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

This track focuses on the social, cultural and economic interconnections among the peoples of Eurasia. We define Eurasia as the vast landmass stretching east/west from China to Europe and north/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:

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

Additional requirements and regulations:

  • Completion of all IAS course work with a grade of C+ or higher.
  • Students must satisfy the standard IAS foreign language requirement (the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration) with Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian or another Eurasian language as decided in consultation with their IAS adviser.
  • One semester of language must be completed 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, though 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 Eurasian studies major, students must take course work dealing with three different regions (Eastern, Western and Central Eurasia) or with a transregional focus.
  • No more than 3 credits may be from directed readings, research or independent study excluding the honors thesis.
  • The advanced credits must be unique to the IAS major.
  • At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

N.B.: A single course may satisfy more than one of these distribution requirements (disciplinary or regional). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Strongly recommended courses (3 units each):

Anthro 3775Ancient Eurasia and the New Silk Roads3
IAS 374Russian Literature and Empire3

Introductory courses (choose one to two from this list; 3 to 6 units):

Comp Lit 215CIntroduction to Comparative Practice I3
History 1500Silver, Slaves and the State: Globalization in the 18th Century3
IAS 103BInternational Public Affairs3
IAS 125Migration and the Migrant Experience3
IAS 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
IAS 129Perspectives on Migration: History, Memory and the Making of Modern Europe3
IAS 140East Asia in the World3
IAS 160World Politics and the Global Economy3
IAS 244Introduction to European Studies3
JINE 208FHistory, Text and Identity: Introduction to Jewish Civilization3
JINE 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Russ 215CIntroduction to Russian Civilization3

If a student chooses only one from above, the other course may be chosen from this list (3 units): 

Chinese 227CChinese Civilization3
History 2157Freshman Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
IAS 127Migration in the Global World: Stories3
IAS 129Perspectives on Migration: History, Memory and the Making of Modern Europe3
IAS 135Freshman Seminar — Chinatown: Migration, Identity and Space3
IAS 140East Asia in the World3
IAS 155Freshman Seminar: Mapping the World: Introduction to Human Geography3
IAS 160World Politics and the Global Economy3
IAS 223Korean Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3

Advanced courses: Choose 10 courses from the current 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 petition to add a course to this list by following the instructions on the IAS FAQs webpage.

  • Anthropology
Anthro 3051Anthropology of Tibet and the Himalayas3
Anthro 3053Nomadic Strategies and Extreme Ecologies3
Anthro 3122From Country to Heavy Metal: Ancient Civilizations of the Old World3
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 4041Islam and Politics3
Anthro 4455Ethnographic Fieldwork3
Anthro 448Contemporary Issues in Cultural Anthropology3
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 346CGreek History: The Age of Alexander3
  • Comparative Literature

Comp Lit 394Worldwide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology3
  • Environmental Studies
EnSt 380Applications in GIS3
  • Film and Media Studies
Film 475Screening the Holocaust3
Film 485Visualizing Orientalism: Art, Cinema and the Imaginary East 1850-20003
  • History
History 301THistorical Methods — Transregional History3
History 3073The Global War on Terrorism3
History 313CIslamic History: 600-12003
History 314CIslamic History: 1200-18003
History 3350Out of the Shtetl: Jewish Life in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries3
History 3559Socialist and Secular? A Social History of the Soviet Union3
History 356C20th-Century Russian History3
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 38R8The Russian Revolution: Writing-Intensive Seminar3
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
History 449CImperial Russia3
History 49SCAdvanced Seminar: Incredible India!3
  • International and Area Studies
IAS 3040International Law and Politics3
IAS 3248Intercultural Communication3
IAS 3266"East" and "West" in Jewish Imagination and Politics3
IAS 364Anarchism: History, Theory and Praxis3
IAS 374Russian Literature and Empire3
IAS 3750Topics in Russian Lit and Culture: Madmen or Visionaries? (WI)3
IAS 376International Economics3
IAS 379Russians Abroad: Literature, Migration, Identity3
IAS 384Migration and Modernity: Human Mobility, Identity and State Formation — Russian/Soviet/post-Soviet Context3
IAS 396Comintern: The Communist International's Global Impact3
IAS 402The Meaning of National Security in the 21st Century3
IAS 420Islam, Immigrants and the Future of European Culture3
IAS 4622Labor and Labor Movements in Global History3
IAS 4869Reading War and Peace3
  • Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
JINE 361City of Peace: Baghdad in Medieval Times (ca. 762-1250)3
JINE 3622Topics in Islam3
JINE 370CIslamic Movements: Reform, Revival, Revolt3
JINE 442Empire and Memory: Approaches to Islamic Historiography (ca. 800-1250)3
JINE 445Topics in Islam3
JINE 4970Empire and Messianism in the Middle East3
  • Music
Music 315Selected Areas for Special Study I3
  •  Political Science
Pol Sci 393History of Political Thought III: Liberty, Democracy and Revolution3
  • Psychology
Psych 413Contemporary Topics in Social Psychology3
  • Religious Studies
Re St 311Buddhist Traditions3
  • Russian Language and Literature
Russ 350CThe 19th-Century Russian Novel (WI)3

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 a 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 with approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication and linguistic courses in the target language, once they complete the basic language sequence. Advanced courses in literature, social sciences and culture used to satisfy this requirement may be counted as advanced credit for IAS majors as long as they are cross-listed with IAS or approved for IAS study abroad credit and are not applied toward a language major or minor. A maximum of two of these classes may be completed while abroad on a Washington University approved program in the target language (may be within the same semester abroad). Native speakers of a foreign language must satisfy the four-semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration. Heritage speakers must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester requirement.

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 to the major. For those 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 GPA of 3.65 or higher in order to qualify for Senior Honors. Students should enroll in IAS 485 Preparation for IAS Honors Thesis in the fall of senior year, and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis in the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing their thesis) in order to be properly tracked by the IAS capstone coordinator.

Contact:Toni Loomis