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By Subject - Central Asian Studies
TitleAuthorDescription
Azan on the MoonTill MostowlanskyAzan 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.
Chaos, Violence, DynastyEric McGlincheyA 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.

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Force of CustomJudith BeyerJudith 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.

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Islam, Society, and Politics in Central AsiaPauline JonesDuring the 1990s, there was a consensus that Central Asia was witnessing an Islamic revival after independence, and that this would follow similar events throughout the Islamic world in the prior two decades, which had negative effects on both social and political development. Twenty years later, we are still struggling to fully understand the transformation of Islam in a region that’s evolved through a complex and dynamic process, involving diversity in belief and practice, religious authority, and political intervention. This volume sheds light on these crucial questions by bringing together an international group of scholars who offer a fresh perspective on Central Asian states and societies.
Living Language in KazakhstanEva-Marie DubuissonA 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.
Nationalism in Central AsiaNick MegoranNick Megoran explores the process of building independent nation-states in post-Soviet Central Asia through the lens of the boundary between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, using a combination of political, historical, ethnographic, and geographic frames to shed new light on this process.
Paradox of PowerJohn Heathershaw“State weakness” is seen to be a widespread problem throughout Central Asia and other parts of post-socialist space, and more broadly in areas of the developing world. Challenging the widespread assumption that these “weak states” inevitably slide toward failure, Paradox of Power takes careful stock of the varied experiences of Eurasian states to reveal a wide array of surprising outcomes.
Practicing IslamDavid MontgomeryMontgomery 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.

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Speaking Soviet with an AccentAli IgmenThe 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.

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TashkentPaul StronskiPaul Stronski tells the fascinating story of Tashkent, an ethnically diverse, primarily Muslim city that became the prototype for the Soviet-era reimagining of urban centers in Central Asia. Stronski shows how Soviet officials, planners, and architects strived to integrate local ethnic traditions and socialist ideology into a newly constructed urban space and propaganda showcase.

Winner of the 2011 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award in history and the humanities.

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Under Solomon's ThroneMorgan LiuMorgan 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.

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