Monday, June 06, 2016

New Project Idea

I have been kicking around a project in my head for a while about re-evaluating the relationship of the USSR to the Third World during the 1960s and 1970s particularly with regards to the role played by Central Asia in granting the USSR membership in certain Afro-Asian organizations such as the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization and Afro-Asian Writers' Association. I discussed the idea with Professor Joe on Saturday morning and on Sunday afternoon I wrote 2700 words of a really rough draft. I think there is something there and it is completely different from the other writing I have been doing on Stalinist deportations. It seems to me that nobody has really explored how Central Asia made the USSR an Asian state both politically and culturally in relationship to the rest of the world and in particular with regards to Africa and Asia. But, it seems to me here there are a lot of historical connections and parallels between Central Asia and the rest of Afro-Asia from the late 1950s to the 1980s that have largely been forgotten. The entire Soviet bloc is often excluded from consideration when looking at the Afro-Asian solidarity movements of this era. However, the USSR by virtue of the inclusion of Central Asia in its union was a member and participant in many of the Afro-Asian solidarity organizations and events. Treating Central Asia as part of East Central Europe rather than Asia seems wrong not only geographically but politically and culturally as well. So I want to see if by looking at the involvement of the USSR and particularly its citizens of Central Asian nationalities and its use of cities like Tashkent and Alma-Ata to host Afro-Asian events if I can reincorporate the region into the larger Afro-Asian world. Please feel free to leave any constructive criticism in the comments down below.


Anonymous said...

Could you maybe tie in the Hermitage and the Russian tradition of Iranian and oriental studies? The scholars in St. Petersburg have some resources and are used to colleagues who get paid in low-valued currencies ... there were a lot of Iranian visitors at the conference last fall.

Nah Esu said...

I am not an academic but would be interested in how the USSR interacted with the world during this time. I finished high school in the late 1970's in the USA and feel I was not given a fair or broad understanding of the USSR during that time. I do not go searching for this information much, so occasional reading of your blog would be a major source of that kind of information for me.

J. Otto Pohl said...

I have about 4000 words done on a rough draft of an article on the subject done now. If anybody wants to read it and offer constructive criticism let me know.