Date: August 24-25, 2012

The seminar aims at shedding light on the process of reproducing knowledge on Central Asia, which over the past 30 years has been a discipline known as “The Study of Central Asia”.

Organizers: University of Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), International Institute for Asian Studies (Netherlands), Humboldt University Berlin (supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, Germany), National University for Humanities and the National Ethnographic Museum, Osaka (Japan)

Location: University of Ulaanbaatar

Conference Leaders: Professor Dzhigidzhin Boldbaatar and Doctor Irina Morosova

The process of institutionalizing research on Central Asia in the social sciences and humanities among the discipline of Asian Studies began in 1980, when the Perestroika began in the Soviet Union. From this moment on, western scholars began to have access to the field.

This socialist re-conceptualization of socio-historical and cultural heritage has had a huge influence in shaping the academic understanding of the region. Our understanding of social life, identity and religion in the late socialist Central Asia is greatly influenced by the ideological prejudices of the Cold War, concerning the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is not just the official history of the new independent states, which consider the entire socialist period as a deviation from a normal development of their countries. The view is also prevalent in the works of many important western scholars. It is not just a political cliché, but the whole concepts such as “ethnicity” and “culture” are now forming a new scholarly language of Central Asia, through which scholars have repeatedly tried to approach the problems of the late socialist transformations. Basing their research on existing Soviet sources, the western academic community enthusiastically supported the emphasis on ethnicities of Soviet Central Asian studies.

The seminar will be attended by scholars from Asia and the West, who are actively involved in the research of the late socialist period in Central Asia. They will discuss current trends in research and develop alternative research programs based on a contextual experience with a more balanced platform of scholars and institutions, including from the region itself.


Academician P. Ochirbat (Mongolia), Prof. Morris Rossabi (USA), Dr. Gulnara Aitpaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Dr. Tolganai Umbetalieva (Kazakhstan), Academician Dzh. Boldbaatar (Mongolia), Prof. Choi Ki Ho (Korea), Prof. Dr. Norzhvanchig (Mongolia), Dr. Irina Morosova (Germany), Prof. Dr. D. Lundiizhantsan (Mongolia), Prof. Dr. Tsedendamba (Mongolia), Prof. Juki Konogaya (Japan), F.G. Doohuu (Mongolia), Dr. T. Boldbaatar (Mongolia), Ainura Turgangasieva (Kyrgyzstan) M. Enhbaatar (Mongolia), Saltanat Orosbekova (Kazakhstan), Dr. B. Basishig (Mongolia), Dr. Ch. Sosorbaram (Mongolia), D. Otgonchimeg (Mongolia)