The aim of this course is to bring together both the disciplines of International Relations and Middle East Studies to chart a history of modern Middle Eastern state formation, while discussing the various ways in which the region is conceptualized, theorized and constructed. Casting a critical eye on discourses about the Middle East, the course will particularly focus on the diverse manifestations of empire and colonialism in the region, as well as the mobilizations, ideologies and resistances that emerged against them. By engaging with different aspects of these themes through the lenses and histories of diverse states, the course also explores the transition from empire to the nation-state in the region, along with its legacies. The goal is to lay the conceptual and theoretical groundwork for a better understanding of the historical and political dynamics of Middle Eastern societies, while gaining a more nuanced picture of power, continuity and change in the region. The course consists of 12 lectures. Students get the chance to engage with one another in critical and meaningful debate rooted in the course readings.