Central Asian Studies

Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture

The study of Central Asia at Columbia is closely linked to the teaching and research of Edward A. Allworth (1920-2016), distinguished pioneer in Central Asian Studies. Allworth, an alumnus of the Russian Institute and longtime faculty member at Columbia University, was founding director of both the Program on Soviet Nationality Problems (1970) and the Center for Central Asian Studies (1984). His many publications include eight books, among them his seminal Central Asia: A Century of Russian Rule (1967; third edition published as Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Rule, 1994), and The Tatars of Crimea: Return to the Homeland (2d ed. 1989). He mentored dozens of accomplished scholars from around the world and introduced the rich culture and history of the region to countless more. The Central Eurasian Studies Society honored Allworth posthumously with its 2016 Lifetime Service to the Field Award. The Institute has established the Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture to honor this legacy. 

We are delighted that Marlene Laruelle has accepted our invitation to deliver the Second Annual Allworth Memorial Lecture:
New Generations in Central Asia: Opportunities and Challenges of Transformation

Lecture by Marlene Laruelle
Monday, February 11, 2019, 6:15pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Who are Central Asian youth? What do they think? What do they hope for? Western scholarship tends to focus on the “stagnant” features of the region—political elites, the difficulty of reform, the Soviet legacy—or evokes younger cohorts only through the prism of the risk of radicalization. But Millennials and Gen Z are much more than a bridge from the old Soviets to the prospect of Islamism. They have specific habits and behaviors, cultural heroes, and new professions that are reshaping the societal landscape—and potentially the political one. Combining sociological surveys, focus groups, and content analysis, this presentation draws the portraits of those who will be the next Central Asia.

When First Presidents Die: Understanding Political Change in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Lecture by Luca Anceschi
Friday, March 9, 2018, 1:00 PM
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

The transfer of power is one of Central Asia’s most obscure, and secretly contested, political processes.  The deaths of Saparmurat Niyazov [2006] and Islam Karimov [2016] cemented a series of practices that delineated the contours of a regional praxis for leadership change. But did new leaders endeavour to bring about political change in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan? Did the death of first presidents altered intra-élite dynamics within the two regimes, or influenced the international dealings of these two states? Come and listen to long-term Central Asia-watcher, Luca Anceschi from the University of Glasgow, who will offer an alternative research agenda to make sense of political change in two of Central Asia’s most authoritarian political landscapes. 

Luca Anceschi lectures in Central Asian Studies at the University of Glasgow, where he also co-edits Europe-Asia Studies, the world’s leading academic journal for the study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Educated in Napoli and Melbourne, Luca’s research agenda has focused on the Politics and IR of post-Soviet Central Asia. He is the author of Turkmenistan’s Foreign Policy–Positive Neutrality and the Consolidation of the Turkmen regime.