CREECA’s mission is to support research, teaching, and outreach on Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central Asia. We approach this three-part mission by promoting faculty research across a range of disciplines; by supporting graduate and undergraduate teaching and training related to the region; and by serving as a community resource through outreach activities targeted to K-12 teachers and students, other institutions of higher education, and the general public.
As a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center, CREECA hosts a variety of events and lectures which are free and open to the public. You can find recordings of past events here.
Perspectives On Diplomacy And Languages In Central Asia - Darren Thies (07.29.21)
Darren Thies will share perspectives and advice on the career of a diplomat, learning foreign languages (particularly Persian dialects), current U.S. policies in Central Asia, and the human geography of the region. Darren can offer insights and answer questions on the cultures of Central Asia, traveling in the region, perceptions of Americans, how language is used in practice, and how the region has developed over the past decade. Darren’s linguistic expertise centers around the three main Persian dialects (Farsi, Dari, and Tajiki), and can offer specific advice to learners of these languages.
Alexa Kurmanov - The Women Transnational Feminism Forgot(7.22.21)
What does intersectionality as praxis look like in Kyrgyzstan? Grassroots feminist, LGBTQ and transfeminist groups in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan are creating a unique space for themselves through various community art projects. The 2019 Feminnale Art Exhibit was one such meticulously curated space that provided possibilities for “subaltern voices to speak” (Spivak 1988) on the everyday experiences of women in Kyrgyzstan and throughout the region.
By centering the “everyday” experiences of women, this feminist art project challenged the monolithic and homogenized categories of “woman” imposed by both the West and Russia on (post)socialist Central Asia, opening up further insights on race, gender, and sexuality in the socialist past and (post)socialist future.
The Hungry Steppe - Famine, Violence, And The Making Of Soviet Kazakhstan - Sarah Cameron (07.15.21)
The Kazakh famine of the 1930s was one of the great crimes of the Stalinist regime. More than 1.5 million people perished, and the disaster transformed a territory, Soviet Kazakhstan, the size of western Europe. But until recently, the crisis was little known in the West. In her talk, which draws from her recently published book, The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan (Cornell University Press, 2018), Sarah Cameron will discuss the causes of Kazakh disaster and its consequences for Kazakh society. Along the way, she will also explore the reasons for why the story of the Kazakh famine has been neglected, as well as how this particular episode should reframe our understanding of violence and nation-building under Stalin.
China And The Uyghurs - Cultural Genocide In The Name Of Counterterrorism - Sean Roberts 07.01.21
This presentation seeks to explain both the motivations and justifications for the Chinese state’s mass human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, highlighting how intentions and explanations are inextricably linked. The motivations for what the state is doing are reflective of settler colonial ambitions in this region and an ardently colonial attitude towards Uyghurs and related peoples as inferior and expendable. However, the justifications have their origins in the Global War on Terror and its characterization of ‘terrorists’ as less than human and irrational. Like the ‘savages’ of European colonialism, China’s imagination of Uyghurs as ‘terrorists’ provides a rationalization for carry out destructive harm to a people that is framed as benevolent and in the best interests of those are the victims of that harm.
Laboratory Of Socialist Development - Artemy Kalinovsky 06.24.21
Artemy Kalinovsky’s Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan (Cornell University Press, 2018) investigates the Soviet effort to make the promises of decolonization a reality by looking at the politics and practices of economic development in central Asia between World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Focusing on the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic, the book places the Soviet development of central Asia in a global context. In this talk, Kalinovsky will review the book’s findings and the questions they raised, and discuss his experience with archives, memoirs, and oral history.
Presentation of Bilingual Uzbek-English Poetic Dictionary - Gulnoza Odilova (06.17.21)
The presentation discusses the stylistic, pragmatic, phraseological, lexical-semantic problems of literary translation from Uzbek into English and introduces the online poetic dictionary as a solution to overcome them. Gulnoza Odilova is an Uzbek scholar of Translation Studies. She did her PhD in 2011 and DSc in 2021. She works as an Associate Professor at Tashkent State University of Uzbek Language and Literature. She has published more than 200 articles, 2 monographs, 2 textbooks, 1 encyclopedia, and patented a mobile app “Dictionary of gastronomic terms”. As a translator, she has translated Erkin Vohidov’s poems into English and poems of Shakespeare, Byron, Tomas Moore, Robert Burns and Edgar Allan Poe into Uzbek. In 2019 her project “www.poetiklugat.uz” achieved the recognition of the President of Uzbekistan and she was awarded the national medal “Shuhrat” (Glory) for her contribution to the science and literature of Uzbekistan. She is the chairperson of the Gastronomy Tourism Association of Uzbekistan and the coordinator of several projects such as “Gastromahalla”, “Delicious Uzbekistan” and “restoservice.uz”.