Discussion List on Anthropology of the Former Soviet Bloc
| «CESWW» is sponsored by the Harvard
Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus |
Contents of this page:
- Statement of Purpose
- The Basics
AnthEurasia - Statement of Purpose
We may be widely scattered, but we have something to talk about -- that is
the premise for the AnthEurasia e-mail discussion forum. Before the
Soviet Bloc collapsed, there were few Western anthropologists investigating
this part of the world. We are still few and widely distributed, and
there are few opportunities for us to come together to discuss the subject
matter which unites us. But exchange of ideas is what builds strong
scholarship -- hence this discussion list.
There is a tendency for scholars of this part of the world to be geographically
parochial -- specialists seek out specialists in the study of Russia, Mongolia,
Central Asia, the Caucasus (or even just Armenia or Georgia or Azerbaijan
or the North Caucasus), the Balkans, Ukraine, Central Europe (or just Hungary,
Communist Germany, etc.), and so forth. Yet common historical experience
unifies the region: the old "Second World", the domain of Russian
hegemony, the mixing of Orthodoxy and Islam, Slavism and Turkism, and the
world of collapsing and reviving Communism, now challenged by democratizing
and marketizing imperatives. We will not be able to grasp these phenomena
adequately if our sights are too narrowly focused.
Thus, we introduce this list to facilitate discussion. Its name is
"AnthEurasia" (don't forget to add the "-L" in the address).
We invite you to help give life to this discussion. If you are not an
anthropologist, you may still have something to say on these topics.
Anthropology is a field that is nothing if not open to influences from other
fields and from the worlds we investigate.
There is no need to circumscribe discussion on AnthEurasia. The subject
matter will find a logic of its own. We make it an anthropology
discussion because we anthropologists studying this world feel a need to talk
to each another, and there are few places to do so.
Please be respectful. This list is not moderated, and you can say what
you want. But when list discussions get bogged down in polemics, people
get disgusted and leave. We are bound to have our share of controversy--
let's make it productive. The discussion thrives best if you give careful
thought to you contribution before posting it. You may find it helpful
to read all the new postings on a subject before composing your response,
and to read your posting over to ensure it articulates your views well.
Aside from discussion, AnthEurasia can be a useful forum for sharing information
about conferences, job or grant opportunities, exciting new literature, etc.
Some of you may have come to this discussion via SOYUZ,
an organization with a similar purpose to AnthEurasia -- to bring together
people studying anthropological questions in the former Soviet Bloc.
For those who aren't familiar with it: SOYUZ produces a newsletter and a directory
of people in this field, organizes informal meetings at conferences such as
the AAA and AAASS, and also participates in the yearly Post-Soviet Cultural
Studies conference, etc. We owe much to Bruce Grant, Marjorie Mandelstam
Balzer, Nancy Ries, Cathy Wanner, and others who have provided the energy
behind this. Anyone wanting to know more about SOYUZ should contact
Bruce Grant at <bgrant1cc.swarthmore.edu>.
We don't have to be a huge group of participants in this list for the discussion
to be good. But if you know people whose contributions would benefit our discussion
or who would simply derive some comfort from knowing they are not 'alone'
in this anthropological wilderness -- please pass on the word.
Finally, a personal word: I, John Schoeberlein, am the 'owner' of this list
-- meaning the person who is responsible for the list in practical ways.
I have been wandering around the Bloc since 1980 and have spent ~5 years doing
fieldwork in Central Asia. Being 'owner' of a list doesn't entail too
much input, but does require occasional attention to make sure things are
working right. Since I am frequently in Central Asia, I would be grateful
for anyone who will volunteer to would willing to sit in on occasion (if you
are willing in principle, let me know, and I will tell you more about what
Though the nature of the discussion list is mainly determined by the culture
of participation, I welcome suggestions on what we can do to make AnthEurasia
a better forum.
Thank you for your interest!
John Schoeberlein (list owner)
Director, Harvard Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus
AnthEurasia - The Basics
To post a contribution to AnthEurasia, address it to:
To Subscribe to AnthEurasia, submit the form
below, or send an e-mail message with the subject "subscribe"
Note: After you subscribe to AnthEurasia, you may want to post a note to
the list introducing yourself -- your full name, interests, background, affiliation,
study program, and the like. This will enable people with similar interests
to contact you, and allow AnthEurasia participants to know something
about "where you are coming from" in your contributions to the discussion.
To sign off, send a message with the subject "unsubscribe"
...Or, if that method proves unsuccessful, send a message with your request
AnthEurasia is sponsored by the Harvard Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus.
It is open to anyone.
subscribership: ~450 (Nov. 2008)
Open to members
John Schoeberlein <centasiafas.harvard.edu>