CASI Literature Week:

CASI Literature Week: "Imagined Geographies? Contemporary Art of Central Asia"

November 28, 2017

Literature Week is a part of CASI’s Workshop on Literature and History. Supported by a generous contribution from Matthew Nimetz, the aim of the workshop is to create a community of junior scholars and advanced graduate students committed to studying literature and to applying literary tools and methodologies to the study of literary art in the Central Asian past.

SPEAKER: Diana Kudaibergenova

Short abstract: The understanding of regional locality and, moreover, of regional art and cultural production poses important questions, namely, What is Central Asia and Where is Central Asia? “Central Asia” is a multi-layered jigsaw that appears as a fairly simple and well-defined but in reality as very complex yet very exciting “lively space”. This is the space where borders melt and ethnicities overlap and where creative processes and networks of people will offer perspectives in the study of social and cultural reality.  But what is at play when we imagine and research “the region”? And what are other ways in which academic discussions and studies of Central Asia can reveal the cultural debates, debates on heritage and identity on the ground? Are in fact these identities as fragmented?

In this talk Diana T. Kudaibergenova will present a part of her ongoing project on contemporary art and power in Central Asia. She has been working on contemporary art for more than 10 years and explores the ways power is contested and practiced in art and around it.

Bio: A graduate of Cambridge University, Diana is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Lund. She is the author of the recently published Re-writing the Nation: Elites, Networks and Narratives in Modern Kazakh Literature.  Her main research focuses on the study of power, norms and social meaning of law. In her current projects she focuses on legal and cultural understanding of nationalism and secessionism claims, claims for national self-determination and legal pluralism under conditions of on-going conflicts and secessionist contexts that are deemed illegal under international law. One of the running themes of the research deals with the cultural and political claims of ethnic Russians abroad. Kudaibergenova’s forthcoming book manuscript that is based on her doctoral dissertation deals with the growing normalization of nationalist claims in post-Soviet Latvia and Kazakhstan and examines the ways in which Russian-speaking minorities in these countries dealt with the issues of pressing nationalization through their claims to international law. Kudaibergenova’s most recent study deals with similar claims of Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine and Crimea.

The issue of norms and social aspects of law in Central Asia is the focus of Kudaibergenova’s second project. This project deals with the power contestations, de-normalization and the struggles for defining what is a norm or tradition and in claiming this power.


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