Thursday, February 22, 2007

Imaginary Course Number Four: Deported Nationalities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia


Alexeyeva, Ludmilla, Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious and Human Rights (Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1985).

Allworth, Edward, ed., The Tatars of Crimea: Return to the Homeland (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998).

Bachmann, Berta, trans. Duin, Edgar, Memories of Kazakhstan: A Report on the Life Experience of A German Woman in Russia (Lincoln, ND: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1983).

Martin, Terry, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2001).

Naimark, Norman, Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).

Pohl, J. Otto, Ethnic Cleansing in the USSR, 1937-1949 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999).

Polian, Pavel, Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2004).

Sheehy, Ann and Nahaylo, Bohdan, The Crimean Tatars, Volga Germans and Meskhetians: Soviet Treatment of Some National Minorities (London: Minority Rights Group, 1986).

Uehling, Greta Lynn, Beyond Memory: The Crimean Tatars’ Deportation and Return (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

Weitz, Eric D., A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003).

Course Description:

This course will examine the history of Stalin’s deportation of whole nationalities from the Caucasus and other regions west of the Urals to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. In particular it will focus on the Russian-Germans, Karachays, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks exiled to special settlements in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan during World War II. The course will cover the development of Soviet nationalities policies during the 1920s and 1930s, the planning and conduct of the deportations, the changing legal and material conditions of the deportees, their struggles for rehabilitation and return and finally, post-Soviet conditions. Among other factors the course will look at the roles played by geography, language, economics, religion, memory and gender in the historical development of the deported nationalities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Special attention will be paid to the differences between the deported national groups in regards to cultural retention and political mobilization. The course will seek to ascertain the root causes of these variations. A comparative approach will be followed throughout the course.

Course Requirements:

This course will consist primarily of seminar discussions of the assigned reading. Unless otherwise noted, students are to read the entire book named in the assignment. At the end of every two weeks each student will be required to submit a 400 to 500 word comparative review of the week’s reading. This review should highlight the similarities and differences in both the subjects and the viewpoints of the works being examined. These short critiques will form a substantial part of the final grade. Each student will also be required to write a 3000 to 3500 word research paper on one of the nationalities deported to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. This paper is due at the end of week nine. Please submit a copy of this paper to each student as well as the instructor. The class will discuss these papers during week twelve and thirteen of the course. Plagiarism will result in failing the course and notification of the Dean.


Five Short Critiques 30% (6% each)
Final Research Paper 50%
Oral Participation 20%


Week 1 Introduction and Course Organization

Weeks 2-3 Concepts and Parallel Cases of Ethnic Cleansing and Racial Exclusion

Naimark and Weitz

Weeks 4-5 Nationality Policies in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s


Weeks 6-7 Deportations

Pohl and Polian

Weeks 8-9 Life Under the Special Settlement Regime

Bachmann and Uehling

Weeks 10-11 Unrehabilitated Nationalities: Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks

Alexeyeva chapters 7-9, pp. 137-174, Allworth, and Sheehy and Bohdan

Weeks 12-13 Conclusion

Student research papers

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