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Joint ESCAS-CESS Conference at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA)

29 June - 1 July 2017
European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) and the
Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS)


The European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) and the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) invite panel and paper proposals for the Joint ESCAS-CESS Conference in Bishkek at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). This is the 15th Biennial Conference of ESCAS, and the Sixth Regional Conference of CESS. The conference will be hosted by AUCA’s Central Asian Studies Institute (CASI). The conference program will feature two keynote speakers, 60-70 panels including 200-250 presenters, and there will also be a supplementary program including a catered reception and a cultural program. We are very pleased to announce the two keynote speakers:

Gulnara Aitpaeva (Director, Aigine Cultural Research Center, Bishkek) will speak on “Sacred Geography and Power Relations in Contemporary Kyrgyzstan”

Paolo Sartori (Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna) will speak on “The Secular that Never Was: Rethinking the Meaning of Islam in Post-Stalinist Central Asia”


Sponsoring Associations: CESS and ESCAS

The European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) began in 1985 with a small conference at Utrecht University and has continued since with biennial conferences in a dozen European cities and more recently, in Astana, Kazakhstan, as well. Its focus is on building scholarly links and support between Europe and Central Asia. For more information, see:

The Central Eurasian Studies Society was founded in North America in 2000 with the aim of promoting scholarship on the Central Eurasian region and fostering communication among scholars of the region throughout the world. CESS holds an annual conference hosted each year by a North American university, and since 2008, has held a biennial conference in countries of Central Eurasia. For more information, see:


Call for Paper and Panel Proposals

The conference committee invites submissions of panel and paper topics relating to all aspects of the humanities and social science. The region that is covered by the conference — Central Asia/Eurasia — encompasses Central Asia, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, the Volga region, and regions referred to as Inner Asia or Central Eurasia. We hope that the conference in Bishkek will bring together scholars from all over the world. Based on the experience of previous conferences, we are expecting about 250 participants, including many from the region that is the focus of the conference. Practitioners and scholars in all fields with an interest in this region are encouraged to participate.

The deadline for both Panel and Paper submissions is Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

Each panel or paper submission will be assessed by reviewers with relevant expertise, and we will send notifications of acceptance by Tuesday, February 28.

Successful proposals should show original research, as well as relevance current scholar on the region. The proposal should give a clear statement of the problem investigated, the methods and sources/data used, and the conclusions and contribution to the field that will be offered.

Pre-organized Panel Proposal Submissions 

Individual Paper Proposal Submissions

The deadline for submission of Panel and Paper proposals is Tues., 31 January 2016 


Languages of the Conference

In the case of Pre-organized Panels, a panel may be designated as “English only”, “Russian only”, “Other language” or “Mixed English and Russian” (this will be reflected in the program). We will consider panel proposals in languages other than English or Russian, but since this will inevitably make the potential audience much narrower, a strong case would have to be made for use of that language. Those papers and panels that are to be presented in Russian or another language should be provided with an English versions of the title and participant info, in addition to information in the original language. Meanwhile, only proposals where the abstracts and keywords are provided in English will be considered. The original language information about the panel should be provided in a file attachment that you will upload on the application form (the form itself handles only Latin letters).

We will not accept individual paper proposals in a language other than English, and it is not acceptable to present an individual paper with translation, with someone reading the paper on behalf of the author, or any other form other than the author’s presentation in English. You can find an explanation of this and other policies on the page linked here.


Conference Committee

You may contact the Joint Conference Committee at (see the bottom of this document for full contact information).

The members of the committee are as follows:

John Schoeberlein (CESS Past President; ESCAS President; Nazarbayev Univ., Kazakhstan), Chair of the joint program committee

CASI/AUCA (Bishkek)
Svetlana Jacquesson (Director of CASI/AUCA; ESCAS Board member)
Aida Konokbaeva (CASI/AUCA)
Christopher Baker (CASI/AUCA)
Emil Juraev (AUCA)
Emil Nasritdinov (AUCA)
Mohira Suyarkulova (CASI/AUCA)

Timothy Blauvelt (CESS Conference Committee Chair; Ilia University, Georgia)
Leila Almazova (CESS Board member; Kazan Federal Univ., Russian Federation)
Aksana Ismailbekova (CESS Board member; Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany)
Marianne Kamp (CESS;
Marlene Laruelle (CESS Board member; George Washington Univ., USA)
Scott Levi (CESS; Ohio State University, USA)
Jennifer Murtazashvili (CESS Board member; Univ. of Pittsburgh, USA)
David Pierce (CESS; Independent Scholar, USA)

Alexander Morrison (ESCAS; Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan)
Beatrice Penati (ESCAS Vice-President; Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan)
Catherine Poujol (ESCAS; French Institute for Central Asian Studies, Bishkek)
Dina Sharipova (ESCAS Secretary; KIMEP University, Kazakhstan)
Cholpon Turdalieva (ESCAS; American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic)


Conference Participation

Participants are responsible for covering the costs of their own travel and stay in Bishkek, and are responsible for making their own arrangements. The host institution will provide a list of hotels where rooms at discounted rates will be available for conference participants. For most relevant countries, the Kyrgyz Republic provides visa-free entry to the country for limited (but sufficient) periods. The host institution will provide visa support to those accepted for inclusion in the conference program if they are from a country for which a visa to the Kyrgyz Republic is required. For details about all such logistical matters, see the AUCA conference website (after acceptance notifications have been sent in March 2017):

Membership Requirement

Schedule of Key Dates


Contact Information

Weblinks for the conference:

For detailed information about submitting proposals and about attending the conference, please see the following webpages:
ESCAS Conference page:
CESS Regional Conference page:
CESS Conference Guidelines:

For inquiries regarding the program and registration, contact the Program Committee at:



For inquiries regarding Bishkek/AUCA and logistics for participation, contact the Central Asian Studies Institute at AUCA: