HIST 593

Fall 2007

Wednesday 14:40 - 17:30

FASS 1001 A

Caucasus and its Hinterland:
Clans, Ethnicities and Nations in Imperial Borderlands

Fikret Adanýr

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 1043

Course Description

The Caucasus and its hinterland, which separate as well as connect the Pontic, the Caspian, and the Persian Gulf basins, have been a strategically important and therefore contested space since antiquity. In modern times, the region was at first fought over by the rival Muslim empires of the Ottomans and the Safavids. The entry of imperial Russia into the arena in the last decades of the eighteenth century ushered in the era of Christian predominance. The next century saw the penetration of the whole Muslim Middle East by western economic interests, accompanied by new conflicts and alignments both on intraregional and international levels. Whereas the evolution of the so-called Eastern Question that implied the settlement of the Ottoman succession parallel to Russian expansion into Transcaucasia encouraged the Christian populations of the region (the Georgians, the Armenians) to aspire to self-rule and even independence, the Muslims felt humiliated and feared a degradation of their traditional ways of life. Their reaction, beginning with the mountaineers' resistance to Russian colonization of the north Caucasus in the last decades of the eighteenth century and reaching its apex under the leadership of Imam Shamil (1834-1859), exacerbated by forced migrations of the Circassians and other Caucasian groups into Anatolia, entailed in the long run ethnic and religious violence in various forms, directed against both the neighbouring groups and the imperial centres. This development culminated in mass deportations and genocidal events during the two world wars of the twentieth century, ethnic conflict, nationalist secessionism and imperialist rivalries breaking out with new vigour in the post-Soviet era. The course will approach this complex history from the vantage point of the concept of "zones of violence", studying and discussing thereby the catastrophic experiences of the period within a multicausal framework.

Requirements and Grading

1.    Attendance and informed participation (20 percent of the course grade).

2.    One short (15 minutes) presentation on the basis of an assigned text (article or book chapter) during the semester (20 percent).

3.    A research paper on one of the weekly topics of the course syllabus and its presentation and discussion in the class (20 to 30 minutes). The final paper (about 20 pages, double-spaced, 12-point script) is due on the last day of the class meeting and will count for 30 percent of the course grade.

4.    An exam at the end of the semester which will consist of three questions to be answered in essay form about the content, the historical framework and the contemporary relevance of a one-page text/primary source (30 percent of the course grade). 


Schedule of Topics and Readings

Week 01:   Introduction

Week 02:   The Caucasus before the nineteenth century

Required Readings:

Lemercier-Quelquejay, Chantal: "Co-optation of Elites of Kabarda and Daghestan in the Sixteenth Century", in Broxup, Marie Bennigsen (ed.), The North Caucasus Barrier: the Russian Advance towards the Muslim World (London: Hurst, 1992), 18-44.

Atkin, Muriel: "Russian Expansion in the Caucasus to 1813", in Rywkin, Michael (ed.): Russian Colonial Expansion to 1917, London-New York 1988, 139-187.

Recommended Readings:

Hewitt, George: "Abkhazia, Georgia & the Circassians (N. W. Caucasus)", http://www. circassian world.com/Hewitt_G.html

Krag, Helen and Lars Funch: "North Caucasus. The Region, the Republics and the Peoples" http://www.circassianworld.com/north.html

Week 03:   Russian expansion and Muslim collaboration and/or resistance in North Caucasus

Required Readings:

Tarran, Michel: "The Orthodox Mission in the North Caucasus – End of the 18th-Beginning of the 19th Century", Central Asian Survey 10:1-2 (1991), 103–117.

Khodarkovsky, Michael: "Of Christianity, Enlightenment, and Colonialism: Russia in the North Caucasus" The Journal of Modern History 71 (1999), 394-430. http://www.circassianworld. com/Khodarkovsky.pdf

Zelkina, Anna: Jihād in the name of God: Shaykh Shamil as the religious leader of the Caucasus, Central Asian Survey 21:3 (2002), 249–264.

Khodarkovsky, Michael: The Indigenous Elites and the Construction of Ethnic Identities in the North Caucasus. Conference "Research and Identity: Non-Russian Peoples in the Russian Empire, 1800-1855", Kymenlaakso Summer University, 14-17 June 2006 http://www.circassianworld. com/Khodarkovsky_Kymenlaakso.pdf

Recommended Readings:

Barrett, Thomas M.: "Lines of Uncertainty: The Frontiers of the North Caucasus", Slavic Review 54 (1995), 578–601. http://www.jstor.org/cgi-bin/jstor/printpage/00376779/di000564/00p0004c/0.pdf? backcontext=page&dowhat=Acrobat&config=jstor&userID=c1ff8708@sabanciuniv.edu.tr/01cce4405f00501c919f9&0.pdf

Sanders, Thomas et al. (eds.): Russian-Muslim Confrontation in the Caucasus: Alternative Visions of the Conflict between Imam Shamil and the Russians, 1830-1859 (London-New York: Routledge Curzon, 2004).

Week 04:   Russian colonization efforts and the eviction/emigration of the Cherkes into the Ottoman Empire

Required Readings:

Hatk, Isam: "Russian-Circassian War, 1763 - 21 May 1864", Al-Waha-Oasis, No. 51 (Amman, 1992), 10-15. http://www.circassianworld.com/russian_circassian_war.html

Henze, Paul B.: "Circassian resistance to Russia", in Broxup, Marie Bennigsen (ed.), The North Caucasus Barrier: the Russian Advance towards the Muslim World (London: Hurst, 1992), 62–111. http://www.circassianworld.com/Circassian_Resistance.pdf

Brock, Peter: "The Fall of Circassia. A study in private diplomacy", English Historical Review 71 (1956), 401–427. http://www.circassianworld.com/The_Fall_of_Circassia.pdf

Turgay, A. Üner: "Circassion immigration into the Ottoman Empire, 1856‑1878", in Hallaq, W.B. and D.P. Little (eds.), Islamic studies sresented to Charles J. Adams (Leiden: Brill, 1991), 193‑217.

Recommended Readings:

Sunderland, Willard: "The 'Colonization Question': Visions of colonization in late imperial Russia", Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 48 (2000), 210–232.

Mostashari, Firouzeh: On the religious frontier: Tsarist Russia and Islam in the Caucasus (London: Tauris, 2006), 7-25.

Suny, Ronald Grigory: "Russian Rule and Caucasian Society in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: The Georgian Nobility and the Armenian Bourgeoisie, 1801-1856", Nationalities Papers 7:1 (1979), 53-78.

Grant, Bruce: "Empire and Savagery: The Politics of Primitivism in Late Imperial Russia", in Brower, Daniel R. and Edward J. Lazzerini (eds.), Russia’s Orient. Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700–1917 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997), 292-310.

Week 05:   Centralist modernization projects and the responses in the imperial periphery

Required Readings:

Zelkina, Anna: "Islam and society in Chechnia: From the late 18th to the mid-nineteenth century", Journal of Islamic Studies 7: 2 (1996), 240–264.

Jersild, Austin Lee: "From Savagery to Citizenship: Caucasian Mountaineers and Muslims in the Russian Empire", in Brower, Daniel R. and Edward J. Lazzerini (eds.), Russia’s Orient. Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700–1917 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997), 101–114.

Gould, Andrew G.: "The burning of the tents: the forcible settlement of nomads in Southern Anatolia", in Lowry, H.W. and D. Quataert (eds.): Essays in honor of Andreas Tietze (Istanbul-Washington D.C., 1993), 71-86.

Deringil, Selim: "They live in a state of nomadism and savagery: The late Ottoman Empire and the post-colonial debate", Comparative Studies in Society and History 45 (2003), 311-342.

Makdisi, Ussama: "Rethinking Ottoman imperialism: Modernity, violence, and the cultural logic of Ottoman reform", in Hanssen, Jens et al. (eds.), The Empire in the City: Arab provincial cities in the Ottoman Empire (Würzburg: Ergon in Kommission, 2002), 29-48.

Recommended Readings:

Steinwedel, Charles: "To make a difference: The category of ethnicity in late imperial Russian politics, 1861–1917", in Hoffmann, D. L./Kotsonis, Y. (eds.), Russian modernity: politics, knowledge, practices (Houndmills/Basingstoke, 2000), 67–86.

Makdisi, Ussama: "Ottoman orientalism", American Historical Review 107 (2002), 768-796.

Week 06:   The Russo-Ottoman War of 1877/78 and the consequences

Required Readings:

Duguid, Stephen: "The politics of unity: Hamidian policy in Eastern Anatolia", Middle Eastern Studies 9 (1973), 139-155.

Karpat, Kemal H.: "The hijra from Russia and the Balkans: the process of self‑definition in the late Ottoman State", in Eickelman, Dale F. and James Piscatori (eds.), Muslim travellers. Pilgrimage, migration, and the religious imagination (London 1990), 131‑152.

Nalbandian, Louise: The Armenian revolutionary move­ment. The development of Armenian political parties through the nineteenth century (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1963).

Recommended Readings:

Walker, Christopher J.: "From Sasun to the Ottoman Bank: Turkish Armenians in the mid-1890's", Armenian Review 31:3 (1979), 231-264.

Deringil, Selim: The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the legitimation of power in the Ottoman Empire 1876-1909 (London: Tauris, 1998).

Kemal H. Karpat: The Politicization of Islam. Reconstructing identity, state, faith, and community in the late Ottoman State (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Klein, Janet: Power in the periphery: The Hamidiye Light Cavalry and the struggle over Ottoman Kurdistan, 1890-1914, Ph.D. thesis, Princeton University, 2002.


Week 07:   Revolutions of the early twentieth century

Required Readings:

Suny, Ronald Grigor: "Nationalism and social class in the Russian Revolution: the cases of Baku and Tiflis, in Suny, Ronald Grigor (ed.), Transcaucasia. Nationalism and Social Change (Ann Arbor 1983), 239-258.

Hanioðlu, M. Þükrü: Preparation for a revolution: The Young Turks, 1902-1908 (London-New York, 2001), 82-129.

Recommended Readings:

Mostashari, Firouzeh: On the religious frontier: Tsarist Russia and Islam in the Caucasus (London: Tauris, 2006), 129-145.

Suny, Ronald Grigor: "Tiflis: crucible of tthnic politics, 1860-­1905", in Hamm, Michael F. (ed.), The City in late imperial Russia (Bloomington 1986), 249-281.

Altstadt, Audrey: "The Baku City Duma - arena for elite con­flict", Central Asian Survey 5:3-4 (1986), 49-66.

Swietochowski, Tadeusz: Russia and Azerbaijan: a borderland in transition, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

Week 08:   World War I: ethnic violence at its extreme

Required Readings:

Levene, Mark: "Creating a modern 'Zone of Genocide': The impact of nation- and state-formation on Eastern Anatolia, 1878-1923", Holocaust and Genocide Studies 12 (1998), 393-433.

Bloxham, Donald: "The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916: Cumulative radicalization and the development of a destruction policy", Past and Present, no. 181 (November 2003), 141-191.

Recommended Readings:

Bloxham, Donald: The Great Game of Genocide. Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Lewy, Guenter: The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey. A Disputed Genocide (Salt Lake City 2005).

Gaunt, David: Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006)

Week 09:   The Russian Revolution 1917 and its consequences: independent nation-states in Southern Caucasia

Required Readings:

Allen, William Edward David: "The New Political Boundaries in the Caucasus", The Geographical Journal 69 (1927), pp. 430-441. http://www.circassianworld.com/PDF/W.E.D.Allen.pdf

Hovannisian, Richard G.: "Caucasian Armenia between imperial and Soviet rule: the interlude of national independence", in Suny, Ronald Grigor (ed.), Transcaucasia. Nationalism and social change (Ann Arbor 1983), 259-292.

Swietochowski, Tadeusz: "The Himmät Party. Socialism and the National Question in Russian Azerbaijan 1904‑1920", Cahiers du Monde russe et soviétique 19 (1978), 119‑142.

Recommended Readings:

Hovannisian, Richard G.: Armenia on the Road to Independence 1918 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967)

Holquist, Peter: Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia’s Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002)


Week 10:   The Turkish-Soviet cooperation: the consolidation of Turkish nationalism in Anatolia and the bolshevization of Caucasia

Required Readings:

Arslanian, Artin H.: "Britain and the Transcaucasian nation­alities during the Russian Civil War", in Suny, Ronald Grigor (ed.), Transcaucasia. Nationalism and social change (Ann Arbor 1983), 293-304.

Gökay, Bülent: A Clash of empires: Turkey between Russian Bolshevism and British imperialism, 1918-1923 (London: Tauris, 1997).

Recommended Readings:

Blank, Stephen: "Bolshevik organizational development in ear­ly Soviet Transcaucasia: autonomy vs. centralization, 1918-1924", in Suny, Ronald Grigor (ed.), Transcaucasia. Nationalism and social change (Ann Arbor 1983), 305-338.

Martin, Terry: The affirmative action empire: Nations and nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001).

Week 11:   Caucasus and its hinterland in the interwar period

Required Readings:

Avtorkhanov, Abdurrahman: "The Chechens and the Ingush during the Soviet period and its antecedents", in Broxup, Marie Bennigsen (ed.), The North Caucasus barrier: the Russian ddvance towards the Muslim World (London: Hurst 1992), 146-194.

Hirsch, Francine: "Toward an empire of nations: border-making and the formation of Soviet national identities", Russian Review, Vol. 59, No. 2. (Apr., 2000), pp. 201-226. http://links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0036-0341%28200004%2959%3A2%3C201%3ATAEONB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7

Özoðlu, Hakan. ""Nationalism' and Kurdish notables in the late Ottoman - early Republican era", International Journal of Middle East Studies 33 (2001), 383-409.

Recommended Readings:

Bennigsen, Alexandre: "Muslim guerilla warfare in the Caucasus (1918-1928)", Central Asian Survey 2 (1983), 45-56.

Grant, Bruce: "An average Azeri village (1930): remembering rebellion in the Caucasus mountains", Slavic Review, Vol. 63, No. 4. (Winter, 2004), pp. 705-731. http://links.jstor.org/sici? sici=0037-6779%28200424%2963%3A4%3C705%3AAAAV%28R%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W

Suny, Ronald Grigor and Terry Martin (eds.): A state of nations: empire and nation-making in the age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Week 12:   The aftermath of World War II: the Cold War and the Détente

Required Readings:

Bryan, Fanny E.B.: "Internationalism, nationalism and Islam", in Broxup, Marie Bennigsen (ed.), The North Caucasus Barrier: the Russian Advance towards the Muslim World (London: Hurst, 1992), 195-218.

Dadrian, Vahakn N.: "Nationalism in Soviet Armenia - a case study of ethnocentrism", in Simmonds, George W. (ed.), Nationalism in the USSR and Eastern Europe in the era of Brezhnev and Kosygin (Detroit 1977), 202-258.

Recommended Readings:

Conquest, Robert: The Nation killers. The Soviet deportation of nationalities (London: Macmillan, 1970).

Nekrich, Aleksandr Moiseevich: The Punished peoples. The deportation and fate of Soviet minorities at the end of the Second World War (New York: Norton, 1978).

Week 13:   Perspectives after the collapse of the Soviet régime and a new wave of ethnic violence

Required Readings:

Suny, Ronald Grigor: "Constructing primordialism: old histories for new nations", The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 73, No. 4. (Dec., 2001), pp. 862-896. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2801%28200112%2973%3A4%3C862%3ACPOHFN%3E2.0.CO%3B2-P

Seely, Robert: Russo-Chechen conflict, 1800–2000. A deadly embrace (London-Portland 2001), 304-321.

Balcý, Bayram: "Between Sunnism and Shiism: Islam in post-Soviet Azerbaijan", Central Asian Survey 23 (2004), 205-217.

Broers, Laurence: "After the 'Revolution': civil society and the challenges of consolidating democracy in Georgia", Central Asian Survey 24 (2005), 333-350.

Recommended Readings:

Smith, Sebastian: Allah’s Mountains: the Battle for Chechnya (London: Tauris 2006)

Goltz, Thomas: Georgia Diary: a chronicle of war and political chaos in the post-Soviet Caucasus (Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe, 2006)

Mango, Andrew: "Azerbaijan as seen from Turkey", Zeitschrift für Türkeistudien 5 (1992), 221-237.

Bruinessen, Martin van: LinkKurdish ethno-nationalism versus nation-building states: collected articles (Istanbul : Isis Press, 2000)


Week 14:   Summary and the concluding discussion

Required Readings:

Suny, Ronald Grigor: The revenge of the past. Nationalism, revolution, and the collapse of the Soviet Union (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993).

Bozarslan, Hamit: Violence in the Middle East: from political struggle to self-sacrifice (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2004)