From Conquest to Communism: Central Asia under the Russian and Soviet Empires, 1730-1945 (HIH2184A)

30 credits

An area known as the crossroads of civilisations, Central Asia over the last two decades or so has become synonymous with Islamic extremism, eccentric dictators, squabbles over natural resources, and Borat. However, the history of the region has also been the focus of some of the most dynamic and pioneering research taking place in Slavic and Eurasian studies. This module will allow you to engage with this recent scholarship and examine some of the key debates surrounding the experience of Central Asia – what we think of today as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan – under Russian and then Soviet rule. What was the relationship between Moscow and its Islamic territories during the Imperial period? How did the Bolshevik seizure of power impact upon the region? Did the Stalinist Revolution really revolutionise life in this part of the Soviet Union? And at what cost did this attempted transformation come?