Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM2530 (AF:368669 AR:211916)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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This course aims to define the main historical dynamics of Eurasia in modern and contemporary times. The course will first of all touch the expansion of the Russian empire starting from the second half of the sixteenth century: Tatar khanates of Volga and Crimea, Siberia, Caucasus, Central Asia and Far East. In-depth attention will be devoted to the dynamics of political, social and cultural interaction between the Russian center and the populations gradually included in the empire. The Soviet era will then be taken into consideration, with particular reference to nationality policies and to the relationship with neighboring states. Finally, the last part of the course will address the political situation that arose after the dissolution of the USSR, outlining especially the establishment of independent republics and their relations with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese infrastructure projects (BIS).
Knowledge and understanding::
- to develop a good understanding of the the general lines of the history of Eurasia with particular reference to modern and contemporary times

Applying knowledge and understanding:
- to understand the specificity of this huge geographical and cultural area that in modern times has seen the expansion of Russia with complex dynamics of relationship with the conquered populations, mainly Muslim and Buddhist, as well with China and Japan.
- to develop an appropriate approach to this particularly complex area, insisting above all on its geographical, economic and cultural importance.

Making judgements:
- to produce critical judgments on the historical and cultural phenomena of the course
- to analyze various types of sources according to a critical approach

- to express and re-elaborate the contents of the programme in written form.

Lifelong learning skills:
- to know how to take notes in an effective way
- to know how to critically integrate the study of different materials (notes, slides, manuals, creative texts, academic articles)
- to be able to independently study materials and topics not covered during the lectures
- to refine one's ability to study materials in English
No previous knowledge in the field is required.
Formation of the Russian Empire: Kievian, Byzantine and Mongolian heritage.
The conquest of the khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Sibir
Siberia in the Russian Empire.
The conquest of the Crimean khanate
Caucasus in the Russian Empire
The conquest of Central Asia
The Russian-Chinese border
The push towards the Far East
The Soviet period
The dissolution of the USSR
Post-Soviet dynamics
Eurasia between Russia and China
Two volumes of your choice among the followings (three for non-attendant students):

- O. Roy, The New Central Asia: The Creation of Nations, I. B. Tauris, London 2000.
- P. Sartori, Altro che seta. Corano e progresso in Turkestan, Campanotto, Udine 2003.
- M. Buttino, La rivoluzione capovolta. L’Asia centrale tra il crollo dell’impero zarista e la formazione dell’Urss, L’ancora del Mediterraneo, Napoli 2003.
- A. Kappeler, La Russia. Storia di un impero multietnico, Edizioni Lavoro, Roma 2006.
- P. Chuvin, R. Létolle, S. Peyrouse, Histoire de l’Asie centrale contemporaine, Fayard, Paris 2008.
- A. Ferrari, Breve storia del Caucaso, Carocci, Roma 2007.
- A. Ferrari, La foresta e la steppa. Il mito dell'Eurasia nella cultura russa, Mimesis, Milano 2011.
- A. Ferrari, Quando il Caucaso incontrò la Russia. Cinque storie esemplari, Guerini e Associati, Milano 2015.
- A. Ferrari, G. Traina, Storia degli armeni, Il Mulino, Bologna 2020.
- D. Trenin, Post-Imperium. A Eurasian Story, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington 2011
- A. J. Rieber, The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands: From the Rise of Early Modern Empires to the End of the First World War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- V.O. Bobrovnikov, I. L. Babič (otv. red.), Severnyj Kavkaz v sostave rossijskoj imperii, Nov. lit. oboz., Moskva 2007.
- S.N.Abašin, D.Ju.Arapov, N.E. Bakmachanova (otv. red.), Central’naja Azija v sostave rossijskoj imperii, Nov. lit. oboz., Moskva 2008.
- A. Lukin, Rossija i Kitaj: četyre veka vzaimodejstvija; istorija, sovremennoe sostojanie i perspektivy razvitija rossijsko-kitajskich otnošenij. Moskva : Izdat. "Vesʹ Mir", 2013.
- S. Urbansky, Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border. Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia
University. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ and Oxford, 2020.
- N. S. Trubeckoj. L'Europa e l'umanità. La prima critica dell'eurocentrismo, Milano, Aspis 2021.
- G. Cella, Storia e geopolitica della crisi ucraina. Dalla Rus’ di Kiev a oggi, Roma, Carocci 2021
- A. Ferrari, Storia della Crimea dall'antichità ai nostri giorni, Bologna, Il Mulino 2022
The exam consists of an oral examination concerning the topics of the course. The expected duration is approximately 20 minutes with 3-5 questions
Conventional, with powerpoint presentations
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 10/01/2023