America’s favorite joke is anything but funny -... →
etwritehome: I just think that this piece, about what is deeply problematic with MTV’s Buckwild, is an incredibly important read. As in, I wish everyone in America would read it. Particularly those of us (and I do include myself in this) who think that we’re so smart and sophisticated that we don’t need to. Thanks, Emily, for this informative piece.
More philosophically but more importantly, Polish debates over personhood and...– From Privatizing Poland by Elizabeth C. Dunn, Cornell University Press, 2004. Response to come.
BBC—"The Afghan girls who live as boys" →
And she's back!
After a three-month interlude, I’m back with less than three months left of my Fulbright grant. What have I been doing with my time? Well, actually, I’m almost done collecting data for my project and in April, I will start writing. Here are some highlights from the last few months: At the end of January, I traveled to southern Kazakhstan to interview people. I stayed in an Uzbek...
BBC photos of unrest →
"Hooligans," a.k.a. protestors →
On Friday, December 16, Kazakhstan celebrated its 20th year of independence. In the western oil town, Zhanaozen, at least 11 were killed during fights between workers and police. The government claims that the violence is due to “hooligans,” potentially financed from outside the country. But journalists and human rights groups argue that violence broke out as a result of worker...
Exciting news! I eloped in Kazakhstan!
Just kidding! In Central Asia, when I say “no,” people seem to understand it as “yes.” This is definitely not a language problem. If I know anything confidently in Russian, it’s the difference between “yes” (да, pronounced da) and “no” (нет, pronounced nyet). Men are very confident here. It is not unusual for the guy selling you fruit to ask...
Astri's blog →
My friend, Astri, keeps a much better blog than me about life in Kazakhstan. Check it out!
Tony Blair to advise Kazakhstan →
Office life in Kazakhstan
Back in August, when I first arrived, I was pleased to find out that I had an office at KIMEP, my university affiliate. On the third floor in the Economics department, it’s quiet and bright. One of its most valuable assets is the printer. If I bring my own paper, I can print all the articles and papers I like. Until you have lived in Russia or Kazakhstan, you do not realize how valuable this...
As tends to be the case, I have let this blog go a bit. This is actually a good sign because it means that I have been busy becoming part of Almaty. But, I do have some blog post ideas that I’m developing, and soon, I will write again more fully. Until then, here’s a quick update on life in Kstan. I have miraculously moved past the standstill of determining how to go about my...
Kazakhstan's beauty →
This site’s in Russian, but just click on the center picture (of the lake and mountains) to look at pictures of Kazakhstan. So gorgeous!
Emphasizing the singularity of “the people” at the...
I’ve always thought that each word in a language not only asserts a physical meaning but also evokes a common connotation, an idea behind the word that has been passed down through history, reflecting our understanding of a certain concept. For example, the word “language” in English ultimately derives from the Latin word (via Old French) lingua, meaning both “language” and “tongue.” Like other...
In the past 48 hours, I have had my hair stroked on a bus, watched a pigeon take off with half my sandwich, and been pushed by a cow who I assumed was a babushka because we were in a crowded line, surrounded by Kazakh soldiers. Oh man, how do I end up in these places? In other words, to quote McDonald’s (by the way, the only food Americans eat I was recently told), “I’m...
Pictures of Kazakhstan →
This is a link to a website with photographs of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It’s pretty far from me, and I haven’t been there yet, but I’ll be making my way there at some point this year. Check out the modern architecture! It’s a modern city, built out of the steppes.
And she's alive!
I’ve now been here for a little longer than a week, but I’ve only really begun to explore Almaty these past few days. Unfortunately, a few days after my arrival, I acquired some sort of bacterial infection from drinking the water (I’m way too sensitive!), which left me bed-ridden for several days. But with that finally behind me, I have moved to a new apartment and begun my research. In my dark...
I just wanted to leave a quick note, letting everyone know that I made it to Almaty. I arrived late last night after having travelled for almost 24 hours. Strangely, the trip was not very long, and I felt like I had just left my house when really I had been up for two days straight. Today, I spent my day wandering around my new home. I bought a cell phone, met some nice Kazakh girls who want me to...
About three weeks until Kazakhstan
In a little more than three weeks, I will be setting off to Almaty, Kazakhstan to spend 10 months, researching the impact of identity-formation on Kazakhstani autonomy. In other words, I will be studying the various ethnic groups that call Kazakhstan their home and whether the new “Kazakhstani” identity is inclusive to all of these groups. I will be doing some surveying, conducting...