ASIAN 255 - Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Studies
Section: 001 Shamans, Nomads, and Commissars: Introduction to North Asia
Term: WN 2011
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

While South and East Asia have long enjoyed a well-reputed presence in area studies scholarship in American universities, what do we know of North Asia, the vast area of northern Eurasia, stretching east of the Ural mountains to the Pacific coast? At first glance it would seem that the answer is not much, aside from exotic images of throat singing, shamans, Gulags, permafrost, and, most recently, tourist brochures promising "off-the-beaten-path" adventures. Yet North Asia, which for the purposes of this course will cover both Siberia and Mongolia, has long been regarded as a coherent world area in more limited scholarly circles, with sweeping imperial histories, unique indigenous ontologies, and increasing prominence in international affairs. This course starts off by looking at the emergence of area studies in the context of post-World War II military and geopolitical remappings whereby "Europe" came to mean Western Europe, Asia became "South" and "East" (and sometimes "Central"), Siberia was curiously appended to "Eastern" Europe, and Mongolia, viewed as nothing more than a Soviet satellite in Asia, became a blank spot on the map. We will challenge these categories by focusing on the interaction of culture, religion, and politics, which shaped this transnational region over the long twentieth century. The readings will combine anthropological and historical perspectives with special attention paid to the themes of nomadism, religion (Buddhism, shamanism, Christianity), revolutionary politics, and contemporary sociopolitical developments after the fall of socialism.

ASIAN 255 - Undergraduate Seminar in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780192892232
The foundations of Buddhism, Author: Gethin, Rupert M.L., Publisher: Oxford University Press 1998
ISBN: 9781405135399
The Mongols, Author: David Morgan, Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell SECOND 2007
ISBN: 0802776760
Shaman's coat : a native history of Siberia, Author: Anna Reid., Publisher: Walker & Company 2003
ISBN: 9780801429767
Arctic mirrors : Russia and the small peoples of the North, Author: Slezkine, Yuri, 1956-, Publisher: Cornell University Press 1994
ISBN: 0333638476
The shaman, Author: Piers Vitebsky., Publisher: Macmillan 1. edition 1995
ISBN: 9780199551545
Communism : a very short introduction, Author: Leslie Holmes., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2009
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