The Major in International and Area Studies — Concentration in Eurasian Studies: New Silk Roads

This concentration focuses on the social, cultural and economic interconnections among the peoples of Eurasia. We define Eurasia as the vast landmass stretching east to west from China to Europe and north to south from Siberia into the Caucasus, the Crimean Peninsula, Central Asia and the Himalayas. Ancient trade routes that crisscrossed the interior spaces of Europe and Asia, known collectively as the Silk Road, served as a globalizing thoroughfare for the movement of peoples, cultural practices, religious values and commodities. Recent infrastructural improvements in these areas — as well as international economic, environmental and political concerns — have once again opened up transnational economic networks and cross-cultural exchange along these "new silk roads." For this concentration, students draw from a variety of disciplines to study not only specific geographical regions but also vital intersections and interrelationships among regions and peoples.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 3 to 6 units of introductory course work (100-200 level)
  • 30 to 33 units of advanced Eurasian studies course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (at least two must be at the 400 level) and dealing with three different regions (e.g., Eastern, Western and Central Eurasia) or with a transregional focus

Additional requirements and regulations:

  • Students must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all IAS courses. All courses taken for IAS credit must be taken for a letter grade, including language courses.
  • Students must fulfill the standard IAS foreign language requirement with Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Persian, Russian or another Eurasian language as determined in consultation with their IAS adviser.
  • Students must complete one semester of language before declaring the major.
  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. Russian Language and Literature study abroad programs are an especially good fit for this concentration, although other programs may also apply. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • Throughout the course of completing the major, students must complete course work dealing with three different regions (e.g., Eastern, Western and Central Eurasia) or with a transregional focus.
  • Students must choose their upper-level course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (e.g., anthropology, art history, film, history, literature, political science).
  • No more than 12 total credits earned outside of the day school of Washington University may be applied to a student's IAS major. This limit includes credits from study abroad experiences (never more than 6 credits from a single semester, 3 credits from a summer, or 12 credits from a year), University College, summer school from another U.S. university, or any combination thereof. (All 400-level credits must be earned on campus or in Washington University courses taught abroad.)
  • No more than 3 credits may be from directed readings, research or independent study, excluding the honors thesis.
  • All advanced credits counting for the IAS major must be unique to the IAS major.
  • At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary or regional). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Advanced courses: Choose 10 or 11 courses from current, relevant, internationally-focused course offerings in the following areas of study.* All courses must be approved by the student's IAS adviser in order to count for the major.

* Students may submit a request to add a course by following the instructions for the Petition Process.

  • Anthropology
Anthro 3053Nomadic Strategies and Extreme Ecologies3
Anthro 3617Past and Present Cultural Environments3
Anthro 374Social Landscapes in Global View3
Anthro 376Warriors, Merchants, Monks and Courtesans: Ancient Narratives of Globalization in Google Earth3
Anthro 3775Ancient Eurasia and the New Silk Roads3
Anthro 4033Culture, Illness and Healing in Asia3
Anthro 4041Islam and Politics3
Anthro 4455Ethnographic Fieldwork: The Politics of Schooling3
Anthro 4761The Pleistocene Peopling of Eurasia3
Anthro 4803Advanced GIS Modeling and Landscape Analysis3
  • Arabic
Arab 352Iraqi Literature3
  • Art History
Art-Arch 3415Early Chinese Art: From Human Sacrifice to the Silk Road3
Art-Arch 49241968 and its Legacy3
  • Chinese

Chinese 341Early and Imperial Chinese Literature3
Chinese 342Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature3
  • Classics

Classics 345CGreek History: The Dawn of Democracy3
Classics 346CGreek History: The Age of Alexander3
  • Comparative Literature

Comp Lit 376Refugees: Displacement and Asylum in World Literature3
Comp Lit 394Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology3
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures

East Asia 4242Culture and Politics in the People's Republic of China: New Approaches3
  • Environmental Studies

EnSt 380Applications in GIS3
EnSt 402Topics in Environmental Science: International Energy Politics
  • Film and Media Studies
Film 475Screening the Holocaust3
Film 485Visualizing Orientalism: Art, Cinema and the Imaginary East 1850-20003
Film 507The 007 Saga: James Bond and the Modern Media Franchise3
  • History
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
History 3073The Global War on Terrorism3
History 3122Race, Caste, Conversion: Social Movements in South Asia3
History 313CIslamic History: 600-12003
History 335CBecoming "Modern": Emancipation, Antisemitism and Nationalism in Modern Jewish History3
History 3350Out of the Shtetl: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries3
History 3354Vienna, Prague, Budapest: Politics, Culture and Identity in Central Europe3
History 3416War, Genocide and Gender in Modern Europe3
History 3559Socialist and Secular? A Social History of the Soviet Union3
History 3598The First World War and the Making of Modern Europe3
History 3680The Cold War, 1945-19913
History 3681The U.S. War in Iraq, 2003-20113
History 3810Between Sand and Sea: History, Environment, and Politics in the Arabian Peninsula
History 39SCImperialism and Sexuality: India, South Asia and the World: Writing-Intensive Seminar3
History 4154From Decolonization to Globalization: Postcolonial South Asia3
History 4274Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict3
  • International and Area Studies
IAS 3040International Law and Politics3
IAS 318Learning to Use GIS in Development, Area Studies and International Affairs3
IAS 3248Intercultural Communication3
IAS 364Anarchism: History, Theory and Praxis3
IAS 374Russian Literature at the Borders: Multiculturalism and Ethnic Conflict3
IAS 3750Topics in Russian Literature and Culture: Madmen or Visionaries? (Writing Intensive)3
IAS 376International Economics3
IAS 384Migration and Modernity in Russia and the (Former) Soviet Union3
IAS 396Comintern: The Communist International's Global Impact3
IAS 402The Meaning of National Security in the 21st Century3
IAS 4622Labor and Labor Movements in Global History3
IAS 4869Reading War and Peace3
  • Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Cultures
JIMES 354Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies3
JIMES 3622Topics in Islam3
JIMES 373Topics in Near Eastern Cultures3
JIMES 442Empire and Memory: Approaches to Islamic Historiography (ca. 800-1250)3
JIMES 445Topics in Islam3
JIMES 4970Empire and Messianism in the Middle East3
  • Political Science
Pol Sci 393History of Political Thought III: Liberty, Democracy and Revolution3
  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
Psych 413Contemporary Topics in Social Psychology3
  • Religious Studies
Re St 311Buddhist Traditions3
Re St 3392Topics in South Asian Religions3
  • Russian Language and Literature
Russ 332Russian Theater, Drama and Performance: From Swan Lake to Punk Prayer3
Russ 350CThe 19th-Century Russian Novel (Writing Intensive)3
Russ 372Dostoevsky's Novels3
Russ 419Readings in Russian Literature, 1861 to 19173
  • Sociology
SOC 3710Sociology of Immigration3

Additional Information

Language Requirement for the Major in Eurasian Studies/International and Area Studies: All IAS majors must satisfy a foreign language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others, who place into advanced language classes and who receive approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication or linguistics courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. Students must complete one semester of language to be eligible to declare the major in IAS.

Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their IAS language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili. Students should consult the course listings for details about the language sequences. (On the "A&S IQ" tab, click on "Courses," and then toggle "Area Requirement" to "LS Language & Cultural Diversity-Language" and click "Search" to see a list of available language courses.)

Special note for Spanish speakers: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are counted toward the four semesters of foreign language: Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture (L38 223), Business Spanish (L38 351), Medical Spanish (L38 353), and Spanish for the Social Sciences (L38 355). Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major adviser.

Advanced foreign language courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the foreign language requirement may be counted as advanced credit for IAS majors as long as they are cross-listed with or approved for study abroad credit for the student's IAS concentration and provided the courses are not being counted toward any other degree.

Language courses taken to fulfill the IAS language requirement may count toward another major or minor unless they are being counted as advanced elective units for the IAS major requirement.

Students With Prior Language Experience

Native speakers of a foreign language: Students must satisfy the four-semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.

Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency: Students must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester requirement.

Transfer students who have taken language courses: Students may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at or return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Students who take a foreign language course at another institution (whether in the United States or abroad): Students may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if (1) the credit is transferred back as Washington University credit; and (2) students take a placement exam upon their return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that they may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Study Abroad: Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in one of Washington University's Overseas Programs during junior year or the summer. Some credit for courses taken abroad may be applied toward the major. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-credit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.

Senior Honors: Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall grade-point average of 3.65 or higher in order to qualify for Senior Honors. Students should enroll in IAS 485 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis during the fall of senior year and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Contact:Toni Loomis