Introduction to research into European topics and to the analysis of problems.
This course explores the phenomenon of Islam in the Balkans from the first encounters of Balkan peoples with Islam in the 7th century until today. The course will cover the following topics: Islamization of the Balkans in the Middle Ages, specificities of the Balkan Islam, Islamic spiritual, scientific, and artistic heritage of the region, religion and nationalism in the Balkans, the communist de-Islamization and late 20th century re-Islamization of the Balkans, activities of Wahhabî/Salafî missionaries in the region, and the relationships between Muslim and non-Muslim groups in the Balkans throughout history. In the light of the latter topic, the question of whether the recent violent conflicts in former Yugoslavia were of religious nature will also be briefly discussed. In the very beginning of the course, the reasons for different and often conflicting interpretations of Ottoman and Balkan history will also be elaborated.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures by the instructor; presentations by the students; video screenings; CD listening; discussions
It is recommended to students to do the readings on a regular basis and in timely fashion and to participate in the class discussions in order to succeed in the class.
Class assignments and grading
There will be two exams: midterm exam covering the materials of the first five weeks of the course and the final exam covering the materials of the entire course with the focus on the materials from the second part of the quarter.
The EURO 494 D students will also be asked to write a 15-page double-spaced term paper and the SISRE 590 B students are expected to write a 20 page double-spaced term paper. The papers should be written using the primary and/or secondary literature. The list of secondary literature will be provided. Students should select a topic for their paper during the first two-three weeks of the course. While all topics have to be directly related to the Islam and Muslims of the Balkans, scientific approaches, methods, and problems can vary and include history, political or social sciences, human rights, nationalism, and art history. An outline of the term paper is due on the day of the midterm exam (February 03). The final version of the term paper is due on the last day of instructions (March 10). The papers have to be submitted both, in printed and electronic form (via e–mail).
Final grades will be determined by student’s participation in class discussions and presentations (20%), by performance on the midterm (20%) and final (25%) exams, and by the quality of the term paper (35%).