Indiana University Bloomington
A photo collage of images. Click on the images to learn more.
Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Russia's Orient 1552-1924
CEUS-R 628
Edward Lazzerini

This course for graduate students examines the relationship between Russia (late Muscovite and imperial) and the Turkic peoples inhabiting the Volga-Ural region, the northern littoral of the Black Sea, the North and South Caucasus, as well as nomadic and sedentary Central and Inner Asia. Russian expansion and its goals, literary and scientific efforts to situate the “oriental” Other within the evolving Empire, the complexities of imperial management (juridical, economic, and political), and the competing attractions to indigenous populations of resistance and accommodation, will be some of the major themes pursued. Requirements include:

            Initially, your best course of action is to read the text you have chosen quickly and without much effort or thought; then, find opportunities to read it more slowly and carefully, letting your eyes seek what it is that the author is really saying, perhaps being disingenuous about, or not saying at all. The text is a nut to crack, a puzzle to solve, a mystery to unravel, and seldom, if ever, what it seems. That which you discover after close reading is what your essay will reveal.

Following are the documents from which to choose:

1. Memorandum from Prince Potemkin to Catherine II
2. Memorandum from Prince Bariatinskii on Russia and the Caucasus
3. Memorandum from Prince Bariatinskii to Prince Mikhail Nikolaevich
4. Memorandum from Prince Gorchakov to the Great Powers
5. V kakoi sile

A semester project of 12-15 pages on some theme drawn from a traveler’s journal/book, a surveyor’s report, the portfolio of a sketch-artist or painter, or some other product of an eyewitness to an “oriental” region and its Turkic inhabitants within the period surveyed. As with the brief project described above, you should FIND SOMETHING IN THE TEXT ABOUT WHICH TO WRITE. I will make available a bibliography of possible sources. The final draft is due on December 6, but I want a description of the project—at most one page—by October 16.