Intersections of History and Literature I. Power and Official Culture: Tensions Between Formal and Informal Institutions
Assel Kadyrkhanova (University of Leeds)
Erin Hutchinson (Harvard University)
Assel Kadyrkhanova
Erin Hutchinson
Alcoa Room
Start time:
27 October, 2018 at 14:15
Session slots:


The twentieth century saw large-scale programs of state-led cultural codification in Central Eurasia, as socialist states sought to categorize and define modern nations. Inevitably, the form and content of official national cultures was hotly contested, and the process of codification created both winners and losers. This panel examines some of the reinvention, negotiation, creativity, and destruction involved in this process, and considers how the twentieth-century codification of official cultures in Central Eurasia is alternatively reaffirmed or reexamined in the region today. Informed by the disciplines of literary studies, sociology, and cultural history, panelists will analyze cases from mass media as well as works of literature and the visual and performing arts in contexts ranging from China's Xinjiang Province to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the virtual spaces of the Internet. As such, this multidisciplinary panel proposes to shed light on the complex relationship between institutions and individuals that drives cultural production in Central Asia.