Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Marks, Steven G

Committee Member

Grubb , Alan

Committee Member

Bein , Amit


This thesis is surveys Western scholarship on the history of Russian Central Asia, from the Russian conquest of the region in 1867 through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Special emphasis is given to how Western scholars have portrayed the Russian relationship with Islam, and to how the Islamic religion and Russian policy contributed to the development of nationalism and national identity in Turkestan. While there have been brief historiographical essays on scholarly trends on the topic, none have provided a comprehensive survey of the trends which have characterized the Western scholarship on the history of Russian Central Asia. This thesis examines those trends and understand how they developed in the historiography of the topic.
The introduction surveys the existing historiographical scholarship on the topic of Russian Central Asia and gives a brief overview of the history of the Russian relationship with the Muslims of the region from the conquest until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Chapter One addresses how historians have portrayed Russian policy toward the Muslims of the region. Chapter Two examines how they have portrayed the development of Muslim nationalism in Central Asia. Chapter Three examines how historians have portrayed the cotton economy, the Basmachi revolts, and Soviet gender reform efforts. In the conclusion I discuss the overarching trends in the Western scholarship on Russian Central Asia and identify the most significant gaps in our understanding of the subject. I also offer my own conclusions as to the nature of the Russian relationship with the Muslims of Central Asia.



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