born in Rockford, Illinois. He received his B.A. (1962), M.A. (1964), and Ph.D. (1967) degrees from Harvard University, where he taught for six years. After two years at the University of California, Berkeley, and one year as a Guggenheim Fellow, he joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1976. At Columbia he has taught all periods of Middle Eastern history; the history of technology and of domestic animals; and the core-curriculum, "great books" courses on the European traditions, social and political thought, literature, and art. He served for twelve years as Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute.

Prominent among Professor Bulliet's publications are three works on Islamic social history, with an emphasis on Iran: The Patricians of Nishapur (1972), Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period (1979), and Islam: The View from the Edge (1993). The Camel and the Wheel (1975), his book on the history of technology, won the Dexter Prize of the Society for the History of Technology. He coedited the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (1996). The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History (1997), which he coauthored, has been widely adopted as a college textbook in world history. His most recent book is The Columbia History of the Twentieth Century (1998), which he conceived and edited.

Professor Bulliet has written, in addition to his scholarly work, four novels involving the modern Middle East. The Mystery Writers of America nominated his first novel, Kicked to Death by a Camel (1973), for an Edgar Award in the category of "best first mystery." He wrote The Tomb of the Twelfth Imam (1979) shortly before the Iranian revolution, which it predicted. His third novel, The Gulf Scenario (1984), describes the ease with which a determined ruler (like Saddam Hussein) could take over the countries of the Persian Gulf. His fourth and most recent novel is The Sufi Fiddle (1991).

Professor Bulliet has traveled widely and often in all parts of the Middle East and Islamic world. He served four years as Executive Secretary of the Middle East Studies Association, and one summer as faculty-in-residence at CBS, where he helped the Program Practices Division formulate network attitudes toward docudramas. He hosted the 14-part educational television series The Middle East, produced by TVOntario. He has granted hundreds of interviews to print and broadcast journalists on issues relating to the Middle East and Islam. He lives in New York City with his wife, a scholar of Vedic Sanskrit and ancient Indian religion.

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Recommended Reading
Allison, Robert J. The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776–1815. New York: New York University Press, 1995.

Chaney, Charles L. The Birth of Missions in America. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1976.

Christensen, Torben, and William R. Hutchison, eds. Missionary Ideologies in the Imperialist Era: 1880–1920. Aarhus, Denmark: Forlaget Aros, 1982.

Cragg, Kenneth. Sandals at the Mosque: Christian Presence Amid Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959. [Unavailable at Amazon.com]

Munro, John M. A Mutual Concern: The Story of the American University of Beirut. Delmar, NY: Caravan Books, 1977.

Turner, Richard Brent. Islam in the African-American Experience. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997.

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Additional Information
Who should take this course? Teachers and students of American history, world history, and the history of religion; lifelong learners; citizens interested in world events and the reasons behind various strands of contemporary U.S. foreign policy.

Reading assignments: There are no required reading assignments in this course, though Professor Bulliet has recommended a number of books for those who wish to pursue the seminar topics further.

Taking the seminar: This seminar is delivered entirely on the Internet. You may access the seminar and participate in discussions at any time during which the seminar is open. There are no set times in which you must be online.

This seminar includes a discussion board for students to pose questions or comments related to the topics presented in the seminar.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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