About me

Morgan Y. Liu is a cultural anthropologist studying the globalization of economic elites in Central Asia, Muslims in former Communist countries, informal social networks as formations of power in Central Asian societies, emergent complexity of interactions between corporation/state/and non-state actors, urban space, and Islamic ideas of social justice.  His broadest interests concern how Central Asians make sense of and act on their society’s structural problems.  This includes turning an ethnographic lens onto the connections between Central Asia, Turkey, Russia, and China.



He is an Associate Professor in Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University.  He is also Affiliated Faculty (advising M.A. and Ph.D. students) in these units:

  • Department of Comparative Studies
  • Department of French and Italian
  • Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Center for East Asian Studies

Before coming to the Ohio State University he was a postdoc at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in Anthropology.

Key roles


The Book

His 2012 book, Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh, concerns how ethnic Uzbeks in the city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan think about political authority and post-Soviet transformations, based on research using vernacular language interviews and ethnographic fieldwork of urban social life from 1993 to 2011.  This book won the Central Eurasian Studies Society’s 2014 award for Best Book on Central Eurasia in the Social Sciences published in 2012 or 2013.

2 thoughts on “About me

  1. Dear Prof Liu,

    I am Siumi Maria Tam, one of the editors of the journal Asian Anthropology based in the Anthropology Department, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We have received a book “Variations on Uzbek Identity: Strategic choices, cognitive schemas and political constraints in identification processes”, by Peter Finke (2014 New York, Oxford: Berghahn) and wondered if you would be interested in writing a book review for us.

    Book reviews are typically 800-1200 words. We would love to receive the book review by April 2015, aiming to publishing it in the August 2015 issue.

    I hope you will accept our invitation, and let me know if the time line above is agreeable to you.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Maria Tam

  2. Dear Maria,

    I am honored to get this request. By coincidence, though, I was already asked to review this very book by the Journal for Anthropological Research, and I have already sent in my completed review of this book to them! My apologies. Best wishes in finding another reviewer.


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