By John Schoeberlein
This is a year-end message from the Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus at Harvard University. I am writing with hopes that your New Year begins with the warmth of friends and brings you rich and satisfying times throughout the year.
Also, I want to make sure you are aware of resources of our Program that are of interest to those with a focus on Central Eurasia -- from the Crimea to Mongolia:
- In the next few months our Project on Islam in Eurasia will be publishing several policy papers dealing with issues related to the changing of Islam in former Soviet societies and their broader
implications for policy. If you wish to receive notification of the papers when they are published, or to have us mail them to you, please provide your information at the following site, where you can also learn more about the Project on Islam in Eurasia:
- The resource of our program that draws the widest interest is our Central-Eurasia-L Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies, with over 7,000 subscribers from all over the world and has served the Central Eurasian studies community since 1995. The list distributes
announcements about new publications, conference, jobs, fellowships and other events and resources of interest to those focused on this region. For more information or to subscribe, visit:
- For those interested in the same kind of information about events and opportunities exclusively at Harvard University and in the Boston area, you may subscribe to the Central-Asia-Harvard-List, which has over 5,000 subscribers:
- The Central Eurasia Studies Society, which was based at the Program from 2000 through 2007, has a new host -- Miami University of Ohio. The next Annual Conference, which will be Sept. 15-18, 2011 at Ohio State University, is expected to an extraordinary gathering. The Call
for Papers will be available within the next couple of weeks (and you can sign up for CESS announcements) at:
- If you are a member or friend of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, you might want to follow CESS activities and link with others with similar interests through the CESS Facebook group (accessible to Facebook members):
- The Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus at Harvard will be hosting Central Eurasian scholars specializing on topics including Islam and national identity in Tajikistan, the mass violence in Kyrgyzstan in June 2010, popular Islam in Kyrgyzstan, population studies in Mongolia, sociology of intellectual elites in Kazakhstan, among other topics. If you would like to learn more about the visitors or make contact with them, see:
- Those interested in promoting better links between Central Eurasia scholarship and journalism are encouraged to become involved in the Central Eurasian Scholars and Media Initiative, which was launched this fall. For more information, contact Scholars.Media.Eurasia@gmail.com
- or visit our Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sfrm=1#!/home.php?sk=group_106716699397270
Finally, an observation from me, as someone who has specialized in Central Eurasia for almost three decades: As we approach the end of the second decade since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the implications for the study of that region can be said to be mixed. For better or worse, the possibilities for study of the region in international scholarship have greatly increased, though some parts of the region have been difficult to access and some are becoming more
difficult. The collapse of communist governments had an immediate, devastating effect on scholars in the region, though this has been partially mitigated by stabilization in some countries and by greatly increased opportunities for international support. The one area that is uniformly bright is the emergence of a new generation of scholars both within the region and globally who have been able "to put the region on the map" in international scholarship. Scholars of other
parts of the world now have much more reason to pay attention to the analyses of our part of the world.
For me, it has been tremendously satisfying to see so many good young colleagues doing work that is vastly more solid than what characterized the field when I began. Central-Eurasia-L grew quickly to encompass the lion's share of those who focused on the region, but still had less than 1,000 subscribers in 1997, whereas as now it has over 7,000. We've seen the emergence of the Central Eurasian Studies Society in 2000, and the annual conference a great critical mass of Central Eurasia scholars, as do ESCAS, ASN and some other some others, making for a tremendous community of scholars.
I wish you the very best for the New Year!
Dr. John Schoeberlein \ Director
Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus
Davis Center \ Harvard University
1730 Cambridge St., Room S-320 \ Cambridge, MA 02138 \ USA
tel.: +1/617-495-4338 asst.: +1/617-496-2643 fax: +1/617-495-8319
Central Asia Program website: http://centasia.fas.harvard.edu
Project on Islam in Eurasia: http://islam-eurasia.fas.harvard.edu