MENAS 340 - From Genghis Khan to the Taliban: Modern Central Asia
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS)
Department: LSA II: Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
SS, RE
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

More than 500 years ago, the Silk Road famously connected traders from all over the world, linking the major cities of China and Southeast Asia with those of Europe and Africa. Vast wealth traveled this route, wending across the mountains and steppes of Central Asia, creating rich and sophisticated towns along the way. Bukhara and Samarkand became two of the world's greatest cities, enviable centers of learning and culture.

  • How did Central Asia go from being the most cosmopolitan place on earth to an area now seen as one of the most isolated, remote places in the world?
  • How did a region where a dizzying array of cultures had long intermingled and coexisted peacefully become a place associated (at least in Western eyes) with intolerance and terrorism?

This course tries to answer such questions by providing an overview of modern Central Asian history. Using both lecture and discussion, it focuses on the colonial and post-colonial periods of the last 300 years: especially in Russian and Soviet Central Asia, but also the neighboring areas dominated by Britain and China (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang). It offers a strong emphasis on the links and connections across these political borders, which were at first largely artificial and porous but which became crucially important and shaped local communities in deeply divergent ways. It also emphasizes social and cultural history, as a complement and counterweight to the usual political frameworks and classic grand narratives of khans, revolutions, and wars. Three themes structure the course: the fragmented, changing character of regional identities; the complexities of popular attitudes towards, and relations with, various forms of state power; and the differences between — and the complicated economic, environmental, political, artistic, and cultural legacies of — the major imperial systems (Russian, British, Chinese).

Students will be evaluated on their class contributions as well as written work (short essays and class exercises) and two exams.

MENAS 340 - From Genghis Khan to the Taliban: Modern Central Asia
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
45518
Open
36
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (DIS)
P
45522
Open
8
 
-
M 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
45526
Open
4
 
-
M 2:00PM - 3:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
45530
Closed
0
 
-
Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
005 (DIS)
P
45534
Open
19
 
-
W 9:00AM - 10:00AM
006 (DIS)
P
45538
Open
3
 
-
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Coursepack Location:
C-Tools (see "Resources")
ISBN: 1403975426
The Palgrave concise historical atlas of central Asia, Author: Rafis Abazov., Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan 1st ed. 2008
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0253221404
Islamic Central Asia : an anthology of historical sources, Author: edited by Scott C. Levi and Ron Sela., Publisher: Indiana University Press 2009
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 025321310X
The hundred thousand fools of God : musical travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York), Author: Theodore Levin., Publisher: Indiana University Press Repr. 1999
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1577662385
Buzkashi, game and power in Afghanistan, Author: G. Whitney Azoy., Publisher: Waveland Press 2nd ed. 2003
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0142002607
Jihad : the rise of militant Islam in Central Asia, Author: Ahmed Rashid., Publisher: Penguin Books With a new 2003
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 023113925X
Eurasian Crossroads A History of Xinjiang., Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr 2009
Optional
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0520200640
Heroes of the age : moral fault lines on the Afghan frontier., Author: David B. Edwards, Publisher: University of California Press 1996
Optional
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0521657040
A history of Inner Asia, Author: Svat Soucek, Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press Reprint. 2002
Optional
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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