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Department of Central Eurasian Studies

Politics in Xinjiang

In a scant one hundred twenty years, part or all of the region now known as Xinjiang has been a colony of the Qing empire, a warlord fiefdom, an independent republic, and a province of China. Today it is, like its southern neighbor Tibet, an "autonomous region" in China. As with Tibet, its politics long remained recondite to the outside world. The last two decades have seen an explosion in research on Xinjiang. It is now possible to gain an extensive understanding of the region through works of political science, anthropology, sociology, and history.

Regions Covered: 
China
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/gardner-bovingdon-0
Course Code: 
R530

Travelers and Explorers in Central Asia

Regions Covered: 
Historical Central Eurasia

This course carries Social and Historical Studies (CASE S&H) Breath of Inquiry credit

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/ron-sela
Course Code: 
R511
When Taught: 
Fall 2012

Shrine and Pilgrimage in Central Asian Islam

This course will survey the complex of religious belief and activity centered upon shrines and pilgrimage to holy places in Muslim Central Asia, from the earliest accounts down to the present. Introductory lectures will discuss analytical and comparative approaches to the phenomenon of shrine visitation and pilgrimage; the balance of the course will explore specific issues in the history and present status of shrines and shrine-centered religious activity in Central Asia, with slides and other visual material augmenting lectures and readings.

Regions Covered: 
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/devin-deweese
Course Code: 
R512

Introduction to Central Asian History

This course carries COLL S & H distribution credit

Central Asia, the world’s “crossroads of cultures and civilizations,” has witnessed an unparalleled increase in world interest since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Its global significance, reflected in its strategic location between China, Russia, India and Iran, in the management of vital natural resources such as oil and natural gas, and the recent American conflict in Afghanistan, has turned the region into one of the key focal points for academics, policy makers, and practitioners.

Regions Covered: 
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/ron-sela
Course Code: 
R510

Shamanism and Folk Religion of the Mongols

In the last eight centuries the Mongols embraced several dogmatic religions: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. From among these three world-religions Buddhism in its Tibetan form proved to be the dominant system for the majority of the Mongolian-speaking peoples. In spite of suppression and persecution, their primitive system of beliefs and practices called shamanism never ceased to exist, not even under the rule of the official atheist ideology of the near past, but in its struggle with Buddhism it has been transformed.

Regions Covered: 
Mongolia
Historical Central Eurasia
Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/gy%C3%B6rgy-kara
Course Code: 
R564

Mongolia's Middle Ages

Asked about Mongolia, the average person knows only about the world empire built by Genghis Khan. Recent visitors to Mongolia may have heard about the 1990 democratic transition, the previous Communist rule, and Russo-Chinese rivalries. But what happened in between the fall of the Mongol empire in 1368 and the twentieth century? This class “fills in the gaps” in our common knowledge of Mongolia.

Regions Covered: 
Mongolia
Historical Central Eurasia
Course Code: 
R561
When Taught: 
Spring 2013

Modern Inner Mongolia

What region in the world has the largest population of ethnic Mongols? What region in Chinese was the first testing ground for the Chinese Communist minority policy? What region in China has had the most lasting impact from the Japanese occupation during World War II? What region of the world produces the largest part of the world’s cashmere and most of its rare earths? Which region in China suffered the most in the Cultural Revolution? The answer to all these questions is: Inner Mongolia.

Regions Covered: 
China
Mongolia
Course Code: 
R662
When Taught: 
Fall 2011

Mongol Century

This course deals with the empire built by the Mongols in the 13th century—the largest land empire in the world. Most readings will be from translated primary sources of the 13th and 14th centuries, written by the Mongols themselves and also by Persians, Chinese, Eastern Christians, Europeans, and other peoples that fought, surrendered to, or traded with the Mongol conquerors.

Regions Covered: 
Mongolia
Historical Central Eurasia
Course Code: 
R593
When Taught: 
Fall 2010

Property in Central Eurasia

Regions Covered: 
China
Hungary
Iran
Kazakhstan
Mongolia
Romania
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Historical Central Eurasia

A land of nomads and industrialists, communists and capitalists, media moguls and pirates all at the same time, Central Eurasia has been a testing ground-and battleground-for some of society’s greatest experiments in property: what can (or should) be owned, who can own it, and what they can do with it. This course explores the development of conceptions of property and property rights in Central Eurasia, from the establishment of rights over hunting and grazing grounds to fights over copyright and patents.

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/kathryn-graber
Course Code: 
R599
When Taught: 
Spring 2013

Finland in the Twentieth Century

Regions Covered: 
Finland

This course carries S & H distribution credit

Professor: 
/~iaunrc/content/toivo-raun-0
Course Code: 
R502
When Taught: 
Spring 2012

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