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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL)
Central Eurasian Studies >> Courses >> Course List
Prophets, Poets, and Kings:  Iranian Civilization
CEUS-R 351/551
Jamsheed Choksy

This course traces the history, beliefs, and culture of Iranians from ancient times through the Arab conquest to the twenty-first century. It focuses on politics, administrative and social institutions, religions including Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Islam (Sunnism, Shi‘ism, and Sufism), relationship between secular and ecclesiastic hierarchies, status of minorities, devotional and communal change, and Iranian influences on other cultures. Lectures and discussions cover the Achaemenian, Parthian, Sasanian, Umayyad, ‘Abbasid, Samanid, Buyid, Seljuk, Mongol, Timurid, Safavid, Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasties, and the Islamic republic. Readings include the analysis of primary textual materials in translation. Visual aids will be used in class.

Course Requirements:

Class attendance (lectures).
Assigned readings.
Occasional participation in class.
Papers.
All students must meet with instructor at least once during office hours.

Grading Scheme (Also on Oncourse):

Class attendance (10%).
Class participation (10%).
Undergraduate students write a 6-8 page midterm paper (40%) and a 6-8 page final paper (40%).
Graduate students write a 20-25 page library-based research paper (80%) (outline due at midterm).

Required Readings:

All students (undergraduates and graduates) are required to read:
John Curtis, Ancient Persia, 2nd ed.
Richard N. Frye, The Golden Age of Persia.
David Morgan, Medieval Persia 1040-1797.
Oncourse lists of terms and readings in translation for each class (listed below under course topics).
Additional readings required for graduate students but optional for undergraduates:
Jamsheed K. Choksy, Evil, Good, and Gender.
Moojan Momen, An Introduction to Shi‘i Islam.
The textbooks are available at the Union and TIS bookstores.
The on-line lists of terms and readings will be posted to Oncourse under the course numbers.