Title

Writing about peoples: an American’s reflections on 30 years of Central Asian studies

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

Recalling knowledge and instruction about Central Asia toward the end of the Cold War (1945–91) in the United States, this article provides a retrospective on an anthropologist’s coming of age and ability amidst prevailing interests and convictions concerning the region. It continues to discuss some of the early topics and studies that initiated a grounded approach to understanding Central Asia ethnographically as it broadens the analysis via a consideration of contributions from Europe and Central Eurasia. Not a literature review per se, the article focuses on some major concerns among anthropologists and their subjects since the beginning of independence. It then concludes that while studies have developed in complexity and theory within our field, we continue writing about culture via overarching political and economic systems that inform how we apprehend the world. The multiple and overlapping identities of Central Asians will continue to occupy much of our academic thinking for years to come.

DOI

10.1080/02634937.2021.1965088

Publication Title

Central Asian Survey

Volume Number

40

Issue Number

4

First Page

523

Last Page

538

ISSN

02634937

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