The inaugural meeting of the Central Asia Study Group, initiated and coordinated by Professor Modjtaba Sadria was held on 18 February 2009. The Group is intended as an inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary, collaborative group for academics, researchers, students, and others with an interest in Central Asia. The Group will look at a range of issues related to social and cultural transformations in this region.
The Study Group will seek to approach aspects of social and cultural life in Central Asia by exploring mechanisms of peoples’ empowerment in these societies. With this as the general focus, participants will be invited to contribute from their own discipline and research to explore this concept.
The Group will avoid concentrating on areas which are usually the focus of attention, such as security or purely economic or resource related issues. Contributions are welcomed from any level of research and analysis – ranging from local to transnational to global perspectives, and relating to any of the regions within and close to Central Asia, as relevant to discussions on change and empowerment in Central Asia. The Study Group intends to maintain a flexible, inclusive and non-partisan approach and to work in a way that avoids ‘essentialising’ Central Asia as a region.
A blog for the group has been launched, which will be regularly updated. It aims to facilitate the achievement of a ‘critical mass’ of ideas and research.
The Group will meet approximately once per month, with two members or invited guests presenting at each meeting. Information about the speaker’s topic will be provided on the Study Group’s blog, with the aim of facilitating discussion and the creation of a body of scholarly information relating to Central Asia within the conceptual framework of empowerment on the internet.
Central Asia Study Group blog
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS)
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Coordinator, Planning & Academic Development
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations