Course Description:

In recent years, intellectual, artistic, and activist circles in Central Asian countries have eagerly pursued discussions about Tsarist Russia's and the Soviet regime's colonial policies in Central Asia. Reflections on the Soviet past and de/anticolonial approaches to (re)thinking Soviet and post-Soviet experiences of people in the region have become trending topics of discussion in academia, in the media and among the general public. However, scholarly interest and analysis on the applicability of postcolonial concepts, decolonial and anticolonial approaches in Central Asia are just gaining traction. 

The course will start with an introduction to colonial, postcolonial, and decolonial literature to grasp what these concepts signify and to understand their histories. Then we will continue with decolonial debates and actions in Central Asia. Students will see the diversity of voices, practices, actions, and reactions in debates on the topic. We will examine scientific and media articles, book chapters, video talks and audio podcasts and analyze visual expressions of post/de/anticolonial debates. The questions that we will try to answer in this course include: What peculiarities does the Central Asian region present to us in comprehending post/de/anticolonial discussions and actions globally? How do the case studies from Central Asia differ from other examples of de/anticolonial actions? How are post/de/anticolonial concepts applicable in understanding socio-cultural, (geo)political, and historical processes in the region?


Language of the Course: English

Learning Objectives:

Students will broaden their horizons and knowledge on the diversity of debates and actions related to course topics. Furthermore, the course should enable students to shape their positionality concerning colonialisms and post/de/anticolonialisms. In addition, the course will also be helpful for students to practice the skills of presenting and reasoning their analytical reflections.

Performance and evaluation:

Regular and active participation in discussions is compulsory. 

Students must be prepared for each class by reading the obligatory literature and preparing and sharing their reflections based on that literature with the class. 

As a course assignment, students will conduct small research in pairs or in groups on a selected topic related to one of the discussion themes and prepare a presentation based on that research.

Note for Students:

BENEFRI students, please email the Social Anthropology Unit's secretary Annabel Andrey Bissig, in order to get information on the registration for the seminar.

All students who want to take the seminar, please register to the seminar by using the following code: 

L37.01100. Register for the Summer 23 exam session. 

All students who want to write a paper, please register for the seminar by using the following code: