Thursday, February 15, 2007

Imaginary Course Number Two - Mehmet’s Grandchildren: The Islamic Peoples of Eastern Europe and their Ottoman Roots


Fisher, Alan, The Crimean Tatars (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1978).

Finkel, Caroline, Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire (NY: Basic Books, 2006).

Gammer, Moshe, The Lone Wolf and the Bear: Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule (London: Hurst and Co., 2005).

Malcolm, Noel, Bosnia: A Short History (New York: NYU Press, 1996).

Wilson, Andrew, “Politics in and Around Crimea: A Difficult Homecoming,” in Allworth, Edward, ed., The Tatars of Crimea: Return to the Homeland, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998).

Course Description

This is an introductory course to the history of the various Muslim nationalities living in Eastern Europe. In particular it will cover the Bosnian Muslims, the Crimean Tatars and the Chechens. These nationalities all adopted Islam under Ottoman influence and later came under the rule of Christian empires. The course will thus start with a survey of the long history of the Ottoman Empire. It will then examine the history of each of the nationalities chronologically from their ethno-genesis through to modern times. Particular emphasis will be given to the 19th and 20th centuries when these peoples all lived under first Christian and then communist rule. During this time these nationalities became reduced to national and religious minorities within much larger states dominated by Slavs of Christian heritage. These states saw integrating these Muslim nationalities as a problem and pursued various policies ranging from granting them broad cultural administrative autonomy to conducting ruthless repression and ethnic cleansing against them. This class will examine the relationship between these nationalities and their rulers in Belgrade and Moscow in the historical context of the slow disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the subjugation of much of its Muslim population to European colonial rule.

Course Requirements

This course will consist of lectures and discussions based upon the assigned reading. At the end of each week every student will be required to submit a 200 to 300 word long summary of the week’s readings. This summary should include the main points and themes addressed by the author. These summaries will count significantly towards the final grade for the class. Each student will also be required to write a 2000 to 2500 word long research paper on one of the Muslim nationalities in the Balkans, Caucasus or Crimea. This assignment is due the first day of the last week of classes. Plagiarism will result in failing the course and notification of the Dean.


Twelve Short Summaries 36% (3% each)
Final Research Paper 50%
Oral Participation 14%


Week 1 Introduction and Course Organization

Section One: The Ottoman Empire

Week 2 The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire

Chapters 1-5 in Finkel, pp. 1-151

Week 3 Expansion and Consolidation of the Empire

Chapters 6-9 in Finkel, pp. 152-288

Week 4 “The Sick Man of Europe”

Chapters 10-16 in Finkel, pp. 289-554

Section Two: The Balkans with Special Emphasis on Bosnia

Week 5 Bosnia in the Middle Ages and under the Ottomans

Chapters 1-9 in Malcolm, pp. 1-135

Week 6 Austrian Rule, WWI and WWII

Chapters 10-13 in Malcolm, pp. 136-192

Week 7 Communist and Post-Communist Rule

Chapters 14-16 and Epilogue in Malcolm, pp. 193-272

Section Three: Crimea

Week 8 The Crimean Khanate and the Tsarist Era

Chapters 1-10 in Fisher, pp. 1-108

Week 9 The Crimean Tatars in the Soviet Union

Chapters 11-25 in Fisher, pp. 109-202

Week 10 Return to Crimea


Section Four: The Caucasus with Special Emphasis on Chechnya

Week 11 Tsarist Subjugation

Chapters 1-9 in Gammer, pp. 1-118

Week 12 Soviet Rule and After

Chapters 10-15 in Gammer, pp. 119-221

Week 13 Conclusion

Research paper due in first class of the week.

1 comment:

Nika said...

i would've loved to take this one.
best of luck,