Introduction to Historical Practice: History of Capitalism and Reform in the Middle East, c. 1839-1953

Description: Seminar, three hours. Requisite: English Composition 3. Introduction to study of history, with emphasis on historical theory and research methods. Satisfies Writing II requirement. Letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 2.7
Easiness 2.3/ 5
Clarity 3.7/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.7/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2023 - Technically, my course was titled Capitalism and Empire in the Middle East, but there is enough overlap in content here I figured a review could still be of merit. Professor Adney had a very down to earth and comfortable demeanor throughout the entire course making my first class of 14 people a lot more approachable. The course, like most other 96w courses, is in essence a three hour long discussion (which he often allowed us to leave early from). Thus, this class is one of few where it is actually imperative to read the assigned readings, as all you will do in the class is talk about the readings. If you are a slow reader ( like me), you will likely struggle with the workload. I received around 100+ pages of academic papers each week. We were required to write a two page basic summary and analysis paper each week before class ( five total were required and the other four were extra credit). The capstone project, if you will, was a 15-20 page paper answering the basic question "how do historians view capitalism and empire in the Middle East." While Adney structured the course to assist you in this final endeavor, I felt personally underprepared by the time we needed to begin writing, as did most of my peers as well. As someone who has never taken a historiography course before, a main challenge with the final essay and a lot of the analysis of the course really, was shifting my analytical focus toward historians/ third party interpreters of the history rather than the figures within the history itself. This lens forces you to essentially consider two points always, what happened historically and why, and how historians interpret and analyze these events. If you can begin this course in that mindset, your analysis, annotations, and eventually your final essay will benefit greatly. Overall, I really enjoyed this course. Professor Adney always has thought provoking and engaging analysis of the history and readings making for a great facilitator in discussions about readings you totally didn't get.
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