This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the region of Central Asia for students who have had no prior academic encounter with its peoples, history and culture. The course will be split into two parts, with the first half of the semester being devoted to the topic of Central Asian history, and the second to the study of the region in the post-Soviet era. The historical survey will cover the exploits of famous conquerors, such as Genghis Khan and Amir Temur. We will also study the colonization of Central Asia by Russia and its incorporation into the Soviet Union. In the second half of the course we will study contemporary issues, such as Democracy, Terrorism, and Islam in the modern states of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.