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Конференция: Changing Patterns of Power in Historical and Modern Central and Inner Asia

Changing Patterns of Power in Historical and Modern Central and Inner Asia
Deadline: 9 January 2014

Conference Dates: 7-9 August 2014

We invite the submission of paper abstracts for a three-day international conference organised from 7-9 August 2014 by the International Unit for Central and Inner Asian Studies (Ulaanbaatar), in collaboration with IIAS, and hosted by Ulaanbaatar University

The conference aims to highlight the current state of knowledge in research on the history of Central and Inner Asia since the twelfth century until the present day. Taking into account recent developments in historiography questioning any form of epistemological “centrism” (particularly when centred on the Occident), the proposed conference will contribute to the debate on the role and position of Central and Inner Asia during much of the second millennium. In order to achieve our goal of questioning and discussing our present knowledge and understanding, we suggest tracing socio-historical systems and long-term historical legacies. Understanding various patterns of power in an historical context, including their meanings, concepts and semantics, their competition, appropriation and exchange, as well as institutions and schemes of redistribution, is vital in this respect. We seek to address how patterns of power are reflected in the process of social adaptation, how this process allows former elites to retain their privileged access to resources, material and ideological assets, and how it enables new elite groups to emerge.

We stress the transregional character of communication and exchange of the socio-political concepts and cultures between Central and Inner Asia and other world regions, because patterns of power exercised by the Central and Inner Asian ruling elites have been neither simply imposed by external players, nor generated by the society in isolation.

This Forum aims at bringing together representatives of different disciplines researching various periods of historical and modern Central and Inner Asia, including scholars studying contemporary history of the region. We intend to focus on how diverse groups in Central Asian societies seeking resources for power compete(d) for authority through exploiting religion, ethnicity and reinvented traditions, as well as through social mobilisation and network-building.

The geographical scope of the conference is, understandably, large. We construe Central and Inner Asia to refer to the huge expanse of land from the Urals in the west to beyond Mongolia and deep into modern China in the east. Papers referring to adjoining regions, which shared many of the vicissitudes of Central and Inner Asian history (the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan), will also be considered, if they bear relevance to the understanding of Central and Inner Asia.

Organising academic committee
Prof. Jigjidijn Boldbaatar (Ulaanbaatar); Prof. Choi Key Ho (Ulaanbaatar); Dr. Robert Cutler (Ottawa/Montreal); Ms. Martina van den Haak (Leiden); Prof. Yuki Konagaya (Osaka); Dr. Irina Morozova (Berlin); Dr. Elena Paskaleva (Leiden); Prof. Morris Rossabi (New York); Dr Ainura Turgangazieva (Bishkek); Ms. Tolganai Umbetalieva (Almaty); Dr. Willem Vogelsang (Leiden).

Languages of communication
English, Mongolian and Russian (interpreters will be available).

Structure of conference
Keynote lectures, forum discussion and parallel sessions (grouped according to specific themes and the individual abstracts), with presentations of max. 20 minutes (in English, Russian or Mongolian) excluding discussion. The sessions take 1.5 or 2 hours, and include the presentation and discussion of 3 or 4 papers. An optional tour to the Mongolian countryside will be organized for Sunday 10 August (further details will follow).

Abstracts and panels
Those interested to attend and to present a paper should submit an English-language abstract of c. 300 words, plus a brief resume of max. 100 words. Proposals for complete panel sessions of 1.5 or 2 hours can also be submitted, with an abstract of 300 words on the theme of the panel, with separately a list of individual speakers and a brief introduction to their talk (max. 300 words) and brief resume (max. 100 words). It is possible to submit a proposal for two consecutive panels covering the same or a closely related subject.

Submission of proposals
Proposals should be submitted via the following links:

Individual paper submission form
Panel proposal submission form
Deadline for submission is 9 January 2014, and authors/panel organisers will informed by the end of February 2014. The programme will be published digitally by mid-June.

Conference fees
100 euro before 15 April 2014; 125 euro before 1 June 2014; 150 euro for on-site registration. Non-Mongolian PhD students receive a reduction of 25 euro. The registration fee for non-Mongolian Central and Inner Asian participants is 50 euros, and for Mongolian participants 15 euros.

Financial support
The conference operates on a limited budget. Very limited financial support may be made available for Central and Inner Asian participants to cover part of the fees, travel and/or accommodation costs. If you would like to be considered for a grant, please submit the Grant Application Form in which you state the motivation for your request.

Participants should arrange their own accommodation for the duration of the conference. Suggestions for hotels will be published at the conference website in due course.

For questions about the conference, please contact Ms Martina van den Haak, IIAS, Leiden, The Netherlands at

International Unit for Central and Inner Asian Studies (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia), for further information please contact

Ulaanbaatar University (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia), for further information please visit

International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden, the Netherlands)


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