The Spring 2019 semester has been an eventful time in the life of the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University Bloomington. Thanks to the diligent work of our staff and partners, we have been realizing the goals set forth in our project proposal. We helped to organize and/or co-sponsored several symposia and workshops that were well attended and demonstrated the wide reach of our activities, including the following: Tibetan History and Historiography, a symposium in honor of the late Elliot Sperling, Associate Professor Emeritus in IUB’s Department of Central Eurasian Studies; an important roundtable on a pressing current issue: The Uyghur “Re-Education” Camps–What is Happening and What Can Be Done?; a joint symposium with the Russian and East European Institute and the East Asian Studies Center titled Displacements in Eurasia in Times of Crisis, which treated Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine; and an IAUNRC panel discussion on career pathways–both in academics and elsewhere--for students in area studies by three recent Ph.Ds from IUB that was part of our professionalization workshop series.
We also sponsored individual presentations by visitors to IUB during the semester. These included Reconstruction of Identities in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan by Jala Garibova (Azerbaijan University of Languages), a visiting Fulbright scholar associated with IAUNRC; a conversation with Turkmenistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Meret Orazov, who was on campus to help open a fascinating exhibit of photographs of Turkmen village life in the 1960s to the 1980s by the Turkmen artist Durdy Bayramov at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which IAUNRC helped to fund, that will continue until late July; and a very useful workshop on the role of area studies in American higher education with opening remarks by Peter Perdue, Professor of History at Yale University, a specialist in Asian studies and the role of competing empires in Central Eurasia.
Two other successful examples of our work are the Bluegrass-Indiana Cybersecurity Collaboration for Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges in Kentucky, where we partner with IUB’s Russian and East European Institute and the Cybersecurity Program at our Kelly School of Business, and our long-term collaboration with the St. Louis Community College, which this May will involve a trip to Finland by faculty and students in its Early Childhood Education Program to learn about the renowned Finnish education system. IAUNRC also takes pride in our extensive outreach efforts to K-12 students in the area, involving both regular visits to local schools as well as, for example, bringing the entire 7th grade of Columbus, Indiana’s Central Middle School to campus (120 students) for half a day of activities related to the Mongol conquest and Mongol culture. Additionally, via videoconferencing and Zoom technology hundreds of students in schools all over the US were able to learn about Central Eurasia.