Elliot Sperling, who retired an Associate Professor from the Department of Central Eurasian Studies in December 2015, passed away more than two years ago, but his legacy continues to inspire the field of Tibetan Studies at Indiana University and around the world. Several of Sperling’s teachers, students, and colleagues held a symposium on Tibetan history and historiography in his honor with support from the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center. Attendees at the symposium learned that Sperling’s influence at IU will continue through a generous donation of books and a new scholarship that will bear his name.
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The Global Literacy Invitations Project is designed for elementary teachers and held on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. In a world full of both hopeful and tragic events, the duty of teachers in a global community to engage in understanding and empathizing globally. Global Literacy Invitations is an approach that integrates literacy, social studies and the new Global Literacy Standards for Indiana. Global Literacy invitations have long been used in classrooms here at Indiana University, and they have been successful at getting preservice teachers to think about how they can internationalize the elementary curriculum in meaningful ways.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center recently collaborated with Central Middle School in Columbus, Indiana to bring the school’s entire seventh grade class to the Indiana University, Bloomington campus for a morning of Mongol Invasion-themed immersive educational experience that allowed students and faculty to explore important elements of Central Eurasian culture and history. The students are designing games based on the history of the Mongol conquests and the geography of the Eurasian landscapes. When asked by one of the teachers whether we could do anything to help the students with their task, the Center’s staff gladly worked with the teacher to design an experience to meet the students’ learning needs.
Dr. Toivo U. Raun, Professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University is the nner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center's new Director.
Indiana University hosted an seminar addressing Finnish literary translation for students and faculty in North America with the support of The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI), the Finnish Literature Exchange (FILI), and the Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS).
This semester the Baltic and Finnish Studies Association has been planning some exciting events to celebrate and promote awareness of this region. We reach out not only to students but also to faculty and the local community to celebrate Baltic and Finnish culture with us.
Each year many students from Indiana University who are engaged in some aspect of Central Eurasian Studies travel abroad or seek out additional training opportunities during summer. This commitment to research and language training highlights the strength of Central Eurasian Studies at IU.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University recently welcomed Aynur to Bloomington, where she performed at the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival on September 28 and 29. Aynur’s performances showcased the emotional depth of the Kurdish folk music tradition as interpreted in an engaging contemporary style. Her performances in Bloomington are part of an active touring schedule that since the beginning of the year has included appearances across the United States as well as in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Morocco, Norway, and Singapore. The Center’s sponsorship of Aynur’s performance is the latest example of the Center’s long-term cooperation with the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation to bring Inner Asian and Uralic cultural programming to south-central Indiana.
The microfilming of the extensive collection of Central Asian newspapers and periodicals amassed by Professor Emeritus William Fierman over many years and from across the Central Asian region is being supported by a generous grant from the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center. Including titles from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and dated mainly from the early 1980s to the present, the collection is significant both in its scope and content, much of which is missing from library catalogues and has not been microfilmed elsewhere.
As a Central Eurasianist, one substantial challenge that I face in the classroom is sharing my passion for the societies and cultures of Central Asia with my students in relatable ways. Since beginning my career at Indiana University East in fall 2014, I have come to rely on the support of the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center to enrich my endeavors to bring Central Asia into my classroom and to my campus.
William Fierman, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, was recently presented with the Edward Allworth Lifetime Service to the Profession Award which recognizes extraordinary lifetime achievement in the field of Central Eurasian Studies. Professor Fierman, former Director of the IAUNRC and longtime observer of political developments in the Central Asian region, spoke to IAUNRC about the ongoing project to microfilm his extensive collection of Kazakh and Uzbek newspapers.
Gulnisa Nazarova's ongoing research explores the experiences of some of the thousands of Uyghurs who emigrated from Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China to Soviet Central Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the exact number of migrants is unknown, some estimates place the total number of migrants as high as 200,000 people.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University is proud to announce the launch of the Area Studies Advancement Project. Over the next four years, the Center will build upon existing support for course development at IU and at partner institutions and tap into Indiana University's strengths in area studies to promote excellence in the theory and practice of teaching and researching in an area studies context.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University is proud to announce that it has received funding through the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center and FLAS fellowship competition. This continued support will ensure the Center's ongoing operation over the next four years.
This semester, I embarked on what everyone told me was an ambitious project, but I simply thought sounded like good, clean fun.
As an advanced graduate student in an area studies department, I have spent many sleepless nights wondering about how my training will prepare me for professional life after graduation. Like many other PhD students, I hope to secure an academic job, ideally on the tenure track. But will those semesters studying obscure languages, regional political dynamics, and the intricacies of history really prove to be a wise investment?
One of our primary goals at the IAUNRC is to educate others about the Central Eurasian region through a variety of live outreach activities. Every year, IAUNRC graduate assistants visit local schools and libraries to give presentations about the regions and peoples that we love so much.
Navruz, the Persian and Central Asian new year, was celebrated at Indiana University this year on the 24th of March. More than 200 people were present for the concert and subsequent banquet.
Every year, as the calendars flip to the new year, the Bloomington Mongolian community comes together to celebrate the Mongolian New Year, Tsagaan Sar. This February more than 100 people—including language students, faculty, staff, and friends—gathered together to celebrate the beginning of the new year.
This past semester was a busy one at the IAUNRC. In addition to all of our normal activities, like videoconferencing, in-person outreach, and arranging for guest lecturers on campus, we are reapplying for our Title VI grant. Between business as usual and the added headache of writing the grant proposal, no one around here has had terribly much leisure time. Despite all of the craziness slowly encroaching upon the office, I did manage to find the time to undertake a small project of my own: recreating Tamerlane Chess. At the time of writing, I plan to donate the set and a rulebook to the IAUNRC for use by a larger audience.