On November 5, 2021, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center welcomed Orhon Myadar, Associate Professor in the School of Geography, Development and Environment at the University of Arizona, for a guest lecture titled “Mobility and Displacement: Nomadism, Identity and Postcolonial Narratives in Mongolia”. In her lecture, Dr. Myadar drew upon her recent book of the same title (Routledge, 2020).
Myadar uses postcolonial theory and other critical perspectives to contest both outsiders’ imaginaries of Mongolia as an exoticized land of nomads and the internal narratives originating in Mongolia that portray nomadism as a central feature of Mongolian identity. Myadar has argued against analyses founded on geographical and environmental determinism, pointing out the fact that most of Mongolia’s population is now settled in urban centers and that even those Mongolians who still nomadize do so in a highly regimented space rather than in a romanticized open landscape.
Myadar’s work challenges many assumptions that are still present in both popular and academic narratives on Mongolia, offering new directions for Mongolian studies. The IAUNRC hopes to continue to support guest lectures and other programming that helps maintain Indiana University’s position as one of the world’s leading centers for the study of Mongolia.