As Central Eurasian researchers and scholars, we sometimes find ourselves working in a field over-determined by tired and limited tropes, particularly when news about the region makes its way to the mainstream press. As curator and online zine editor Ciarán Miqeladze wryly puts it, “Uzbekistan is no different in this matter. The Central Asian country is constantly treated to the same narrative of a post-Soviet, despot-controlled country, replete with bridenappings, magical men on horses, and Instagram-able mountain ranges housing radical Islamic terrorists.” However, at the avant garde culture site Post Pravda, where Ciaran and his colleagues are working to amplify local and alternative voices from the Caucasus to Eastern Europe and beyond, the goal is to provide different viewpoints and narratives. Continue reading Check out new blogs on Central Asia: Exploring ‘Scapes’ of Sight and Sound
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)
Some visual impressions of the smart people and the beautiful places (or is it the other way around?) at the Annual Conference at Princeton University, 3-6 November 2016 Continue reading Vignettes from the CESS 2016 Conference at Princeton
An informal look at the Central Eurasian Studies Society Annual Conference, held at George Washington University in Washington, DC, 15-18 October 2015. Views include panels, museum exhibit, awards ceremony, business meetings, and just hanging out. The gorgeous rugs, clothing, and paintings are from GWU’s Textile Museum exhibit, “Old Patterns, New Order: Socialist Realism in Central Asia”, which continues until May 29, 2016.
Continue reading Snapshots from the 2015 CESS conference
Our* collaborative photo essay aims to depict the cultural and traditional legacy of Kyrgyz people, incorporating a life history method and a documentary photography technique. It portrays a Kyrgyz traditional family from Baktuu Dolonotuu village in the Issyk-Kul region. They are hereditary shepherds, cattle breeders and butchers, who wish to perpetuate their traditions and livelihoods and pass them through the generations.
Continue reading “The Kyrgyz Will Never Stop Eating Meat”