Monday, November 30, 2009

Classes I am Teaching Next Semester

Next semester I am teaching the following classes.

Politics of the Middle East


Ethnicity, Nationalism and Race

End of the Semester is Near

There are only two more weeks left of the semester until classes are done. Then there is finals week which I will use to grade papers. After that I get three weeks off from teaching.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back to Normalcy

Oksana and Askarbek came home last night. The boy has been watching Tom and Jerry cartoons all morning. For some reason Tom and Jerry was very popular in the Soviet Union and continues to be in Central Asia today.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Under Jakob's Ladder makes Poughkeepsie Journal

The Poughkeepsie Journal has an article about the most unsual actor in Under Jakob's Ladder. The film like all good prison movies has rats in it. One particular rat in the movie is a pet of one of the prisoners and named Stockings. The article on Stockings is below. Unfortunately Stockings is dying and will not be appearing in any future films.

Former Turkmen Students at AUCA Banned from Foreign Travel for Five years

According to the article below a number of my former students now trapped in Turkmenistan and unable to continue their education have been legally banned from travelling abroad for five years.

Blogger availability has been erratic

The availability of Blogger from Bishkek recently has been erratic to say the least. Today it is available from work, but this has become a rarity in recent weeks. So if I do not post anything for long stretches of a time it is because it has again become impossible to access Blogger in Bishkek.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today is Thanksgiving and the university is closed. But, blogger still seems to be blocked at work, I am not sure why. At any rate this year I am thankful for Oksana, Askarbek and Aliya. This last week Askarbek was at his grandmother's and the place seemed really empty with just two of us in the tiny apartment. Currently they are out of town, but Oksana and the boy will be back home next week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally Blogger is Unblocked

For the last eleven days Blogger has been blocked in all of Bishkek and I assume all of Kyrgyzstan. I do not know why. But, it is now available again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Raspberry Flavoured M&Ms

Yesterday I found raspberry flavoured M&Ms for sale at the lunch counter at work. I thought they were pretty good, but one of my students described them as the taste of "total perversion."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Publication in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

My article, Italic"Volk auf dem Weg: Transnational Migration of the Russian-Germans from 1763 to the Present Day," has now been published in Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is now Winter in Bishkek

Yesterday it snowed all day. I do not think we will be getting many more warm days here in Bishkek for the rest of the year. I also hope they turn the heat on soon. My flat is freezing.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I actually took two days off this weekend!

I decided not to work on Sunday either. I am pretty sure that is the longest stretch of time I have gone without working since January. Instead I spent the weekend with my girlfriend and her son. He is now starting to recite parts of Green Eggs and Ham

Friday, November 06, 2009

Revolution Day

Tommorrow is the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. That means that I get the day off. It of course falls on a Saturday this year. But, since I normally have to work on weekends, I am still counting it as a day off. After all the other two days I get off are Catholic and Orthodox Easter, both of which fall on a Sunday.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

71 Years Since Stalin Murdered Yusup (Jusup) Abdrakhmanov

Probably more than any other individual Abdrakhmanov is responsible for the creation of modern Kyrgyzstan. Although only 18 at the time he was instrumental in the creation of the Mountain Kara-Kyrgyz Oblast within the Turkestan ASSR in 1922. This territory, however, only included the northern regions of present day Kyrgyzstan. The status of the present day oblasts of Bakten, Osh, and Jalal-Abad still remained unresolved at this time. Two years later Abdrakhmanov played an important role in the formation of the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast within the RSFSR. This second territory provided defined borders and state structures for the Kyrgyz people for the first time in modern history. Abdrakhmanov became the second secretary of the Oblast Committee of the Communist Party of this newly formed state formation.

On 25 March 1925, the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast became the Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast and on 1 February 1926 it became the Kyrgyz ASSR. Abdrakhmanov at age 23 became the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissariarts of this newly upgraded territory. His responsibilities included questions of land, finance, education, labor and the workers and peasants inspectorate. In 1933, the Stalin regime removed Abdrakhmanov from his post after falsely accusing him of abusing his position and transferred him to work first in Samara and then Orenburg. In 1937 he was again falsely accused by the Stalin regime. This time of having been a member of Alash-Orda. He was arrested and transferred to Frunze (Bishkek) for trial. On 5 November 1938, the Stalin regime executed Abdrakhmanov for his alleged membership in this party. He was 34 years old. The Khrushchev administration later formally rehabilitated Abdrakhmanov in 1958.


O. Dzh. Osmonov, Istoriia Kyrgyzstana: Kratkii kurs (Bishkek: Ministry of Education and Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic, 2003), pp. 206-217.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

AUCA-Manas Agreement?

Today the front page of the student newspaper, New Star, has an article about what appears to be some sort of agreement between AUCA and the US military base at Manas. This is the first I was aware that there was any proposal for the university to openly cooperate with the US military. The article does not give much information and it has a lot of grammer and spelling errors, but I have reproduced it in its entirety below.

Sharing Common Interests

Students of American University visited the Manas Transit Center on October 17 with aim to start off the corroboration between two institutions. The visit was initiated by Tomas Joyes, the colonel order to raise awareness and understanding between representatives of American military and students of American University in Central Asia First meeting gave ideas for mutual collaboration. The military workers are planning to attend AUCA initiation ceremony and AUCA students in return will visit the Transit Center on Thanksgiving. The existing Manas Air base was renamed into Manas Transit Center in 2009, in order to clarify the function of the center in Kyrgyzstan. The main function of the Center is to operates transition of fuel, cargo and troops from USA to Afghanistan and backwards. Around 1800 military workers, both soldiers and technicians can go throw base to the country of their destination. The number of workers of the center made up from 1100 American military workers, of 200 European military workers and 700 Kyrgyz people who work on the center on different positions.

Ryskulova Nargiza

If anybody has any additional information regarding this "mutual collaboration" could you please let me know.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Registration for next semester

Today was the first day of registration for next semester's classes. So I spent much of the day signing my name over and over again. I will be teaching Politics of the Middle East, Democratization, and Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism.