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265syllabus - Languages and Cultures of Asia/History 265 An...

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1 Languages and Cultures of Asia/History 265 SPRING 2008 An Introduction to Central Asia: From the Silk Route to Afghanistan Time & Room: Monday & Wednesday, 4:00-5:15 PM — 165 Bascom Instructor: Uli Schamiloglu (Languages and Cultures of Asia) Office: 1254 Van Hise, tel. 262-7141 — dept. 262-3012 Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday, 11:00-12:00 noon E-mail: [email protected] Course website address: www.turko-tatar.com/lca265 Description: A general introduction to the history, politics, society, economy, and culture(s) of Central Asia. Central Asia includes present-day Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, but there are periods when one must consider broader expanses of Eurasia, including Afghanistan, to understand phenomena that were not limited to the five former republics of the USSR in Central Asia. The course surveys languages and peoples; the historical relationship between sedentary and nomadic peoples; the early background of pre-Islamic Iranian and other Indo-European civilization; and the gradual Islamization and Turkification of Central Asia. It examines the regional trade networks known as the Silk Road (or Silk Route), the Mongol World Empire established by Chingis Khan, the career of Timur (Tamerlane), the competing smaller states of the late medieval-early modern period, and Imperial Russian expansion into these territories. It surveys the colonial administration of Central Asia, reform movements in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, the incorporation of Central Asia into the USSR, the profound transformations in Central Asia in the 20th century, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the establishment of new republics upon the collapse of the USSR, the implications of Caspian oil and natural gas for the 21st century, the events leading up to 9/11, the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and recent developments in Central Asia. The course will make extensive use of audio-visual materials, including videos and other illustrated materials.
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