The History Project (HP) at the University of California, Davis is delighted to host Roots of the Arab Spring: Understanding the Historical Context for the Arab Uprisings, an NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers from July 15 through August 2, 2013.
Over the course of three weeks, Institute Director and historian Omnia El Shakry will lead NEH Summer Scholars in an investigation of the historical, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of the so-called Arab Spring, the revolutionary wave of protests and uprisings sweeping through the Arab World, which began with Tunisia in December of 2010. The concept of an “Arab Spring” offers a unique prism through which to understand historical and contemporary forces shaping the modern Middle East such as colonialism, decolonization, neo-liberalism, and the rise of political Islam. We will explore the way in which relations between rulers and ruled have been structured historically throughout the 20th-century Arab world, with special attention drawn to the 2011 revolutions as marking a radical attempt at transforming the nature of those relations. We will grapple with the historical significance of the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria within the larger context of modern revolutions and uprisings against entrenched regimes. NEH Summer Scholars will leave the institute equipped with knowledge and resources for planning instruction and engaging students in discussions about democracy and the nature of civic participation at home and abroad.