Established in 2012, the EAST seminar series brings graduate students and established scholars to present ongoing research to the UvA community. Our schedule for Spring 2017 is below. All events take place at the Bushuis, Kloveniersbugwal 48, Amsterdam, at 16:00. You can find directions here.
For questions about any of the following events please contact Artemy Kalinovsky: a.m.kalinovsky [at] uva.nl
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, @ 16:00, Bushuis E101E
The Temptation of Tsargrad: Russia’s Aims during the Great War
David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, FRSC
Why did Russia risk war with Germany in 1914? This talk examines the thinking in St Petersburg about how to respond to the Central Powers during the July Crisis, as well as what its war aims were once the guns of August began to fire. I will pay particular attention to the desire to control the Turkish Straits both before and during the war.
David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye is Professor of Russian history at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His research interests focus on 18th- and 19th-century Russian cultural, intellectual, diplomatic and military history. Schimmelpenninck is the author of, among other, Toward the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2001) and Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010). Schimmelpenninck is currently writing a book about tsarist expansion into Central Asia, “Russia’s Great Game: The Struggle for Primacy in Central Asia.” He is also coediting a volume on “The International History of Russia’s Great War” for the Russia’s Great War and Revolution series.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Bushuis E1.01 E (NEW DATE!!!)
Russia’s Caucasus in Historical Narratives and History Politics
Dr. Vladimir Bobrovnikov, NIAS, Amsterdam
Since the fall of the USSR, historical narratives of Russia’s Muslim borderlands have changed considerably in Russia as well as abroad. Moreover, in the new millennium there have been new attempts to misuse regional history in post-Soviet history politics. This presentation addresses these topics in today Caucasus, drawing on extensive field and archival work of the author in the region, mostly in Dagestan, over the last twenty five years. What forms does history politics take in the region under Putin’s rule? What narratives are dominant in it as it concerns the region’s medieval and modern history? Who pays for the making of history politics in Russia’s Caucasus? What can be said of the Soviet legacy in Muslim history writing? How did academic Orientology and area village studies contribute to the production of post-Soviet historical narratives in the North Caucasus? This presentation will take a post-colonial perspective as it traces these questions through major recent trends in historical scholarship and the politics of the region.
Vladimir Bobrovnikov is research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Amsterdam. He studies modern history and social anthropology of Muslim villagers in Russia’s Caucasus, mostly in Dagestan, where he conducts extensive archival and field work from 1992 to date. Vladimir has a MA from the Moscow State University (1987) and a PhD from the Moscow Institute for Oriental Studies (1994). He lectured at Stanford University (Moscow branch), Institut d’études politiques (Paris), Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Moscow State University, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow). Vladimir’s research interests include microhistory of Muslim village communities under colonial and socialist reforms, its hybrid religious and judicial practices, new imperial history, Orientalist scholarship, post-socialist and post-colonial studies. He is the author of Custom, Law and Violence among the North Caucasus Muslims (in Russian, Vostochnaia literatura, 2002), North Caucasus in the Russian Empire (in Russian, NLO, 2007), Custom and Law in Written Sources from Dagestan from the 5th through the Early 20th Centuries (in Russian, Marjani, 2009, in 2 vol.), Tatar Shama’il: Word and Image (in Russian, Marjani, 2009, 2nd ed. 2013, 3rd ed. 2015), Voyage au pays des Avars, (Cartouche, 2011), Posters of the Soviet East, 1918–1940 (in Russian, Marjani, 2013), Syntaslar: Funeral Steles of the Nogay Steppe (in Russian, Marjani, 2016). At the same time, he co-edited The Devotees of Islam: the Cult of Saints and Sufism in Central Asia and the Caucasus, (in Russian, Vostochnaia literatura, 2003), Dagestan and the Muslim East. Studies on History of Islam in Honor of Amri Shikhsaidov, (in Russian, Marjani, 2010), Orientalism vs. Orientology (in Russian, Sadra, 2016), Muslims in the New Imperial History (in Russian, Sadra, 2017). Articles based on his research has appeared in Russian, German, French and English in American Historical Review, Annals of Japan Association for Middle Eastern Studies (AJAMES), Central Asian Survey, Central Asia and the Caucasus, ISIM Newsletter, Middle Eastern Studies, Religion, State and Society, Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest, Die Welt des Islams. Vladimir’s current research is focused on the colonial transformation of Shari’a justice in the Caucasus under the tsarist rule and transnational transfers of Islamic legal knowledge between Russia, Ottoman empire and other European empires of the colonial age.
Wednesday, November 21, 2017 Bushuis E101E
Dr. Flora J. Roberts (Tubingen)
On the basis of archival documents, memoirs and oral histories, this is the story of the human and environmental upheaval created by the damming of the Syr Darya river at Kairakkum in the mid 1950s. The construction of a large dam and reservoir in the Tajik portion of the Ferghana Valley – one of the most densely populated areas of Central Asia – triggered successive waves of in- and out- migration. Collective farmers were brought into the region to work on construction, while others were forcibly resettled away from the floodplain; specialists were brought in to work in the industries built to use the locally generated hydropower, most of whom left after the fall of the Soviet Union. Each of these waves left their mark on the region, contributing to the present day nostalgic perceptions of Kairakkum as a place uniquely shaped by the Soviet-era rhetoric of “the friendship of peoples.”
Flora J Roberts is a historian of modern Eurasia and a member of the Junior Research Group on the History of Water in Central Asia at the Karls Eberhard University of Tuebingen. Following a degree in Classics from Oxford, she completed her PhD in Soviet History at the University of Chicago in 2016. She is completing a book manuscri