Probably the class I’m most excited about this semester is U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East Since 1945. I’m really interested in the Middle East; so much so that this area of the world has its own category on my blog. And I think this class be interesting simply because it covers American interference in the region rather than trying to deny U.S. involvement in, for example, the Iranian coup. My professor has assigned several books for the class, but we’re using his book — American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945 by Douglas Little — as a primer throughout the whole course. In addition to Professor Little’s book, we’re also going to be reading:
- All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer
- The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
- The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace by Aaron David Miller
- The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam
I’m also going to be taking a class under the field of urban geography examining the historical role of cities and the present day migration of people to cities. More than half the world’s population now lives in a city so I think this is a really relevant class to take. We’re going to be using Urban Geography by Michael Pacione.
The third class I’m taking this semester studies the economics of the environment and natural resources. Rather than looking at the economic impact of environmental policy, this class examines environmental problems and how they can be solved by economics. For the class we’re going to be using The Economics of the Environment by Peter Berck and Gloria Helfand. My professor actually test drove a copy of this book before it was published, and she says she restructured the class around this book. Interesting.
One of my classes covering the transformation of the Earth by human action does not have an assigned textbook, but my professor recommended A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations by Clive Ponting for background information and those that are really interested in the topic at hand. I picked up a copy, but I’m not quite sure how much time I will have this coming semester to read it. I’m also taking intermediate Spanish and therefore will be reading Enfoques by Jose A. Blanco and Maria Colbert for this class, but this is not a Spanish literature class so I’m not planning on writing a review of the textbook.
I’m really excited about this semester as all my classes sound like they’ll be really interesting and thought-provoking. Classes started last Friday (with Monday’s schedule) so I’ve already been to two of my classes, although I like to think of school officially starting tomorrow with the first full week of classes. I’m still settling into my new dorm room and getting back into the swing of things, but I am enjoying being back with my friends and back at college.
The Sunday Salon:
The Sunday Salon encourages bloggers to get together –at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones– every Sunday and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another’s blogs. Salon participants are encouraged to blog about their time spent reading, pages read, information about current reading, discuss a reaction to a book, state what they plan to read the following week, or make suggestions for a group read.Photo © Me. “Fall textbooks”. Taken: August 28, 2010.