This course explores impact of religion on ethnic, national and gender identity in a case of the Muslim majority and ethno-linguistically diverse Azerbaijan. It also discusses nation’s sense of belonging in the global world. All these issues will be considered in historical perspective. This will let us move from medieval discourse to modernity. Although historical in nature, the seminar also based on interdisciplinary approach, including such fields as Islamic Studies, Social Anthropology, Gender Studies and Global Studies.
The course consists of four full-day seminars and falls into four thematic parts. Starting with Introduction, we will continue with the focus on the spread of Islam, migrations and the ethnic identity transformations in the Medieval Azerbaijan. After this historical overview on medieval period, the next day of the seminar will be devoted to the Russian colonial period with particular focus on what happened with Islam and creation of secular education this period. Our discussions will continue with debates of Azerbaijani intelligencia on national identity: Azerijiler and pan-Turkists and their echo in the contemporary Azerbaijan. The third part will be devoted to gender roles and impact of Islamic rules on the gender role prescription in historical perspective and modernity. We also will analyze the Soviet transformation of traditional gender arrangements and the Soviet women’s emancipation. At the last day we will discuss sense of belonging and what is important for Azerbaijanis: ethnicity, religion or attachment to place.
The course requirements are active participation in the seminar, which includes individual preparation for each session by reading the required texts. Students are encouraged to make comparisons with other countries, regions and religions for each topic.
Islam, Migrations and the Ethnic Identity Transformations In The Medieval Azerbaijan
Religion, Education and National Challenges in the Colonial and Post-colonial Azerbaijan
Emergence of a new nation in Azerbaijan: challenging national identity
Gender identity, Gender Roles and Religion In Azerbaijan: in historical perspective and modernity
Sense of Belonging: What Is Important for Azerbaijanis: Religion, Ethnicity or Attachment To Place?