The Caucasus: History, Culture and Contemporary Politics

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term 2
Teaching: Two hour seminar weekly

Lecturer: Galina Yemelianova

This module introduces the Caucasus – the present day states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, as well as Russia’s Muslim autonomies of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Adyghea.

It will cover medieval and modern history, as well as contemporary situation in the region, religion, ethnic relations, and the place of the Caucasus in the wider world. It also examine the nature and forms of the post-Communist Islamic revival in the Muslim Caucasus and its cultural, political and security implications.

Students will be encouraged to consider the region from the viewpoint of a range of humanities and social science disciplines, and to understand how the cultural and historical features of the region relate to contemporary issues of security and international relations.

By the end of the module, you will be able to

  • Understand the main features of historical development of the Caucasus region and be familiar with the complex differentiation of the region as well as the unifying factors
  • Relate to some aspects of cultural, historical, religious and social factors to contemporary security and political issues
  • Critically assess academic, journalistic, and governmental approaches to the region

Assessment

  • One 3,000 word essay on a historical theme related to the region as a whole (50%)
  • One 3,000 word essay on a contemporary issue focused on one or more parts of the region (50%)