About the Conference

Conference Description

As empires crumbled in the wake of World War I, Central Eurasia underwent revolutionary change that rippled through Iran and the Turkish Republic to the Soviet republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia and across Xinjiang, Mongolia, and Siberia. Political developments and the formation of national institutions were accompanied by rapid changes in culture, most strikingly in language, literacy, gender and religion. By the beginning of World War II, Central Eurasia had taken shape as a set of ethnically-defined territorial units. This unprecedented political order produced equally unprecedented cultural forms. The legacies of colonialism and rapid modernization continue to pose major challenges, even after many of these states became fully independent in 1991.

In recent years the University of Chicago has become home to a group of innovative young scholars – both faculty and PhD students – working on issues related to the modern construction of new cultural institutions, practices and histories in Central Eurasia. This conference has been designed to showcase their work and bring them into dialogue with leading senior scholars in the field, while also opening up the particular issues of modern Central Eurasia for discussion by colleagues within the Committee for Central Eurasian Studies and from across the University.

Conference Sponsors

This program was made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:

  • The Committee on Central Eurasian Studies
  • The Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies
  • The Center for International Studies Norman Wait Harris Fund
  • The Franke Institute for the Humanities
  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • Department of History
  • Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

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