Here is the full pdf-version to an article I co-authored in 2015 together with Felix Girke in Common Knowledge as part of a special issue on “Peace by other means.”
In the article we engage with Laura Nader’s famous concept of “harmony ideology” from a practice-oriented perspective by taking ethnographic material from Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kyrgyzstan.
To everyone working on the concept of yntymak in the Central Asian context and on intergenerational dynamics, this paper might be helpful. Also to researchers working on the ‘cultural neighbourhood’, on interethnic relations or on the concept of ädamo in Southern Ethiopia.
Sean Guillory of Sean’s Russia Blog spoke with me the other day about my book “The force of custom. Law and the ordering of everyday life in Kyrgyzstan.” You can listen to the podcast online here or download the podcast here.
In our interview, Sean asked me what inspired me to do a study on “custom” (Kyrgyz salt) and how we can understand the concept anthropologically, how it is communicated, what metaphors are associated with it and in what contexts we can observe it in action.
Sean was also interested in hearing my reasons for not anonymizing my main informants, how people in my fieldsite conceive of their history, what the historical trajectories of the local courts of elders (aksakal courts) are, how Soviet life has been unmade after Kyrgyzstan gained independence, how we should understand the role of the state in the countryside and what the roles of elders and their relationship with villagers, politicians and state administrators are.
Finally, we discuss my decision to end the book with a criticism of the concept of postsocialism which, I argue, is not central for understanding everyday life in Kyrgyzstan.
My old school (Alte Landesschule Korbach) published an interview with me this month in their alumni journal. Sweet!
I carried out some follow-up fieldwork in Northern Kyrgyzstan in order to finish my book which is due at the end of September this year. I had a wonderful time, met old friends and made new ones and really enjoyed the cool and starry nights in my village in Talas province, and the hot days in the capital Bishkek.
Central Asia in the XXI Century: Historical trajectories, contemporary challenges and everyday encounters
Call for pre-organized panels and papers
The European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) invites proposals for individual papers, panels and roundtable discussions for the fourteenth ESCAS biennial conference scheduled for 8th -11th October 2015 at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. The Conference will be organized by the Halle-Zurich Centre for the Anthropological Study of Central Asia (CASCA).
ESCAS welcomes proposals relating to all aspects of research in the arts, humanities and social sciences on Central Asia – namely the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, together with Xinjiang, Mongolia, Afghanistan and adjacent regions of Russia, China, Iran, South Asia and the Caucasus.
Scholars and practitioners of anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art & art history, cinema, development studies, economics & finance, history, musicology, philology, political science, sociology and other related disciplines are encouraged to participate. We particularly welcome panel proposals which will cross disciplinary boundaries, bringing together experts from different fields.