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Last Lament of a Fallen Dynasty: Bukhara, Shahrisabz, and a Curious Nineteenth-Century Persian Document by James Pickett, University of Pittsburgh

Here’s a puzzle:

In Kunduz (now northern Afghanistan) the Friday sermon was read in the name of the ruling dynasty of Bukhara rather than the local Qataghan dynasts, at least during the 1850s. The Friday sermon (khuṭba) has been an Islamic symbol of sovereignty for over a thousand years. However, Bukharan troops had never set foot in Kunduz, nor had they extracted resources from that territory (at least during the reign of the Manghits, 1747-1920).

Continue reading Last Lament of a Fallen Dynasty: Bukhara, Shahrisabz, and a Curious Nineteenth-Century Persian Document by James Pickett, University of Pittsburgh

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

From Dissertation Review: Jennifer Griffiths’ “Central State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan”

Reposted by agreement with the author and the editors of Dissertation Review:

A review of the Central State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Центральный государственный архив Республики Казахстан / Қазақстан Республикасы Орталықмемлекеттік мұрағаты), Almaty, Kazakhstan.   Continue reading From Dissertation Review: Jennifer Griffiths’ “Central State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan”

Long Shadow of Herodotus: Joe Ricci on Ancient Rome’s own Perilous Frontier

While in St. Petersburg on a recent research trip, I was intrigued to learn that Joe Ricci, a colleague from my Princeton cohort, is living in the city long term.  After all, I knew Ricci as a scholar of Byzantine history, and Constantinople lies a rather long way from the Gulf of Finland, and Rome further still.  What follows is the outcome of a lengthy discussion about steppe-sedentary dynamics, Late Roman history, and Soviet archaeology.
Continue reading Long Shadow of Herodotus: Joe Ricci on Ancient Rome’s own Perilous Frontier

You know you’re researching in Eurasia when…

AHA Today recently published a post about mundane problems commonly faced by historians.  Some will be familiar to scholars of Eurasia (e.g. “someone takes your favorite seat at the archive”), others less so – as many of our contributors pointed out, being annoyed that another scholar took the last power outlet presupposes working in a country with reliable electricity.
Continue reading You know you’re researching in Eurasia when…