The papers on this panel are united by their method of research, oral history, and by their interest in the ways that a particular historical transformation or crisis of the Soviet or post-Soviet period reshaped life courses and careers. Two panelists, Kamalov and Nazarova, address the migrations of Uyghurs from Xinjiang to Soviet Central Asia. Nazarova's very large pool of interviews with Uyghurs of the 1940s to 1960s wave provides the basis for examining homeland attachment and discourses speculating about war between the Soviets and China. Kamalov forms his research from oral history interviews with a small group from Xinjiang who slipped over the Soviet border in 1970s, and who developed as members of the Soviet intelligentsia in Kazakhstan. Karimov's theme also concerns Soviet intelligentsia, but in his case oral history combines with archival study to elicit one man' transformation of Sufi lineage cultural capital into Uzbek academia. Yakubova and Whitsel deal with a story of disruption, exploring oral histories of the Tajik Civil War for women's stories about disruptions in their education.