“We Are Not Mutants”
Stihia Festival promised to be the Burning Man of Central Asia. On September 14, hundreds of revelers gathered in Moynaq, a once bustling port at the edge of the brimming Aral Sea, but now a dusty town in the Karakalpak autonomous region of northwestern Uzbekistan. Festival goers arrived from cities across Uzbekistan and other parts of Central Asia, Europe, and the US, hoping to rave to techno sets mixed by DJs from Tashkent, Moscow, Tbilisi, and Berlin. Media reports soon followed, describing the spectacle: the desolate landscape of a former sea-bed-turned-desert; electro-music as rain-song to call back the sea or, at least, to raise environmental awareness; the hundreds of curious locals who showed up to observe the festivities.
Continue reading Shifting Seas: The Lived Landscapes of Aral by Grace H. Zhou, Stanford University
Building upon their Author-Critic Forum at the recent annual CESS meetings in Pittsburgh 2018, author and historian Scott Levi (Ohio State University) reflects on questions posed by colleague James Pickett (University of Pittsburgh) about his latest book, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2017 as part of the Central Eurasia in Context series.
Continue reading Author Interview: The Rise and Fall of Khoqand, 1709-1876: Central Asia in the Global Age, by Scott Levi, Ohio State University
In the spring of 2013 a private workshop was organized by a major international donor for its Tajikistani state and NGO partner organizations in Dushanbe. The event was part of the reporting process related to a large labour migration program being implemented by three large international development agencies. I attended this event as a part of fieldwork on the bureaucracy of migration management I conducted between 2012-2014.
Continue reading Representing the Social Costs of Migration: Abandoned Wives or Nonchalant Women by Malika Bahovadinova, Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
2019 Summer School in Russian and Eurasian Studies (SSRES) at Nazarbayev University
SSRES at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan is an intensive academic program that offers students the chance to immerse themselves in the Russian or Kazakh languages and to experience Kazakh and post-Soviet culture in the heart of Eurasia.
Continue reading Summer School in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University by Amanda Murphy, Nazarbayev University
A growing current within Central Eurasian Studies covers water—and for good reason. Scholarly analysis of human-water relationships in such areas as history, culture, and political economy can produce new understandings of the past and the present. Since ancient times, communities of this region have survived by successfully locating and distributing aquatic resources. Today, this task involves higher stakes than ever: local governments’ continuous mismanagement of rivers over the last century caused the Aral Sea to shrink by 90 percent, along with other untold lesser-known harms; now, climate change and mining are doing away with the very glaciers sustaining Central Eurasia’s precious waterways.
Continue reading The Central Eurasianist Current of the 2018 Modern Rivers of Eurasia Symposium by Patryk Reid, University of Pittsburgh