Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | People and Cultures of the Middle East
N397 | 28069 | Nazif Shahrani


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.