Eurasian Studies Program invites you to a public lecture by Florian Mühlfried (University of Jena) Sept 7, 7:30 p.m., Block C3, 2004.

“We Love Death more than You Love Life” What Jihadists, Thieves in Law and Abreks from the Caucasus Have in Common

In a recent book, Oliver Roy argues that a significant part of the global appeal of the Islamic State lies in its death romanticisation equally popular in youth culture and shared by other millenialist revolutionary movements. This argument is problematic as it entails a high degree of speculation about jihadists’ ‘real’ motivation and attitude. Still, it importantly directs our attention to the cultural embeddedness of the figure of death seeker as well as its fictive genealogies. In my presentation, I will follow this thread and outline a genealogy of role models centred on the motive of embracing death while still alive. All of these role models are vividly present in contemporary discourses all over the Caucasus. The first role model is the so- called Abrek, a Caucasian bandit-come-rebel elevated to resistance fighter in the 19th century. The second is the ‘thief in law’, a criminal authority emerging from the Soviet prison camp system who, in later years, was often a Georgian. The third is the jihadi fighter of late, who has joined the international movement and commits suicide bombings in the Caucasus and beyond. In all three cases, embracing death is represented as a means of empowerment, and those who have allegedly transcended the fear of death are praised as much more powerful than their adversaries (even though these may be more powerful technically). By tracing some cultural roots of the death cult in the ideology of jihadi fighters from the Caucasus, the discourse on global jihadism is purposefully provincialized; the aim is to de-mystify global jihadism and to identify areas of intersection between jihadi ideology and local countercultures.

Bio: Florian Mühlfried teaches in the Caucasus Studies Program at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. He is the author of Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia (2014) and Post-Soviet Feasting: The Georgian Banquet in Transition (2006, in German). His research interests include issues of citizenship, the state, ritual, feasting, and mistrust.

The public lecture is given within the framework of the Joint Central Asia/South Caucasus Projects Summer School and is funded by Volkswagen Foundation

Department of Kazakh Language and Turkic Studies and the Eurasian Studies Program invites you to a public lecture by Julia McLean, UCLA, August 25, 3 p.m.- 4:30 p.m., 8.105

The Taste of Place and the Nature of Trust: Zhailau Foods in Post-Socialist Kazakhstan In contemporary Kazakhstan, as among other industrial and post-industrial societies, ideas surrounding rurally-sourced foods extend beyond questions of urban-industrial hygiene or quality control, and point more powerfully to the perceived moralities instilled in foods sourced from different places. These places may […]

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!

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”).

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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).

Lecture – Ted Gerber, ‘Housing and Inequality in Four Soviet Countries’.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology invites you to a lecture by Professor Ted Gerber (University of Wisconsin-Madison) titled:

‘Housing and Inequality in Four Soviet Countries’

When: 6.00pm-7.00pm, Tuesday, 18 October.

Where: Block 8 (SHSS), Floor 3, Room 8.305.

Abstract:

After 25 years of post-Soviet transition, how does housing relate to other markers of socioeconomic status in former Soviet countries? Housing was distributed according to non-market principles in the USSR. After the Soviet collapse, former Soviet states privatized housing stock, yet credit constraints and chronic shortages of housing stock impeded the development of housing markets. Data from a 2015 survey conducted in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine reveal the role of housing in the emergent stratification systems in these countries.

Ted Gerber 

gerber

Dr. Gerber is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on issues of social inequality, economic change, demography, and migration in post-Soviet countries.

Seminar announcement: Irna Hofman on Chinese Farms in Tajikistan

We would like to invite all students, faculty and colleagues to a paper in the SHSS seminar series.

Irna Hofman (Leiden University, Institute of Asian Studies) will be presenting on Politics or profits along the “Silk Road”. What drives and thrives Chinese farms in Tajikistan?

The Seminar will be at 4pm on Monday 11th April 2016 in Room 8.307 at Nazarbayev University.

Abstract

New geopolitical dynamics and the search for natural resources such as land accompany the rise of the BRICS countries in the global arena. In this paper I discuss the case of Chinese agricultural land investments in the Central Asian state of Tajikistan. Stemming from a Soviet past, Tajikistan seems to be on the way to becoming one of China’s satellite states. Over the last five years Chinese engagement in Tajikistan has become increasingly diversified. It now includes land and agriculture, which points to the multifaceted drivers behind China’s presence in the neighbouring Tajik republic. I thus use Tajikistan to explore the nature and drivers of Chinese land acquisitions in Central Asia, a region that has been regaining global attention since the past few years. This raises more widely applicable insights into the various, and I would argue, often competing factors driving China’s foreign land rush.

 

Irna Hofman is a Ph.D. researcher at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and affiliated to the ISS in the Hague through her supervisor Oane Visser. She holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Rural Development Sociology. Her current work and interests are focused on agrarian and social change, rural sociology and transition economies. She has conducted research in rural Uzbekistan and currently works on her Ph.D. research on post-Soviet agrarian change in Tajikistan. Chinese agricultural land investments and Chinese presence in Tajikistan and broader Central Asia are also part of her study, for which she recently organised a small conference on ‘Encounters after the Soviet collapse: Chinese presence in the former Soviet Union border zone’.

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