Spring Quarter Course
History of the Caucasus, HIST 25806/35806, INST 25806, NELC 20702/30702
Instructor: Michael Khodarkovsky
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50 p.m.
This course examines the history of the region, which for centuries remained a meeting point of several world religions and civilization. We will consider some of the following issues: How did the Caucasus, a quintessential frontier region, become a contested borderland of the Russian, Ottoman and Persian empires? How and why did the region evolve into one of the most politically unstable regions in the world? Who are the peoples behind the news headlines: the Chechens, the Circassians and other peoples of the North Caucasus? Why are the countries of the Southern Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, locked in a state of seemingly permanent hostilities with each other or their neighbors? Is there a conceptual framework that binds the peoples of the region together? And finally, how does the history of the region contribute to our understanding of the issues of identity, empire and state-formation?