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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

VW-Projekt Translocal Goods

VW-Project:

Translocal Goods - Education, Work, and Commodities between Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, China, and the Arab Emirates


 

Project Description

Researchers and Positions

Project Partners

Stipend holders

Event

Teaching

Presentations and Lectures

Publications

 


Project Description

Our research project aims to trace some of the vibrant cross-border connections and exchanges between the small, conflict-prone Central Asian countries Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and the influential regional players Russia, China and the Arab Emirates. The three ethnographic case studies that our project consists of (2 post-doc scholars, 1 PhD candidate) thereby address some of the most significant “goods” circulating in these extensive networks: education, work and commodities. In particular, we want to examine (1) educational migration within Islamic networks and (2) the commercial-cultural flows of the hijab (veil) trade between Tajikistan and the Arab Emirates; also, (3) we want to capture translocal livelihoods in relation to work and commodity trade linking Kyrgyzstan with Russia and China.

To synthesize our individual research efforts and to increase the comparative potential of the overall project we employ a common conceptual framework that is based on the notion of “translocality”, on a multi-sited ethnography approach, as well as on an economic anthropological perspective on the exchange of im/material goods. Moving beyond the conventional post-Soviet/Central Asian studies approach, our project includes settings in China and the Arab Emirates to understand how social actors deal with, value and embed these im/material goods in their particular translocal socio-cultural practices, discourses and systems of meaning. Furthermore, it is via the examination of education, work and commodities as im/material goods that we want to access the complex entanglements and micro-level negotiations between competing and complementary, between local, national, regional and global ways of identification. In this way, the ethnographic case studies of our project offer innovative angles to complement the existing research on Islam, ethnicity and other identity markers that recently have been of significant influence in both the Tajik and the Kyrgyz society.

 

 

funded by Volkswagen Stiftung, 2013 – 2016

 


(from left to right: Prof. Manja Stephan-Emmrich, Abdullah Mirzoev,
Nora Bernhardt, Dr. Philipp Schröder)

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Researchers and Positions

Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich (Post-Doc Researcher and Project Leader)

Research Project: "Studying Islam Abroad – Students' Mobility, Life-Chances and Translocal Muslim Practice in-between Tajikistan and the Arab World"

Email: manja.stephan-emmrich (at) hu-berlin.de

 

Dr. Philipp Schröder (Post-Doc Researcher and Project Coordinator)

Research Project: "The 'China-Business' – An Ethnography of Kyrgyz Traders and their Translocal Livelihoods in-between 'Home', China, and Russia"

Email: pschroeder (at) asa.hu-berlin.de

 

Abdullah Mirzoev, M.A. (Researcher and PhD Student)

Research Project: "'Translocal Hijab' – The Producing, Distributing and Consuming of Religious Clothing in-between Tajikistan and the Arab Emirates"

Email: abdullah.mirzoev (at) hu-berlin.de

 

Nora Bernhardt, M.A. (Student Assistant)

Email: bernhano (at) cms.hu-berlin.de

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Project Partners

American University of Central Asia - Central Asian Studies Institute, Kyrgyzstan (CASI)

Gender Education Center Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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Stipend holders and associate research projects
  • Dr. Svetlana Jacquesson (American University of Central Asia, Central Asian Studies Institute); research project: “Ethno-nationalism as a Translocal Practice”.
  • Dr. Emil Nasritdinov (American University of Central Asia, Department of Anthropology); research project: “Trans-(temporal)-locality in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan): From ‘Botanika’ to ‘KASI Jamaat’”.
  • Dr. Elena Kim (American University of Central Asia, Department of Psychology); research project: “Explicating Translocal Organizations of Everyday Life: Stories from Rural Uzbekistan”.
  • Dr. Sophia Kasymova (Center for Gender Education, Dushanbe)
  • Dr. Azim Malikov (The Institute of History the Acadamy of the Sciences of Uzbekistan); research project: “Sacred lineages in Central Asia: transethnic links and identity”.

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Event

Intermediary book workshop, 7th - 8th April 2015:

"Exploring Translocality: Methodological Reflections and Ethnographic Cases"

American University of Central Asia, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

Participants:
  • Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany): "Tracing ‘Translocality’ in the Pious Endeavours of Mobile Tajik Muslims in the Middle East".
  • Dr. Philipp Schröder (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany): "The Economics of Translocality - Epistemographic Observations from a Fieldwork on Traders in(-between) Russia, China and Kyrgyzstan".
  • Dr. Kamoludin Abdullaev (Russian-Tajik Slavonic University, Tajikistan): "Historical Study of Mobility and Translocality in Central Asia during the Early Period of Soviet Rule".
  • Dr. Henryk Alff (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany): "A Sense of Translocal Belonging: Narratives of Chinese and post-Soviet Development Among a Dungan Community".
  • Dr. Susanne Fehlings (Universität Tübingen, Germany): "Informal Trade and 'Globalization from Below' in post-Soviet Eurasia".
  • Dr. Svetlana Jacquesson (American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan): "Ethno-Nationalism as a Translocal Practice".
  • Dr. Elena Kim (American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan): "Explicating Translocal Organization of Everyday Life: Stories from Rural Uzbekistan".
  • Dr. Azim Malikov (The Institute of History the Acadamy of the Sciences of Uzbekistan): "Khoja in Central Asia: Transethnic Links and Identity".
  • Dr. Emil Nasritdinov (American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan): "Trans-(temporal)-locality: From 'Botanika' to 'KASI Jamaat'".
  • Abdullah Mirzoev (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany): "The Dubai Business: Translocal Networks and Livelihoods of Tajik Entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates".
  • Dr. Sophia Kasymova (Center for Gender Education, Tajikistan)

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Teaching
  • Summer School Power, Identity and Economy: Dimensions of Perception and Conflict in Central Asia. Organized by Dr. Philipp Schröder, funded by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan); August 2015.
  • Summer School Resources and Conflicts in Central Asia. Organized by Dr. Philipp Schröder, funded by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan); August 2014.
  • Transcending Borders: Translocal religious dynamics in the context of migration; Examples from South- and Southeast Asia. Seminar by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Summer Term 2014.
  • Work – (Im)Mobility – Gender; current developments in Asia and Africa. Seminar by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Summer Term 2014.
  • ‘Goods Everywhere!’ – Ethnographic Case Studies of Trader(s) within the Context of Politics, Religion and Identity. Seminar by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Winter Term 2013/2014.
  • ‘Ethnicity, Inc.?’ – Ethnological Perspectives on the Intertwinement of Global Economy and Multiple Identities. Seminar by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Summer Term 2013.
  • Translocality: Religion, Identity and Integration in Cross-Border Contexts. Seminar by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Winter Term 2012/2013.

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Presentations and Lectures
  • From ‘Wild Capitalism’ to Business 2.0 - Ethnographic Insights on Kyrgyz Entrepreneurs in Eurasia. Presentation by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the 17th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS); Princeton University (NJ, USA); November 03-06, 2016.
  • Transcultural Kyrgyzness? Insights from Mobile Lifeworlds in-between Central Asia, Russia and China. Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the lecture series of Prof. Dr. Nadja-Christina Schneider entitled 'Transculturality and Migration: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives' at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; June 02, 2016.
  • Displaying a Progressive 'Dubai Islam': The Popularization of Reformist Muslim Lifestyles in Urban Tajikistan Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within the International Conference "Trans-l Encounters: Religious Education and Islamic Popular Culture in Asia and the Middle East" at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, May 26-28, 2016.
  • Transcultural, cosmopolitan? Representation and Imagination in reform projects of Tajik Muslims in Dubai. Lecture by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within the lecture series of Prof. Dr. Nadja Schneider entitled 'Transculturality and Migration: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives' at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; April 28, 2016.
  • Promoting the common good: Muslim professionalism in translocal religious education networks. Case Studies from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within the conference "Mobile Muslim Professionals: Trans-Regional Connectedness and (Non-) State Cooperation in Asia and the Middle East" at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, April 14-15, 2016.
  • Displaying Dubai's Cosmopolitanism(s): The Reform Projects of Tajiks Studying and Working in the Arab Emirates. Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within the Central Asia Program with the subject "Religion-Branding? Central Asia's Integration into the International Scene through Religion" at George Washington University. January 26, 2016.
  • "'Middleclass'-piety and 'Dubai Boom': Islamic Consumer Culture in Urban Tajikistan".
    Lecture by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within the lecture series of Prof. Dr. Nadja Schneider "Middle-Classness in Asia"; Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany; program here); June 18, 2015.
  • 'Pioneers of Trade' - Kyrgyzstan's First Capitalist Generation. Presentation by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Institute for Social Anthropology and Empirical Cultural Studies; University Zurich (Switzerland, see here); March 03, 2015.
  • Kyrgyzstan’s New Nomads: Migration, Business and Identity in Eurasia. Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Department of Anthropology; University Hamburg (Germany; program here); January 13, 2015.
  • ‘My ne churki’ – ‘We are no tree stumps’: Negotiating Beloging and Identity among Kyrgyz in Novosibirsk (Russia). Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany); December 16, 2014.
  • Home is elsewhere - Mobility and Translocal Piety of Female Tajik Islam Students in the Arab World. Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich within Weingartener Asiengespräche (engl: “Discussions about Asia in Weingarten”) by the Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg Stuttgart at Tagungshaus Weingarten (Germany; program here); Novemeber 14, 2014.
  • ‘No risk, no champagne’ – skills, success and the ‘culture of decision-taking’ among post-Soviet businessmen from Kyrgyzstan. Presentation by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the Workshop ‘Ordinary extraordinary. Anthropology of risk, limits and exposure’ in the panel 'Voluntary risk taking edgework'; University College London (United Kingdom; program here); November 06-07, 2014.
  • Miracle Truth: Permanent Struggle and Fragile Conviction in a Pentecostal Church in Kyrgyzstan. Guest Lecture by Dr. Mathijs Pelkmans at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany; abstract here); October 22, 2014.
  • Study to work, work to study Tajik students’ mobility and translocal networks in the Arab world and beyond. Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich at the 21st International DAVO-Congress of Contemporary Research on the Middle East in the panel 'Moving Ties across the Middle East: University Students' Modes of Mobility'; University of Cologne (Germany); September 25, 2014.
  • Postmigration and Misplaced Nation: Kyrgyzstan.ru. Guest lecture by Dr. Emil Nasritdinov at the Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany; abstract here); July 15, 2014.
  • On Cultural Concessions and Ethnograhic Positionings – A Methodological Comparison of two Fieldworks in Kyrgyzstan and Siberia. Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the colloquium of Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rosenthal; Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany); May 26, 2014.
  • Kyrgyz Middlemen in Guangzhou – Business-making and More in China’s ‘Factory of the World’. Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the CASI Public Seminar Series; Central Asian Studies Institute (CASI); American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan; more info here); March 25, 2014.
  • Translocality and Ethnography. Lecture by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the seminar of Dr. Emil Nasritdinov ‘Globalization, Migration, and Transnationalism’; Department of Anthropology; American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan); March 17, 2014.
  • Transnational Educational Practices among Tajik Migrant Families: an Intergenerational Perspective. Presentation by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich in the 24th congress of the German Society for Studies in Education in the panel ‘Educational Processes and Transnational Migration’ by Prof. Dr. Christine Huner-Kreisel and Prof. Dr. Anatoli Rakhochkine; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany); March 12, 2014.
  • Business, Livelihood and Well-Being – Kyrgyz Traders in-between ‘Home’ and Novosibirsk (Russia). Presentation by Dr. Philipp Schröder in the conference 'The Visible and Invisible. Institutions and Identities in Contemporary Central Asia' in the panel 'Mobility and Migration' at the “Centre of Anthropological Studies on Central Asia” (CASCA Halle-Zurich); University Zurich (program here); December 20-21, 2013.
  • Importation and Advertising of Islamic Fashion by the local Sellers in Tajikistan. Lecture by Abdullah Mirzoev in the seminar of Dr. Philipp Schröder "'Goods Everywhere!' – Ethnographic Case Studies of Trader(s) within the Context of Politics, Religion and Identity"; Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany); November 13, 2013.
  • Economic Flows of Hijab in Tajikistan. Lecture by Abdullah Mirzoev in the Summer School ‘Society and Conflict in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan’, Dushanbe (Tajikistan); July 2013.
  • Navigating ‘Translocal Pious Lives’: Tajik Students of Islam between Religious Ideals and Everyday Secular Realities. Lecture by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich at the Seminar Series for the Global Culture Research Group, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); June 14, 2013.
  • Internal Migration in Tajikistan and Changing Lifestyle Behavior in Urban Dushanbe. Presentation by Abdullah Mirzoev in the workshop ‘Tracing Migration and Global Connectedness – Urban Contexts in Central Asia and Beyond’. Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany; program here); May 30-31, 2013.
  • Across Borders: Researching Translocal Livelihoods in-between Central Asia, Russia, China, and the Middle East. Lecture by Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Dr. Philipp Schröder in the context of the international conference “Crossroads Asia – Figurations of Mobility”, Institute for Asian and African Studies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany; program here); November 22-24, 2012.

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Publications
  • Stephan-Emmrich, Manja and Philipp Schröder (eds.) 2018. Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. Available for online download here.
  • Stephan-Emmrich, Manja 2018. iPhones and Emotions. Tracing translocality in the pious endeavors of Tajiks studying and working in the Middle East, in: Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Philipp Schröder (eds.), Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2018. Available for online download here.
  • Schröder, Philipp 2018. The Economics of Translocality - Epistemographic Observations from a Fieldwork on Traders in(-between) Russia, China and Kyrgyzstan, in: Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Philipp Schröder (eds.), Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2018. Available for online download here.
  • Mirzoev, Abdullah 2018. The Dubai Business: Translocal Networks and Livelihoods of Tajik Entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates, in: Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Philipp Schröder (eds.), Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2018. Available for online download here.
  • Stephan-Emmrich, Manja 2017. Studying Islam abroad: Pious Enterprises and Educational Aspirations of Young Tajik Muslims, in: Pauline Jones (eds.), Islam, Society and Politics in Central Asia (Pitsburgh: University of Pitsburgh Press) 263-289.
  • Stephan-Emmrich, Manja and Abdullah Mirzoev 2016. The Manufacturing of Islamic Lifestyles in Tajikistan through the Prism of Dushanbe's Bazaars. In: Central Asian Survey, 35(2): 157-177.
  • Schröder, Philipp and Manja Stephan-Emmrich 2014. The Institutionalization of Mobility: Well-being and Social Hierarchies in Central Asian Translocal Livelihoods. In: Mobilities, 1-24.

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