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The Tenth International Convention of Asia Scholars

Panel 135 - Roundtable - The Future of Central Asian Studies Room 9
When Jul 21, 2017
from 02:15 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Chaing Mai, Thailand
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Convenor and chair: Willem Vogelsang, International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands
Co-convenor: Irina Morozova, Leibniz-Institute for South and South-East European Studies, Germany




In June 2015, an international workshop was organised in Regensburg, Germany, by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, together with the Graduate School and Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (Regensburg) and the International Unit for Central and Inner Asian Studies. The workshop focused on transnational religious and ideological influences in Modern Central and Inner Asia and was set up in the context of the IIAS programme Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context (2014-2016), which was sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York. During the workshop, a discussion developed on the future of Central and Inner Asian Studies. Severe cuts at academic institutes in America and Europe are compounded by a growing, more nationalistic approach to local history and culture in many of the Central Asian states. There is also still a divide between the more Anglo-Saxon academic traditions on the one hand, and on the other the still often dominant Soviet academic approaches in Central Asia, leading to frequent misunderstandings and a neglect in international forums of research by Central Asian scholars. Last but not least, there is the lingua franca (Russian, rather than English) of Central Asian Studies, which hampers the inclusion of academic specialists from other parts of the world. The present ICAS workshop wants to address the problem of the decline in Central Asian studies, by discussing some of the reasons for this development, but also to discuss (feasible) possibilities to counter the downward spiral and discuss ways to strengthen Central Asian Studies. One of these possibilities, as discussed in Regensburg, would be to make a concerted effort to include Central Asian Studies in the global reach of Humanities and Social Sciences research, as a source of comparison and/or as a means to find explanations for developments outside of the area. The workshop will be introduced by a group of scholars working on institutionalization of the field of Central Asian studies and its connectivity with other branches of scholarship and science, and who seek to develop a better platform to connect, present, exchange and debate on most burning issues relevant to Central Asian research, and to discuss a better way to incorporate Central Asian Studies into the much wider field of Humanities and Social Sciences. After a number of presentations a discussion with other participants will follow.

Irina Morozova, Leibniz-Institute for South and South-East European Studies, Germany
Siddharth Saxena, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Ablet Kamalov, Turan University, Kazakhstan
Timur Dadabaev, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Jumpei Kubota, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan

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