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IAUNRC Spring Newsletter

Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center

School of Global & International Studies College of Arts & Sciences


Spring 2015 Newsletter

This newsletter highlights the Spring 2015 activities of the IAUNRC and future plans. We look forward to sharing even more content with you in our Fall 2015 newsletter!

Inaugural Talk By Partner Faculty

Dr. Mohammad Gharipour is an associate professor of architecture at Morgan State University, a partner institution. In addition, Dr. Gharipour is the director and founding editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. On March 9th, 2015, Dr. Gharipour came to Indiana University to give a talk for the CEUS Colloquium series, entitled "Pavilions in Persian Gardens:Context, Design, and Function"

Dr. Gharipour’s approach to the history of architecture is unique and pulls from multiple sources of analysis, including art and literature. In this talk, he discussed the role that structures such as and balconies played in Persian gardens as sites of intersection between what is built or natural and what is open (public) or enclosed (private). Their symbolic and social significance can be culled through stories of, for example, romantic trysts or political meetings.

Dr. Gharipour’s talk also touched on themes of cross-cultural interactions. The char bagh (four garden) layout of many Persian gardens could be seen in plans of earlier Mesopotamian gardens. Even in art, Renaissance stylizations and uses of perspective could be seen in Persian paintings. And much like Renaissance paintings, the Persian paintings presented were rife with metaphorical meaning that illuminated universal themes and symbols. In one of his concluding slides, for example, Dr. Gharipour presented a picture from the Shahnameh depicting a tryst between two lovers, Zal and Rudabah, in a garden. His ensuing deconstruction of their location in a garden kiosk as relating to their status, gender, and romance highlighted his truly multifaceted approach to understanding the complex symbolic and social functions of structures in Persian gardens.

The IAUNRC also had a chance to talk with Dr. Gharipour about his academic interest, his current and future research, and the importance of architectural preservation. To read more, click here.

The Future of SRIFIAS

Doctor Edward Lazzerini gave a presentation on January 16th, 2015 on the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS). Dr. Lazzerini, the director of SRIFIAS, began by talking about the many resources available within the SRIFIAS library. A non-lending institution, the SRIFIAS library contains thousands of texts relevant to the region, including rare manuscripts and imprints. The Institute also contains microfilm copies of Central Eurasian manuscripts that are otherwise unavailable outside of Central Asia. Beyond its library, the SRIFIAS also boasts numerous archives, ranging from the work and personal papers of Denis Sinor to collections of ethnographic data taken from Chinese historical texts.

Dr. Lazzerini noted that in the past, the SRIFIAS served as a center for scholarly publication for graduate students, a position that he hoped that it would soon reclaim. In the past, the Institute published multiple scholarly journals, as well as the Uralic and Altaic Book Series. In particular, he expressed excitement for the upcoming publication of Ad Fontes, a journal for translations of primary texts, through SRIFIAS. Of the issues of Ad Fontes prepared for publishing, the majority feature work by graduate and doctoral students. Dr. Lazzerini noted that SRIFIAS was also planning to offer skill development opportunities for graduate students in academic journal preparation and historical cartography.

However, with the planned move of CEUS from Goodbody Hall to the Global and International Studies Building in the near future, the fate of the SRIFIAS is unclear.

There are several initiatives presently active to maintain the integrity of the collection, most of them being spearheaded by CEUS students Jaime Bue and Jonathan McClure. Over the past few months, the two have been organizing petitions among student groups and faculty, meeting with administrators at the SGIS, and raising awareness among students about the benefits of the SRIFIAS.

Speaking with the two of them, Bue and McClure emphasized the utility of SRIFIAS for graduate and undergraduate students. They explained that, beyond its use as a library and a premier center of research on Central Eurasia, the SRIFIAS also serves important functions within the department. Professors frequently make use of the Institute’s library to the practical application of research methodology theories. The Institute also offers, or will offer, a variety of opportunities for professionalization, such as publishing through Ad Fontes and graduate assistantships.

They also emphasized the importance of SRIFIAS for the SGIS and its mission of providing students with historical perspective, language proficiency, and cultural competency. The learning facilitated through SRIFIAS gives students an intimate knowledge of historical and contemporary sources. In short, SRIFIAS is not just a location for books, but an important place for research and collaboration for budding and established scholars.

The administrators at the SGIS have been receptive to the Bue and McClure’s arguments, and are currently working to find a way to ensure the continuing viability of SRIFIAS as an institute and an academic resource for students.


List of recent lectures held at Indiana University about Inner Asian & Uralic regions and topics.

Every year our center is proud to support talks from experts around the world that come to Indiana University to contribute to our rich intellectual community. Please click the links below to go to summaries for each talk.

Repackaging Chinggis Khan: Bilingual Histories of the Dynastic Founding in the Yuan Dynasty

Coherence and Cohesion in Two Ghazals by Sā’eb Tabrizi

Dehumanizing Stereotypes of the ‘Other’ in Afghan Ethnic Relations

Negation in Uralic Languages

Weaving Together A Socially Mediated Muslim Self

Recent Events

Tsagaan Sar

New Year's Celebrations

This semester, numerous student groups greeted the new year in their own way this semester. February saw the arrival of Losar and Tsagaan Sar, while in March, Bloomingtonians celebrated Navruz.

Twenty-Second ACES Conference

On March 7th, 2015, the Association of Central Eurasian Students held its twenty-third annual conference. The conference included panels from a geographically and intellectually diverse selection of topics. Read more.

33rd György Ránki Hungarian Chair Conference: Transformations of Urban Social Fabric in East Central Europe, 1880 to present

On March 28th and 29th, 2015, the IAUNRC supported the Third Biennial Mapping the Landscapes of Islamic Studies at IU Conference. Faculty and students from CEUS attended and presented on a variety of subjects. Read more.

Faculty Recognition and Awards

CEUS faculty Drs. Öner Özçelik, Gulnisa Nazarova, Paul Losensky, and Jamsheed Choksy were awarded presitgious teaching and faculty awards this semester. Dr. Özçelik received the School of Global and International Affairs' Trustees Teaching Awards, while Dr. Nazarova received the Trustees Teaching Award in the At-Large NTT Faculty. CEUS professor Dr. Paul Losensky was promoted to full professor, while CEUS Department chair Dr. Jamsheed Choksy was given the title of Distinguished Professor by Indiana University.

Upcoming and Current Developments

Call for Proposals for Research in Iran and Iranian Diasporas Conference

On October 24, 2015, Indiana University's Central Eurasian Studies Department will be hosting a conference entitled "Research in Iran and Iranian Diasporas Conference: Findings, Experiences, and Challenges." Proposals for the conference must be submitted by August 15th, 2015. The conference is hosted by the by DĀNESH institute. For more information, click here

Director's Note
Edward Lazzerini

Dr. Edward Lazzerini

As we approach completion of the first year under the new cycle of funding from the Title VI program, we have settled into our usual routine of supporting programs and activities relating to our region of focus. Our innovative commitment to collaborate with minority-serving institutions and junior colleges was inaugurated by the visit to IU in March of Dr. Mohammad Gharipour representing Morgan State University. Plans are underway to have Dr. Paul Losensky, a member of IU’s Central Eurasian Studies and Comparative Literature faculty and a specialist of Persian literature, visit Morgan State during the fall of 2015 to give a lecture and speak with faculty and administrators about expanding interest in Central Eurasia on their campus.

Another development that we look forward to with excitement is the Center’s imminent move to new offices in the soon-to-be-completed Global and International Studies Building (GISB), set to be completed by the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year. We look forward to our new home and the many advantages of having most of the university’s international departments, centers, and administrative units in close proximity. The opportunities for increased collaboration among other international centers and departments will be enormously enhanced as IU makes a substantial commitment to internationalization through establishment of the new School for Global and International Studies (SGIS) and the opening of “portals” in key countries, beginning with China, India, and Turkey. Thinking globally has always been one of IU’s signature academic strengths; with the SGIS, it has focused those strengths as never before. The IAUNRC and the other units with the same regional concern—CEUS, the Sinor Research Institute, the Center for the Languages of the Central Asian Region, and the Turkish Flagship—will continue their long-standing and unique regional representation as part of IU’s long-term plan to make international studies central to its mission.


Graduate Student Brown Bag Talk Series

Graduate Student Brown Bags

The Graduate Student Brown Bag Talk Series is a contuing discussion series organized and hosted by the IAUNRC. In these series of brown bag talks, graduate students that study the region from a variety of disciplines discuss their research, projects, and field experiences. The series is designed to give an opportunity for graduate students to share their work with their peers in an informal setting, though all are welcome. This allows attendees to learn more about the topics their fellow graduate students work on, as well as learn valuable information about conducting research, the process of writing a dissertation, and more, in a non-classroom setting.

For more information on this semester's talks, as well as scheduled talks for next fall, click here



Resources for Partner Institutions

The IAUNRC is dedicated to working with partner institutions to develop long-term and sustainable relationships. The Center can provide videoconferences, targeted teaching materials, and funding for travel to interested institutions. To learn more about what the IAUNRC can do for your institution, click here.


Limestone relief
What matters. Where it matters.
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Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center
1020 E. Kirkwood | Ballantine Hall 542| Bloomington, Indiana 47405