On February 20th, 2013, Dr. Robert Vitali presented to the Central Eurasian Studies Colloquium a little known version of the least known historical period of Tibet—the “period of fragmentation” following the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the 10th century. This period, spanning from about the 10th to the early 13th centuries, has been characterized by many scholars as a “dark age” for Tibet, as very little information exists about it in the historical record. Dr. Vitali shed some light on this little understood period, in particular, challenging the dominant historical narrative that claims that Buddhism was extinguished during this time in Tibet.
Past Events Highlights
As part of the Central Eurasian Studies Colloquium, Dr. Saule Satayva gave a talk entitled, Recovering the Richness of Central Asian Nomadic Culture: The Challenges for Public Memory.
To engage directly with the challenges brought by the global scope of Medieval Studies, IU’s Medieval Studies Institute brought together scholars whose work spanned the Eurasian continent to discuss their common challenges as well as their common grounds for cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Panelists included Asma Afsaruddin (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), Christopher Atwood (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Christopher Beckwith (Department of Central Eurasian Studies), Manling Luo (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures), and John Walbridge (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures). The panel was moderated by Rosemary McGerr, Director of the Medieval Studies Institute and Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature.
On January 16th, 2013, Indiana University was paid a special visit by the Ambassador of Estonia to the United States, Marina Kaljurand. This visit was sponsored by the Department of Central Eurasian Studies, the West European Studies Center, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia.
The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center commemorated its 50th anniversary with a lecture by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake. In his lecture, Assistant Secretary Blake discussed the growing importance of Central Asia in American Foreign Policy.
Highlights from the Fiftieth Anniversary of the IAUNRC and the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
Recently, the IU community had a rare chance to engage with Pema Tseden and his films during a three-week long film series, Tibetan New Wave Cinema, at the IU Cinema. The series was sponsored by the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC), Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, and the IU Student Board, attracting nearly 400 people. All three of his feature-length films—Silent Holy Stones (2005), The Search (2009), and Old Dog (2010)—were screened, and Pema Tseden himself was invited to interact with the audience at the presentation of his most recent film.
Timor Sharan, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Exeter (UK), draws upon his own years of experience working in different donor agencies and policy research organizations in Afghanistan as well as his training in Development Studies and Political Science to map out the complexities of international intervention efforts in Afghanistan with their intended, and many unintended, consequences.
Each summer, for the past sixty-three years, students from all over the world converge in Bloomington to study over twenty less commonly taught languages offered at the Summer Language Workshop (SWSEEL). Founded in 1950, SWSEEL is one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind in North America and has grown to include Central Eurasian languages such as Dari, Kazakh, Mongolian, Hungarian, Pashto, Tatar, Uyghur, and Uzbek. This year, for the first time, Turkish and Persian were also offered.
On Tuesday, September 4th, 2012, Daniel A. Hirshberg, a postdoctoral fellow in Tibetan Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, gave a lecture at the Indiana Memorial Union entitled, “Drawing Honey from Historiography: Analyzing the Oldest Extant Manuscript of the Oldest Extant History of Buddhism in Tibet.”