Graduate Student Conference on Сentral Asia

Event Format
In person
CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Tsai Auditorium (S010)

Call for Papers

The Davis Center is planning a graduate student conference devoted to Central Asia in April 2023. We invite paper proposals from graduate students at any stage, including master’s students, working on a topic related to Central Asia within any discipline. The conference will allow U.S.-based graduate students to present their original and ongoing work in a professional environment and to receive feedback from peers and experts within the field. 

Proposals may include topics related to the following themes: 

In the Shadow of Big Neighbors: Central Asian Interactions with Russia and China

Living through a shift of power from Russia to China encourages reflection on the centuries of interaction between Central Asians and their Russian and Chinese neighbors, those of conquest and resistance, maneuvering and cooptation, trade and cultural exchanges. We invite papers that critically assess the complex dynamics of past and present relations between Central Asia, China and/or Russia. 

Political, Economic, and Social Transformations 

Central Asia’s socio-political and economic landscape has been anything but static. The quest to form new institutions and social contracts in the independence era has transformed the societies and states of the region’s republics. How can we better understand domestic political and socio-economic transformations in Central Asia using various disciplinary and cross-disciplinary frames of analysis? The themes include but are not limited to political economy, institutional development, state-society relations, nation-building and nationalism, and social and economic inequalities. 

Beliefs and Values: Continuity and Change 

The ideational scene in Central Asia has been rich and dynamic. To understand the complex interactions between beliefs, values, and identities over time and across communities, we invite contributions from multiple disciplines, including history, religious studies, anthropology, environmental history, sociology, and other relevant fields of inquiry. 


Interested graduate students should apply online by December 31, 2022. Submissions must include: 

  • A working title and brief (no more than 300 words) description of your paper’s central argument; 
  • Biographical information including your full name, institutional affiliation, graduate program of study, and current year in that program;
  • Travel and logistical preferences.

Notification of acceptance will be no later than January 25, 2023. If accepted, participants must submit their registration form accepting their participation by February 22, 2023. Final papers must be received by April 1, 2023.

Please direct any questions about the conference or this call for proposals to Nargis Kassenova and Aruzhan Meirkhanova.