55 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Central Asia about their New Books

New Books in Central Asian Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture

Interviews with Scholars of Central Asia about their New Books

    Marlene Laruelle, "The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan" (Lexington Books, 2019)

    Marlene Laruelle, "The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan" (Lexington Books, 2019)

    The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan (Lexington Books, 2019), edited by Marlene Laruelle, looks at the younger generations of Kazakhstan that have come of age during the post-Soviet presidency of Nursultan Nazarbayev. A collection of essays, the book presents new approaches for thinking about the “post-Soviet”-ness of Kazakhstan and for making sense of important political, cultural, and social changes in Kazakhstan during the country’s encounter with global capitalism. The volume is important reading for scholars, professionals, and curious minds interested in understanding contemporary Kazakhstan.
    Nicholas Seay is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University.
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    • 55 min
    Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon, "Night and Day: A Novel" (Academic Studies Press, 2019)

    Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon, "Night and Day: A Novel" (Academic Studies Press, 2019)

    Christopher Fort’s new translation of Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon’s Night and Day: A Novel (Academic Studies Press, 2019) (Kecha va Kunduz) gives readers a chance to dive into the world of early 20th century Uzbek literature and understand the complex social problems of late Russian imperial Turkestan. This book will be interesting for a wide range of readers, including those interested in the history of Russia and Central Asia, as well as the nature of colonial and post-colonialism in those contexts. Finally, Fort’s translation brings attention to Cho’lpon, an important figure in Uzbek literary life who tragically became a victim of Stalinist terror.
    Nicholas Seay is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University.
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    • 47 min
    M. Sheehy and K-D Mathes, "The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet" (SUNY Press, 2019)

    M. Sheehy and K-D Mathes, "The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet" (SUNY Press, 2019)

    Michael R. Sheehy and Klaus-Dieter Mathes's edited collection The Other Emptiness: Rethinking the Zhentong Buddhist Discourse in Tibet (SUNY Press, 2019) brings together perspectives of leading international Tibetan studies scholars on the subject of zhentong or “other-emptiness.” Defined as the emptiness of everything other than the continuous luminous awareness that is one’s own enlightened nature, this distinctive philosophical and contemplative presentation of emptiness is quite different from rangtong—emptiness that lacks independent existence, which has had a strong influence on the dissemination of Buddhist philosophy in the West. Important topics are addressed, including the history, literature, and philosophy of emptiness that have contributed to zhentong thinking in Tibet from the thirteenth century until today. The contributors examine a wide range of views on zhentong from each of the major orders of Tibetan Buddhism, highlighting the key Tibetan thinkers in the zhentong philosophical tradition. Also discussed are the early formulations of buddhanature, interpretations of cosmic time, polemical debates about emptiness in Tibet, the zhentong view of contemplation, and creative innovations of thought in Tibetan Buddhism. Highly accessible and informative, this book can be used as a scholarly resource as well as a textbook for teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on Buddhist philosophy.
    Sangseraima Ujeed, ACLS Robert H.N Ho Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara received her MSt and DPhil degrees in Oriental Studies from the Department of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Her main research focus is the trans-national aspect of Buddhism, lineage and identity in Tibet and Mongolia in the Early Modern period, with a particular emphasis on the contributions made by ethnically Mongolian monk scholars.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Roberto Carmack, "Kazakhstan in World War II: Mobilization and Ethnicity in the Soviet Empire" (UP of Kansas, 2019)

    Roberto Carmack, "Kazakhstan in World War II: Mobilization and Ethnicity in the Soviet Empire" (UP of Kansas, 2019)

    Roberto Carmack’s Kazakhstan in World War II: Mobilization and Ethnicity in the Soviet Empire (University Press of Kansas, 2019) looks at the experience of the Kazakh Republic during the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War. Using a variety of archival materials, newspapers, and individual memoirs, Carmack looks at important topics of the war experience in Kazakhstan, including mobilization, deportations, forced labor, and the role of propaganda. Carmack’s work will help readers understand the Soviet Union’s role as a multi-national empire and how the wartime experience affected the relationship between the multiple ethnicities of the Soviet Union.
    Nicholas Seay is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University.
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    • 57 min
    Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)

    Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)

    We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them.
    However, they can also lead us astray. Charts lie in a variety of ways―displaying incomplete or inaccurate data, suggesting misleading patterns, and concealing uncertainty―or are frequently misunderstood, such as the confusing cone of uncertainty maps shown on TV every hurricane season. To make matters worse, many of us are ill-equipped to interpret the visuals that politicians, journalists, advertisers, and even our employers present each day, enabling bad actors to easily manipulate them to promote their own agendas.
    In How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information (W. W. Norton, 2019), data visualization expert Alberto Cairo teaches us to not only spot the lies in deceptive visuals, but also to take advantage of good ones to understand complex stories. Public conversations are increasingly propelled by numbers, and to make sense of them we must be able to decode and use visual information. By examining contemporary examples ranging from election-result infographics to global GDP maps and box-office record charts, How Charts Lie demystifies an essential new literacy, one that will make us better equipped to navigate our data-driven world.
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    • 57 min
    Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing

    Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing

    As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental research." Their authors--dedicated researchers one and all--provide the scholarly stuff upon which many non-fiction trade books are based. So when you are reading, say, a popular history, you are often reading UP books at one remove. Of course, some UP books are also bestsellers, and they are all well written (and, I should say, thoroughly vetted thanks to the peer review system), but the greatest contribution of UPs is to provide a base of fundamental research to the public. And they do a great job of it.
    How do they do it? Today I talked to Kathryn Conrad, the president of the Association of University Presses, about the work of UPs, the challenges they face, and some terrific new directions they are going. We also talked about why, if you have a scholarly book in progress, you should talk to UP editors early and often. And she explains how! Listen in.
    Marshall Poe is the editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@gmail.com.
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    • 40 min

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