The Fall 2019 semester has been a busy time for our Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center. As promised in our application for federal funding, we have engaged in a wide range of activities that seek to make our region better known among the American public of all ages.
IAUNRC news feed
In August 2019, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University welcomed a new Assistant Professor of Tibetan Studies, Dr. Stacey Van Vleet, who joined IU from the University of California at Berkeley. The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center spoke to Professor Van Vleet about what first got her interested in Tibet, her experiences in the field, her current research, and her thoughts on Tibetan Studies at IU.
In May 2019, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center facilitated an early childhood education study tour to Finland for faculty and students of St. Louis Community College. The Center collaborated with Learning Scoop, a company that specializes in providing insight into an educational system that is renowned for the success of its innovative approaches to teaching and learning. The tour was designed to provide cross-cultural learning opportunities and stimulate discussion as to how approaches to early childhood education might be developed and improved. Tour participants Jasmin Marshall and Carol Nixon report back on the experience and what they learned.
Meruyert Omirzakova is the Kazakh FLTA (Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant) at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University Bloomington. Here she talks about Kazakhstan, teaching languages, and life at IU.
The Tibetan Studies Student Association (TSSA) at Indiana University recently invited a leading Tibetan scholar of Tibetan history to the IU Bloomington campus to present a lecture and meet with faculty and students. His three-day visit brought together students and members of the Tibetan community in Bloomington in what was both a learning experience and a celebration of Tibetan language, culture, and history.
Tattybubu Aidarova is the Kyrgyz FLTA (Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant) at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University Bloomington. Here, she talks about her country, Kyrgyzstan, and adapting to life at IU.
It has been a busy summer of 2019 for students in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. The Inner Asian and Uralic Resource Center asked a number of CEUS students to tell us more about what they got up to while school was out. Read on for tales of archaeology on the Mongolian steppe, a picnic at a 15th-century caravanserai, the music festival attended by 10 percent of Estonia's population, and more!
Jessica Storey-Nagy, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, gave a talk entitled “Nationalism in the European Union: A Hungarian Case Study” on June 19, 2019 for IU’s Language Workshop.
On July 13, 2019 the Baltic Studies Summer Institute (BALSSI) celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the IU Language Workshop. Entitled “BALSSI at 25: The Experience and Its Contribution to Baltic Studies in North America,” the event explored the history and future of Baltic Studies.
On July 12th, 2019 Bloomington celebrated Naadam, the Mongolian summer festival, at Lower Cascades Park. A popular annual highlight among Bloomington's summer festivities, the event was sponsored by the Mongolia Society, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, and the Bloomington Mongolian Community.
Kenny Linden is a PhD candidate in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. He researches the history of Mongolia in the context of global environmental and animal history. He is currently writing his dissertation on the environmental and animal history of collectivization in socialist Mongolia.
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.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center at Indiana University recently celebrated the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Durdy Bayramov, a famous twentieth-century artist from Turkmenistan, at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into daily life among ordinary people in Central Asia prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The exhibition’s official opening also served as an opportunity to welcome Keya Bayramova, the artist’s daughter and Director of the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation, and His Excellency Meret B. Orazov, the ambassador of Turkmenistan to the United States, to campus. The exhibition and surrounding events highlight the Center’s work with campus partners to sponsor cultural programming and other events that deepen the understanding of Central Asia among members of the IU community in support of the Hamilton Lugar School’s mission of promoting engagement with global issues.
Azerbaijan, one of the six Muslim and five Turkic-speaking sovereign republics of the Soviet Union, gained independence in 1991. As for all Soviet republics, to one or another degree, independence was partly (and implicitly) initiated by processes that were already underway in late 1980’s, especially through the implementation of the policies of glasnost and perestroika.A close review of nearly three decades of Azerbaijan’s post-independence development shows three main strategies of identity reconstruction: policy formulation and legislation, construction of symbolic and discursive resources, and social engagement. These strategies, in turn, have produced three different modes of expressing identity within society, which I regard, respectively, as adaptive, perceptive, and agentive. The first two strategies were more characteristic of the first two decades after independence, while the third one gained more salience during the third decade of independence. I therefore consider the identity construction strategies of the third decade separately from the policies of 1991-2010.
Bringing Central Eurasian languages and cultures into K-12 classrooms is a critical component of the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center’s (IAUNRC) mission. The Center supports a variety of programs for students and teachers each year, generally tailored to the individual needs of each partner and available at no charge. Over the course of the 2018-19 academic year, the Center’s programs have reached more than 1,000 students and numerous educators in Bloomington and beyond.
The Hungarian Cultural Association (HCA) in collaboration with the Romanian Studies Organization (RSO) hosted the “Romanian Studies and Hungarian Studies Junior Scholar Conference” at Indiana University Bloomington on March 22 – 23, 2019. The conference featured twelve presenters across two days and five panels, which included presentations from four IU students. The presenters addressed diverse topics related to both Hungarian and Romanian studies, including nationalism and nation building, gender, material culture, twentieth-century Hungary, and minority communities in Romania.
The Association of Central Eurasian Students (ACES) at Indiana University hosted the 25th Annual International ACES Conference, “Authority and Legitimacy in Central Eurasia,” on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. 38 panelists from 14 universities representing seven countries joined IU students and faculty for a day of engaging scholarship about Central Eurasia. Panelists presented from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on a diverse array of topics, including natural resource use, Islam, national identity, migration, and the environment in Central Eurasia.
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.
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.