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Past Events Highlights

The following was written by Jason Vincz for the Russian and Eastern European Institute. Reused with permission.

On March 27th, 2015, the Islamic Studies program hosted a talk by IU graduate student Rosemary Pennington entitled “Weaving Together A Socially Mediated Muslim Self.” The subject of the talk was the dynamic process of identity formation among Muslims on the social media site Tumblr. Because of the particularities of Tumblr’s infrastructure, it allows users to create a dialogue about what it means to be a Muslim in the form of reblogs, tags, and likes.

On Thursday, March 26th at Willkie Auditorium, the Navruz Student Association once again hosted Indiana University’s Navruz celebration. The Persian holiday dates back to pre-Islamic times and is now celebrated as a spring festival in Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and myriad diaspora communities. The event was funded by the Indiana University Students Association and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center.

On March 23rd, 2015, Dr. Anne Tamm, a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and Associate Professor at Hungary Károli Gáspár University  gave a presentation as a part of the Spring 2015 CEUS Colloquium talks. Her talk was entitled “Negation in Uralic Languages,” and focused on the extensive forms of negation that are a part of various Uralic languages. Of the seventeen languages that Dr. Tamm used as the basis of her research, the majority are endangered.

On March 10th, 2015, the Hungarian Student Association celebrated the 1848 Hungarian Revolution at the University Club. Following an introductory speech by Dr. Bence Ságvári, a visiting Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Hungarian students performed songs and recited Hungarian poems. Afterward, traditional Hungarian food was served for the many attendees.

Funding was provided by the Hungarian Cultural Association, Central Eurasian and Uralic Studies Department, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Russian and East European Institute, and the IU Student Association

On March 9th, the IAUNRC was privileged to have Dr. Mohammad Gharipour from Morgan State University give a talk on “Pavilions in Persian Gardens: Context, Design, and Function” as a part of the Spring 2015 CEUS Colloquium Series. Trained as an architect, Dr. Gharipour’s approach to the history of architecture is unique and pulls from multiple sources of analysis, including art and literature.

On March 7th, 2015, the Indiana University Association of Central Eurasian Students held its 22nd Annual Conference in Hodge Hall. The conference saw increased participation from last year, with over forty scholars and students participating. Participants included undergraduates, graduate students, and professors from Indiana University and other American and international institutions.

On February 20th, The Mongolia Society, hosted the annual celebration of Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian Lunar New Year. As CEUS Professor Dr. Christopher Atwood explained in his introductory remarks, the new year is the Blue Female Sheep Year, as Mongolian has none of the ambiguities between sheep and goats found in Chinese. The celebration featured Mongolian language songs sung by students of Senior Lecturer Tserenchunt Legden, the Mongolian Language instructor at Indiana University.

On February 20th, 2015, Kamol Mustaev, a visiting Fulbright scholar in the department of Comparative Literature and Samarkand native, gave a presentation entitled “On the Same Latitude on the Other Side of the Earth: Views, Sounds and Taste of Samarkand.” Prior to the event, traditional Samarkandi food was served. Prof. Mustaev began by talking about Central Eurasia and the history of Samarkand, one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan. In particular, the presentation focused on the Timurid era, which saw a growth in the architectural richness of the city. Prof.

On February 2nd, 2015, Dr. Paul Losensky gave a presentation for the Central Eurasian Colloquium entitled “Coherence and Cohesion in Two Ghazals by Sā’eb Tabrizi.” The talk centered on the debate between two groups of scholars of ghazals, a form of poetry popular throughout the Islamic word that uses rhyming couplets and a repeating rhyme. The two groups, whom Losensky dubbed “atomizers” and “unifiers,” disagree about the unit of meaning for the ghazal.

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Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Spotlight
Saulet Alpysbayeva

For many years now at Indiana University, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) has welcomed Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) from the region into CEUS classrooms. The Fulbright FLTA Program, as part of the larger Fulbright Program, works to deepen U.S. citizens’ knowledge of foreign languages and cultures, while providing an opportunity for international teachers of English as a foreign language to enhance their language instruction skills on U.S. campuses.