Central Asia: Global and Local Wisdom Series: "Indigenous Peoples of Central Asia"


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Webinar (Webex)

When: Oct 8 2021 - 3:00pm until Oct 8 2021 - 4:30pm
Central Asia: Global and Local Wisdom Series: "Indigenous Peoples of Central Asia"
Friday, October 8, 2021; 3:00-4:30 pm MST
Presenter: Historian Dr. Morris Rosabi of Columbia University; Moderator: Dr. Albert Celoza

The Communist and post-Communist period have proven to be harmful to the land, water, and air in Central Asia and Mongolia. Economic and political policies have resulted in desertification, dwindling water supplies, and polluted air. The Aral Sea has almost disappeared; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital, has one of the worst pollution of any of the world's cities; unregulated mining along the fringes of the Gobi Desert uses the water supply, compelling many of the area's herders to abandon a pastoral economy;and poachers have threatened the survival of rare and endangered species. The presentation also deals with efforts to avert an environmental crisis.

About the series:

Central Asia is generally classified as constituting the five -stans (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan) which were part of the Soviet Union. The US Department of Defense groups these countries in the area of operations of CENTCOM; along with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran, and other Middle East countries. The US State Department groups them under South and Central Asia (including Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as India, but excluding Turkey (Europe and Eurasia) and Iran (Near East). From the Russian perspective, these countries are grouped with the other former Soviet Republics as the “Near Abroad;” while OECD (the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation) groups them with Mongolia, Afghanistan, the countries of the Caucasus as “Eurasia.”

Since 2001, four of the five (excluding Turkmenistan) have been members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: the other current members are China, Russia, Pakistan, and India. All are included in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, launched in 2013.

These different groupings demonstrate that Central Asia, and its 72 million inhabitants, get pushed to the edges of most contemporary U.S. views of the world. They also alert us to how connected the region is to the security and economic agendas of China and Russia, in particular. And in turn, how political and social projects formulated in Moscow and Beijing; as well as the survival strategies of traders, nomads, farmers, and artisans over generations, have shaped the physical landscape, and cultural contours of the region. This series will explore how a focus on the region could advance efforts to expose US students to diverse perspectives and to advance their global awareness. In addition, the series will interrogate key theoretical concepts in the social sciences and humanities through an alternative lens, informed by empirical data from the region.

FPG: Pending approval for 1.5 hour of Faculty Professional Growth credit per session. Non-Maricopa participants, staff, and community members will receive a certificate of participation upon completion.

These events support the Global Engagement Mission of the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board related to providing student global learning opportunities that stem from courses infused with global perspectives. This program is in collaboration with International Education at Maricopa Community Colleges; the Melikian Center at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Asian Studies Development Program at the East-West Center

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Daralyn Yee