IP106 IN HOUSE: The Black Sea - A Cultural History*
Fridays, September 18th to October 23rd
$105 for 6 weeks
Instructor: Florian Gassner
*This is a HYBRID course, you can choose to participate in this remotely on Zoom. Please go to IP106 ON ZOOM: The Black Sea - A Cultural History page to register instead.
Maximum of 12 registrants In House.
Minimum of 10 for the class to run (total registrants on Zoom and In House together).
The Black Sea - A Cultural History
In this course, we will look at the cultural history as a key to understanding current conflicts. These include the war in southeastern Ukraine, the frozen conflicts in the Caucasus, the struggles between Turkey and other European countries (e.g. Armenian Genocide) and the simmering conflicts in the nations that emerged from the Yugoslav wars. All of this is particularly relevant to the Canadian public as many communities still have strong ties to these regions, such as the over one million Canadians who lay claim to a Ukrainian heritage.
The discussions and lectures in this course will allow participants to appreciate the role that the cultural history plays for the political conflicts in these areas. In most of these cases, the root of the conflict lies buried in history that is a thousand years old and that has led to the development of conflicting national and cultural identities. Therefore, the ultimate outcome will be a more nuanced understanding of the aforementioned conflicts.
Week 1: Introduction
The History of the Black Sea Region; The Peoples of the Black Sea Region; The Nations of the Black Sea Region; Special Emphasis: Tatars, Jews and Sinti & Roma
Week 2: Ukraine and the Steppes North of the Black Sea
The War in Donbass; Ukrainian and Russian History; Cossack Mythology; Chernobyl and the aftermath
Week 3: Georgia and Russia
The War of 2008; Georgian Independence in the 1990s; Georgian history since the Middle Ages; Competing Christian faiths
Week 4: Russia, Armenia & Turkey
Debate on the Armenian Genocide; Colonization of the Caucasus; Decline and downfall of the Ottoman Empire
Week 5: The Ottoman Empire and the Southern Balkan States
The Refugee Crisis of 2015; Northern Macedonia; Balkan Nationalism and the Balkan Wars
Week 6: The Breakup of Yugoslavia
The current fate of Kosovo; The Yugoslav Wars; Serbian identity and mythology; Srebrenica and the aftermath
About the instructor
Florian Gassner is a Fellow of the New Europe College in Bucharest and he has represented the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at the Donetsk National University. He has also taught at Mount Allison University, and he joined the University of Kassel as a guest professor in 2016/17. His areas of specialisation include the cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe, germanophone literatures from Eastern Europe and the interplay between music, religion and literature. At the University of British Columbia, Dr. Gassner serves as German Undergraduate Advisor.
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Please self-assess - if you have any symptoms of illness or have been exposed to anyone who may have or been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.