CFP: Central Asian Studies in light of Imperialism: A Neo-Orientalist Approach within Western Academia (4/3/07; CESS, 10/18/07-1

full name / name of organization: 
Tugrul Keskin
contact email:

Panel - Central Asian Studies in light of Imperialism: A Neo-Orientalist
Approach within Western Academia
The 2007 CESS conference at the University of Washington
October 18-21, 2007 in Seattle, Washington
Dear all,
 We are in the process of organizing a panel entitled: Central Asian Studies
in light of Imperialism: A Neo-Orientalist Approach within Western Academia
In the work, Orientalism, Edward W. Said elaborates on the idea behind
Middle Eastern studies in Western academia. Said is interested in
questioning the discourse of Orientalists, and furthermore, claims that the
actual purpose of Middle Eastern Studies is not academic, but rather a
policy-oriented approach that facilitates imperialism and colonialism. In
this context Said argues that Europeans referred to the Eastern world as the
ŒOrient¹, a term that has only a vague meaning. Today, the region
historically known as Turkistan has similarly been renamed ŒCentral Asia¹ in
the context of the Neo-Orientalist process in policy oriented academia. In
this field, some of the so-called ³scholars,² working with policy-based
institutions such as think-tanks, governmental and ³non governmental²
entities are the forefront of this approach, within the framework of
imperialism and exploitation. These institutions, including think-tanks and
non-governmental interest groups operate as a bridge between academia and
the policy-oriented world. Additionally, academia has become a facilitator
of an exploitative process towards Turkistan. The same process has been
observed in Middle Eastern Studies for over a half century.
Today, the best example of this Neo-Orientalist or Colonialist approach can
be found within the discipline of Central Asian studies within the U.S., and
its relation with think-tanks, governmental, and non-governmental
organizations. Thus, academia has been losing its objectivity, transforming
from C. Wright Mills¹ conception of the sociological imagination, to a
facilitator of imperialism. This is occurring through its implicit
representation of political interests. We can see this destructive trend
taking place within Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Turkmen studies.
We welcome submissions related to Neo-Orientalism and Central Asian Studies,
and also including the following:
* Neo-Orientalism and Central Asian Studies,
* Imperialism, think-tanks and Central Asia,
* Role of SOROS, NDI, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Carnegie Endowment and US
Helsinki Commission on Central Asia,
* Colorful revolutions and imperialism/exploitation of the market,
* Sultan Galiev and Imperialism in Turkistan
Deadline: APRIL 3, 2007
Please send abstract to:
Tugrul Keskin
Rammy Haija
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Department of Sociology

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Received on Tue Mar 13 2007 - 20:35:26 EST

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