American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Lenses, prisms and mirrors

Lenses, prisms and mirrors

The Anthropology Department, AUCA invites a discussion on three epistemological categories used in humanities and social sciences. The first category– zooming (in/out) – looks at the ways researchers use their LENSES to either distant themselves from their research context in order to generalize or, on the contrary, come closer to see the world in zillions of minute details of ethnographic descriptions. The second category –interpreting – shows how researchers transform the image of the world by filtering/viewing it through the PRISM of their own understanding and cultural bias, how they “translate” the world for a broader audience and how they dissect/disassemble “culture” and “society” into their unique constituent components/composites. The third category – reflecting – defines researchers as MIRRORS of the world and the world as a mirror of researchers’ own subjectivities, emotions and positions. This is particularly relevant for researchers from the region living and working in the same context which they research and analyze. If there is a new Central Asian scholarship forming, it is important for us to think about and discuss its epistemological bases as well as its methodologies. We welcome theoretical papers and we welcome research case-studies that can shed light on these themes.


This conference marks the tenth-year anniversary of Anthropology Department and twentieth-year anniversary of the American University of Central Asia. In addition, the conference hosts a special section to celebrate the 1170 years of the Great Statehood of Yenisey Kyrgyz.

In the 9th century Yenisey Kyrgyz had great power and recognition as an independent state and they had diplomatic relations with Central Asian Turks, Chinese Empire, and Persian and Byzantine dynasties. We invite papers discussing the politics, identity, culture, language and religion of Yenisey Kyrgyz and their role in the history of Eurasia.


The conference will take place on May 4, 2013 at the American University of Central Asia. If you are interested in participation, please send the title and abstract of your paper to before April 15, 2013. To be considered for a publication at the special issue of AUCA Academic Review, please send a complete paper by May 30, 2013.



American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028