Research Networks

Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Harvard University

In 1993, Harvard University‘s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies jointly initiated an effort to enhance Central Asian Studies at the University.  This was a response in part to the increasing importance of the former Soviet Muslim regions on the world scene following the break-up of the Soviet Union.  This effort also sought to build on Harvard’s strength as one of the few institutions in the West with a long-standing commitment to the study of this region.  The Program was initially modest, including a seminar series, a study group, course offerings, and a publications program.  The scope of the Program has greatly increased in 1995 with a major grant from the Ford Foundation aimed at developing research and graduate training in Central Asian studies at Harvard in collaboration with scholars and institutions in Central Asia.  The expanded program features course offerings in area studies and languages, support for collaborative research, a visiting scholars program, and a program office to serve the needs of Central Asian Studies at Harvard University.

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Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS), Indiana University

Central Eurasia, the home of some of the world’s greatest art, epic literature, and empires, is the vast heartland of Europe and Asia extending from Central Europe to East Asia and from Siberia to the Himalayas. The Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University took its present name in 1993. It was founded as an Army Specialized Training Program for Central Eurasian languages in 1943, then formally organized as the Program in Uralic and Altaic Studies (from 1956 to 1965) and later the Department of Uralic and Altaic Studies (from 1965 to 1993). The Department has long been one of the world’s leading centers of academic expertise on Central Eurasia as well as the sole independent degree-granting academic unit staffed with its own faculty of specialists.

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European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS)

In 1985 a group of scholars from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Great Britain and Denmark working within Central Asian Studies decided to establish an informal cooperation with the purpose of promoting joint research and interdisciplinary studies among European scholars on Central Asia. A primary reason for establishing ESCAS was to give Central Asian Studies the status of a separate research field in its own right, independent of Soviet and Eastern European studies, to establish research links with disciplines working within the same historical and cultural continuum in adjacent areas, and to create opportunities for direct cooperation between scholars of the former Soviet Central Asia and scholars in adjacent areas.

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Central Asian Studies Institute (CASI), American University of Central Asia

The Central Asian Studies Institute is a research and academic unit of the American University of Central Asia, established with the mission of promoting the study of Central Asia locally and internationally. The Institute will pursue this goal through the promotion of research, sponsorship of policy discussions, organization of conferences/round tables and development of academic programs focusing on Central Asia. CASI primarily focuses on five post-Soviet Central Asian republics but also on adjacent regions and cultures such as Afghanistan, Western China and the Caucasus. The Institute will support and promote individual and group research projects, host conferences, seminars and round tables on most pertinent issues of the region, provide support for publications that reflect the results of research on Central Asia and help promote local and international understanding of ongoing processes in the region.

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