About 70 policy-makers, diplomats, academics, experts and students from all over the North Caucasus Federal District – as well as Moscow, Brussels and Berlin – visited the city of Pyatigorsk June 6-8, 2013 for the conference, “New Challenges to Regional Security” organized by the NATO Information Office in Moscow and Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University. Continue reading NATO and Russia: Reconciling Interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia?
“The history of the shrine is less important than its current function: many of the shrines’ actual histories and religious initiations have been forgotten over time. It is through a specific function that shrines derive their real meaning for the people who visit them.”—Rahila Dawut, Uyghur Ethnographer
Continue reading Living Shrines of Uyghur China: Between Spirit and Politics (part I)
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
Last March the 3rd annual Regional Open Source Conference of Central Asia was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The choice of Dushanbe as the host city (Tajikistan has the second lowest internet penetration in the region after Turkmenistan) made an important statement about how the conference organizers viewed the use of open source technology in Central Asia. The topics ranged from development, persons with disabilities, e-government, and education but carried a central theme of “Open Data, Open Systems and Open Technology”. An underlying current within these topics is the idea that through open source technology we can bypass existing infrastructure to create projects which directly affect the people they are intended to benefit.
Continue reading Open Source Society and Central Asia
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…