Description : In this comprehensive account of the culture and history of Central Asia, Edgar Knobloch describes the main centers of the age-old civilization. Throughout the book he spices the text with quotations from the works of contemporary travelers, while providing an expert's commentary on the archaeological, architectural, and decorative features of the sites he describes. His original photographs are supplemented by numerous line drawings, plans of the main cities, and sketches of principal monuments and their ornamental features.
Description : Studies the surviving pre-Mongol monuments of Islamic architecture in Central Asia The first complete overview of the corpus of Qarakhanid monuments, with a detailed overview of the extant Soviet-era literature and a study of the inscriptions Includes archival images from Soviet-era publications showing the buildings prior to loss or reconstruction Integrates the monuments into the wider region, transcending the nationalist approach of much of the earlier scholarship Includes an easy-to-use gazetteer to facilitate finding the monuments Features extensive colour images of many previously unpublished details of the buildings Integrates the extant structures and the extensive but hard-to find archaeological evidence Examines the links between architecture and smaller-scale material culture, especially the epigraphy seen on coins Includes detailed studies of the major Qarakhanid monuments including the Shah Fazl tomb in Safid Buland, the three tombs in Uzgend and the Kalan minaret in Bukhara This is a comprehensive study of the surviving monuments of the Qarakhanids - an important yet little-known medieval dynasty that ruled much of Central Asia between the late 10th and early 13th centuries. Based on extensive fieldwork and many hard-to-find Russian sources, the book places the surviving monuments into the wider cultural context of the region. Many photographs and new ground-plans are included, as well as detailed studies of individual monuments and the wider architectural aesthetic. These monuments serve as the link between the mostly lost Samanid architecture and the far larger and better-known monuments of the Timurids.
Description : Providing a wealth of empirical research on the everyday practise of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia, this book gives a detailed account of how Islam is understood and practised among ordinary Muslims in the region, focusing in particular on Uzbekistan. It shows how individuals negotiate understandings of Islam as an important marker for identity, grounding for morality and as a tool for everyday problem-solving in the economically harsh, socially insecure and politically tense atmosphere of present-day Uzbekistan. Presenting a detailed case-study of the city of Bukhara that focuses upon the local forms of Sufism and saint veneration, the book shows how Islam facilitates the pursuit of more modest goals of agency and belonging, as opposed to the utopian illusions of fundamentalist Muslim doctrines.
Description : With the collapse of communism, post-communist societies scrambled to find meaning to their new independence. Central Asia was no exception. Events, relationships, gestures, spatial units and objects produced, conveyed and interpreted meaning. The new power container of the five independent states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan would significantly influence this process of signification. Post-Soviet Central Asia is an intriguing field to examine this transformation: a region which did not see an organised independence movement develop prior to Soviet implosion at the centre, it provokes questions about how symbolisation begins in the absence of a national will to do so. The transformation overnight of Soviet republic into sovereign state provokes questions about how the process of communism-turned-nationalism could become symbolised, and what specific role symbols came to play in these early years of independence. Characterized by authoritarianism since 1991, the region’s ruling elites have enjoyed disproportionate access to knowledge and to deciding what, how and when that knowledge should be applied. The first of its kind on Central Asia, this book not only widens our understandings of developments in this geopolitically important region but also contributes to broader studies of representation, ritual, power and identity. This book was published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.
Description : CARRIE, a full-text electronic library based at the University of Kansas, presents the text of "Central Asian Monuments" (ISBN 975-428-033-9). H. B. Paksoy edited the book, which was originally published in 1992 by the Isis Press. The book contains essays on eight Central Asian literary monuments and provides historical perspective on each.
Description : This is an important analysis of a key but little-known region, in the wider context of world politics. Central Asia has huge oil and gas resources, divided between five independent states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - each with their own problems and interests. The region is energy-rich and, being situated between Russia and China and close to Afghanistan and other potential trouble-spots, it has acquired immense geo-strategic importance. History is seen and felt everywhere. Old legacies, whether they go back to Genghis Khan or stem from the recent Soviet past, have a profound effect on contemporary issues and political choices. Concentrating on today's problems against a complex historical background, the book draws on the author's extensive involvement with the region. Considerable attention is paid to Central Asian Islam, human rights issues in the region, and Central Asia's place in the 'war against terrorism'.
Description : Central Asian states have experienced a number of historical changes that have challenged their traditional societies and lifestyles. The most significant changes occurred as a result of the revolution in 1917, the incorporation of the region into the Soviet Union, and gaining independence after the collapse of the USSR. Impartial and informed public evaluation of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods has always been a complicated issue, and the ‘official’ descriptions have often contradicted the interpretations of the past viewed through the experiences of ordinary people. Identity and Memory in Post-Soviet Central Asia looks at the tradition of history construction in Central Asia. By collecting views of the public’s experiences of the Soviet past in Uzbekistan, the author examines the transformation of present-day Central Asia from the perspective of these personal memories, and analyses how they relate to the Soviet and post-Soviet official descriptions of Soviet life. The book discusses that the way in which people in Central Asia reconcile their Soviet past to a great extent refers to the three-fold process of recollecting their everyday experiences, reflecting on their past from the perspective of their post-Soviet present, and re-imagining. These three elements influence memories and lead to selectivity in memory construction, emphasising the aspects of the Soviet era people choose to recall in positive and negative lights. Presenting a broader picture of Soviet everyday life at the periphery of the USSR, the book will be a useful contribution for students and scholars of Central Asian Studies, Ethnicity and Identity Politics.
Description : This volume contributes new insights to the scientific debate on post-Socialist urbanities. Based on ethnographic research in cities of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia, its contributions scrutinise the social production of diverse public, parochial and private spaces in conjunction with patterns of everyday encounter, identification, consumption and narration. The analyses extend from the transnational entanglements between a Dushanbe bazaar and hyper-modern Dubai to the micro-level hierarchies in a flat-sharing community in Astana. They explore competing notions of urban belonging and aesthetics in Yerevan, local perception of Central Asian Muslims in Kazan and Saint Petersburg, and more, providing a rich tapestry of academic study. Taken together, the case studies address cities as gateways to ‘new worlds’ (both local and global), discuss ambitions of states at taming urban landscapes, and illustrate current trends of economic, religious and other lifestyles in urban Central Asia and beyond. This book was originally published as a special issue of Central Asian Survey.