Diese Präsentation wurde erfolgreich gemeldet.
Wir verwenden Ihre LinkedIn Profilangaben und Informationen zu Ihren Aktivitäten, um Anzeigen zu personalisieren und Ihnen relevantere Inhalte anzuzeigen. Sie können Ihre Anzeigeneinstellungen jederzeit ändern.
Interrogating Change: Central Asia between Timelessness and Mutability 
October 17, 2014 
Hamilton Hall Room 569 
Universi...
Paper Abstracts: 
Panel I: The Persianate Sphere 
“Abd al-Qâdir Bîdil and the Writing of Persianate Literary History in Ce...
Panel II: Environmental History 
“Irrigation Systems as Hybrid Knowledge Spaces: Rethinking Colonial Relationships in Cent...
Panel III: Academic and Bureaucratic Approaches to Islam 
“Constructing a Timeless Tradition: The Role of Jadīdist Rhetori...
Nächste SlideShare
Wird geladen in …5
×

Abstracts of the workshop, Interrogating Change: Central Asia between Timelessness and Mutability, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 17 Oct. 2014

This workshop revisits the academic compartmentalization that has characterized studies of Central Eurasia by re-imagining this region as an experientially interconnected sphere of commonalities and convergences transcending national borders and conventional disciplinary boundaries. The organizers envision a novel topography of nineteenth and twentieth century Central Eurasia as a distinct space at once Islamic and Asian. Such a configuration opens up new possibilities for conceptualizing the region as an integral participant in a broader landscape incorporating the Middle East, South Asia, China, and Russia. In bringing together a variety of scholars with different expertise in the study of Central Asia, this workshop revisits longstanding scholarly boundaries and explores how Central Asian Studies can offer unique contributions to broader debates in the humanities and social sciences.

  • Loggen Sie sich ein, um Kommentare anzuzeigen.

  • Gehören Sie zu den Ersten, denen das gefällt!

Abstracts of the workshop, Interrogating Change: Central Asia between Timelessness and Mutability, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 17 Oct. 2014

  1. 1. Interrogating Change: Central Asia between Timelessness and Mutability October 17, 2014 Hamilton Hall Room 569 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Workshop Description: This workshop revisits the academic compartmentalization that has characterized studies of Central Eurasia by reimagining this region as an experientially interconnected sphere of commonalities and convergences transcending national borders and conventional disciplinary boundaries. The organizers envision a novel topography of nineteenth and twentieth century Central Eurasia as a distinct space at once Islamic and Asian. Such a configuration opens up new possibilities for conceptualizing the region as an integral participant in a broader landscape incorporating the Middle East, South Asia, China, and Russia. In bringing together a variety of scholars with different expertise in the study of Central Asia, this workshop revisits longstanding scholarly boundaries and explores how Central Asian Studies can offer unique contributions to broader debates in the humanities and social sciences. Since the nineteenth century, analyses of Central Asian societies have been defined by two equally forceful, yet contradictory, paradigms. On the one hand, Central Asia is seen as timeless and immutable, beholden to a static material and spiritual culture manifested in popular religion and folklore, as well as unchanging social, cultural, and economic practices. In large part a continuation of the colonial and Communist legacies, such portrayals of Central Asia depict an isolated region unresponsive to global change. Yet, on the other hand, the region continues to be characterized as ultra-reactive to externally generated change, most especially in its supposed embrace of political movements from nationalism to Islamism, and more broadly in its fervent intellectual responses to colonial and Socialist modernity. Caught between timelessness and mutability across the disciplines, scholarship on Central Asia has largely focused on negotiation of, resistance to, or indifference towards momentous global trends and patterns, with less attention to the local reproduction of indigenous practices, institutions, and ideas in different chronological and political contexts. This workshop seeks to interrogate this long-standing paradox in portrayals of the region, which posits Central Asia as timeless and unchanging in certain spheres, but particularly vulnerable and susceptible to foreign influence in others, by closely examining indigenous conceptualizations and reconfigurations of local institutions, practices, literary devices, and cultural trends in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It asks what are the particular themes, patterns, and questions that have animated and continue to shape social, political, religious, cultural, and economic life in Central Asian societies. Presenters from a variety of disciplinary, thematic, methodological, and chronological vantage points will explore the implications of the concept of change for the study of a region that is frequently characterized across many disciplines as a periphery or frontier.
  2. 2. Paper Abstracts: Panel I: The Persianate Sphere “Abd al-Qâdir Bîdil and the Writing of Persianate Literary History in Central Asia and Beyond” Kevin Schwartz, University of Maryland, College Park Hailed as the most popular Persian poet of Central Asia and the inspiration for poetic assemblies across the globe, the legacy of the great eighteenth century Indian poet ʻAbd al-Qâdir Bîdil (d. 1721) is vast and varied, impacting a multitude of different national and linguistic contexts. In the writing of Persian literary history, the impact of Bîdil has been both contradictory and diverse. Images of Bîdil as an obscurantist poet, agent of change, progressive voice, unabashed innovator, and canonic master all populate the landscape of Persian literary history, at once defining the national literary histories of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan as well as the inter-relationships between them. This paper seeks to explore the complicated and contradictory position of Bîdil in the writing of Persian literary history and the multiple ways in which his persona has been deployed to define the contours of Persian literary history in Central Asia and elsewhere. In particular, it seeks to highlight the ways in which Bîdil has been perceived as both an icon of tradition and change in Central Asia. “Abdulhaĭ Mujaxarfī and the Afterlives of Pre-Soviet Tajik Literature” Benjamin Gatling, Duke University This paper discusses treatments of the Tajik writer Abdulhaĭ Mujaxarfī (1867-1931) in both Soviet-era literary anthologies and post-Soviet publications of the poet’s work. During Abdulhaĭ’s lifetime few knew of the artistry of his poetics, yet during the Soviet era he became a paragon of Tajik “national” literature. And now, in the post-Soviet period he has become an heir and transmitter of traditional Central Asian Islamic spirituality. Drawing on ethnographic evidence, I argue that the recent publication of Abdulhaĭ’s verse has perpetuated specific Soviet-era literary orientations, which have subsequently carried over into the social imaginaries of contemporary Tajik Muslims. Yet still, Muslims in Tajikistan have localized Soviet-era frames of literary reference and adapted them towards the needs of post-Soviet devotional projects. Abdulhaĭ Mujaxarfī’s contemporary image illustrates the cultural creativity of post-Soviet Tajik Islam and the varied ways localized Persian literary tradition has intersected with larger discourses regarding the Tajik nation and Central Asian Islamic spirituality.
  3. 3. Panel II: Environmental History “Irrigation Systems as Hybrid Knowledge Spaces: Rethinking Colonial Relationships in Central Asia Under Russian Rule” Maya Peterson, University of California, Santa Cruz In recent years, scholars rethinking global histories of science have examined ways in which different knowledge systems – such as what we might call Western science and “indigenous knowledge” – have interacted, while taking locality more seriously in those encounters. Using insights from the history of science, environmental history, and anthropology, this paper uses the case of irrigation in Turkestan under Russian rule to rethink interactions between Russian imperial actors and their colonial subjects not as a clash of cultures, but rather as creating hybrid knowledge spaces. While Russians tried to impose order in urban areas by building new “European” parts of town, rural landscapes in Turkestan were less easily transformed. Engineers touted “European” science, yet hydraulic projects carried out under Russian imperial rule were in fact products of a transnational circulation of knowledge, technologies, and labor that built upon existing “traditional” systems that were themselves the complex results of imported technologies, local adaptations, and transfers of knowledge and techniques across a broader Eurasian knowledge space. Highlighting the transnational and hybrid elements of Turkestani irrigation systems in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries reminds us that cultures and knowledge systems are not monolithic and that they interact in complex and unexpected ways. “Can You Get to Socialism By Camel?: The Fate of Pastoral Nomadism in Soviet Kazakhstan, 1925-1928” Sarah Cameron, University of Maryland, College Park In 1925, Moscow began plans to transform the newly-created Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, a vast territory approximate in size to continental Europe. The major economic activity in the republic was not factory work or peasant agriculture, but pastoral nomadism, and the new republic now held the Soviet Union’s largest group of pastoral nomads, Kazakhs. To some, the idea of bringing socialist-style revolution to this territory appeared so far-fetched that it spawned a popular Kazakh-language joke: “You can’t get to socialism by camel!” This joke was a clever dig at the party’s outsized ambitions, but it also posed real questions about what a socialist-style transformation of Kazakhstan might look like. Could you get to socialism by camel? Was nomadism compatible with socialist-style modernity? Or, by contrast, was a nomadic way of life incompatible with socialism? This paper eschews the idea that Moscow’s decision to settle the Kazakh nomads was the inevitable result of the collision between a “modern” settled society and the nomadic world. Rather, it looks closely at the question of whether you could get to socialism by camel. It seeks to identify the various features of Soviet rule in Kazakhstan and in the Soviet project of nation-making and modernization more generally that led Moscow to conclude that the Kazakh nomads had to be settled.
  4. 4. Panel III: Academic and Bureaucratic Approaches to Islam “Constructing a Timeless Tradition: The Role of Jadīdist Rhetoric in Framing the Unstudied Religious Past of Central Asia” Devin DeWeese, Indiana University Still-prevailing patterns in scholarship on Central Asia privilege the critique of the region’s cultural, religious, and intellectual environment in the 19th-century articulated by the Jadīdist ‘reformers’ of the late 19th and early 20th century. This critique played an important role in shaping the image of Central Asia among scholars, both in the Soviet and post-Soviet environments and in the West, as a bastion of unchanging ‘tradition’ incapable of responding to ‘modernity’ (as variously formulated) without the intervention of enlightened activists (whether the Jadīdists or the Soviet government); the image rested on a lack of familiarity with Central Asia’s cultural history after the Timurid era, and it was sustained by (and indeed itself fostered) a neglect of indigenous cultural production during the 18th and 19th centuries. Mapped onto other intellectual and political currents of the 20th century, this image was instrumental in yielding many of the simplistic dichotomies through which both Soviet and Sovietological scholars attempted to understand Central Asia’s place in the Soviet, and post-Soviet, world—especially the region’s religious profile. This paper will address two interrelated areas—the structures and loci of Sufi life, and formulations of communal identity—in which the remarkable adaptability of indigenous ‘tradition’ was overlooked because of assumptions traceable in part to Jadīdist rhetoric. “Bureaucratic Ethnographies of Central Asian Islam” Eren Tasar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Categories, classificatory schemes, and conceptual work rest at the core of all government policy initiatives in any time and area. Islam in Soviet Central Asia serves as no exception. This paper analyzes bureaucratic frames for the analysis of Islam in Central Asia in the 1940s and 1950s with a focus on three themes that emerge as critically important for Soviet policymakers during this period of moderation towards Islam: fanaticism, superstition and nationality. It demonstrates how bureaucrats eager to emphasize the need to institutionalize Islam and steer the Communist Party away from the temptation to launch another anti-religious campaign sought to portray the region’s Muslims as politically innocuous due to their inauthentic observance of Islam. In this endeavor the bureaucrats relied on older Soviet and Tsarist frames for studying popular religion as well as the input of their own allies among Central Asian ‘ulama.

×