The collapse of the Soviet Union brought about the sudden expansion of the ‘developing world’, as the populations of many of the former Soviet republics were abruptly plunged into poverty and international development agencies rushed to their aid. In this account of development intervention since 1991 in Kyrgyzstan, one of these republics, Joanna Pares Hoare draws on feminist critiques to chart how concepts of gender equality, civil society, and activism came to be instrumentalised in development interventions in the post-Soviet space. Ethnographic data gathered through interviews and observation with employees and volunteers in local NGOs provides further insight into what this has meant for activists in Kyrgyzstan who are striving for progressive social change.
A Portrait of a Local Intermediary in Russian Central Asia
Author: Tetsu Akiyama
In The Qїrghїz Baatïr and the Russian Empire Tetsu Akiyama gives a vivid description of the dynamism and dilemmas of empire-building in nomadic Central Asia from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century, through reconstructing the biography of Shabdan Jantay uulu (ca. 1839–1912), a chieftain from the northern Qїrghїz (Kirghiz, Kyrgyz) tribes. Based on the comprehensive study of primary sources stored in the archives of Central Asian countries and Russia, Akiyama explores Shabdan’s intermediary role in the Russian Empire’s military advance and rule in southern Semirech’e and its surrounding regions. Beyond the commonly held stereotype as a “faithful collaborator” to Russia, he appears here as a flexible and tough leader who strategically faced and dealt with Russian dominance.
The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.
This comprehensive history of nineteenth century Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, uses not only traditional historical sources, but unpublished diaries, archived military reports, contemporary photographs, drawings, paintings, and maps of the city drawn by British soldiers, other European visitors, and Asian sources. In addition to its detailed expansion on familiar political history, he addresses the social structure, tribal and ethnic composition, religious institutions, and economic activity during this century. Central to his work is an often street-by-street description of the geographical layout of Kandahar, its key features, and how they changed over time. Both for historians and those seeking the context of contemporary issues in Central Asia, Trousdale’s work is an essential read.
As the title implies, New Approaches to Ilkhanid History explores new methodologies and avenues of research for the Mongol state in the Middle East. Although the majority of the Ilkhanate was situated in Iran, this volume considers other regions within the state and moves away from focusing on the center and the Ilkhanid court. New consideration is given to the source material, particularly how they have been composed, but also how the sources can inform on the provinces of the Ilkhanate. Several authors also examine lower-tier personages, groups, and institutions.

Contributors include: A.C.S. Peacock; Kazuhiko Shiraiwa; Christopher P. Atwood; Stefan Kamola; Qiu Yihao; Koichi Matsuda; Judith Kolbas; Reuven Amitai; Na'ama O. Arom; Timothy May; Michael Hope; Pier Giorgio Borbone; Dashdondog Bayarsaikhan; Dmitri Korobeinikov.
Aramaic, South Arabian, Coptic, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic Documents
Volume Editors: Andreas Kaplony and Daniel Potthast
The renaissance of Arabic Papyrology has become obvious by the founding of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) at the Cairo conference (2002), and by its subsequent conferences in Granada (2004), Alexandria (2006), Vienna (2009), Tunis/Carthage (2012), Munich (2014), and Berlin (2018). This volume collects papers given at the Munich conference, including editions of previously unpublished Coptic, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic documents, as well as historical studies based on documentary evidence from Achaemenid Bactria, Ancient South-Arabia, and Early Islamic, Fāṭimid and Mamlūk Egypt.

Contributors: Anne Boud'hors; Ursula Bsees; Peter T. Daniels; Maher A. Eissa; Andreas Kaplony; W. Matt Malczycki; Craig Perry; Daniel Potthast; Peter Stein; Naïm Vanthieghem; Oded Zinger 
A Critical Edition of Ḥāfiẓ-i Baṣīr’s Maẓhar al-ʿAjāʾib
The Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib is the devotional work written to expound upon the teachings of Aghā-yi Buzurg, a female religious master active in the early 16th century in Bukhara. The work was produced in 16th century Central Asia, when the region underwent major socio-economic and religio-political changes in the aftermath of the downfall of the Timurid dynasty and the establishment of the Shibanid dynasty in Mavarannahr and the Safavid dynasty in Iran.
In its portrayal of Aghā-yi Buzurg, the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib represents a tradition that maintained an egalitarian conception of gender in the spiritual equality of women and men, attesting to the presence of multiple voices in Muslim discourse and challenging conventional ways of thinking about gender history in early modern Central Asia.
A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae
Chán Buddhism in Dūnhuáng and Beyond: A Study of Manuscripts, Texts, and Contexts in Memory of John R. McRae is dedicated to the memory of the eminent Chán scholar John McRae and investigates the spread of early Chán in a historical, multi-lingual, and interreligious context. Combining the expertise of scholars of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and Tangut Buddhism, the edited volume is based on a thorough study of manuscripts from Dūnhuáng, Turfan, and Karakhoto, tracing the particular features of Chán in the Northwestern and Northern regions of late medieval China.
The volume Armenian Philology in the Modern Era: From Manuscript to Digital Text, published in 2014, was the first of a series sponsored by the International Association for Armenian Studies (Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes – AIEA), in the framework of the “Armenian Studies 2000” project. Launched at the turn of the 20th century, this AIEA project has two chief aims: 1) to present an in-depth state of the art in the main fields of Armenology; and 2) to indicate new perspectives and desiderata for further research.
The “Armenian Studies 2000” project is organized so as to produce seven volumes dedicated to the major fields of Armenian Studies, i.e. Philology, Linguistics, Literature, History (both Ancient and Medieval Eras as well as Modern and Contemporary Eras), Religious and Intellectual history, Art and Architecture.
With this scientific and editorial enterprise, the AIEA committee wishes to foster new methodological approaches and to promote new interest for Armenian Studies. It is our hope that these volumes will pave the way for new directions and new fields of research. As scholarly reference works, these volumes are addressed not only to the Armenological readership, but also to scholars and students from broader areas of the Oriental Studies.
Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry
Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry explores the relationship between sexuality, politics, and spirituality in the lyrics of Saʿdi Shirazi (d. 1292 CE), one of the most revered masters of classical Persian literature. Relying on a variety of sources, including unstudied manuscripts, Domenico Ingenito presents the so-called “inimitable smoothness” of Saʿdi’s lyric style as a serene yet multifaceted window into the uncanny beauty of the world, the human body, and the realm of the unseen.

The book constitutes the first attempt to study Sa‘di’s lyric meditations on beauty in the context of the major artistic, scientific and intellectual trends of his time. By charting unexplored connections between Islamic philosophy and mysticism, obscene verses and courtly ideals of love, Ingenito approaches Sa‘di’s literary genius from the perspective of sacred homoeroticism and the psychology of performative lyricism in their historical context.