This course will examine the process of Islamization in Inner Asian history, in an effort to understand the distinctive character of Islam in the regions of Inner Asia in which it became a major, or dominant, religio-cultural force. Introductory lectures will consider approaches to religious change and "conversion," and will outline the geographic, ethnic, and political contexts in which Islamization occurred in Inner Asia; the balance of the course will focus on specific historical and regional cases of Islamization, examined from a variety of perspectives, with emphasis upon interpreting indigenous accounts of the process and its significance in the light of both Islamic and Inner Asian patterns of religious meaning and ritual.
Readings: Required readings will be made available in a collection available for purchase, and on reserve at the Main Library; a supplementary bibliography will be supplied.
Requirements: Undergraduates will take a midterm and a final exam, and will write a brief report based on outside readings to be approved by the instructor. Graduate students will take both exams and submit a research paper or other suitable project to be approved by the instructor.