Central Asia – Crossroads of History, Culture, and Politics: A Five Part Course with Dr. Nina Wieda

Central Asia – Crossroads of History, Culture, and Politics: A Five Part Course with Dr. Nina Wieda


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Central Asia surprises global travelers with its elaborate architectural treasures, unique cultural expressions, and some of the most fascinating history in the modern world. Between 800 and 1100 CE, Central Asia was the world's center of learning, science, and the arts. Today, the five Central Asian states (with a combined population of 72 million) offer a unique window into different cultures and the early history of Eurasia. 

Join us as we reveal the mysteries of this beautiful corner of the world. Each lecture focuses on the history, culture, and society of the five post-Soviet Central Asian states: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Each lecture is outlined in our Course Details. 

Led by an expert on the post-Soviet space, Nina Wieda, this course illuminates Central Asia's rich and diverse world. Designed to inspire curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased fascination for Central Asia and an understanding of its unique cultural and political landscape.  

Lecture One – Uzbekistan
Thanks to its well-preserved cities and copious historical monuments, Uzbekistan is the region's most-visited country.  It is home to the important Silk Road trading centers Samarkand and Bukhara, where UNESCO recognizes whole city blocks as world treasures.

Lecture Two – Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is the world's 9th largest country with a booming economy due to oil and gas exports. It maintains strong political and social ties to its Soviet past and Russia; Russian is one of its official languages.

Lecture Three – Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is one of the most accessible places to see and experience the nomadic culture. Kyrgyz nomads are famous for their hospitality; they welcome visitors to their yurts and daily activities.

Lecture Four – Tajikistan
With 93% of its territory covered in mountains, Tajikistan is a stunning landscape of mountain valleys and lakes. Its Persian-speaking population lives in predominantly traditional ways, offering a time travel opportunity to its visitors.

Lecture Five – Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan may be among the world's most mysterious places. In Turkmenistan, you find some of the most impressive monuments of Central Asia's golden age and one of the most fascinating forms of modern government.  For example, months of the year have been renamed after members of the family of a former president, and one of the country's most prominent monuments is that of a book.

Nina Wieda is a native of the Caucasus living in Chicago, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic from Northwestern University and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. Nina also has experience in journalism, advertising, and consumer research – her writing has been published in three languages. She wrote her Master's thesis about the Northern Caucasus region. Dr. Wieda currently teaches at Northwestern University near Chicago.

How does it work?
This is a five-part course held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture. 

When will I receive the Zoom link?
Your link to enter the Zoom room will be the same for all five sessions. It will be sent to the email address used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each lecture's start time.

Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.

How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $175 USD for five lectures.

Is a recording available?
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording link within 48 hours of each session's conclusion.

Are there additional seminars, courses, and in-person experiences being led on Russian History?
Yes!  Our Context Experts will be leading several virtual experiences in the coming weeks. Details are available here.

To explore Context Travel's available in-person tours in Russia, click here. 

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
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(12)
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J
J.E. (Ottawa, CA)
Extraordinary

Dr Wieda's courses are always so chock full of information that the 1.5 hr session always surprises me when it's finished, I only think it's been 15 minutes or so. While the probability of me ever actually visiting in RL is remote, an area of the world that has intrigued me feels far less remote.

D
D.B. (Laramie, US)
Tajikistan

Wonderful review of the cultural, historical, geographic aspects of Tajikistan.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Tajikistan

Nina Wieda is a favorite as her conversations cover a part of the world that I once visited many years ago. She gives me the history and also the memories

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Central Asia

Once again I learned about a part of Central Asia i never would have known about if not for that wonderful Professor, Nina Wieda.

D
D.B. (Laramie, US)
More Central Asia, focusing on Kyrgyzstan.

The usual superb seminar, this episode on the many interesting aspects of Kyrgyzstan.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
100%
(12)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.E. (Ottawa, CA)
Extraordinary

Dr Wieda's courses are always so chock full of information that the 1.5 hr session always surprises me when it's finished, I only think it's been 15 minutes or so. While the probability of me ever actually visiting in RL is remote, an area of the world that has intrigued me feels far less remote.

D
D.B. (Laramie, US)
Tajikistan

Wonderful review of the cultural, historical, geographic aspects of Tajikistan.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Tajikistan

Nina Wieda is a favorite as her conversations cover a part of the world that I once visited many years ago. She gives me the history and also the memories

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Central Asia

Once again I learned about a part of Central Asia i never would have known about if not for that wonderful Professor, Nina Wieda.

D
D.B. (Laramie, US)
More Central Asia, focusing on Kyrgyzstan.

The usual superb seminar, this episode on the many interesting aspects of Kyrgyzstan.