Viva-voce examination – Thurs 15th June

On Thursday 15th June at 17.45 Dmitriy Mel’nikov will be defending his thesis in a viva-voce examination.

The viva is public and all are welcome to attend.

Room 8.322B, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Anuar Duisenbinov
Pavel Bannikov
A special edition of Novyi Mir dedicated to modern Kazakhstani Russophone writing.

Title: Toward Russophone Super-Literature: Making Subjectivities, Spaces And Temporalities In Post-Soviet Kazakhstani Russophone Writing

Abstract: This thesis is devoted to the analysis of literary works by a number of the leading post-Soviet Russophone Kazakhstani writers: Anuar Duisenbinov, Bakhyt Kairbekov, Diusenbek Nakipov, Nikolai Verёvochkin, Il’ia Odegov and Iurii Serebrianskii. Kazakhstan is a country where Russian literature has been developing quite successfully since the collapse of the USSR. There has been a transformation of writing in Russian in Kazakhstan since the country’s independence – with the rise of the new generation of the writers in the 2000s, Russian literature in Kazakhstan transformed into Russophone Kazakhstani literature. In this thesis, I argue for the difference between the younger and older generations of the contemporary Russophone Kazakhstani writers – the latter is focused on post-traumatic sense of loss and absence, while the former is characterized by a more positive identification concentrated on the new national post-independent realities of Kazakhstan. The concept of Russophone super-literature fits most the younger generation of the authors. The main argument of the thesis is that Russophone Kazakhstani literature is a supralinguistic and supracultural realm where complex subjectivities of Russophone Kazakh-ness, “other” Russian-ness and Kazakhstani-ness are produces and expressed. While increasing their community, the younger writers reconsider the imperial and colonial aspects of Russian-ness, incorporate (Russian-Kazakh) bilingualism, keep pace with literary modernity, accumulate their international literary capital and seek for independence from the political and nationalizing agendas of both Kazakhstan and Russia. Despite its growing importance, post-Soviet Russophone Kazakhstani literature is almost unexplored in English-language scholarship. While relying on textual analysis of prose and poetry as well as on in-depth interviews with the Kazakhstani writers, I conclude that now Russophone Kazakhstani literature demonstrates a high degree of vitality, first of all by nurturing new generations of Russophone writers in the Almaty Open Literary School; however, the bright possible future of the literature should not be overestimated, because of a number of problems such as poor national book market, the lack of audience and the continuing de-Russification of the country.

Internal Advisers: Victoria Thorstensson, Alima Bissenova & Gabriel McGuire

External Adviser: Prof Rossen Djagalov, New York University

 

 

Conference Announcement: Eurasian Migration, Past & Present. 18-19 May 2017

Eurasian Migration, Past & Present – Living Cross-Cultural Lives

18-19 May, 2017

Nazarbayev University

Block C3, Room 1010

Dungans in the village of Karakunuz (modern-day Masanchi), 1909. Source: http://rus-turk.livejournal.com/340163.html)

 

May 18:

9.30: Opening statements/welcome, Block C3, Room 1010

Panel 1

10.00-12.00: Living and Working in Places of Settlement

Chair: Zohra Ismail Beben, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: Caress Schenk, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Papers:

Michaela Pohl, Vassar College (US)

In the Streets of the Virgin Lands/Na ulitsakh tseliny

Madeleine Reeves, University of Manchester (UK)

Out of Synch? Labor, Time, and Deportability in Moscow’s Migrant Economy

Rano Turaeva, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Germany)

Migrant communities and Mosques in Moscow

Sergey Ryazantsev, Institute of Socio-Political Research, Russian Academy of Science (Russia)

Migrants from East and Southeast Asia on the Russian labour market

12.00-13.30: Lunch break

Panel 2

13.30-15.15: Living Betwixt and Between

Chair: Gwen McEvoy, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: Alima Bissenova, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Papers:

Elena Borisova, University of Manchester (UK)

Being immobile at a time of mass migration: labour migrants with re-entry bans in northern Tajikistan

Igor Savin, South-Kazakhstan State University and Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

Main tendencies of return migration from Central Asia to Kazakhstan [Основные тенденции возвратной миграции из Центральной Азии в Казахстан] (in Russian)

Irina Kuznetsova, University of Birmingham (UK)

Refugees from Eastern Ukraine in Russia: experiences, policies and discourse in the context of forced migration from the Ukraine conflict

15.15-15.45: Coffee break

Panel 3

15:45-17:30: The Impact and Legacies of ‘Hard’ Borders in the USSR

Chair: Kris Rees, Indiana University East

Discussant: Alexander Morrison, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Papers:

Jeff Sahadeo, Carleton University (Canada)

Our House is/was the Soviet Union: Migration, Internal Borders and Identity in the late USSR

Alima Bissenova, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

“Songy Kosh” (Last Migration) – Mass Sino-Soviet Migration of Kazakhs from 1955 to 1962

Jeremy Smith, University of Eastern Finland

Stranded migrants: the break-up of the USSR and the impact of new international borders on national minorities

Kazakhstan is also becoming a destination for migrant workers. Source: http://migrant.ferghana.ru/newslaw/из-россии-в-казахстан-трудовая-миграц.html

May 19

Panel 4

9.00-10.45: Navigating home: Migrants and Sending Countries

Chair: Aziz Burkhanov, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: Madeleine Reeves, University of Manchester (UK)

Papers:

Ted Gerber, University of Wisconsin-Madison (US)

Labor migrant experiences in Russia: Views from back home

Helene Thibault, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Polygyny in the context of Tajik labour migration

Malika Tukmadieva, Independent Scholar (Kazakhstan)

Curse or Blessing? Official Rhetoric on Emigration in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

10.45-11.15: Coffee Break

Panel 5

11.15-13.00: Migrants and the Host State

Chair: Maja Savevska, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: Ted Gerber, University of Wisconsin-Madison (US)

Papers:

Emil Nasretdinov, The American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan)

The Effect of Kyrgyzstan’s Accession to EEU on the Life of Kyrgyz Migrants in Moscow

Irina Chernikh, Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies

Ethnic Immigration in Kazakhstan: Regional Specificities, Dynamic, Model of adaptation

Caress Schenk, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Does Corruption Increase Opportunities for Migrants in Eurasia?

13.00-14.00: Lunch break

Panel 6

14.00-15.45: Migrants and the Host Society

Chair: Caress Schenk, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: Jeff Sahadeo, Carleton University (Canada)

Papers:

Alexander Morrison, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

On Dunganskaya Street – Colonial Vernyi as a plural society

Elena Sadovskaya, Center for Conflict Management (Kazakhstan)

Rise of anti-Chinese sentiments in Kazakhstan in the context of land lease to China in 2016: background, dynamics and prospects

Natalya Kosmarskaya, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)

Exploring Regional Specifics of Everyday Xenophobia in Russia: Case-Study of Moscow and Krasnodar

15.45-16.00: Coffee Break

Panel 7

16.00-17.45: Crossing Borders: the Logistics of Mobility in a World of Changing Borders

Chair: Helene Thibault, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Discussant: John Schoeberlein, Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

Papers:

Olga Tkach, Centre for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg (Russia)

The Unbearable Lightness of the Finnish Schengen: Visa Strategies of Russian Visitors to Finland

Natalya Zotova, The Ohio State University (US)

Russia’s “Stop-List” and Central Asian Migrants: New Dimensions of Human Insecurity

Sergei Abashin , European University of St Petersburg (Russia)

Crisis, circular migration, and returning home: migrants between Russia and Central Asia (in Russian)

All Welcome!

Viva-voce examinations – Wed 10th May

On Wednesday 10th May from 15.00 two students from the MA in Eurasian Studies will be defending their theses in a viva-voce examination. The vivas are public and all are welcome to attend.

Room 8.322B, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

15.00 – 15.45 Saltanat Boteu

‘The Perception of Volunteering Experiences of Young Volunteers in Kazakhstan’

This thesis  focuses on volunteering as a modern phenomenon that has emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan. The volunteering phenomenon has been neglected by social science research in Kazakhstan. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the emergence of volunteering as a new unexplored social process. Particularly, I explore how perceptions of young volunteers form during their volunteering experience, that helps to understand the position of volunteer in Kazakhstani society. This thesis heavily relies on interviews with volunteers and key informants. In addition, I review the laws of Kazakhstan related to non-governmental and non-profit sector that indirectly touches upon volunteering and the recent Draft Law on volunteering (June 16, 2015). The thesis includes the opinions of experts, volunteers and government representatives on volunteers’ position and volunteering phenomenon in Kazakhstan. I explored the notion of volunteering in Kazakhstan, the opinions of participants on their motivations and the benefits from volunteering, the main issues that influence perception and motivation of volunteers in relationships with other actors (society, the state, volunteering organisation). The contribution of the study is the model of the relationships of volunteers with other actors, illustrating how the relationship between volunteers and the state, society and volunteering organisations are important for the volunteering sphere overall.

Internal advisers: Sofiya An & Zbigniew Wojnowski
External adviser: Professor Azamat Junisbai, Pitzer College

15.45 – 16.30 Aliya Tazhibayeva

‘The Internationalisation of Higher Education in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan: State Policies and Institutional Practices?’

This thesis deals with the interpretation and implementation of the internationalisation of higher education in Kazakhstan at national and institutional levels. The goal of the study is to find out how internationalisation of higher education is defined in the national policy documentation and in universities’ development strategies on education, how that interpretation is similar/different to those appearing in academic literature, and how it is reflected in the universities’ practices of internationalisation. As the research results illustrate, national and state higher education institutions in Kazakhstan are dependent on state policies in terms of internationalisation, though some freedom is given to universities in academic mobility and international cooperation, and limited by governmental funding for internationalisation activities. Kazakhstani universities plan and implement only the feasible elements of internationalisation, thus minimising the risk of failure.

Internal Advisers: Sofiya An & Jack Lee (GSE)

External Adviser: Professor Martha Merrill, Kent State University

Viva-voce examinations – 2nd May 2017

On Tuesday 2nd May from 16.00 three students from the MA in Eurasian Studies will be defending their theses in a viva-voce examination. The vivas are public and all are welcome to attend.

The Astana main bazaar, known as ‘Artem’.

Room 8.105

16.00 – 16.45 Darina Sadvakassova

‘Branding Kazakhstan: the Relationship between State and Non-state Actors.’

This thesis is devoted to the analysis of Kazakhstani nation branding processes. The Republic of Kazakhstan faced the need to present itself on international arena right after the country’s independence. The questions of nation branding were sidelined until the beginning of the 2000s, but they have recently received a new impetus. Academic literature on Kazakhstani nation branding tends to focus on separate advertising campaigns, thus failing to illustrate the whole mechanism of this phenomenon. In addition, it views nation branding as a top-down process, often overlooking the role of non-state actors. By focusing on tourism promotion as one element of the country’s nation branding, this research attempts to distinguish between state and non-state actors engaged in Kazakhstani nation branding and to examine how the relationship between those actors influences the national brand. Although it is difficult to draw clear differences between these sets of actors, in-depth interviews with representatives of the tourist board, tourist association, and travel agencies reveal the existence of a distinction between state and non-state actors as defined by nation branders themselves. Analysis of websites, printed, video, and audio materials helps to identify the images of Kazakhstan that are promoted on the international level, as well as to highlight particular elements of these images that are stressed by different sets of actors. Using a grounded theory approach, this study comes to the conclusion that the level of interaction between state and non-state actors has a strong influence on the content of the national brand.

Internal advisers: Aziz Burkhanov (GSPP) & Zbigniew Wojnowski
External adviser: Professor Sally Cummings, University of St Andrews

16.45 – 17.30 Meiirzhan Baitas

‘Traders of the Central Bazaar in Astana: a perspective on motives and social networks.’

This MA thesis focuses on the Central Bazaar traders in Astana that were recruited via convenience sampling. The goal of the research is to investigate the reasons for becoming a trader, identifying factors that lead to the decision to become a trader, and the role of social networks in traders’ lives. In this paper I employ the bottom-up approach to research informal markets as opposed to macro perspective and thus I focus life stories of traders. The research fills the gap in the literature of informal markets by addressing the relationship between one’s motives and social networks in trade. I find that traders’ motives have decisive effects on the establishment of social networks and on the evolution of social networks over time as well as on traders’ perceptions of success and failure. On the one hand I found that highly extrinsically driven traders are better off by establishing strong social networks, which often times evolve into unconditional social networks. This is due to the fact that strong social networks provide traders with the feeling of security and stability. Strong social networks over time, however, become less complex and turn into two-dimensional connections. On the other hand, highly intrinsically driven traders often times fail to establish meaningful social networks due to an individualistic approach to trade and no desire to cooperate and commit to networks.

Internal advisers: John Schoeberlein & Alima Bissenova
External adviser: Professor Hasan Karrar, Lahore University of Management Sciences

17.30 – 18.15 Gulnar Akanova

​’​L​anguage Ideologies of Kazakhstani youth: the Value of Kazakh in the Context of a Changing Linguistic Marketplace.’

The issue of the statuses and use of Kazakh and Russian languages has been a topic of disputes and discussions on both public and private levels since Kazakhstan obtained its independence. During the years when Kazakhstan was a part of the Soviet Union the Soviet authorities deliberately promoted Russian language and culture and displaced the local language from public domains. As a result, Russian language acquired an important place in everyday lives of the people and was a lingua franca for the population. Thus, Russian was perceived as a prestigious language whereas Kazakh lost its value.​ ​There have now been 25 years of ​the ​promotion of Kazakh language. The population of Kazakhstan reports having positive attitude to Kazakh language and the number of children studying in Kazakh-medium schools increased during the years of independence from about a million people in 1991 to approximately 1.57 million in 2011 (Altynbekova, 2011; Fierman, 2006). However, ​d​espite the authority of Kazakh as an authentic language Russian is the dominant language in many domains.This thesis focuses on the language ideologies of contemporary Kazakhstani young people based on fieldwork conducted in the new capital city of Astana. The Kazakhstani younger generation has complex language ideologies regarding the value of Kazakh, Russian, and English which affect young people’s use of languages in different contexts. Russian is not likely to lose its value in the near future, while the current trends promise an increase in popular support for the use of Kazakh.

Internal advisers: John Schoeberlein, Erika Alpert & Mahire Yakup
​External Adviser: Professor Laada Bilaniuk, University of Washington, Seattle.

First year MA Project Presentations

On Monday 24th April first-year students on the MA in Eurasian Studies will be presenting their thesis feasibility studies in preparation for their research over the summer. The presentations are public, and the students are anxious for feedback and comments, so do please attend if you’re interested. The full schedule is below:

Monday 24th April Room 8.322B 10.00 – 13.20

10.00 – 10.20 Aigerim Kagarmanova: Electronic bazaar: Social Media as a marketplace in contemporary Kazakhstan

The phenomenon of shuttle trade emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sellers with professional qualifications started trading in bazaars and shopping centers to sustain their families and survive during the economic transition period. This study looks at contemporary small business representatives that trade on Social Media in order to explore the way bazaars have extended to the digital world and became a part of electronic commerce in Kazakhstan.

10.20 – 10.40 Xeniya Udod: A Choir of Soloists: Agendas and Controversies of Contemporary Feminism in Kazakhstan

My paper investigates a recent revival of feminism in Kazakhstan where several feminist unions as well as numerous individual activists promote feminist ideas, as well as advocating gender equality and LGBT rights. In a country with a mixed legacy of public and private patriarchy, such activity faces challenges, and or even dangerous responses towards the public display of feminism and/or non-heterosexual sexuality. By founding this paper upon academic sources from Eastern European countries as well as Soviet and post-Soviet Russia and other Central Asian republics, as well as by conducting in-depth interviews with the country’s outspoken feminist activists, I seek to define their concepts of thecontemporary Kazakhstani feminist agenda and its basic principles.

10.40 – 11.00 Di Wang: Tarbagatai and Ili: Trade and Merchant Networks in northern Xinjiang in the 18th and 19th century.

The research focuses on the political context that enabled trade in Tarbagatai and Ili in northern Xinjiang starting from the mid-18th century and lasting till the end of 19th century. It also addresses the role of merchant networks and commodities.

11.00 – 11.20 Nurgul Zhanabayeva: The Changing Perceptions and Practices of Nonmarital Relationships among Ethnic Kyrgyz Youth in Bishkek

The proposed study aims to investigate the patterns of nonmarital relationships among young never-married heterosexual men and women in Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. I am particularly interested in how young people understand and interpret “romantic relationships” within their cultural settings, as well as their intentions and aspirations when establishing a nonmarital relationship that might involve emotional and/or physical intimacy.

11.20 – 11.40 Zhansaule Kimel: Small town capitalism: socio-economic implications of women’s involvement in trade

I am going to explore the involvement of the population in the informal sector of the economy in a small town of southern Kazakhstan. I am also going to focus on how and why women play a greater role in maintaining the economic development of the city through trade, which is one of the key income sources of the city population.

11.40 – 12.00 David Hansen: Bones of the Bronze Age: A bioarchaeological study of micro-regional interaction in south-east Kazakhstan

This study examines the evidence for health and disease among the individuals from an archaeological site in southeast Kazakhstan by drawing on osteological assessment of skeletal remains from the site. The research will address questions on ancient identity, ritual systems, and economy among prehistoric pastoralist populations of Central Asia, and investigate the individual against the backdrop of Bronze Age regional interactions

12.00 – 12.20 Merey Seitova: The changes adults with physical disabilities experienced in health care due to the transition from the Soviet Union to independent Kazakhstan

The research will focus on how health care changed for adults with disabilities because of the transition from communist Soviet Union to sovereign Kazakhstan. The research will include conducting qualitative interviews in Astana with adults with physical disabilities of different sex, and age above 30 years. The participants will be recruited by method of snowball sampling. The home for adults with disabilities in Astana will be also visited for observation and participants’ recruitment.

12.20 – 12.40 Karina Matkarimova: German “Soft Power” Strategy in Kazakhstan: Educational and Cultural Aspects.

The research is dedicated to the analysis of German “soft power” strategy in Kazakhstan, with particular focus on education and culture spheres. The aim of the research is to understand features of German “soft power” strategy, the role of the German diaspora in “soft power” strategy and to indicate the main actors engaged in this process.

12.40 – 13.00 Dina Mukatova: Nuclear culture and Nuclear legacies in Kazakhstan and Japan

In my research I am going to focus on Kazakhstan and Japan, countries that directly suffered from the nuclear weapons. The emergence of nuclear culture became a significant step in the comprehension of nuclear energy use. It is a set of perceptions that people have in order to deal with the consequences of the nuclear legacy, whether they suffered directly from nuclear testing, or they lived in the constant fear of irreparable damage from nuclear fallout. There is a lack of scholarship dedicated to Kazakhstani nuclear culture. However, Japanese culture abounds with the works related to the nuclear legacy. I want to compare the Kazakhstani and Japanese experiences of dealing with the consequences of nuclear use.

13.00 – 13.20 Togzhan Kalamysheva: The socio-cultural underpinnings of the life insurance market Kazakhstan.

This study analyzes the life insurance demand in Kazakhstan through the prism of the cultural and social norms of Kazakhs. It will examine the socio-cultural response of Kazakhs to the idea of life insurance. As well, it aims to investigate the influence of the current economic situation and socio-demographic factors on the life insurance consumption.

Public Lecture: ‘On Wings of Song’ – Karen Evans-Romaine, UW-Madison

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics is pleased to invite you to the public lecture by Dr. Karen Evans-Romaine (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

karen-evans-romaine

Title: “On Wings of Song: Romantic Image-Makers in Russian Modernism”

Time and Date: Friday, February 24, 4-5 pm.

Location: 5.103

Dr. Evans-Romaine is a specialist on Boris Pasternak, intertextuality in Russian Modernism, interrelationship of music and literature, German-Russian literary relations, European Modernism and Romanticism; and foreign language pedagogy. She is the author of Boris Pasternak and the Tradition of German Romanticism. Munich: Verlag Otto Sagner [Slavistische Beiträge, Vol. 344], 1997, and numerous articles and book chapters on Russian literature and foreign language pedagogy.

Lecture: Andrew Reynolds on Mandelstam

The Department of Languages, Linguistics and Lieratures (aka WLL) invites you to a lecture by Professor Andrew Reynolds (Department of German, Nordic and Slavic, UW-Madison) titled:

“Preserving whose speech?: Mandelstam in translation and the quest for the authentic in post-1945 British, Irish, and American poetry”

When: Wednesday, October 19, 4:00-5:00 pm

Where: Block 8, Room 8.140

Abstract:

After providing a brief account of the translation of Mandelstam and other Russian and East European poets into English and also of some of the main trends in Western scholarship on these poets, I shall explore some of the reasons why English-language poetry in this period turned to the East. Some more specific questions of translation strategies and literary interpretation will also be discussed with particular reference to Mandelstam’s 1931 masterpiece “Sokhrani moiu rech’ navsegda za privkus neschast’ia i dyma” (“Preserve my speech forever for its aftertaste of misfortune and smoke”).

s200_andrew-reynolds

Andrew Reynolds is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UW-Madison, and the author of Death and the Poets: Osip Mandelstam, Alexander Pushkin and the Poetics of Influence (forthcoming from University of Wisconsin Press).

First-year Thesis Proposal Presentations

 

keep-calm-and-defend-that-proposal-1

This Friday, 22nd April, First-year students on the MA in Eurasian Studies will be presenting their thesis proposals. These are intended to outline their research questions and the proposed structure of their thesis, and to help them plan their summer fieldwork. They will be hoping for questions and constructive feedback from the audience. All welcome!

Friday 22nd April Room 8.321 2pm – 5pm

2.00 – 2.30pm Gulnar Akanova: Language Choice and Language Ideology: Youth of Urban and Rural Backgrounds in Kazakhstan

The issue of the status and use of the Kazakh and Russian languages has been a topic of disputes and discussions on both public and private levels since Kazakhstan obtained its independence. During the years when Kazakhstan was a part of the Soviet Union the Kazakhstani population learned Russian and it obtained an important place in the everyday lives of the people, being the language of interethnic communication and a lingua franca for the population. However the use of languages was uneven across Kazakhstan, with Russian being the main language of communication in urban areas (especially in the northern part) of the country whereas rural residents used Kazakh. Now with the state policy on the empowerment of Kazakh and the flow of rural-urban migration the sociolinguistic setting is changing. Thus how do the contemporary youth of urban and rural backgrounds make their language choice in everyday life and what are their language ideologies?

2.30 – 3.00pm Meiirzhan Baitas: Kazakhstani Petty Traders: Coping Strategies in a Volatile Economy

This paper focuses on networking among small-scale traders as a strategy in establishing a clientele. During the economic boom Kazakhstani small scale traders were able to establish their own niche in the economy. Traders developed their trading networks that extended well beyond the borders of Kazakhstan. With deteriorating economic conditions, however, small-scale traders experienced precarious conditions due to successive rounds of tenge devaluation and oil price shocks producing attrition in their clientele. In order to cope with this challenge, petty traders rely on a variety of networks, mainly, commodity-oriented, family-oriented, and ethnic-group-oriented networks.

This paper addresses the question of how petty traders utilize their networks in maintaining and reorienting their client base. In addition, I focus on why some types of networks are more preferable or efficient in comparison to others, and I consider how and under what circumstances each network type is utilized in establishing a clientele.

In order to address these questions I rely on participant observation and semi-structured in-depth interviews with small-scale traders in Astana within the grounded theory framework. This is because the goal of the research is to build a theory on the basis of information embedded in interviews.In this respect, the research will not only provide a description of petty traders’ practices in establishing a client base, but rather seek substantive interpretations of why and when small-scale traders utilize various networks in uncertain economic conditions. Considering the World Bank’s forecast of low oil prices in the coming years, the importance of networks among petty traders is likely to become even more central as there are no formal mechanisms in aiding informal small scale traders.

3.00 – 3.30pm Saltanat Boteu: Why do young people volunteer in Kazakhstan: the role of social and human capital in motivation to volunteer

Volunteering has long history of development in Western culture. In recent decades this phenomenon has attracted many scholars’ attention and was studied from different perspectives. Scholars examined the effects of volunteering on the individual and community level and emphasized its positive and negative outcomes. While in post-Soviet Central Asian countries, volunteering is a relatively new phenomenon, thus it started to be studied recently by scholars in different disciplines. This paper will focus on the motivation to volunteer in the Kazakhstani context, and draw attention to the human and social capital of volunteers and its relation to their motivation to undertake voluntary action.

3.30 – 4.00pm Dmitriy Melnikov: Imagining Eurasia in post-Soviet Central Asian Russian-language Literature

While exploring how Russian literature has been developing outside Russia in the Central Asian countries since the collapse of the USSR, I will rely on the concept of the imaginary as represented and constructed in literature. Considering that this concept is important within orientalism and postcolonial studies, the project seeks to examine to what extent the postcolonial paradigm is applicable to contemporary Russian-language literature in Central Asia. The goal of the project is to analyze the specific imaginary that writers working in Russian in the region have developed, as well as their innovative literary styles and devices such as the combination of literature with other arts, the incorporation of Kazakh in the texts and so on. It is interesting to see how this imagination influences their identity. The concept of Eurasia and the Eurasian space is now very popular in the area, and literature can be an interesting perspective to analyze to what imaginary it refers. To reveal the epistemological potential of the literary works for the study of the imagination I will employ phenomenological methodology, for instance, to see how the sense and the imaginary framework of some spaces (such as the environments of Almaty and Astana, the national territories and Eurasia as a whole) are constructed in prose and poetry by Anuar Duisenbinov, Duisenbek Nakipov, Ilya Odegov, Timur Pulatov, Nikolay Veryovochkin and Timur Zulfikarov.

4.00 – 4.30pm Darina Sadvakassova: Branding Kazakhstan: The Relationship between State and Non-State Actors in Image Construction.

The following feasibility study focuses on the investigation of Kazakhstani nation branding. Nation branding is a relatively new field of practice and research, but it has deep historical roots in cultural diplomacy, and is intimately bound up with such concepts as public diplomacy, cultural relations and soft power. Moreover, it also relates to different academic fields, including marketing research, international relations and foreign policy, cultural studies and mass communications. Nation branding as a practice creates a favorable international image and increases a country’s competitiveness. A review of the scholarly literature shows the absence of analysis of Kazakhstani nation branding as a strategy, as well as raising the question of how non-state actors influence Kazakhstan’s international image. This research proposal outlines two possible approaches to the analysis of Kazakhstan’s nation branding and relationship between state and non-state actors in this process.

4.30 – 5.00pm Aliya Tazhibayeva: The Internationalization of higher Education in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan: What Is the Strategic Line?

I will begin by exploring the definition of the internationalization of higher education as commonly utilized at the global level, and illustrating the changes and reforms in higher education taken after 1991. Within this I will specify my research interest and focus, which is to examine these trends in Kazakhstan, setting them in the context of the wider Eurasian region. I will outline the main and minor research questions, the approach I will employ, the suggested participants, possible risks and means of minimising them, and methods of data collection and analysis (tools, software).