• Class Number 2748
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov
    • Dr Kirill Nourzhanov
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course explores the historical, political, social and cultural aspects of the evolution of Islam in Central Asia from the 8th century CE to the present.  It investigates the reasons and mechanisms of Islam's expansion in the region as well as its dynamic interactions with local religious traditions and ways of life. Rather than reducing Islam to a homogenous, static, and dogmatic creed, the course analyses diverse Muslim identities and practices across time and space, and how different communities of believers have adapted Islam's common patterns and denominators to survive in the frequently challenging environment.

The course applies historical, anthropological, and political science perspectives to provide insights into Islam's common framework, and the complexity and fluidity of Central Asian religious identities within this framework. By the end of the semester, students should be able to appreciate how sixty million Muslims in Central Asia follow their faith in terms of ritual, intellectual discourse, politics, and daily life.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. acquire expertise in the doctrines, rituals, customs, and artistic representations of diverse Muslim communities in Central Asia;
  2. discern common patterns and localised variants within the political, social, and legal framework of Islam;
  3. develop a critical and nuanced view of religion at loggerheads with the Orientalist and essentialist portrayal of Islam as a homogenous, stagnant, and universally threatening entity; and
  4. present analytical findings on a topic related to Islam in Central Asia in a cogent manner.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the Central Asian region. Ethno-demographic characteristics and pre-Islamic belief systems.
2 The spread of Islam in Mawarannahr. Arab conquests and patterns of conversion. The ‘Golden Age’ of Islam under the Abbasid Caliphate and the local Samanid dynasty.
3 ‘High’ Islam: doctrines, norms and institutions sustaining the religion. Sects and schisms. Essay research progress discussion
4 Folk Islam and mysticism. Main Sufi orders in Central Asia. Essay research progress discussion
5 Representing the sacred: Islamic motifs in music and art of Central Asia. Essay research progress discussion
6 Islam and colonialism. Muslim reformism and revivalism. The Jadids and the Qadimis. Islam and the Russian revolution. Essay research progress discussion
7 Surviving the Soviet onslaught: secularism and atheism in Central Asia from Stalin to Gorbachev. Everyday Islam under Soviet rule. Final formative assessment of the research essay progress
8 The rise of Islamic radicalism in the twilight years of the USSR: endogenous and exogenous factors. The beginnings of organised Islamic political activism. Essay is due by 4pm on April 27
9 Piety and faith in post-Soviet Central Asia. Qualitative and quantitative dimensions of the Islamic renaissance.
10 Secular state, Muslim society: case studies of government policies on Islam.
11 Islamic radicalism and militancy in Central Asia today. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and other organisations.
12 Central Asia and the global ummah: recent trends and developments.
13 Examination period, 2-18 June 2022 3-hour final sit down exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assessment Task 1: 5,000 word essay 60 % 27/04/2022 13/05/2022 1,2,3,4
Assessment Task 2: A three-hour examination at the end of the semester 40 % * *

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 27/04/2022
Return of Assessment: 13/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assessment Task 1: 5,000 word essay

The major research essay:

·     Is due no later than 4.00pm Wednesday 27 April 2022 (Week 8).

·     Must be on a topic selected from the list to be supplied in Week 2 and published on Wattle.

·     Must be 5,000 words in length (± 10% ).

·     Will count for 60% of the total course assessment and final mark.

·     Will be assessed against one or more of Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4, on (in descending order of importance):

— whether and how well the question is answered;

— whether and how well an argument is presented;

— the factual accuracy of the essay;

— the depth and sophistication of research demonstrated in the essay;

— whether academic conventions have been followed; and

— the technical quality of the essay.

·     Must be formatted for ease of reading, i.e. it must:

— be word processed or typed;

— be in a commonly used font, of a size roughly similar to Times 12pt for main text and roughly Times 10pt for footnotes;

— be 1.5-spaced or double-spaced for the main text, and single spaced for the footnotes, bibliography, and any appendices;

— have wide margins left and right; and

— be on standard (A4) sized pages, paginated throughout.

·     Must be submitted electronically on Wattle, using the Turnitin protocol on the course site. Essays submitted in any other way may not be received or accepted, unless an alternative submission means has been previously agreed with the course convener.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 

Assessment Task 2: A three-hour examination at the end of the semester

The final examination:

·     Will be held during the First Semester examination period (2-18 June 2022 inclusive). Students must make themselves available to sit the examination at any time during this period.

·     Will be of three hours’ duration plus 15 minutes reading time.

·     Will entail answering two questions in a flexible format (could be essay-like, dot-point, poetic, etc,) Advice on the structure and content of the examination will be provided during tutorials.

·     Will count for 40% of the total course assessment and final mark.

·     Will be assessed against Learning Outcomes 3 and 4, and will be assessed on (in descending order of importance):

— whether and how well the questions posed are answered;

— whether and how well facts and arguments, as applicable, are presented in the answers;

— the depth and sophistication of knowledge and understanding demonstrated in the examination.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Research Interests

History, politics and international relations of Central Asia

Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00
Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Research Interests

Dr Kirill Nourzhanov

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions