The Frontiers and Minorities of the Tsarist and Soviet Empires

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.

Islam in Central Eurasia

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.

Imperial Russia 1700-1917

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

Orhan Pamuk and World Literature

Studies the novels and non-fiction of Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk as an introduction into ethics and politics of World Literature. Addresses social consequences of Pamuk's role as an intellectual-author who mediates between the national tradition and an international canon. Political implications of Sufism, cultural revolution, Orientalism, and post-colonialism. Secondary focus on cosmopolitan Islam and the Ottoman Empire. No prerequisites; taught in English. One course.

Culture and Politics in Turkey and the Middle East

Examination of cultural identity and politics in Turkey and modern Middle East. Using Istanbul as a classroom, considers how representations of the Middle East are contested and gendered, analyzing such icons as “veiled women” and “terrorist men” and political implications of such representations. Topics include emergence of new social movements and paradoxes of secularism, Islamism, globalization, and neoliberalism in various settings. Offered only in the Duke in Turkey program. One course.

Between Europe and Asia: The Geopolitics of Istanbul From Occupation To Globalization

EI Istanbul as a site of historical, political and cultural interaction between Europe and Turkey. Approach framed by two important geopolitical events separated by nearly a century: first, the Allied occupation of Istanbul after WWI, which gave rise to the modern Middle East, and second, Turkey’s accession to the European Union, a contested transnational process that officially began in 2005. Examination of issues arising from Turkey’s separation from Europe as a Muslim country and its potential reintegration as a functioning democracy.

Sports, Economics and Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe

Sports as a manifestation of political ideology and international conflict in the communist countries. How sports has responded to the upheaval following the fall of communism, the break-up of Yugoslavia and the USSR, the influence of oligarchs and organized crime, establishing new national identities. This course will use sports as a window into the transformation of Eastern European societies. One course.

Trauma and Nostalgia: East European Film in the 21st Century

Examines the major thematic focus of East European filmmakers in the 21st century: their efforts to reconstruct and reassess the experience of the Cold War (1945-1989) and the Yugoslav wars (1991-1995). These films from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, and Serbia include ironic/sentimental tales of Cold War childhood, thrillers about sleeping with the enemy (political informers), and psychological dramas centering on political trauma, resistance, and compromise. All films shown with English subtitles. No prerequisites. One course. 

Turkey: Muslim and Modern

Turkish history from the 18th century to the present. Turkey as strategic ally of the U.S.; candidate for membership in European Union; first Muslim country to adopt democracy, secularism, and Westernization, and as political, cultural, and economic model for other Muslim countries. Focus on

Turkish people's encounter with modernity as Muslims; questions about contradictions and promises of Muslim and modern experience; informed consideration of Islam's encounter with the West. No prerequisites. No knowledge of Turkish required. One course.