A virtual event hosted by the Central Asia Program at George Washington University on Ocotber 27, 2022.
This panel proposes an interdisciplinary look at the culture of shame in Central Asia and evaluates its role in the regulation of social and political interactions in the region. Contributors will discuss how ‘uyat’ relies on patriarchal and hierarchical gender norms that negatively affect women and queer bodies through the taboo of sex education in Kazakhstani schools, favored heteronormativity, and the compliance of parents to give their first born to adoption to the husband’s parents. Yet, some authors will argue that these norms are challenged by young generations. Finally, the panel will touch upon the role of shame in Kazakhstani politics as a form of accountability in the absence of genuine political competition.
Karlygash Kabatova is a Researcher and Advocate for Youth Sexuality Education, in Astana, Kazakhstan and Washington D.C., USA.
Moldir Kabylova is a PhD candidate in Social Policy at University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on women’s employment, welfare state, culture and gender. She holds masters degree from University of York.
Zhibek Kenzhebaeva is a Primary School and Middle School Counselor at BIS (Bishkek International School).
Elena Kim is a professor of Social Sciences at the American University of Central Asia, Bishkek Kyrgyzstan. She is currently a visiting psychology professor at Bard college, New York. Elena’s teaching and research focus is on gender and international development, gender-based violence, and gender politics in Central Asia.
Mariya Levitanus is a Lecturer at the School of Health in Social Science, the University of Edinburgh. She received her Doctorate in Psychotherapy from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Previous and upcoming publications have focused on the role Soviet discourses in the narratives of queer people in Kazakhstan, queer emigration and queer activism in Kazakhstan and Russia.
Hélène Thibault is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Nazarbayev University and member of the Political Economy of Education Research (PEER) Network. Her research focuses on the politics of Central Asia as well as gender and religious identities.
Moderator, Sebastien Peyrouse
Research Professor, Central Asia Program, IERES, George Washington University and a Senior Fellow with the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China relations. His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, economic and social issues, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, India and South Asia.