Join your fellow Princetonians on an exploration of the great Silk Road countries of Central Asia's five 'Stans — Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Balancing traditional cultures and ancient architectural riches with the control of oil and gas reserves seen as a sign of modern success, these countries are fascinating contrasts of old and new. Far from a dusty old caravan route, dazzling colors await, from the blue-tiled mosques and deep mud-brick minarets to brilliant traditional dress and headgear in the fabulous bazaars.
Experience six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Enjoy musical performance in the oasis of Khiva; hear from conservators at Bukhara's Ark Citadel; visit artisans in Samarkand; and view arguably the oldest Koran in the world in Tashkent. Learn about the importance of falconry, dance and arts in the region through presentations and performances. As a bonus on this program, venture out to Nukus to visit the distinctive new Savitsky Museum, home to the second largest gathering of Russian avant-garde art in the world. Wander the collections with Professor Serguei Oushakine, an expert in this period.
Serguei Oushakine, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies, will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this Journey.
Professor Oushakine has conducted fieldwork in the Siberian part of Russia, as well as in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. His research is concerned with transitional processes and situations: from the formation of newly independent national cultures after the collapse of the Soviet Union to post-traumatic identities and hybrid cultural forms. His first book The Patriotism of Despair: Loss, Nation, and War in Russia focused on communities of loss and exchanges of sacrifices in provincial post-communist Russia. His current project explores Eurasian postcoloniality as a means of affective reformatting of the past and as a form of retroactive victimhood.
He will be accompanied by Kim Lane Scheppele, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values and the Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs.