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Researching and teaching the past: oral history practices in Kyrgyzstan.  
Daniyar Karabaev (American University of Central Asia)
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Marianne Kamp (Indiana University, CEUS)
Daniyar Karabaev (American University of Central Asia)
Marianne Kamp (Indiana University, CEUS)
506 (Floor 5)
Saturday 8 June, -
Time zone: Asia/Almaty


The oral history is the oldest type of historical examination and study that existed before the written word. This practice of oral history and oral literature has been central for the culture and history of Kyrgyzstan and identity of Kyrgyz people, as it was the only way of preserving and transmitting information from one generation to another for pre-literate nomadic Kyrgyz tribes. Oral history in Kyrgyzstan as a field of study is still in its infancy, even though this field is well-researched and developed in Western countries. There have been attempts to unravel oral histories of people in Kyrgyzstan by several scholars but there are still many gaps that remain to be filled in. This roundtable will be an attempt to hold a discussion on the current oral history research activities taking place in Kyrgyzstan, to bring different perspectives to a subject of teaching oral history, to share accomplishments and challenges of archiving and preserving oral histories, and future prospects of oral history as a discipline in Kyrgyzstan. This roundtable seeks to share the work of scholars in Kyrgyzstan as well as the progress and problems of oral history as a newly emerging discipline in Kyrgyzstan with the larger community of established scholars, independent researchers, students, and anyone interested in studying and promoting oral history.

The roundtable contributors will be sharing the following:

Adina Sulumbekova and Salkynai Emilbekova will present the research on practices and traditions of giving the name “To be named” in Kyrgyzstan.

Dabyt Abdylbary uulu will talk about the importance of oral history culture and the role of oral performers in the example of Manas epic.

Daniyar Karabaev will discuss the teaching oral history activities with local and international perspectives.

Dinara Saparova, Ensegyl Uraimova, and Zulfiya Suiunova will present their research on Use of the schoolchildren labor by the state during the 1980s-1990s in Kyrgyzstan.

Venera Anarbekova will talk about the Representation of horse games in laments of Kyrgyz oral history and its historical analysis.