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Studiegids

nl en

Turco-Persian Empires

Vak
2021-2022

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies.

Description

Description: In Middle Eastern Studies, we often seek to separate out different study areas. We divided based on language or ethnicity, talking about Arabic Studies, Persian Studies and Turkish Studies. However, for most of the last millennium, much of this region has been ruled by dynasties who were mostly Turco-Mongol in ethnicity, heavily influenced by Persian culture, and professing Islam, the faith of the Arabs. Even these distinctions are not simple, as our case studies will show. This course will focus on the most important of these dynasties, beginning at the turn of the century and ending in the early modern period.
These dynasties reshaped much of Eurasia, affecting Europe, North Africa, East and South Asia and beyond for centuries. Indeed, the most lasting of these empires, the Ottomans, only disappeared in the early 20th century with the rise of the Turkish Republic. This course will investigate how the Turkic world and the Persian interacted over many centuries, often synthesising and creating cultural trends that would take hold in later time periods and different geographical regions.
The empires we will focus on in this course will include (in roughly chronological order) the Ghaznavids, the Qara Khanids, the Seljuqs, the Mongols, the Timurids, the Mughals, the Safavids, and the Ottomans.

Course objectives

Students acquire

  • The ability to independently identify and select sources

  • The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question

  • The ability to analyze and evaluate literature and sources for the purpose of producing an original scholarly argument

  • The ability to interpret a corpus of sources

  • Knowledge and comprehension of global history and its historiography specifically: 1) empirical research from a comparative and connective perspective; 2) comprehension of how global (political, socio-economic, and cultural) connections interact with regional processes of identity and state formation

Specific objectives

  • This course aims to provide a comparative and connective Eurasian perspective of the history of Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

  • It intends to provide analytical tools to evaluate the literature on the topic, to build scholarly arguments and to develop original research questions in connection with the current historiography.

  • Special attention will be devoted to cross-cultural approaches. Contemporary debates will be identified and discussed.

Timetable

The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar.
Attendance and participation in discussions are mandatory. Each student is expected having done the assigned readings and prepared to discuss them with others. Bring the book or handouts we are working on to each meeting. If an emergency requires you to miss a meeting, notify the instructor in time, and be prepared to have another student report on what you missed; you are responsible for seminar information and announcements whether present or not.

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all classes, read the assigned material, participate in the discussion sessions and complete the assigned workload of the course. Students are expected to critically engage with the course material. The conveners need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases, it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Assessment

Paper

The student writes an academic paper in which the capacity to interpret and synthesize scholarly and specialized literature relevant to the topic is displayed. The use of primary sources is obligatory. This paper shows:

  • The ability to independently identify and select sources

  • The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question

  • The ability to analyze and evaluate literature and sources for the purpose of producing an original scholarly argument

  • The ability to interpret a corpus of sources

  • The ability to give a clear written report on the research results in English

  • The ability to independently identify and select sources and literature* Presentation, comments and participation show

  • The ability to give a clear oral report on the research results in English.

  • The ability to provide constructive academic feedback

  • The ability to engage actively with other students (participation)

  • The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback (participation)

The paper is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version. The deadline for the paper is at the end of the term, mid-June. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)
Late submissions of the final version will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late papers will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.

Presentation, comments and participation show that the student has

  • The ability to give a clear oral report on the research results in English

  • The ability to provide constructive academic feedback

  • The ability to engage actively with other students (participation)

  • The ability to engage with constructive academic feedback (participation)

The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.
In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Weighing

Partial assessment Weighing
Comments to lectures and discussion, active participation 15%
Research presentation 25%
Paper (deadline at the end of the term) 60%

Resit

Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient paper, a resit of the paper is possible (60%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.
A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Weekly readings will be set via Brightspace. For a more general understanding of the interaction between Turks and Persians, as well as works dealing with the specific dynasties, see the following literature:

  • L. Balabanlilar, Imperial Identity in the Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic Politics in Early Modern South and Central Asia (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2012)

  • T.J. Barfield, ‘Turk, Persian and Arab: Changing Relationships between Tribes and State in Iran and along its Frontiers’, in (eds.) N. R. Keddie and R.P. Matthee, Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), pp. 61-88.

  • C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids: Their Empire in Afghanistan and Eastern Iran, 994:1040, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1963)

  • C.E. Bosworth, The later Ghaznavids : splendour and decay : the dynasty in Afghanistan and northern India, 1040-1186, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977)

  • S.F. Dale, The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009)

  • C.V. Findley, The Turks in World History, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)

  • P.B. Golden, An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples: Ethnogenesis and State-Formation in Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia and the Middle East (Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz, 1992)

  • Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650: The Structure of Power (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)

  • P. Jackson, The Mongols and the Islamic World: From Conquest to Conversion, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2017)

  • C. Lange and M. Songul, The Seljuqs: Politics, Society and Culture, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011)

  • R. Savory, Iran under the Safavids (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

  • S. Soucek, A History of Inner Asia, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

  • A. Soudavar, The Aura of Kings: Legitimacy and Divine Sanction in Iranian Kingship (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2003)

  • M. Subtelny, Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran (Leiden: Brill, 2007)

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Contact

Remarks