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Post-Soviet Transition in Central Asia
CEUS-R 528
William Fierman

This graduate colloquium will examine political, economic, social, and cultural issues in Central Asia from 1991 to the present.  Each meeting will be devoted to a different topic, generally covering the entire region of Central Asia that was part of the USSR. (See tentative list of classes below.)  As we look at each topic, our main focus will be the similiarities and differences among the newly independent states of Central Asia; however, we will also consider how transition in Central Asia from the Soviet days resembles and differs from that in other parts of the CIS.

Students enrolled in this class should already have some familiarity with Central Asia and/or political, economic, and social issues in other post-Soviet countries.  (If you lack background on both of these areas, this is probably not the appropriate course for you.)

Readings will be available  electronically through the e-reserves.  Most of the readings in these packets will be chapters of books, scholarly articles, reports by international organizations, and brief news reports or analyses. 

I expect students to attend class regularly and participate actively in discussions.  In preparation for weekly classes, students will write up comments on the readings and upload them to Oncourse.  (Of the thirteen remaining weeks, you may skip papers on two occasions. However, I request that you notify me by Sunday morning before class on the weeks you will skip the paper assignment. Everyone must write a paper for September 15; I will return it to you with comments and a grade, but you may opt not to have the grade counted for the first paper.) Papers should be brief, generally in the range of about 800 words.  Naturally, they cannot be comprehensive, but they should address broad themes raised in the reading packet, and integrate ideas from various individual readings.  (I will hand out a sheet with suggestions on approach to writing these papers.) At times I may ask you look at the papers submitted by other students and be prepared to comment on them.

Students should upload their weekly papers to the appropriate folder in the Resource section of Oncourse by 10 am each Sunday.  (This will give me as well as fellow class members time to read them.)  In addition to the weekly short papers, you are required to write one "major" paper for the course, approximately 15 pages of text excluding notes (ca. 4500 words).  This paper will require additional research, but may build on one or more of course packets. Please clear your paper topic with me BEFORE you begin organizing or writing it.  These papers will be due by 5 p.m. on December 12.  Please provide both a hard copy of your paper send an electronic one to me. You may give me the hard copy in class or place a printed copy in my mailbox in Goodbody 157.

ABSENCES: I urge you not to miss class.  I realize, however, that absence due to sickness or another emergency is sometimes unavoidable.  In such cases, when possible, please notify me by phone or e-mail to let me know that you will not be in class. 

GRADING: The course grade will be calculated with 30% based on class participation, 35% based on weekly short papers, and 35% based on the major paper. 

PLEASE NOTE CONCERNING SCHEDULE: There is no exam in this class. However, please reserve the exam period (Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2:45-4:45) in case for any reason we need to reschedule a class.