Dec 04

Call for papers: Annual Nawruz Postgraduate Workshop on Central Asia: Spaces of Central Asia

The Department of Politics at the University of Exeter will host the Annual Nawruz Postgraduate Workshop on March 18 – 19, 2016.

Twenty five years after the five Central Asian republics emerged from the Soviet Union, there is growing scholarly interest in the region and an increased academic understanding of the region’s local dynamics and transnational connections. Central Asia’s geopolitical location, the presence of natural resources and its rich cultural history have drawn scholars and policymakers to the region. The Nawruz Workshop will offer a space for scholarly discussion of the latest interdisciplinary research of domestic and international developments in the region.

The Nawruz Workshop will examine the spatial dynamics of Central Asia.  For example, can labour migrants in Russia and Turkey or political exiles in Europe and North America be considered to be in Central Asia?  What are the global processes that shape Central Asia itself?  Is there a risk of Central Asia losing its claim to distinctiveness if we think of it in non-territorial terms? And does this matter?

Aims of workshop

The purpose of the workshop is to invite scholars and early stage researchers to share their knowledge expertise of Central Asia. The workshop will give an opportunity to present research findings and stimulate a debate on recent developments in the region and the state of Central Asian Studies as a discipline.

Participants will have the chance to present their research projects and receive feedback from both their peers and more experienced researchers. The workshop offers great opportunity to network with other researchers, public policy experts and academics focusing on with Central Asia.

The regional geographical scope covers the five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) and their neighbouring countries.

Confirmed keynote speaker:  Dr. Tim Epkenhans, University of Freiburg, Germany

Submission of paper proposals:

We invite researchers to submit paper proposals on the following topics:

  • Regional challenges in Central Asia including those related to natural resources, economic cooperation and integration;
  • Foreign policy dynamics with neighbouring states;
  • Political violence and contentious politics;
  • Domestic politics and institutional dynamics in the Central Asian states;
  • International development, the promotion of good governance in the region and the role of the government, business sector and  civil society;
  • Economic aspects, including labour migration, national development strategies and foreign investment;
  • Symbolism, power and identity in Central Asia including questions of religion, ethnicity and nationalism.

Please note the list of the proposed topics is not exhaustive. We are happy to accept papers that focus on other topics that are relevant to Central Asia.

Abstract for paper proposals should be no more than 300 words long, include full contact details and a short bio (2 to 3 sentences).  They should be sent to the workshop organisers:

Saipira Furstenberg: or Edward Lemon:  no later than January 20, 2016.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Workshop logistics:

The two-day workshop will be held at the University of Exeter. Participants do not have to pay a conference fee. Food and drinks will be provided. Stipends to travel and accommodation expenses will be available to successful applicants. Please note we are able to cover accommodation and travelling costs for selected applicants up to 170£ (240€).