MES 310 • Intro to Central Asia
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Course Description: The reemergence of the "STANS" (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tadjikistan) as a region of global importance is not at all surprising, given the rich history of the region. From Marco Polo, through imperial conquest, state socialist rule and invasion, the countries of Central Asia have been at the global crossroads of competing political, economic, social, and religious movements. This course seeks to familirize students with the region, focusing on historical and contemporary trends in the relationship 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 in the region. Examining these topics through films, readings, and lectures will provide students the opportunity to better understand civil society in this increasingly important region of the globe.
Course evaluation will be based on two hourly examinations and a take home final essay examination.
Texts/Materials: 1. There will be a course packet of readings available for students as well as a course website with links to electronic literature. 2. Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, Ahmed Rashid 3. Movies and Documentaries: Film: Luna Papa, directed by Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (Tajikistan) Documentary: Voices of Dissent: A Dance of Passion (Pakistan) Film: The Monkey, Directed by Aktan Abdykalykov (Kyrgystan) Documentary: Naim and Jabar, Documentary Education Resources (Afghanistan)