I have to submit book orders for the Introduction to Islamic History course I will be teaching in the Fall. So far, I have:
- Michael Cook’s The Koran: A Very Short Introduction.
- Jonathan Berkey’s The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800.
- Malise Ruthven’s Historical Atlas of Islam.
Here are my thoughts on the course so far: A survey course such as this, in an enviornment such as this, should go for maximum coverage (thematically, geographically and chronologically). Sure, you will sacrifice indepth analysis and may go scattershot all over the globe but I think I would rather have the students get even a rough inkling of the diversity of Islamic societies and the tools to do further study. So, I would like to cover statecraft, law, gender, theology AND Middle East, India, N. Africa AND c. 600-1700.
With that in mind, I think Ibn Battuta’s Travelogue, and Edward Said’s Orientalism could be possible additions. Plus, a good selection of primary documents in translation – from the Qur’an, Hadith, Tabari, Nizam ul Mulk, Jahiz, Ibn Rushd, Abu Fazl etc.
Any suggestions would be greatly welcome. If you were taking this class, what would you like to learn? If you have taken this class, what worked? If you taught this class, help me.
update: So I spend some time in the Seminary Coop and I think that Waldman & McNeill’s The Islamic World looks a good primary source compilation.