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Central Asia Inside/Out

Central Asia Inside/Out

Author: Central Asia Inside/Out

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This podcast highlights the research of the Central European University students on historical, cultural, socio-political issues related to Central Asia. The project is based on two perspectives that stem from the backgrounds of two hosts: Elmira from Kazakhstan and Grace from the US. This ‘inside/out’ perspective will shed light on persistent assumptions about this region. Episodes will investigate different research approaches from the perspectives of local and external scholars, traditions, and theories.

Season 1 was recorded during the spring of the academic year 2020-2021

Music credits: Raindrops from MusicFox https://www.musicfox.com/en/info/free-music.php
4 Episodes
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In the fourth last episode, we discuss the Kazakh Famine in 1931-1933 and the political aspects of the term ‘genocide.’ The historical tragedy of the Stalinist era remains a controversial debate in the public discourse in Kazakhstan due to internal and international politics. Who defines genocide? What are the legal categories for that definition? What implications do follow once the terms are clarified? This and many other questions we, CEU MA students, Grace Garette, Elmira Kakabayeva, Thijs Korsten, and Alexander Thatcher discussed during the seminar on the history of Central Asia and this episode.
In the third episode, Faruh Kuziev, a CEU Ph.D. candidate in comparative history, invites to Sharora, his hometown in Tajikistan. His research is focused on the micro-histories of its inhabitants including Faruh’s family members and the role of the Cold War within the Central Asian region. How global can be reflected in local? How people from Soviet ‘provinces’ were internationalized? And what role did culture played in these processes - are some of the question discussed in the episode.
Langston Hughes, the American poet, and leader of the ‘black renaissance’ visited newly emerged Soviet Uzbekistan in the early thirties but not much of his written work has been left public for the international audience. Zohra Saed, an American researcher with a complex family history from Turkestan talks about her dissertation based on Langstone Hughes’ archival notebooks, poems, and photos from that trip. The episode highlights the personal story of Zohra as an inside-out researcher and her positioned investigation of Hughes' legacy.Recommended literature:Hughes, Langston. 1934. A Negro looks at Soviet Central Asia. Moscow: Co-operative Pub. Society of Foreign Workers in the U.S.S.R.Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos & Notebooks from Turkestanhttps://www.centerforthehumanities.org/lost-and-found/publications/langston-hughes-poems-photos-notebooks-from-turkestan?fbclid=IwAR0ebaXSmPZW4aYaFU8hAFSLrQ8S-jTFZnHhUQv6T1Ef-E4AV4iCWZL4sLo
In this introductory episode, Elmira and Grace talk about their motivation and ideas why they decided to launch the series. They closely discuss the definition of "Central Asia" and their positionality towards this topic. Further, they talk about their own research interests: Grace’s focus on nationalism questions in Kazakhstan touches upon memory politics, and Elmira questions the role of women in politics in Kazakhstan. 
Comments (1)

Julia Khan

very nice idea 👍 to give the voice to students and their ongoing research about the region. congratulations with the great start!

Oct 1st
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