I have been researching kinship in Kyrgyzstan since 2006 – in my recent book Blood Ties and the Native Son: Poetics of Patronage in Kyrgyzstan,[i] I explored the role of kinship and political patronage in the organization of community through the personal biography of one leader, and argued that such forms contribute to political participation and democratization. I have continued my research on these themes from 2016-2017 as part of the international project on ‘Informal governance and corruption- Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms’ (funded by the British Academy-DFID Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE)), traveling back to Kyrgyzstan to do an ethnography of informal governance, corruption, and lineage associations. My aim in this project was to find the local patterns of informality, in order to understand how relations of power and influence are organized in daily life. Continue reading Lineage associations in Kyrgyzstan, by Aksana Ismailbekova (Bonn International Center for Conversion)
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!