A Georgia native from the foothills of the Appalachians and Atlanta, Michael Christopher
Low received his PhD from Columbia University in 2015. Since 2015, Low has been an
Assistant Professor of History at Iowa State University. His primary research and
teaching interests include the Ottoman Empire, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Ocean
world, and environmental history.
An avid traveler, Low’s research and language training have afforded opportunities
to live in Turkey, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom for extended
periods. Over the last two decades, he has also traveled widely throughout the Islamic
world from Morocco, Mali, and Egypt to India, the Maldives, and Singapore. Learn more
about Assistant Professor Low here.
Assistant Professor Low will be teaching HIST 1510 and HIST 3400 in Fall 2022.
HIST 1510: World History Since 1500
T/TH 2:00pm - 3:20pm
This course provides an introduction to the history of the world from 1500 to the
present. The course starts from the premise that world history has been shaped by
increasingly global encounters and exchanges between different societies and that
the speed and density of those contacts have incresed dramtically since 1500.
Subjects covered include: New World exploration and conquest, the Atlantic slave trade,
the rise and decline of European imperial and economic power, industrialization, nationalism,
the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, decolonization, and the emergence of
the Global South. In addition, this course will also seek to rethink these older narratives
by simultaneously exploring the ecological consequences of colonialism, industrialization,
and globalization, including increasing population, urbanization, the consumption
of fossil fuels, and pollution, ultimately culminating in the planetary crisis of
HIST 3400 Middle Easy Since 1914
M/W 1:25pm - 2:45pm
This course introduces the intellectual, political, religious, and social history
of the Modern Middle East from World War I to the present.
The course's primary geographic foci will be on the lands of the Ottoman and Qajar
empires and their successor states, including: Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon,
Iraq, Isreal/Palestine, and the states of the Arabian Peninsula. Subjects covered
will include: the rise and fall of constitutionalism, institutional and political
reform, the role of religion in political and social life, European imperialism, secular
nationalism, revolution, development, the Isreali-Palestinian conflict, the rise of
Gulf petro-states, the impact of the Cold War and American interventions, and the
development of Islamist and jihadist movements.
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Brandon James Render grew up among the creeks
and caves of Western Kentucky before pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas at
Austin. The lack of African American history courses at his undergraduate institution
drove him to undertake research on Black intellectual history and social movements
in the twentieth century. His current research project, "Colorblind University," explores
the relationship between race and higher education through the lens of race-neutral
policies, practices, and ideas during the civil rights and Black Power era. Aside
from teaching and research, he enjoys writing music, traveling, watching sports, and
spending time with his partner, Murphy, and dog, Mos.
Assistant Professor Brandon Render is teaching HIST 3750 in Fall 2022.
HIST 3750 Recent America
T M/W 3:00pm - 4:20pm
This course examines the social, political, economic, and cultural history of the
United States since 1945.
Through a collection of primary and secondary sources, students will explore U.S.
politics within the context of the Cold War; economic evolutionand the rise - and
fall - of the American middle-class; and how the social movements of the 1960s produced
the culture wars of the 1980's and 90's.