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OSPFLOR 35F: Migrants, radicals, and dictators: Italy & the Middle East in the modern era

In this class we explore Italy's long-standing, intimate, and often contradictory ties to the Middle East. The course is divided into three parts, the first of which begins with the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century and extends through the Second World War. Here, we examine the role played by North African countries and the Ottoman Empire in the creation of modern Italy, give an overview of Italy's (mostly failed) colonial ventures, and study the role of imperialism in the rise of Italian fascism in the 1920s. The second section of the course focuses on the region during the Cold War, and we devote particular attention to the economic and political alliances which grew between Italy and Middle Eastern countries. We will see how the former frequently sought to balance its own economic interests with the political aims of its allies in the Western Bloc. The last part of the course shifts the focus to the contemporary period by taking up issues of immigration, geopolitical co more »
In this class we explore Italy's long-standing, intimate, and often contradictory ties to the Middle East. The course is divided into three parts, the first of which begins with the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century and extends through the Second World War. Here, we examine the role played by North African countries and the Ottoman Empire in the creation of modern Italy, give an overview of Italy's (mostly failed) colonial ventures, and study the role of imperialism in the rise of Italian fascism in the 1920s. The second section of the course focuses on the region during the Cold War, and we devote particular attention to the economic and political alliances which grew between Italy and Middle Eastern countries. We will see how the former frequently sought to balance its own economic interests with the political aims of its allies in the Western Bloc. The last part of the course shifts the focus to the contemporary period by taking up issues of immigration, geopolitical conflicts in the Mediterranean, and minority communities in Italy today. During the course, we will be engaged in an ongoing discussion regarding the benefits and drawbacks of the notions of "Europe" and "the Middle East" in relation to Italy. How can we productively use these terms given their historical and political connotations, and what can Italy's relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors teach us about these simplistic geopolitical categories?
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP, WAY-SI
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