Power and Knowledge is meant to provide students a broad introduction to contemporary Central Asia as well as to the diverse legacies of the Soviet inheritance in the region. Moving back and forth between the past and contemporary Central Asia, it examines the ways in which Soviet policies, practices, and traditions resonate in the Central Asian present. Power and Knowledge explores these intersections while also introducing students to the variety of scholarly prisms – historical, ethnographic, cultural, economic, environmental, national, and social – that have been applied to the region, with each week centered on a distinct approach and representative examples of existing scholarship. Focusing on important works and texts, it will also expose students to a series of primary materials and sources – policy statements, works of literary and pictorial art, translated essays, journalistic pieces, etc. – that touch on critical issues in the Soviet past and Central Asian present.  A core course in the Master of Arts in Central Asia program (MACAS), Power and Knowledge is designed to introduce students to critical skills and practices, including the facility to analyze the fields of knowledge that have informed studies of the region.

This course introduces you to developments in Soviet international relations in 1917-1991 through various topics that highlight the changes taking place during this period of time. It starts by discussing the ideological basis of Soviet Union building international networks globally and moves on to discuss topics such as military collaboration, diplomacy and cultural cooperation with different regions of the world especially during the Cold War period. Finally, the course will discuss changes taking place during perestroika until the collapse of the Soviet system and the legacy of Soviet international relations in the contemporary world we live in. After completing this course, the students will be familiar with the basic developments of Soviet international relations during different periods of Soviet history. At the same time, they have familiarized themselves with the historical approach to study of international relations though various types of original sources introduced during the course.