Gulnar Kendirbai

Aug 2006

Excellent class and professor. She is pleasant, personable and a very fair-minded person and grader. She allocates excellent and relevant readings for each week, then e-mails out topics for discussion a few days before class so students can prepare ahead. She welcomes diverse viewpoints and listens to all opinions. The floor is open to discuss any issues relevant to the topic(s) of the day, as she favors open discourse in the class, with little lecturing by her, but please do come prepared. I learned a lot about Islam in Russia (which is not restricted to Russia, per se, but includes the Central Asian states and the Caucasus), from 16th century Tsarist Russia to the Commonwealth of Independent States. The readings and discussions cover the peoples of the regions under study, Muslim-Russian interactions over the centuries, policies, official and unofficial (underground) Islam, Sufism, conflicts, variations in practice of Islam, etc.