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:

  • 3 to 6 units of introductory course work (100-200 level)
  • 30 to 33 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, Persian, 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.

Advanced courses: Choose 10 or 11 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 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
  • 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 313CIslamic History: 600-12003
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 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 3248Intercultural Communication3
IAS 364Anarchism: History, Theory and Praxis3
IAS 374Russian Literature at the Borders: Multiculturalism and Ethnic Conflict3
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 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 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 354Anthropological and Sociological Study of Muslim Societies3
JINE 3622Topics in Islam: Islam in the Indian Ocean3
JINE 373Topics in Near Eastern Cultures3
JINE 442Empire and Memory: Approaches to Islamic Historiography (ca. 800-1250)3
JINE 445Topics in Islam3
JINE 4970Empire and Messianism in the Middle East3
  • 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
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 (WI)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 with approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. These four semesters are in addition to the 36 units of course work outlined above, and thus advanced courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the four-semester language requirement may not also be counted as advanced credit for the IAS major. 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 (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis), and in IAS 486 IAS Senior Honors Thesis in the spring of senior year.

Contact:Toni Loomis