Events Calendar

The Hungry Steppe Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan
Feb 28 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

with author Sarah Cameron

The Hungry Steppe examines one of the most heinous crimes of the Stalinist regime, the Kazakh famine of 1 930–33. More than 1 .5 million people perished in this famine, a quarter of Kazakhstan’s population, and the crisis transformed a territory the size of continental Europe. Yet the story of this famine has remained mostly hidden from view. Drawing upon state and Communist party documents, as well as oral history and memoir accounts in Russian and in Kazakh, Sarah Cameron reveals this brutal story and its devastating consequences for Kazakh society. Through the most violent of means the Kazakh famine created Soviet Kazakhstan, stable territory with clearly delineated boundaries, forging a new Kazakh national identity. However this state-driven modernization project was uneven, neither Kazakhstan nor Kazakhs themselves were integrated into the Soviet system in the way s Moscow had hoped. The experience of the famine scarred the republic for the remainder of the Soviet era and shaped its transformation into an independent nation in 1991.


Sarah Cameron is assistant professor of history at the University of Mary land, College Park, where she offers courses on Soviet history and the history of modern Central Asia. She received her PhD from Yale University, where her dissertation won the John Addison Porter Prize for the best dissertation in the Arts and Sciences and the Turner Prize for the most outstanding dissertation in European History. At present, she is at work on a new book-length project examining the transformation of the Aral Sea basin over the Soviet era.



Central Asia Security Workshop 2019
Mar 18 @ 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Central Asia Security Workshop 2019 @ Lindner Family Commons (6th Floor)

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Panel I: China’s Silk Road Challenged

Chair: Marlene Laruelle, The George Washington University


Alexander Cooley, Columbia University

End of the Silk Road? How Growing US-China Strategic Competition Might Impact US Central Asian Policy


Sean Roberts, The George Washington University

Whither the Eurasian Economic Union?


Timur Dadabaev, University of Tsukuba

Desecuritizing “Silk Road” Uzbekistan’s Cooperation Agenda with Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea in a Post-Karimov Era


12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch

1:00 -3:00 pm Panel II: Governance and Societies in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan


Chair: Alexander Cooley, Columbia University


Navbahor Imamova, Voice of America, Uzbek Service

Uzbekistan Today: How Uzbek Interlocutors In-Country and Abroad View Change


Mirakmal Niyazmatov, Co-founder and President, Tashabbus Inc.

Assessment of Legal Reforms in Uzbekistan: What is Missing?


Nargis Kassenova, Harvard University

Can Kazakhstan’s Pursuit of Good Governance Provide for its National Security?


Marlene Laruelle, The George Washington University

Kazakhstan’s Youth, National Identity Transformations and their Political Consequences


3:00-3:30 pm Coffee Break


3:30-5:30 pm Panel III: Radicalization and Securitization

Chair: Nargis Kassenova, Harvard University


Edward Lemon, Daniel Morgan Graduate School

Countering Violent Extremism in Central Asia After the Caliphate


Emil Nasritdinov, The George Washington University

Vulnerability and Resilience of Young People in Kyrgyzstan to Radicalization, Violence, and Extremism: Analysis Across Five Domains


Maria Omelicheva, National Defense University; Lawrence Markowitz, Rowan University

Between “Bandits” and Local Insurgencies: The Complex Nature of Political Violence In Central Asia


Alexander Maier, Columbia University

The Securitization of Central Asian Migrants’ Religious Practices