Islam in the Soviet Union and Successor States
This course carries Culture Studies & COLL A & H distribution credit
This course will survey the historical background and contemporary status of Islam and peoples of Islamic heritage in countries that were formerly part of the USSR, with an emphasis upon the Soviet period and its legacies in the post-Soviet present. The focus will be on understanding the distinctive pressures experienced and exerted by Islam, as a religion and as a social and cultural system, in the Soviet context, with particular attention to patterns of religious life, their adaptations in the Soviet era, and the impact of the Soviet experience upon them. The course will highlight the problematical character of much of the scholarship on Islam in the Soviet Union and its successor states, emphasizing the need for reassessing this scholarship on the basis of more serious historical understanding, a wider range of sources, and the critical analysis of Soviet, Sovietological, and post-Soviet nationalist approaches to Islam and Muslim religious life.