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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ilse D Cirtautas
C LIT 496
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Comparative Literature

Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.

Class description

Writers and Intellectuals of Central Asia Under Soviet Colonialism

Central Asian writers and intellectuals, considered the leaders of their societies, lived during Soviet times under constant surveillance and fear. Thousands of them were executed or perished in the gulags (prison camps) under Stalinís order. Between 1937-1938 the Kazakhs alone lost over 60,000 members of their intellectual elite. One of the sayings that circulated among intellectuals in the Soviet Union was: ďďDonít think! If you think, donít speak! If you speak, donít write! If you write, donít publish!ĒĒ Indeed, any word spoken or written was subject to severe censorship. However, many Central Asian poets and writers courageously continued to speak up and found ways to circumvent the censors by using expressions with inside meanings, particularly when they wrote in their national languages.

The course will discuss mainly the works and lives of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Turkmen writers and intellectuals during 1) the period from 1917 until Staliníís death in 1952, 2) the post -Stalin period 1953-1985 and 3) the period of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), 1985-1991.

Course Requirements: One midterm essay quiz and one research paper. The topic and a brief outline of the paper are due by the 6th week. The final version of the paper is due on the last day of finals week.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Yuko Mera
Date: 02/23/2012