Beyond Remittances: Three Perspectives on the Myriad, Deeper, Personal Effects of Migration

Date: 09 July 2015
Negar Elodie Behzadi, PhD Candidate, Oxford University
Igor Rubinov, PhD Candidate, Princeton University
Joseph Schottenfeld, Visiting Fellow, University of Central Asia, National Geographic Young Explorer Grant Recipient
Migration has, in many ways, come to define the current economic situation in Tajikistan. Of course, movement of this kind, at such a scale, also has profound effects on individuals and society here in Tajikistan, both for those who go and for those—individuals and communities—who remain behind. Drawing on ongoing ethnographic research, in this series of presentations, three researchers will explore topics including: informal economies in the fan mountains, child labor, and the ways in which the primarily male migration out of Tajikistan affects both and influences the roles of gender around such work; land preservation and adaptation projects in a valley in the Pamirs, and how changing landscape use can provide tenuous means of rooting families when so many are absent; and migration’s alterations of migrants’ personal perceptions of gender norms and relations in migrants’ home communities in the Rasht Valley. The presentations introduce ongoing anthropological and ethnographic field research at three different field sites in Tajikistan to explore the effects of migration on land and people. Finally, these presentations will consider the dynamic state of migration—the recent Russian economic downturn, Russian visa policies—to ask how variations might relate to gender relations and land use. How much will change if more migrants come back, if more stay? 
Ample time will be left for a Q&A session.
Negar Elodie Behzadi is a PhD candidate in Developmental Geography at Oxford University. Her research considers the interaction between migration and informal economies in Tajikistan, especially for women who remain behind. She has been conducting field research in Tajikistan for over a year, primarily in a small village in the Fan Mountains. She received her MA in Environment and Development from Kings College London.
Igor Rubinov is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University. His dissertation research considers the management and understanding of natural resources in Tajikistan. His current work is funded by the National Science Foundation, IREX, the Social Science Research Council and other institutions. He has also conducted research for his masters degree in northern Kyrgyzstan, on the role of remittances in social relations, celebrations and livelihoods.  
Joseph Schottenfeld is a visiting fellow at the University of Central Asia and the recipient of a National Geographic Society Young Explorer grant. He has been conducting ethnographic field research in the Rasht Valley since January. He received his BA from Yale University and will return there for law school in the fall of 2016.
The presentation will be conducted in English. 
Russian translation will be provided upon prior request.
Ismaili Center, 47 Ismoil Somoni ave, Dushanbe
Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. 
Please indicate if you require Russian translation.
* The views presented in this lecture are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of the University of Central Asia or any of its staff
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