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Islamic Central Asia in the 16th-19th Century
CEUS-R 413/613
Devin DeWeese

This course carries CASE S&H & CASE GCC designations

This course will provide a general survey of the political, social, and cultural history of Islamic Central Asia from the 16th century down to the Russian conquest.  Introductory lectures will outline the geographical and ethnic context of Central Asian history, and the political and social legacies of the Mongol conquest in Central Asia; developments in sedentary Central Asia under Timurid rule and the emergence of the nomadic Uzbek confederation in the steppe will be given special attention, before turning to the Uzbek conquest of Central Asia at the beginning of the 16th century.  The bulk of the course will focus on the development of the Chingisid states of the Uzbeks in sedentary Central Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries, and on the emergence of the ‘tribal’ dynasties of the Manghïts, Qongrats, and Mings in Bukhara, Khorezm, and Khoqand in the 18th and 19th centuries; the history of Eastern Turkistan down to the Manchu conquest in the mid-18th century, and of the major nomadic polities of Central Asia (Qazaqs, Qïrghïz, and Türkmens), will also be discussed.  Throughout the course special ‘thematic’ attention will be focused on the development of political institutions and shifting modes of political legitimation, the interaction of nomadic groups with sedentary society, developments in ‘ethnic’ history, and aspects of religious and cultural life; students will also be acquainted with the sources for the study of Central Asian history during this period, and with major issues in the historiography of Central Asia. 

Readings: Required readings to be made available in a course packet are listed at the end of the syllabus; additional required readings are drawn from the following works placed on reserve at the Wells Library:

Requirements: UNDERGRADUATES:  midterm exam (30%), final exam (40%), written report based on outside readings (30%); GRADUATES:  midterm exam (30%), final exam (40%), research project (research paper, review paper, or annotated bibliography), to be defined in consultation with the instructor (30%).  Examinations will include additional questions for graduate students; expectations are higher in all cases for graduate students.

All students are urged to begin exploring possible topics for the written report or research project as early in the semester as possible.  Reports and papers must be submitted in printed form, and are due no later than Monday, December 15, at the beginning of the final examination period.