Seminar: Ethnographies of Post-Soviet Central Asia - Details
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General information

Course number BA: ETH
Semester SS 2021
Current number of participants 42
Home institute Seminar für Ethnologie
Courses type Seminar in category Offizielle Lehrveranstaltungen
Next date Wed , 19.05.2021 15:30 - 17:00

Course location / Course dates

n.a Wednesday: 15:30 - 17:00, weekly


This course will introduce students to the history, society, and culture of Central Asia, which for the purposes of this course will be understood as consisting of the five post-Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Once at the very heart of the Silk Road trade that connected East and Southeast Asia with Europe and Africa, the region underwent dramatic transformation from the mid-19th century onwards, as a result of its annexation first into the Russian Empire and subsequently into the latter’s successor – the Soviet Union. In turn, the Soviet Union’s dissolution triggered another pervasive transformation that brought along a series of social, economic, and cultural phenomena, which are shared by all five – now independent – Central Asian republics. This common historical trajectory allows us to study the post-Soviet Central Asian republics collectively, but not without keeping an eye out for various divergencies in postsocialist transition.
After a brief introduction to Central Asia’s history, the course will engage with original ethnographic work that examines a wide variety of social, economic, political, and cultural processes in all five republics. In addition to providing students with knowledge about both the region and regional ethnographic research, the readings will familiarize them with empirical cases and theoretical strands that are central to contemporary anthropological enquiry. Particular emphasis will be placed on the legacy of the Soviet Union’s nationalities policy, which divided the region into five republics, as well as on issues related to state ideology, nation-building, memory, ethnicity, kinship, gender, religion, borders, migration, economy, everyday life, and environmental concerns, among other.
Literaturempfehlung: Cummings, Sally N. 2012. Understanding Central Asia: Politics and Contested Transformations. London & New York, NY: Routledge.

Studienleistung: Wird in der ersten Stunde bekannt gegeben

Modulleistung: Seminararbeit

Besonderheiten: Der Kurs wird auf Englisch unterrichtet. Alle Studien- und Modulleistungen werden auf Englisch erbracht.