Memory and Commemoration across Central Asia

Texts, Traditions and Practices, 10th-21st Centuries


Memory and Commemoration across Central Asia: Texts, Traditions and Practices, 10th-21st Centuries is a collection of fourteen studies by a group of scholars active in the field of Central Asian Studies, presenting new research into various aspects of the rich cultural heritage of Central Asia (including Afghanistan). By mapping and exploring the interaction between political, ideological, literary and artistic production in Central Asia, the contributors offer a wide range of perspectives on the practice and usage of historical and religious commemoration in different contexts and timeframes. Making use of different approaches – historical, literary, anthropological, or critical heritage studies, the contributors show how memory functions as a fundamental constituent of identity formation in both past and present, and how this has informed perceptions in and outside Central Asia today.
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Elena Paskaleva, Ph.D. (2010) is Assistant Professor of Critical Heritage Studies at Leiden University. Her courses deal with the politics of commemoration across the Middle East and Asia. She has published on the history and socio-political importance of Timurid architecture.

Gabrielle van den Berg, Ph.D (1997) is Professor of Cultural History of Iran and Central Asia at Leiden University. She has published on classical Persian and Tajik literature and has worked extensively on the oral traditions of Badakhshan, Tajikistan.
List of Figures

Elena Paskaleva, with Gabrielle van den Berg

Part 1 Historiographic Narratives

1 Perceptions of History in Persian Chronicles of the Sixteenth–Seventeenth Centuries in Central Asia
Charles Melville

2 Remembering Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Bukhara
Florian Schwarz

Part 2 Epic Heroes and Literary Legacies

3 Turk amongst Tajiks
The Turkic Shāhnāma Translation Located in Tajikistan and Manuscript Production during the Abuʾl-Khayrid Annexation of Khurasan (1588–1598)
Jaimee Comstock-Skipp

4 The Epic Hero Manas as the Archetype of Autonomy—Nostalgia and Futurities in Kyrgyz Spiritual and Ethno-Nationalist Discourses
Nienke van der Heide

5 Literary Souvenirs from Ṣadr al-Dīn ʿAynī and Sotim Uluġzoda in the Leiden University Library
A Closer Look at ʿAynī’s Jodgorī (1935) and Uluġzoda’s Saëhati Buxoro Bo Hamrohii Aĭnī (1950)
Gabrielle van den Berg

Part 3 Memory, Religious and Social Practices

6 Editing Sufism: Contemporary Negotiations on Memory and Religious Practice in Afghanistan
Annika Schmeding

7 Ethnographic Writing on Bukharan Jews: From Lost Tribes to Community Scholarship
Maira Kaye

8 Dynamics of Perpetuity: “Traditional” Horse Games in Kyrgyzstan
Simone de Boer

Part 4 Shrines and Monuments as Sites of Memory

9 Genealogy and Family Ties of Mawarannahr Sayyids: A Study Based on Funerary Epigraphy
Babur Aminov

10 Ḥaẓīra Memorial Complexes in Mawarannahr: Evolution and Architectural Features
Mavlyuda Yusupova

11 Commemorating the Russian Conquest of Central Asia
Alexander Morrison

12 Remembering the Alisher Navoi Jubilee and the Archaeological Excavations in Samarqand in the Summer of 1941
Elena Paskaleva

13 Soviet Legitimization of Islamic Architecture in Old Khiva as Reflected in the Diaries of ʿAbdullāh Bāltaev (1880–1966)
Bakhtiyar Babadjanov

14 “Memory Traces:” Buston Buva Mazār in the Ferghana Region of Uzbekistan, 1980s–2010s
Věra Exnerová

Glossary of Terms
All interested in memory and commemoration practices in Central Asia and anyone concerned with the history, material culture and cultural heritage of Central Asia, understood in its broadest sense.
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