CEUS-R 199 #35224 Introductory Topics in Central Eurasian Studies
VT: “Central Asia: Cultures and Customs”
Fall 2010 SECOND EIGHT WEEKS
Culture Studies Credit (CSA)
5:45 pm-8:15 pm MW SY 003
Instructor: Gulnisa Nazarova, Ph.D.
This course will introduce Central Asia (including Xinjiang and Mongolia) and the Central Asian peoples to undergraduate students. Many people think of the Silk Road when they hear the term “Central Asia,” and indeed that region was a major crossroads on the fabled trade route linking East and West. The languages, cultural traditions, religions, and material artifacts in Central Asia all illustrate that it has been a meeting place of peoples and cultures for centuries. Most Central Asians are Muslims, and most speak languages in the same family as Turkish. At the same time, they have widely differing ways of life, with pastoralists, farmers, itinerant traders, and urbanites represented.
In this course we will cover who the Central Asian peoples are, their languages, religions, traditional ways of life, cultures and customs. We will emphasize both the common features they all share, and the important differences among them. Through readings, meetings with experts on and representatives from Central Asia, along with visual materials, artifacts, and songs, students will find answers to their questions about this vast region. During the course students will watch several movies and selected excerpts from Central Asian films and other media in order to expose them to authentic ideas and images from Central Asian culture. This course is designed to give a virtual tour of this remarkable region.