Explores the multi-layered histories and identities of cities positioned on imperial routes extending from Europe's eastern borders into Central Asia – Prague, Warsaw, Kazan, Istanbul, Bukhara/Tashkent, Kabul. Examines how these urban spaces bear the political, religious, cultural, and linguistic imprints of overlapping empires – Mongol, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, and Soviet. No prerequisites. All readings in English translation and films screened with English subtitles. Open to all students; also serves as capstone for SES majors. One course.
Combining perspectives of political sociology and history, this course questions the respective roles of state policies and social movements in transforming societies.
Exercise in reconstructing Eurasian history from the 13th century Mongol invasions to post-Soviet era through critical reading of eyewitness accounts – travel notes and memoirs. Reflects on political, religious, and cultural evolution, expansion, and rivalry as well as cross-cultural and trans-regional exchange. One course.
Introduces multiconfessional, multilingual, multicultural composition of Russian & Soviet empires with questions concerning minorities in an imperial context. Learn about construction, interaction, and manipulation of cultures and identities. Balance Tsarist & Soviet efforts to modernize and Russify minorities, such as Ashkenazi Jews, Poles, & Turkic Muslims, against negotiated transformation and cultural resilience of minorities.
History of Central Eurasian Muslims. Focus on diversity and cultural vivacity. Examines early appearance of Islam in the region, the evolution of Muslim religious and cultural institutions under governance of Chingissid, Timurid, Russian and Chinese empires, the encounter of Central Eurasian Muslims with European modernity and their experience during Soviet and Chinese socialist experiments. One course.
Russian imperial history from Peter the Great to Bolshevik Revolution: 1700-1917. Focus on formation and governance of multiethnic and multiconfessional Russian empire. Traces expansion of land-locked city state (Muscovy) into world power ruling from Eastern Europe to Alaska. Questions implications of Russia’s world-power status. Examines institutions of governance that created this empire