Anthropology | Peoples and Cultures of Central Asia
E600 | 23721 | Shahrani


PEOPLES AND CULTURES OF CENTRAL ASIA

A general anthropological introduction to the societies and cultures
of the contemporary Muslim successor states of former Soviet Central
Asia and the adjacent areas of Iran and Afghanistan --i.e., western
and southern Turkistan.  Topics include ecology, ethnohistory and the
structure of traditional subsistence strategies (nomadic pastoralism,
sedentary farming, and urban  mercantilism); social institutions
(marriage, family, kinship, gender relations, identities and
organization; religious beliefs and practices); and the assessment of
socio-economic change and recent political transformations experienced
by the peoples of this region under the colonial rules of tsarist and
Soviet Russia, and the modern nation states of Iran and Afghanistan.
The consequences of war on terrorism, volatile sociopolitical
conditions and future prospects for the peoples of this region will be
also critically examined.  No special knowledge of the region on the
part of students is presumed.  However, a background in general
anthropology would be helpful, but not essential.  The course will
consist of lectures, reading assignments, film and slide presentations
and class discussions.

Required Texts (some title may vary):
Bacon, Elizabeth	Central Asia Under Russian Rule: A Study in Culture
Change. Ithaca: Cornell U. Press (1980).
Luong, Paulin Jones	The Transformation of Central Asia: States and
Societies From Soviet Rule to Independence.  Cornell U Press (2004)
Roy, Olivier	The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations.  New York
U Press (2000)
Schimmel, Annemarie	Islam: An Introduction. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press
(1992)
Shahrani, M. Nazif	The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to
Closed Frontiers and War. Seattle: University of Washington Press (2002)

Course Requirement:

A. Undergraduate students course grades will be based on:
	Mid-Term exam =  30%  of course grade
	Final exam =  45%  of course grade
An eight page (double-spaced typed) critical comparative written
review of the three  ethnographic case studies by Shahrani, Roy,  and
Loung et al  =  20%  of the course grade.
	Participation in class discussions = 5% of the course grade.
	All examinations will be in class and essay type.

B.    Graduate students are expected to submit a term paper in
addition to taking  the exams.  For graduate students course grades
will be based on  mid-term  and  final Examination (worth 60% of the
course grade), and a term paper (worth 40% of the course grade).   A
topic for the paper should be chosen in consultation with the
instructor. The completed research paper should be 15 to 20 pages long
(double spaced and type written).