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- Sources for the Study of Central Asian History
- CEUS-R 713
- Ron Sela
This seminar is designed as the fundamental training for graduate students in the
field of Central Asian history. Lectures cover thoroughly all types of sources used for the
study of the history of Central Asia during the Islamic period (8th-19th c.), with special
emphasis on written sources, both in indigenous and European languages.
Among the topics to be discussed: Classification of historical sources, biobibliographical reference works and manuscript catalogs, paleography in the Islamic
world, narrative sources (historical, geographical, biographical, hagiographical, administrative manuals, epics and legends), documentary sources, textological studies
and methods of publication, approaches to translation, and availability of sources for various regions of Central Asia.
Theoretical and methodological approaches to the field – with special emphasis
on the greater context of Islamic history – will acquaint students with the ways in which
different types of sources should be used in the study of Central Asian history.
Prerequisites: Background in Central Asian history and a reading knowledge of at least one European research language other than English, or permission of the instructor. Familiarity with Cyrillic and Arabic scripts is desirable.
Requirements & Grading: Active participation in the seminar, including one presentation on a biobibliographical project (25%); A research paper examining a primary source (75%). Depending on the class composition, the research paper may be part of a group project that may lead to a publication. At the end of the semester students will also complete a final examination that will require some research in the library. Seminar paper.