The Most Complete and Accessible Introduction to Central Asia Available Today
A comprehensive and unsettling account of the Soviet campaign to forcefully sedentarize and collectivize the Kazakh clans. Stalin and his inner circle pursued a campaign of violence and subjugation, rather than attempting any dialog or cultural assimilation. The results were catastrophic, as the conflict and an ensuing famine (1931-1933) caused the death of nearly one third of the Kazakh population.
Learning to Become Turkmen examines the ways in which the iconography of everyday life—in dramatically different alphabets, multiple languages, and shifting education policies—reflects the evolution of Turkmen society in Central Asia over the past century.
This book analyzes how Central Asians actively engaged with the rapidly globalizing world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In presenting the first English-language history of the Khanate of Khoqand (1709-1876), Scott C. Levi examines the rise of that extraordinarily dynamic state in the Ferghana Valley.
Azan on the Moon is an in-depth anthropological study of people’s lives along the Pamir Highway in eastern Tajikistan. Based on extensive fieldwork and through an analysis of construction, mobility, technology, media, development, Islam, and the state along the Pamir Highway, Mostowlansky shows how conceptualizations of modernity are both challenged and reinforced in contemporary Tajikistan.
A fascinating anthropological inquiry into the deeply ingrained presence of ancestors within the cultural, political, and spiritual discourse of Kazakhs. This ancestral dialogue sustains a unifying worldview by mediating questions of faith and morality, providing role models, and offering a mechanism for socio-political critique, change, and meaning-making.
Judith Beyer presents a finely textured ethnographic study that sheds new light on the legal and moral ordering of everyday life in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. Beyer shows how local Kyrgyz negotiate proper behavior and regulate disputes by invoking custom, known to the locals as salt. While salt is presented as age-old tradition, its invocation needs to be understood as a highly developed and flexible rhetorical strategy that people adapt to suit political, legal, economic, and religious environments.
Montgomery presents a rich ethnographic study on the practice and meaning of Islamic life in Kyrgyzstan. Through his years of on-the-ground research, he assembles both an anthropology of knowledge and an anthropology of Islam, demonstrating how individuals make sense of and draw meanings from their environments. This book offers the most thorough English-language study to date of Islam in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.
Despite Cultures examines the strategies and realities of the Soviet state-building project in Tajikistan during the 1920s and 1930s. As Kassymbekova reveals, the local ruling system was built upon an intricate network of individuals, whose stated loyalty to Communism was monitored through a chain of command that stretched from Moscow through Tashkent to Dushanbe/Stalinabad.
The first English-language study of Soviet culture clubs in Kyrgyzstan. These clubs profoundly influenced the future of Kyrgyz cultural identity and fostered the work of many artists. Ali Igmen also chronicles the remarkable agency of the Kyrgyz people, who employed available resources to meld their own heritage with Soviet and Russian ideologies and form artistic expressions that continue to influence Kyrgyzstan today.
Morgan Y. Liu provides a rare ground-level analysis of post-Soviet Central Asia’s social and political paradoxes by focusing on an urban ethnic community: the Uzbeks in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, who have maintained visions of societal renewal throughout economic upheaval, political discrimination, and massive violence.This study examines the culturally specific ways that Osh Uzbeks are making sense of their post-Soviet dilemmas. These practices reveal deep connections with Soviet and Islamic sensibilities and with everyday acts of dwelling in urban neighborhoods. Osh Uzbeks engage the spaces of their city to shape their orientations relative to the wider world, postsocialist transformations, Islamic piety, moral personhood, and effective leadership.
Winner of the 2014 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award in the Social Sciences.
A compelling study of the divergent political courses taken by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in the wake of Soviet rule. McGlinchey examines economics, religion, political legacies, foreign investment, and the ethnicity of these countries to evaluate the relative success of political structures in each nation.