Events Calendar


Feb
21
Tue
2017
Sophie Roche – The Moscow Cathedral Mosque in the Life of Migrants from Central Asia
Feb 21 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

In this discussion, Sophie Roche will unfold the social life of migrants in, around and through the main mosque in Moscow, Prospekt Mira. This mosque is important for Putin’s politics of Islam as well as for inner-Russian Islamic sectarian tensions, and is increasingly linked to ordinary migrants from Central Asia, who constitute the large majority of the believers. Whereas inside the mosque migrants meet along ethno-linguistic lines and discuss religious as well as political issues, migrants profit most from the mosque’s administrative, social and economic services. Sophie Roche will look at these social activities, relating them to the politics and inner-Russian Islamic sectarian discussions. She argues that with Prospekt Mira a context is offered through which migrants integrate ideologically into an administratively hostile country and a society that turns increasingly Islamophobic. The material for this presentation has been collected through ethnographic fieldwork in Moscow since 2010.

Sophie Roche is currently leading the junior research group at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at the University of Heidelberg. She worked at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany and received her PhD from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2010. She has published Domesticating Youth: Youth Bulges and their Socio-Political Implications in Tajikistan (Berghahn Books 2014) and The Faceless Terrorist. A Cultural Enquiry of Jihad (forthcoming in new open access series HeiUP). She has extensive ethnographic experiences in Tajikistan, in Russia among migrants from Central Asia and among Muslims in Germany and Turkey.

This event is part of the CERIA Initiative, generously funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Please RSVP.

Feb
23
Thu
2017
Cinema Club Film Screening: Angel on the Right (Tajikistan, 2002)
Feb 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Directed by Djamshed Usmonov

“Hamro, an unrepentant prodigal son straight out of a Russian jail, returns to his hometown to help his mother die with dignity. But his debts are many and long overdue, the townspeople are tough as nails, and he gets more than he expected from the quiet village. In this dark comedy, his third feature, writer-director Djamshed Usmonov casts the town’s population as its own persuasive self and his own mother and brother as the fractured yet formidable domestic couple.” – The Global Film Initiative

Please RSVP.

Mar
6
Mon
2017
Central Asia Security Workshop
Mar 6 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Central Asia Security Workshop
March 6, 2017, 10:00am-4:00pm
Central Asia Program, IERES
George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Lindner Commons, Suite 602

10.00am. PANEL 1. CENTRAL ASIA’S DOMESTIC LANDSCAPES. CHANGING MORE THAN WE THOUGHT?
Chair: Lawrence Markowitz
(Rowan University)

Alexander Cooley (Harriman Institute, Columbia University)
Central Asia’s Global Authoritarian Spaces: Politics and Contestation Outside of a Closed Region

Eric McGlinchey (George Mason University)
Presidential Transitions and the Implications for US Soft Power in Central Asia

Bruce Pannier (RFE/RL)
Uzbekistan under New Leadership: What’s Changing, What’s Staying the Same

Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)
Revisiting ‘Conservative values’. Is Illiberalism the New Mainstream for Central Asian Societies?

12.00pm. Lunch

12:45pm. PANEL 2. CENTRAL ASIA AND THE GREAT POWERS IN A SHIFTING INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Chair: Eric McGlinchey
(George Mason University)

Roger Kangas (Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies)
‘The Art of the Deal’: A New American Approach to Engaging Central Asia?

Nadège Rolland (National Bureau of Asian Research)
China’s Eurasian Century: Deciphering the ‘Community of Common Destiny’

Jeffrey Mankoff (CSIS)
Chinese and Russian Strategies for the New Uncertainty in Afghanistan and Central Asia

2:15pm. Coffee break

2:30pm. PANEL 3. REASSESSING WHAT ‘SECURITY’ MEANS IN CENTRAL ASIA
Chair: Marlene Laruelle
(George Washington University)

Noah Tucker (CAP Associate)
After Aleppo: The Future of the Central Asian Jihadist Movement

Lawrence Markowitz (Rowan University)
How the Terrorism-Trafficking Nexus Has Shaped Security Apparatuses in Central Asia 

 

Erica Marat (National Defense University)
Mimicking ‘Broken Windows’ Theory in Post-Soviet Cities: What could go wrong?

 

Mar
9
Thu
2017
Zuhra Halimova – Foreign Aid to Eurasia: Donors’ Agendas, Local Perceptions, and Lost Illusions
Mar 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Various donor agencies have become active players in defining and drafting strategies of transition from communist heritages and pasts to modern democratic societies and market economies, as well as in funding the implementation of these strategies.   However, after a quarter century of independence, most of Eurasia’s political elites have transformed into more autocratic regimes, with high level of corruption effectively undermining reforms, democracy development agendas, media freedoms, access to information, the independent judiciary, and the rule of law. In her presentation, Zuhra Halimova will discusses donors’ agendas and local perceptions of them, while proposing different possible reassessments of what seems to have been predominantly a failure of foreign aid in many post-Soviet countries.

Zuhra Halimova is a visiting scholar at IERES. From 1997 to 2016, she worked as the Executive Director of the Open Society Institute in Tajikistan.  A graduate of the Department of Oriental Studies at the Tajik State University and the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi, India), she has served as a member of the International Harm Reduction Program Advisory Board and of OSF’s International Youth Program and Education Support Program Advisory Boards for several years.  She has also been a member of the Council of the Global Fund for Women and of the Asian Women in International Affairs Initiative for many years.

Please RSVP.

Mar
21
Tue
2017
Thomas Kent – Media and Trends in Central Asia
Mar 21 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Please join us for a breakfast discussion with Thomas Kent, president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on the latest trends in the media sector in Central Asia. Topics to be discussed include the current status of media, increasing restrictions on press freedom, the influence of Russia’s negative propaganda to the region, and the challenges and opportunities for independent news organizations, like RFE/RL.

Thomas Kent is a skilled media executive with extensive experience in management, international reporting and journalism standards development. He worked at The Associated Press since 1972, filling roles such as Moscow Bureau Chief, International Editor, Deputy Managing Editor and, most recently, Standards Editor. In these positions, he played a leading role in the editorial and technical transformation of AP into a fully digital news organization. He has also been involved in corporate strategic planning and the development of new multimedia services. He was appointed the new President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in June 2016.

 

Mar
22
Wed
2017
Douglas Blum – Cosmopolitan Kazakhs: A Case Study in How Globalization Works
Mar 22 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

On the basis of extensive fieldwork in Kazakhstan, Douglas Blum considers the experiences of young people who spent time in the US, asking what cultural “baggage” they brought home with them, and whether they were able to incorporate new values and practices into their lives. In answering these questions Blum combines insights from sociological and anthropological theory. On this basis he offers an explanation for how cultural globalization occurs, including the structural conditions, personal meanings, and social interactions linked to various outcomes.

Douglas Blum is Professor of Political Science at Providence College. He has published on a variety of issues, ranging from the connections between ideology and foreign policy to problems of energy, geopolitics, and environmentalism in the Caspian Sea region. In recent years, his research has centered on the connections between globalization and identity in the former USSR. His works include The Social Progress of Globalization: Return Migration and Cultural Change in Kazakhstan (Cambridge University Press, 2016), as well as National Identity and Globalization: Youth, State and Society in Post-Soviet Eurasia (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and a volume from the project he directed, Russia and Globalization: Identity, Security and Society in an Era of Change (Johns Hopkins University Press and Woodrow Wilson Center, 2008). He received his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University in 1990.

Please RSVP.

Mar
23
Thu
2017
Cinema Club Film Screening: Little Angel, Make Me Happy (Turkmenistan, 1993)
Mar 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Directed by Usman Saparov

This film “tells an intimate story within the larger historical context of the deportation of ethnic Germans from Turkmenistan to Siberia during the Second World War. Saparov’s historical narrative touches on one of the most complex questions for the modern ‘little person,’ the question of ‘motherland’. The film received Grand Prizes at six international festivals, and many other awards.” [http://events.stanford.edu/events/269/26983/]

Please RSVP.

Apr
4
Tue
2017
Sergey Abashin – Central Asian Migrants in Russia: Will there be a Religious Radicalization?
Apr 4 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
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Religious radicalization among Central Asian migrants to Russia have raised particular attention in connection with the active recruitment by the “Islamic State” of many people from the region, as well as their participation in a series of terrorist attacks in Turkey. Many experts have wondered whether Central Asian migration to Russia creates fertile ground for spreading the most extreme forms of religion. The breakdown of social structures and customary practices, social isolation, and the negative attitude of the local community to migration feed–as several experts have asserted–the radicalization process. In this presentation, Sergey Abashin, using contemporary sociological and anthropological studies, will analyze the main features of migration from Central Asia to Russia, its structure, dynamics, the legal status and living conditions of migrant workers, and their main strategies and perspectives about their future. He will address the place of religion in migrants’ identity and practices, the types of religiosity and the potentially increasing radicalization.

Sergey Abashin is doctor in history and professor at the European University in Saint-Petersburg. He has authored two monographs, Nationalism in Central Asia: In search of Identity (2007) and The Soviet Kishlak: Between Colonialism and Modernization (2015).

This event will be held in Russian with English translation, and is part of the CERIA Initiative, generously funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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Apr
10
Mon
2017
Islamic Education and Knowledge Transmission in Central Asia
Apr 10 @ 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
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Islamic Education and Knowledge Transmission in Central Asia
April 10, 2017, 9:30am-3:00pm
Central Asia Program, IERES
George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Lindner Commons, Suite 602

9:30am. Session 1. State Institutions, Muftiates and the Teaching of Islam

Sebastien Peyrouse (George Washington University)
At The Crossroads of the Religious and Regime Security: The Teaching Of Islam In Uzbekistan

Kamal Gasimov (CAP Fellow)
Ideology of Islamic Education and the Struggle Over Transmission of Religious Knowledge In Azerbaijan

Gulnaz Sibgatullina (Leiden University)
Russian vs. Ethnic Vernaculars: Languages of Islamic Education in the Post-Soviet Space

11:00am. Coffee break

11:30am. Session 2. Religion and Ethics at School and in the Media

Rafael Sattarov (CAP Fellow)
State-Backed Ideological Policy and “Spirituality and Enlightenment” in Uzbekistan

Donohon Abdugafurova (Emory University)
Islam, Morality and Public Education: Religious Elements of Ethics and Etiquette in the Uzbek School Curriculum

Noah Tucker (CAP Associate)
Identifying Islamic Education and Indigenous Counter-Extremism Resources in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

1:00pm. Lunch

1:45pm. Session 3. The Informal Transmission of Religious Knowledge

Nurbek Bekmurzaev (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)
Mediatization of Religion in Kyrgyzstan: Redistribution of Power and Changing Perceptions of Religion

Benjamin Gatling (George Mason University)
Learning to be a Sufi in Tajikistan

Yanti Hoelzchen (Tuebingen University)
Kyrgyzstan’s New Mosques: The Institutionalization of Islamic Education In Contemporary Kyrgyzstan

This event is part of the CERIA Initiative, generously funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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Apr
20
Thu
2017
Cinema Club Film Screening: “The Gift to Stalin” (Kazakhstan, 2008)
Apr 20 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
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Directed by Rustem Abdrashev

“Set in 1949, just before Stalin’s 70th-birthday jubilee, the film centers on Sasha (Dalen Shintemirov), a 9-year-old boy who escapes from a train transporting Jewish refugees from Moscow to Kazakhstan.

“Hidden among the shrouded corpses callously dumped on the tracks, Sasha is rescued by an aging railway worker (Nurzhuman Ikhtimbaev) and taken to his tiny village. There, in an ethnic melting pot of other exiles, he is cared for by Vera (Yekaterina Rednikova), an earthy Russian, and Yezhik (Waldemar Szczepaniak), a shy, thoughtful Pole.” – JEANNETTE CATSOULIS, The New York Times

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