For our first class, I asked my students to describe the space where they slept, in as much detail as possible. I, like the American student ambassadors to the Kazakhstan World Expo, had only arrived in Astana a week before. While I had been given a flat in the “new center” of Astana, on the Left Bank, they were dispersed in different buildings in the Expo Village. Their housing, like so much of the Expo, had been finished just days before their arrival. They described their rooms as sparse, unfinished, and lacking furniture. Continue reading Pedagogy Under Construction: Lessons on Teaching as Fieldwork at Kazakhstan’s Expo, by Meghanne Barker (University of Chicago)
“The Future of Central Asian Studies” was organized by Judith Beyer and Madeleine Reeves at the University of Konstanz and held on the 11-13th of September 2017. Continue reading Reflections on a workshop “The Future of Central Asian Studies” by Eva-Marie Dubuisson
In a recent workshop on ‘Cooperation between practice, social movements and academia’ during the Joint CESS-ESCAS conference in Bishkek, practitioners and academics from Central Asia and beyond discussed the potentials and limits of such cooperation. The event was based on the presentation of concrete case studies which drew on earlier initiatives on ‘activist research’ and publicly engaged anthropology and social sciences. These have not received due attention and are worth considering especially in the context of Central Eurasian studies. Continue reading Knowledge transfer, inspiration, (over-) reflection: A discussion of potentials and limits of cooperative research, by Philipp Lottholz and Tobias Marschall
Friends please check out the wonderful blog by Guldana Salimjan, “Singing Back to the Steppe: Kazakh Poetry Battles in Contemporary Xinjiang” – originally published at Radii and livingotherwise.com, which are run by fellow colleague Darren Byler, who is writing a series of blogs on ‘The Art of Life in Chinese Central Asia’! Continue reading Check out new research on Xinjiang!
If you think that Kazakh youth is far too modern and stylish for tribal identity talks, think again. Let’s go back and look beyond the D&G shirts, fast cars and fancy bags that constitute the desired and/or obtained bricolage of a mainstream modern and young Kazakh. Differences in class, occupation, and place of residence may not stand as the main identification points if you wish to talk about pride and “coolness” from the roots’ point of view. It is the Tribe that does relate to all these things above all for many young Kazakhs. Tribal identity packed in the symbolic acoutrement of contemporaneity – cell phone and IPad cases, car plates, and even business stationary – wins its own market in Kazakhstan. The launch of the official social network based on tribes – Rulas.kz – was more or less a logical continuation addressing the urges for Kazakh youth to identify with their tribal heritage. Continue reading Inside Rulas.kz: mapping Kazakh youth’s tribal identity, by Diana Kudaibergenova