The history of Kyrgyzstan is inexhaustibly rich and interesting. The term "Kyrgyz" is one of the most ancient ethnic names in the world. Its first mention can be traced back to 201 B.C. in Chinese sources. There is a continuing research interest in prehistoric rock art of Saymaluu-Tash, realistic medieval Turkic sculptures and nomadic architecture of the 19th century. The contemporary history of Kyrgyzstan, especially the complex political process, is of particular interest and is deeply connected to Central Asian and world history. In this context, the issues such as tribalism and regionalism are highly debated, as well as some of the social and economic consequences of the recent instability.
This course seeks to develop a range of skills fundamental to historical thinking and contextual learning, including a comparative study of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, excluding the dogmatism of Soviet history and historians, revealing the general and the particular, evaluating long-term prospects and dealing with complexities. The course also aims to develop critical thinking skills through the reading of primary historical texts and secondary papers and the exchange of ideas during oral presentations and class discussions.