Writings

Short articles on Religion and Public Affairs in the Huffington Post:

  1. “Why does democracy not make sense?”, 21 September 2016.
  2. “Islamic revival and the yearning for social justice”, 10 February 2016
  3. “Turkey and Central Asia, a slow-burn story to watch”, 14 January 2016

Main Writings:

  1. “Trust and Informal Power in Central Asia”, Current History 120(828):262-267, October 2021.
    • Non-state actors that perform state-like functions locally in Central Asia, and thinking about patronage.
  2. “Governance and Accumulation around the Caspian: a new analytic approach to petroleum-fueled postsocialist development”, Ab Imperio 2018(2):169-198.
    • Thinking about power at the intersection of state, NGOs, and corporations by looking at Caspian hydrocarbon development.
  3. “Central Asian Islam Outside a Soviet Box, in NewsNet: News of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), 57(3): 2-5 (2017).  Scroll down PDF to article.
    • Thought piece on the particular nature of Islam in Central Asia, using Talal Asad’s notion of “discursive tradition” to look at Central Asian Islam differently than how most analysts view it.

      Assessing Uzbekistan today, 2017

  4. “Uzbek political thinking in the third decade of independence”, in Constructing the Uzbek State: Narratives of Post-Soviet Years, Marlene Laruelle (ed.), pp. 69-83, Lexington Books (2017).  Info on book.
    • Characterizing Uzbek ways of thinking about politics, mutual obligation, patronage, and societal justice.
  5. “Central Asia in the Post-Cold War World.” Annual Review of Anthropology 40:115-131 (2011).
    • This article gives an accessible scholarly introduction to post-Soviet Central Asia, and makes a few arguments about what’s at stake in our knowledge of the region.

      Accessible ethnographic account of Central Asian City, 2012

  6. Under Solomon’s Throne : Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press (2012). Author’s Amazon page.
    • The book is an ethnography of a Central Asian city divided by ethnic tensions and conflict.  It looks at how people think about and use urban space, relating that to their conceptions about moral authority in the post-Soviet state.  It treats the city as a lens on postsocialist Central Asia more generally, concerning market transformations, political crises, Islamic revival, and the post-Cold War world.
    • It is also meant for use in undergraduate and graduate teaching as a readable ethnography that puts plain-language anthropological theory in action for this little documented part of the world.
  7. “Urban materiality and its stakes in southern Kyrgyzstan.” Quaderni Storici 2015(2):385-408, (2015).  Article reference on journal website.
    • Looking at the material aspects of city environments and urban life for new insights on local politics in Osh and Jalalabat, Kyrgyzstan.

      Collection of articles about Central Asian states, 2014

  8. “Massacre through a kaleidoscope: fragmented moral imaginaries of the state in Central Asia.” Pp. 261-284 in Ethnographies of the state in Central Asia: performing politics, edited by Madeleine Reeves, Johan Rasanayagam, and Judith Beyer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2014).  Info on book.
    • Article on how Osh Uzbeks responded to the tragic 2005 events in Andijan, Uzbekistan, and what that reveals about their ideas about the post-Soviet state.  It is found in an excellent edited volume that rethinks what we know about the state in Central Asia today.
  9. “Post-Soviet Paternalism and Personhood: Why ‘Culture’ Matters to Democratization in Central Asia,” pp. 225-238 in Prospects of Democracy in Central Asia, Birgit Schlyter (ed.).  Stockholm / London: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul & I.B. Tauris (2005).  Click for book on Amazon.
    • Cultural understandings about what good authority should look like matters when a society considers moving to more democratic forms of governance.  This article presents a case from Kyrgyzstan about how culture matters to democracy building.

      Excellent introduction to the Central Asian region, 2007

  10. “A Central Asian tale of two cities: locating lives and aspirations in a shifting post-Soviet cityscape.” Pp. 78-98 in Everyday life in Central Asia, past and present, edited by Jeff Sahadeo and Russell Zanca. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2007). Info on book.
    • Article on walking the streets of Osh, Kyrgyzstan for insight on changes in Central Asia since the end of the Soviet Union.  It’s found in a volume of articles serving as an excellent undergraduate introduction to the Central Asia region.
  11. “Hierarchies of Place, Hierarchies of Empowerment: Geographies of Talk about Postsocialist Change in Uzbekistan” in Nationalities Papers 33(3):423-438, (2005).  Article reference on journal website.
    • Uzbeks living in different regions of Uzbekistan view socio-economic issues differently.  This is a story of how geography shapes perceptions.  Based on focus groups interviews conducted with a team across Uzbekistan in the 1990s.

 

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