The Perestroika Period in Central Asian Societies: History and Collective Memory by Dr Irina Morozova and Dr Gulnara Aitpaeva

Date: 25 April 2012
Location: UCA Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Other languages: Русский язык |
Title: The Perestroika Period in Central Asian Societies: History and Collective Memory
Date: 25 April 2012, 4pm
Speaker: Dr Irina Morozova and Dr Gulnara Aitpaeva
Venue: University of Central Asia, 138 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Conference Room.
The re-conceptualisation of socialist socio-historical and cultural legacies that began during Perestroika impacted public and academic understandings of how the whole region of Central Asia is now shaped.  In the late 1980s, the opening public domain was filled with debates on various issues, including the totalitarian system of governance and democratisation of Soviet society, the degraded socialist planned economy, American lifestyle, alternative science and even occultism. In Central Asian Republics, and the Kyrgyz Republic in particular, discussions on “national awakening” were framed by competing groups, political and intellectual elites. Discussions on language, national literature, religion, spirituality and cultural heritage still prevail in Kyrgyzstani humanities and social science arenas.  This lecture will highlight the process of knowledge production on the recent history of Central Asia over the last 30 years, including analysis of regional debates, stakeholders in shaping those debates, and the voices of those who did not have a direct influence on the course of events during the historic time of Perestroika.  The lecture is a part of the project The History of Perestroika in Central Asia. Social Transformation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, 1982-1991 sponsored by Volkswagen Foundation.
Dr Irina Morozova received her PhD in history from the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University. She has been a Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University since 2003. She was a Humboldt Fellow at the Institute of Middle East Studies, German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg (2007-2009) and a lecturer at Lomonosov Moscow State University (2006-2010). Currently Dr Morozova is a Director of the international research project The History of Perestroika in Central Asia sponsored by Volkswagen Foundation, for which she took a position at the Seminar for Central Asia Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin. She is the author of The Comintern and Revolution in Mongolia (University of Cambridge: The White Horse Press, 2002), Socialist Revolutions in Asia. The Social History of Mongolia in the Twentieth Century (London & New York: Routledge, 2009) and editor of Towards Social Stability and Democratic Governance in Central Eurasia. Challenges to Regional Security (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2005). 
Dr. Gulnara A. Aitpaeva is founding Director of Aigine Cultural Research Center in Kyrgyz Republic, which aims to expand research into lesser known aspects of the cultural and natural heritage of Kyrgyzstan, integrating local, esoteric and scholar epistemologies relating to cultural, biological and ethnic diversities. Dr Aitpaeva has a candidate degree in literature studies from Moscow State University, Russia (1987) and a doctoral degree in literature and folklore studies from Kyrgyz National State University, Bishkek (1996). 
In 1999, she founded the Kyrgyz Ethnology Department at American University in Central Asia, and in 2002, transformed it into the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Archeology, expanding its scope and mission. She is widely published and most recently is the author of Sacred Sites in Jalal-Abad and Folk Wisdom (Bishkek, 2010); Sacred sites in Osh and Folk Knowledge (Bishkek, 2011); and Blessed Batken sites and People’s Wisdom (Bishkek).  
The presentation will be conducted in Russian.
English translation will be provided upon prior request.
University of Central Asia, 138 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Conference Room.
Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. 
Please indicate if you require English translation.
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