WGS 301 • Introduction to Central Asia
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
The past 15 years have witnessed the reemergence of the "STANS", (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan) as countries of potential economic importance and critical geo-political interest. Similar to the period of the "Great Game" of the late 1800, developments within the region are strongly influenced by external economic and political interests. From the time of Marco Polo, through the rule of regional khanates, imperial conquest, state socialist rule, religious revivalism, and most recently the rise of international terrorism, the countries of Central Asia have been at the global cross roads of competing political, economic, social and religious movements. This course seeks to familiarize students with the region, focusing upon historical and contemporary trends in the relationships between the rulers and the ruled. Through this focus we can better understand the role of gender in Central Asian societies, the context of ethnic hostilities, and the importance of religion for the seven countries of the region. Examining these topics through films, readings, and lectures will provide students with the opportunity to better understand civil society in this increasingly important region of the globe.