All posts by Eric Schluessel

Eric Schluessel is an Assistant Professor of History and Political Science and the Director of East Asian Studies at the University of Montana. He teaches courses in the history and politics of China, and his research focuses on the social history of Xinjiang during the Qing dynasty (1636/44-1911) and twentieth century.

To Build Central Asian Studies, Invite People In: Teach More Chaghatay by Eric Schluessel, University of Montana

Those of us who devote our careers to the history of Islamic Central Asia frequently wonder why scholarly interest in the field remains low. A survey of publicly-available data supports this impression: of the relatively few scholars who self-identify as Central Asianists in the member directories of organizations such as MESA or AAS, only a handful indicate reading skills in pre-modern Arabic-script Turkic-language sources. That is, while there are many people with solid backgrounds in Russian, Persian, and Chinese sources, and some proficient in modern Turkic languages such as Uzbek, very few could conduct primary research in the language of Babur, Navai, and countless scribes: Chaghatay.[1] Continue reading To Build Central Asian Studies, Invite People In: Teach More Chaghatay by Eric Schluessel, University of Montana