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Department of Central Eurasian Studies

The Rus, Khazars and Bulgars

Three kaganates—the Rus, the Khazar, and the Bolgar—vied for political and economic influence in the heart of Central Eurasia during the 500 years preceding the grand unification of the region by Mongols and their allies. Representing the last, spectacular bloom and power of pastoral nomadism, the Mongol Empire swept up Central Eurasia, wrecking in the process numerous state formations, including that of the Bolgars and Rus.

Regions Covered: 
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/edward-lazzerini-0
Course Code: 
R596

Estonian Culture and Civilization

This course will explore the various facets of Estonian cultural development from its Finno-Ugric and Uralic roots to the present. Topics covered will include language, folklore and the oral tradition, belletristic literature, the development of literacy and education, religion, the rise of an Estonian-language press and the printed word in general, and various forms of high culture--especially music, art, architecture, theater, and film. Although the course will focus on the Estonian case, some comparisons will be made with neighboring and more distant European cultural traditions.

Regions Covered: 
Estonia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/toivo-raun-0
Course Code: 
R508

History of Xinjiang to 1911

The region today known as Xinjiang has had a tumultuous political history, often at the margin of other empires, sometimes itself the seat of empires, and sometimes parceled into warring statelets. It is geographically part of Central Asia, though it has also come under the political ambit of China. Peoples inhabiting the region have been animists, Zoroastrians, Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims.

Regions Covered: 
China
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/gardner-bovingdon-0
Course Code: 
R532

Islam in the Soviet Union and Successor States

Regions Covered: 
Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Tatarstan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan

This course carries Culture Studies & COLL A & H distribution credit

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/devin-deweese
Course Code: 
R513
When Taught: 
Fall 2011

Politics of Identity in China and Inner Asia

Regions Covered: 
Afghanistan
China
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia

Many people take terms like "Chinese," "Taiwanese," or "Kazakh" to represent straightforward concepts. This course will challenge that assumption. Battles over states and borders have powerfully affected the formation of identities in China and Inner Asia. As rulers and alliances changed, some identities emerged, some merged, and some disappeared. Through a study of theories of identity and modern state formation, combined with careful attention to the history of China and Inner Asia over the last century or so, we will examine the politics of identity in this vast region.

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/gardner-bovingdon-0
Course Code: 
R595
When Taught: 
Spring 2013

Mongolian Languages and Dialects

Introduction to Mongolian traditional civilization: elements of the material culture (dwelling, wear, food, transport, warfare, hunting, animal husbandry, crafts, agriculture, orientation, reckoning of time, etc.), social and spiritual life (kinship, wedding, family, birth, name, childhood, toys and games, races, medicine, death; folk religion, Buddhism and monastic lore, shamanism, beliefs and ideals, values and taboos, omens, divinatory practices), folk arts (music, oral literature, dance, etc.).

No knowledge of Mongolian is required.

Regions Covered: 
Mongolia
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/gy%C3%B6rgy-kara
Course Code: 
R562

Cultural History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

This course is designed to introduce graduate and particularly undergraduate students to the rich and varied cultures of Turkey, from Ottoman times to the present. After briefly touching upon the general history of the Anatolian Turks, we will study the social, economic and political structures of Ottoman and Turkish Anatolia, the languages, the literatures and the many artistic traditions of the Anatolian peoples. How different was the literary language of the Ottoman elite from the language which has been spoken by the people of Anatolia for centuries?

Regions Covered: 
Turkey
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/kemal-silay
Course Code: 
R582

Empire and Ethnicity in Modern Russian History

Regions Covered: 
Azerbaijan
Estonia
Finland
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Poland
Tajikistan
Tatarstan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Historical Central Eurasia

This colloquium offers a comparative study of the concept of empire and of the major nationalities in tsarist Russia and the USSR. It seeks to provide an antidote to a traditional Russocentric approach as well as to narrow ethnocentric views regarding the non-Russian areas. We will stress the period since the mid-19th century when national movements began emerging among many of the ethnic groups in the empire. The course will assess developments both from the perspective of the center (nationality “policy” in St. Petersburg and Moscow) and that of the non-Russian borderlands.

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/toivo-raun-0
Course Code: 
R698
When Taught: 
Spring 2013

The Roma Through History, Music, and Film

Europe’s largest minority, commonly known in English as “Gypsies,” more properly referred to as Roma, Sinti or Gitano, have been enslaved, hunted down, imprisoned, and generally reviled; at the same time, they have fascinated members of the majority, and writers, artists, and composers have exploited the exotic flavoring they find in the image of “Gypsiness.” Roma musicians are also indispensable to folk and popular music practices around the European continent.

Regions Covered: 
Hungary
Romania
Historical Central Eurasia
Course Code: 
R649
When Taught: 
Spring 2013

Roma (Gypsy) History and Culture

Europe’s largest minority, commonly known in English as “Gypsies,” more properly referred to as Roma, Sinti or Gitano, have been enslaved, hunted down, imprisoned, and generally reviled; at the same time, they have fascinated members of the majority, and writers, artists, and composers have exploited the exotic flavoring they find in the image of “Gypsiness.” Roma musicians are also indispensable to folk and popular music practices around the European continent.

Regions Covered: 
Hungary
Romania
Course Code: 
R542

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