IICAS announces the publication of a collection of articles and abstracts of reports by scholars researching into various aspects of the life of the Central Asian countries. All reports were presented within the framework of the International Academic Symposium "The Historical and Cultural Centrality of Central Asia and the Heritage of Major and Minor Caravan Routes" (Samarkand, 25 May, 2022). The conference was organised with the help of a grant by the International Institute for Central Asian Studies and featured direct participation of the staff of the Department of Central Asian and Caucasian Countries, Institute of Asian and African Countries, Moscow State University, and the Faculty of History, Samarkand State University.
The conference became a platform for various discussions on the "centrality" of the region. The centrality concept was proposed by Andre Gunder Frank in his 1992 article The Centrality of Central Asia. One of the founders of the world-system analysis, he suggested that the centrality concept should solve the main problem in the study of the Central Asian region, which, according to the researcher, was "absent" on the map of world processes, was in a remote situation and was accepted as a "missing link" in the space of Eurasia and world history.
Thus, the "centrality" of the region as an idea speaks of the need to study the role of Central Asia in the history of mankind and understand its key position in the interaction and intersection of sedentary and nomadic civilizations.
The development of the given paradigm within the framework of the symposium was presented within the sections that make up the thematic blocks of this monograph:
- Eurasian space: current processes, individual pages of history and development factors
- Current trends in the development of Central Asia: politics, economy and migration
- Culture, religion and art in Central Asia
- Subject, symbol and "period" in the historical and cultural context of the development of Central Asia
- The long 19th century in the history of Central Asia
- Ancient, Medieval and Modern History of Central Asia
- Aspects of the region's centrality: geography, research and concepts
- The Great Silk Road: from the old to the new
The conference was attended by more than 100 researchers representing Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, China, Turkey and other countries. The collection includes selected articles and abstracts of reports that reflect various academic approaches and the authors' positions. The materials are published in Russian, Uzbek and English, while the authors' research positions may not coincide with the opinion of the editorial board.
We hope that this publication will be a good help in studying various issues related to the development of Central Asian countries, as well as demonstrate the peculiarities of the academic approach and the diversity of opinions among Eurasian researchers.
The collection of articles can be downloaded from the IICAS website: https://www.unesco-iicas.org/book/159