with Sean Roberts, Associate Professor and Director, International Development Studies Program, GWU
With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Uyghurs of Kazakhstan, like many others in the former USSR, began to resurrect and re-invent traditional cultural practices that had been repressed during the Soviet period as either contrary to socialist atheism or as remnants of a “feudal past.” These traditions included daily practices and rituals based in local communities as well as the informal structure of neighborhood governance that regulates such practices. Since the 1990s, the importance of these neighborhood structures and practices to Uyghur daily life in Kazakhstan have gradually increased, and most recently the informal structure of neighborhood governance has even been scaled up to create a Republic-wide organization that represents Uyghur interests to the government of Kazakhstan. This lecture will discuss the evolution of local Uyghur neighborhoods in Kazakhstan over the last twenty years, focusing on these communities’ roles in both cultural resurrection and political mobilization.
Sean R. Roberts, PhD is a professor at the Elliott school and the Director of the International Development Studies program. He is a cultural anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork among the Uyghur people of Central Asia and China, and worked for USAID in Central Asia on democracy programs. In 1996 he produced a documentary film on the Uyghur people titled, Waiting for Uighurstan.
THE EURASIA PROGRAM of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Central Asia Program at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies atGeorge Washington University are pleased to announce a field development workshop, to be held on the GWU campus November 1-4, 2012.
Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and currently either within five years of the completionof their dissertation, enrolled in an accredited PhD program, or enrolled in an area studies MA program.Applicants should have an identified and developed research project that relates to the theme and focus of theworkshop. Preference will be given to those developing their dissertation.
Full instructions on how to apply can be found on the program’s website: http://www.ssrc.org/programs/pages/eurasia-program/crossing-boundaries-merging-eurasian-insights-with-the-study-of-afghanistan/
Application materials should be submitted electronically to the SSRC Eurasia Program at email@example.com by5:00 p.m. EDT on October 1, 2012. Travel costs, workshop meals, and accommodation for participants will becovered by the SSRC. Should you have any questions, please contact the Eurasia Program (firstname.lastname@example.org).
with Nazif Shahrani, Professor, Indiana University-Bloomington
In his presentation Professor Sharhani will discuss the following key questions: What are the most persistent challenges facing Afghanistan and Central Asian republics to over come economic stagnation, increasing poverty, inequality, oppression, radicalism, and terrorism, dependency on outside powers and looming instability and uncertainty in the region? How will the US & NATO withdrawal of combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014 affect political stability in the region? What are the prospects for averting further uncertainty and instability within the region any time soon?
A workshop held in conjunction with the exhibition “Nomads and Networks: The Ancient Art and Culture of Kazakhstan” currently at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution until December 2, 2012.
Nomadism has been a key aspect of culture in the Eurasian space, especially on the Kazakh steppes, throughout the centuries. The Russian colonization and the Soviet Union drastically transformed the Kazakh society in the 19th and 20th century. Since independence in 1991, the legacy of nomadism has been rehabilitated by the political authorities in their nation building schemes.
The society has also participated in reconstructing symbols of the nomadic past: they have become objects of memory and research, but also objects of artistic inspiration, and commercial branding. This workshop invites a team of experts to discuss the contemporary use of the concept of nomadism from various angles.