A weekly seminar built around thematic readings of social and economic history of the modern Arab world. Sometimes, the course is geographically extensive, encompassing the predominantly Arabic-speaking lands of North Africa and the Middle East from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east. At other times, the course focuses on a more narrowly defined geographic region—one country or a group of countries in the Arabic-speaking lands. Readings and discussions emphasize the experiences of broad sectors of the population, not just of elites. This framework of “history from below” also invites scrutiny of historically-marginalized populations (“subalterns”), or at least of silences in the literature about these populations.