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HIS3330 : Islamism and its Origins (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Willow Berridge
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will attempt to trace the historic origins of Islamist ideology. It has been claimed that the modern Islamist agenda traces its roots to pre-modern radical theologians such as Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya and Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Yet, to what extent was Islamist ideology in the 20th Century conditioned by the transformative impact of Western colonial modernity? To what extent can the Islamist notions of thinkers such as Hasan al-Banna, Mawlana Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb be compared with these of the other ideological movements of the 20th century, such as fascism, Marxism-Leninism and nationalism? How important is it to recognize the specifically colonial origins of Islamism?

-       To familiarise students with critical debates concerning the historic origins of Islamists ideology
-       To enable students to engage with these debates through analysis of texts written by prominent Islamists
-       To provide a broad awareness of the cultural, economic and political contexts in which Islamism emerged

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics may be chosen from:

Historic Origins of Radical Islam: From the Kharijites to Ibn Taymiyya
Islamic Revivalism
Islamic Reformism
Hasan al-Banna and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood
Maulana Mawdudi and radical Islam in Pakistan
Sayyid Qutb and Qutbism
Islamism and Socialism
Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution in Iran
Hasan al-Turabi and Sudan’s ‘Salvation Revolution’
Women and Radical Islam
Islamic Militancy

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading461:0046:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Present in person Seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion112:0022:00Facilitated discussion via online canvas discussion boards
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery111:0011:00Q&A based on textbook content, to be delivered online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study451:0045:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The core textbook will provide a beginning point for the guided independent study which should facilitate further discussion by providing important contextual knowledge and familiarising students with critical debates surrounding the ideological origins of Islamism. Present in person seminars will enable them to engage critically with these debates and develop their oral communication and group work skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A702,000 word essay assignment
Written exercise2M301,250 word documentary commentary
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Portfolio2MFormative assessment of 750 words based on one 250 word portfolio entry for each of the first three weeks of the module
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The portfolio exercise will provide an opportunity for early feedback on how students are engaging with key themes early on in the module.

The balance of assessment provides students to demonstrate their abilities across the range of skills that this module has helped them to develop. The assessed essay examines written argument, historiographical engagement,independent thinking and independent research.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the
texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space under pressure of time.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. Submitted work tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research, reading and writing'.
Submitted work, tests, intended knowledge and skills outcomes develops key skills in research, reading and writing.


This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists