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Teaching Controversial Topics: Middle East, India and Pakistan

Iranian boy at protest
An Iranian boy, fist raised in symbolic defiance, heads a huge crowd of Ayatollah Khomeini supporters across Tehran in an anti-Shah demonstration estimated at over a million strong, Dec. 10, 1978. Behind him demonstrators carry a banner reading: "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his own country," and behind another reads: "We will destroy Yankee power in Iran." (AP Photo)

January 27, 2015

New Course for Spring 2015

Sponsored by the South Asia Center and Middle East Center,

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

This synchronous online course (with the option to meet in person) examines selected current and past hot topics that have shaped India, Pakistan, and the Middle East through specific lenses (e.g., J-Curve, nationalism, perversity, futility, etc.) that illuminate the context and content. This course is about pedagogy of teaching controversial topics and introducing new content knowledge.

A few of the topics examined during this class include: India and Pakistan shared history and wars, Hindu nationalism and other forms of nationalism, South Asia’s divided Muslims, the rise and fall of populism in Pakistan, political Islam, Iraq War, Iran’s nuclear controversy, 1979 Iranian Revolution, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, and poetry as the language of protest) that have shaped India, Pakistan and the Middle East.

You are encouraged to pursue your own research. If you are a teacher, you can consult with the instructor to design your own curriculum based on the latest Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) and Washington State standards.

Graded assignments include: professionalism/full participation in class activities (20%), writing a book review (15%), creating a timeline/poster for a topic of your choice (15%), quizzes and other activities (20%), proposing a research study (10%), conducting the approved research/term paper (20%), and for teachers, creating a unit plan based on their interest and the models presented in class (20%).


SPRING 2015, UW Seattle Campus
EDC&I 505 F or JSIS 485 C/487 B
Wednesdays 4:30 – 7:20 pm
Dr. Khodadad (Khodi) Kaviani