In this course we will examine key events and themes of modern Levantine history through the lens of literature, film, and news media. We will focus on pan-Arabism, sectarianism, Islam and secularism, the establishment of modern Lebanon and Syria, and current manifestations of the Arab Spring in the region. We will analyze a variety of literary genres, including works by Hanan Al-Shaykh, Ghada Samman, Ilyas Khoury, and Muhammad al-Maghut. The goals of this course are to give students a solid grasp of Levantine history in the 20th and 21st centuries, to address the signature themes of literary and popular culture, and to achieve and maintain advanced proficiency in Arabic. (ARBC 0302 or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.