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- Theorizing Central Eurasia: The Problem of Nationalism
- CEUS-R 493/693
- Gardner Bovingdon
Though some people predicted a generation ago that nationalism would disappear, it has clearly remained an important political force throughout the world. Nationalism unquestionably gained strength in Central Eurasia after the breakup of the Soviet Union, yet it had emerged as an ideology and a political force in the region long before the 1990s. In order to understand how and why, this course will introduce students to key works on the origins and significance of nationalism. We will consider a number of fundamental questions. How are nations and nationalism related? Are nations imagined and invented, as critics claim, or ancient and enduring, as nationalists assert? Are nationalism, communism, and religiosity necessarily in tension? Are indigenous nationalisms more authentic than “official nationalisms”? Was (and is) nationalism in Central Eurasia merely a “derivative discourse,” imported from elsewhere?
Course Requirements: Over the course of the term students will write 2-page position papers and submit them electronically prior to the beginning of class; undergraduates will submit four position papers, graduate students six. The position papers are not summaries of the week’s readings, but reactions to them, posing questions, pondering implications, or comparing them to other readings. See attached sheet, “guidelines for response papers,” for pointers. Students will also write a final research paper. For undergraduates the paper should be 10-15 pages, and for graduate students roughly 20 pages. The topic of the final research paper should be arranged with the instructor. The final grade will combine participation (33%), the position papers (33%), and the research paper (33%).
- Anderson, Benedict R. O'G. 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London ; New York: Verso.
- Brubaker, Rogers. 1996. Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Cambridge England ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Chatterjee, Partha. 1993. Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: a Derivative Discourse. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Eley, Geoff, and Ronald Grigor Suny. 1996. Becoming National: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Gellner, Ernest. 1983. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Hobsbawm, E. J. 1992. Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. Cambridge England ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Juergensmeyer, Mark. 1993. The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Martin, Terry. 2001. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Roy, Olivier. 2000. The New Central Asia: the Creation of Nations. London ; New York: I.B. Tauris.
- Smith, Anthony D. 1998. Nationalism and Modernism: a Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism. London ; New York: Routledge.