Steppe Dreams concerns the political significance of temporality in Kazakhstan, as manifested in public events and performances, and its reverberating effects in the personal lives of Kazakhstanis. Like many holidays in the post-Soviet sphere, public celebrations in Kazakhstan often reflect multiple temporal framings—utopian visions of the future, or romanticized views of the past—which throw light on present-day politics of identity. Adams examines the political, public aspects of temporality and the personal and emotional aspects of these events, providing a view into how time, mighty and unstoppable, is experienced in Kazakhstan.
Margarethe Adams (Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University) is an ethnomusicologist specializing in music and popular culture in Central Asia. She has conducted ethnographic research in Kazakhstan, northwest China, and Mongolia, and has published in Collaborative Anthropologies and The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. Her work investigates temporality and politics in postsocialist culture, and her current research examines popular forms of religion and spirituality, including Muslim pilgrimage, religious healing, and Korean evangelical practices in Kazakhstan.