Spring 2008

People & Culture: Eurasia

Listed in: Russian, as RUSS-20


Sergey Glebov (Section 01)


The space that had been known to the West as simply "Russian" (in the historical form of the Russian Empire/USSR) was in fact inhabited by a stunning diversity of peoples and cultures. This class is a team taught course designed to introduce students to the diversity of historical and contemporary experiences of different ethnic and national groups of Eurasia, as well as to the variety of faculty resources in the Valley at the students' disposal. In the course of our meetings we will discuss the region shaped by the Russian Empire/Soviet Union, explore how different ethnic, national and confessional groups responded to imperial power, and get acquainted with religious and cultural practices of Eurasian peoples. We will talk about how Russian intellectuals imagined "Eurasia," explore the ways in which nomadic and settled peoples interacted on the border between the steppe and the forest, investigate images of "the Orient" in Russian literature, look into the processes of imperial expansion, and survey major hallmarks of Eurasia's past, including the rise of the Mongol Empire and the transformation of the Moscow State into the modern Russian Empire. The range of disciplines presented in this class includes, among others, history, literature, religion studies, linguistics and political science. The course is a combination of lectures, discussions, and colloquia offered by eight faculty members from the five campuses specializing in different aspects of Eurasian Studies. Second semester. Five College Professor Glebov.