Accepted paper:

Soviet Kazakh Publications on Kazakh Religious History and Identity


R. Charles Weller (Washington State University)

Paper abstract:

This paper will examine Soviet Kazakh Publications on Kazakh Religious History and Identity. It builds on both my CESS 2016 and 2017 papers, the former being titled "Kazakh Islam in the Soviet Period: The Post-Khrushchev concern for Pre-Islamic Remnants in Historical Perspective" and the latter treating Soviet historiography of Abai and Islam. My 2016 and proposed 2018 papers together comprise work on a chapter within a monograph on Kazakh Muslim History and Identity successfully proposed for University of Pittsburgh Press's Central Eurasia in Context series. This second part of the study explores some 20-30 books on Islam (as well as Animism and Shamanism) published in the Kazakh language during the Soviet period, down to 1991. 17 of these works were cited but, due to their inaccessibility at the time, not explored within my CESS 2016 paper. Depending on the results of my upcoming research trip to Kazakhstan, my paper this time will also incorporate consideration of major journal (as well as newspaper, magazine and other published) articles. The aim is ultimately to place these publications within a broader analytical critique of late Tsarist and Soviet historiography of Kazakh religious history and identity, with special concern for how this history of historiography continues shaping present ongoing debates in the Post-Soviet as well as post-9/11 Kazakh context (cf. my CESS 2008 paper which was later expanded into my 2014 Journal of Islamic Studies article on "Religious-Cultural Revivalism as Historiographical Debate: Contending Claims in the Post-Soviet Context").

panel REL-04
Religion and Identity