HIST 286: History of Kyrgyzstan from the Silk Road to the Present

4 credits 
Professor Richard Bidlack (History)
Twenty-three days in Kyrgyzstan

Based at the American University of Central Asia in the capital city of Bishkek

This course will immerse students in the history of Kyrgyzstan. Through a series of lectures provided by faculty from the American University of Central Asia, as well as discussion of assigned readings and site visits, we will examine political, economic, social, cultural, and religious change from the beginning of Kyrgyzstan's recorded history through the Russian imperial era, the Soviet period, and the first quarter-century of the nation's independence. Because Kyrgyzstan is a small nation situated in an ethnically diverse part of the world, we will also survey its historical and contemporary relations with its Turkic and Chinese neighbors, as well as with Russia and the West, especially the United States. To experience Kyrgyz rural life, we will hike in the Tian Shan Mountains and travel for five days around the pristine Lake Issyk-Kul region in the eastern part of the country.

The course offers elective credit within the global section of the history major. It also confers elective credit in the Russian area studies major and fulfills the humanities distribution requirement. Students are encouraged to take Professor Bidlack's course on the "History of the Caucasus and Central Asia" (History 280) during the preceding winter term as preparation for traveling to Kyrgyzstan.

Program Fee (paid to W&L): $2,842 Accommodation, program fees, group meals, in-country transportation.

Estimated Additional Costs: Airfare (estimate $1,100 from DC), some meals ($270), cell phone, passport, visa (if applicable), inoculations (if applicable) and spending money.

For further details, please contact Professor Bidlack at bidlackr@wlu.edu