May 2014

HISTW4705, CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST Professor Khalidi's teaching method is excellent. He was organized with his discussion of the material, and he struck a balance between lecturing on context, discussing the readings, and engaging his students. He never failed to answer our questions completely, and always addressed any comments or concerns we had. Professor Khalidi was very clear about the assignments from the beginning of the semester, and the syllabus was straightforward: class participation, one 25 page paper, it outline, and a presentation. Professor Khalidi organized the presentation schedule very early in the semester, and let us know all the due dates by the 2nd week of class. It was also very nice of him to remind us to work on our outlines and papers through out the semester. In my opinion, there are not any significant ways that this class could improve. The overall quality of the class depends on three things: the professor, the group of students, and the readings. As I've already covered, Professor Khalidi was excellent. As it is a seminar reserved for seniors, the students were engaged. As for the readings, they were clearly chosen with great care and were relevant as well as enlightening. I especially appreciated how Professor Khalidi always took a moment to relate the material we were discussing to current events in the Arab world. It was also very thoughtful of him to intervene in the presentations when class participation was at a low. There are also many good things to be said about the progression of the course -- it seemed continuous on both a thematic and a temporal level, so it was easy to follow the discussion and move from one reading to the next. If it matters, I especially appreciated the Tareq Ramadan reading. *He deserves a gold nugget