This course explores Central Asian history during the colonial and post-colonial period (since
circa 1900). It concentrates on the formerly Russian / Soviet areas of Central Asia, such as the
three countries in which the University of Central Asia are located, but also explores neighboring  areas dominated by China and Britain (Xinjiang, Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent  Northern Pakistan, and Iran). The course emphasizes links and connections across these political borders, which were at first largely artificial and porous but which became crucially important and shaped local communities in divergent ways. It emphasizes social and cultural history, as a complement and counterweight to the usual political frameworks and grand narratives of khans, revolutions, and wars. It focuses on questions of personal and communal identity, and how the borders between groups have been defined, what they meant to all sides, and how they changed. Students will learn about everyday life in Central Asia, and how worldviews shifted – especially for men and women outside the royal courts, military leadership, or diplomatic corps.