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RLST/ARAB 2320: Muslim World (Catlos): Course Information

This guide provides helpful resources to complete the book review and research essay projects in Professor Catlos's Muslim World course.

Course Description

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Focusing on the history of the Muslim World in the age of the caliphates, this course takes an interdisciplinary, comparative approach to the development of Islamicate society, focusing on social structure, politics, economics, and religion. Students will use primary and secondary sources to write a research paper, and make in-class presentations, to cultivate critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

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Assignment Details

Below are a few major requirements for your research paper. Please see the complete description of the assignment which Professor Catlos has provided for further details.

Source Review:
The aim is to provide an overview and summary of the source. It is important that you read the work to see what sorts of information can be derived from it. This will help you decided on your research essay topic. Your source review should be 4–5 double-spaced pages in length. Due Feb. 14th

Research Essay:
This is a 16–20 page research essay exploring a theme or topic which is featured in the primary source you studied. This paper will trace the historical evolution of an Islamic tradition, belief, policy, tenet, or ritual, or some other aspect of Islamic culture, thought, and society and account for the changes it underwent in relation to its historical, social, cultural, theological and/or institutional contexts and/or how it is manifested or interpreted in different denominations or regional environments. You will show how this tradition has changed, or how its interpretation had varied, and propose why. The “why” will constitute the thesis of your essay. You should read, use and cite no less than twelve “substantial sources” (scholarly books, journal articles, newspapers), and no more than a few “supplementary sources” (encyclopedias). See the assignment instructions below which details the list of benchmarks for completing the essay.

Library Class

The library instruction session, taught by Megan Welsh, Religious Studies Librarian, will help you to find scholarly and supplementary resources to be used for your assignment. The session will also help you to be more comfortable finding and using the Libraries' resources and asking for help.