array(2) { [0]=> string(4) "toto" [1]=> string(4) "titi"} Cetobac : Central Asia and the Caucasus: History, society and religions

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Central Asia and the Caucasus: History, society and religions

Contact: Stéphane DUDOIGNON and Alexandre PAPAS

Central-Asian and Caucasian studies constitute both a well-established and a relatively novel field of research within the CETOBaC:

—- They were already present during the creation of the Center of Ottoman and Turkish Studies in 1990;

— They rapidly developed after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the relative opening of the Xinjiang region;

—- They fully took part in the subsequent unprecedented outbreak of research on the region

—- And in the development of the French Institute of Central Asian studies;

—- They gained more autonomy following the creation of the CETOBaC in 2010;

— And multiplied collaborations with the CERCEC (Center for Russian, Caucasian and Central European Studies), founded the same year, through:

  • Special issues of the Cahiers du monde russe on Central Asia
  • A cycle of joint conferences on Central Asia at the EHESS since 2008
  • Contributions to collective projects, such as Tribes & Scribes since 2017

Researchers of the CETOBaC who work on the region are mostly historians and philologists:

—- They make use of primary sources in vernacular languages, written or oral;

— Beyond critical reading, they question these sources in the light of major historiographic debates;

— They employ often-neglected research conducted in Central Asia itself

— And thus, open up a reflection on the legacy of Soviet Orientalism.

Furthermore, our researchers attempt to push back the border of their area of study by connecting it with:

— The Indian, Iranian, Ottoman, Turkish, Russian, Mongol and Chinese worlds;

—- Particularly concerning the history and sociology of Islamic transnational connections;

—- The research field ‘Central Asia and the Caucasus’ expresses a keen interest for the technological tools of the social sciences;

— Through online publications and a project for a digital portal on Central Asian studies

Key research points

— Medieval and early modern history of Central Asia

  • Through a socio-economic history of the early Middle Ages
  • History of literature and society in medieval and early modern Central Asia
  • Digitalization and use of private and public archival resources

—   War, violence and memory:

  • Uprisings and conflicts in 20th-century Central Asia
  • Gender and violence in Central Asian societies

—   Demography and political reconstruction, 20th to 21st centuries:

  • modernization and political identities in Soviet Central Asia
  • Literature, cinema and societies in contemporary Central Asia

—   Islam: new objects and inquiries:

  • History and anthropology of Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus
  • Ethno-confessional minorities, empires and nation-states
  • History and critique of Orientalism and Islamic studies in the USSR


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