by Danielle Ross, Utah State University


Since the mid-1990s, literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, and political scientists have debated whether the post-Soviet sphere constitutes a postcolonial space and what, if anything, postcolonial theory can add to our understanding of imperial Russian and Soviet history.[1] These debates followed upon the “imperial turn” that swept through the field of Russian history starting in the 1990s and reframed the study of Russia as the study of a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional colonial empire on par with the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and U.S. colonial empires.[2] If Russia, like these other empires, had a colonial moment, then it stand to reason that once that moment passed, the communities colonized by Russia must have lived through (or/and still be living in) postcolonial conditions. Where individual historians stand on the applicability of postcolonial theory to Russia and the USSR is shaped by their geographic, chronological, and thematic focus, whether they consider Russia to have been a colonial empire in the first place, and when they see the Russian colonial moment ending.[3] In the USSR, where the government often embraced the rhetoric of anti-imperialism and decolonization while simultaneously implementing projects of cultural uplift for its “backward” non-European peoples and, ultimately, building a new empire in Eastern Europe.[4]

Rather than add to this debate surrounding the usefulness of postcolonial theory a tool for analyzing historical, I would like to turn to a related, but different issue: that of the relationship of Central Eurasian studies to the much larger Russian imperial and Soviet studies fields. For better or worse, the study of modern Central Eurasian history took shape in the twentieth century as an outgrowth of Russian and Soviet history. Russian annexation, conquest, and/or colonization not only created a decisive break in the historiographies of the Muslim peoples who came under Russia rule but marked a shift of the study of these peoples from one historical subfield to another. To give but one example of this phenomenon, a scholar interested in the court life of Ghaznavid-ruled Bukhara falls squarely within the field of medieval Islamic history, while a scholar occupied with the court life of Bukhara’s Manghit emirs in the nineteenth century is expected to speak, in some degree, to the field of imperial Russia history. Moreover, the addition of Central Eurasian lands to the empire opened the way for historians of the Russian empire to address these lands in their works on imperial history, and, in some cases, compelled them to do so insofar as an understanding of the workings of the Russian empire could not be reached without some account of the histories of Russia’s numerous and diverse subjects.

1.0 Why the field is the way it is

The history of post-1800 Central Eurasia as it currently exists is entangled with the history of western academies in the twentieth century and, especially, from the 1950s onward. It evolved as a subfield of Russian and Soviet studies and was usually researched by scholars who were first conversant in Russian language and culture; their training and professional development consisted of moving through Russian studies into “nationalities studies,” or, at very least, mastering Russian and Central Eurasian languages and cultures simultaneously. Thus, periodization and historical categories drawn from Russian and Soviet studies informed their research far more than models, theories, and categories drawn from, say, Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, or Mongol studies. Russian-language sources and non-Russian sources in genres familiar to historians trained in Russian history (newspapers, memoirs, political manifestos) played a larger role in the reconstruction Central Eurasian history than works crafted according to Perso-Islamicate genres, which were not always available to Cold War-era historians in any case. The presentation and publication of research findings on Central Eurasian history took place largely in venues focused on Russian and Soviet studies, and researcher on Central Eurasian history often made their work relevant to a larger Russianist-Sovietologist audience by connecting Central Eurasia to questions about the origins, inner workings, and long-term viability of the Soviet Union.[5] Works on Central Eurasian history written in the west in the 1950s-1980s served as much as handbooks and reference works for the broader Russianist-Sovietologist scholarly community as works as free-standing works of scholarship.[6]

In other words, not only was Central Eurasia a colonized space in the Russian empire and, potentially, the Soviet Union, but Central Eurasian studies as it had evolved by the 1990s constituted a colonized field. Its practitioners applied frameworks generated in or embraced by the Russian history field and, at the same time, served as interpreters of Central Eurasian history for their Russianist colleagues who wished or needed to include a Central Eurasian dimension in their research but lacked the expertise required to do so. The development of Central Eurasian studies as a field meant to (a) enhance understandings of Russian and Soviet history and (b) to inform mainstream Russianists and Sovietologists on the cultures and histories of the Muslim peripheries brought certain assumptions and habits to the field that historians of Central Eurasia continue to struggle with today. The most enduring of these is the concept that the histories of the peoples, states, and regions of Central Eurasia (unlike the histories of Russia, France, Britain or the U.S) are reduceable to a single narrative and that multiple narratives of the history of same people, state, or region (or even multiple thematic emphases or methodological approaches) cannot peaceably co-exist. (We will return to this issue later in this paper.)

Starting in the 1980s and continuing into the 1990s, historians of Central Eurasia themselves began to de-colonize their field. These efforts included:

  1.  the recognition of Central Eurasia as a macro-region with a set of cultures and histories that, while intersecting with Russian-Soviet history, comprised a field of their own and were worthy of study in their own right;

  2. the commitment by a growing number of scholars to acquire knowledge of non-Russian languages, paleography, and local compositional genres as well as mastery of theoretical models from beyond Russian-Soviet studies and their use of that knowledge to write new histories of Central Eurasia[7];

  3. the creation of publication venues dedicated to the discussion of Central Eurasian history, including Central Asian Survey (1982-present) and the Central Asian Studies Review (2002-2009)[8];

  4. the creation of professionally organizations, most notably, the European Society for the Study of Central Asia (founded in 1985) and the Central Eurasian Studies Society (founded in 1996).[9]

By the 1990, a new generation of scholars began to ask new kinds of questions that moved debates about Central Eurasian history beyond Russo-centric and Russian-inspired narratives. They restored Islam to accounts of Central Eurasian history and took seriously its role in the cultures, identities, and social relations of the region’s peoples. They gave greater attention to Central Eurasia’s native political, economic, and social structures and institutions, deeming them as worthy of study as the Russian and Soviet structures and institutions that subsumed or replaced them.[10]

1991-2000 marked a sea change in the study of Central Eurasian history. The scholars active in this decade laid the foundations for the present field in ways positive and negative. Most notably, they guided the study of Central Eurasia’s past through its transition from a branch of Cold War-era Sovietology and area studies to a geographically distinct and theoretically sophisticated discipline. However, any historians of Central Eurasia who sets out today to publish, present, apply for funding, recruit students, serve on hiring committees, or review new works within the field will quickly come to the realization that the project of decolonization which began in the 1990s is, by no means, completed. Fierce rivalries have divided the field into factions, even as it remains small and generally underrepresented on most university campuses. In the meantime, the unequal relationship between Russian-Soviet studies and Central Eurasian studies has, sadly, proved remarkably durable and resilient. This ongoing colonial relationship has consequences for the long-term health of the Central Eurasian field.

The creation of the Commission for the Study of Islam in Central Eurasia offers a unique set of opportunities to continue the reclamation of Central Eurasian history and nurture its development into a full-fledged, decolonized field. In this paper, I will lay out strategies for how we as scholars of Central Asian history might do this. I realize that not all these strategies will be appropriate for all scholars. Employment status, seniority in the field, monetary resources, and the organizational structure of one’s institution all shape the type of actions that one may or may not be able to take.

2.0 What do we mean when we say “colonized” and “decolonized” fields, what do we mean?

Before defining the terms “colonized” and “decolonized,” I would like to begin by defining the object of colonization and decolonization: the field of Central Eurasian history itself. For the purposes of this paper, I define the Central Eurasian history field as composed of three main components: (1) the network of individual scholars (from both Central Eurasia and abroad) who produce knowledge of the history of Central Eurasia through their research and teaching; (2) the institutions that train and employ these scholars and fund their knowledge-producing activities; and (3) the venues through which this knowledge is made accessible to audiences.

The perpetuation of colonial relations in an academic field can occur within any of these components. The practices and perspectives employed by scholars as their carry out their research, train their younger colleagues, and/or teach their undergraduate students can sustain power inequalities in a field and set the tone for relations both within the academic networks and among subfields. The recruitment, hiring, support, and retention practices of academic and research institutions determine how various geographic and chronological subfields are represented within university curricula and who takes charge of training the next generation of specialists. The selection criteria set by publishers, journals, and conference organizers determine which kinds of research will be publicized and how (if at all) various subfields will be represented to scholarly and lay readerships.

In an ideal world, the knowledge-producing scholars of a given field set the terms according to which they will research, publish, and disseminate their findings. Their research is informed by the culture, ways of knowing, and needs of the communities within which they work, and they cultivate reciprocal relations with those communities.[11] In reality, scholars in most, if not all, fields must work within institutional frameworks that are not of their making and were not established purely to promote the interests of either their field or the communities within which they work. This issue is especially acute for scholars who research in colonized and formerly colonized communities, who must contend with epistemologies, research methodologies, curricula, and archival preservation practices that, by their very design, marginalize, exoticize, and devalue non-European voices, experiences, and ways of knowing.[12] The general problems of academic institutional life can also be magnified by inequalities of size and resources between fields. Small fields and subfields enjoy less representation in the academy than do their larger cousins. This situation can quickly lead to the subordination of the smaller field to a nearby larger one, as the knowledge producers from the larger field are called upon to make training, hiring, research dissemination decisions on behalf of the smaller, poorly represented subfield.

The field of Central Eurasian history remains very much a colonized field at multiple levels. First, like historians of African, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Latin American, and Native American history, practitioners of Central Eurasian history continue to live with the ways that colonial rule has shaped the categorization of knowledge, the preservation of historical sources, and the institutional structures of today’s research and education institutions. Reckoning with this situation is not simply a matter of scholars acknowledging the fact of Russian colonization in the academic writing but of considering how colonial archival taxonomies and ideologies continue to dictate how Central Eurasian historical research is conducted by scholars both local and foreign. Second, Central Eurasian history inherits from Russian and Soviet studies an imbalance of power between “international” (U.S., Canadian, western European, and Japanese) scholars and the “local” scholars, who live and work in post-Soviet Central Eurasia. This imbalance was born out of the ways that Russian and Soviet studies evolved in the West (and especially the US) during the Cold War.[13] Today, it manifests itself in material terms (access to money for training, research, and conference travel), cultural-linguistic terms (the possibility of publishing with higher-circulation European-language journals and presses and participating in international projects), and in terms of the respect (or lack thereof) with which “Western” scholars treat their “post-Soviet” colleagues.[14] As in Russian history, so, too, in Central Eurasian history one accrues greater authority by being trained and employed outside of the region one researches. Interactions between international (or internationally trained) scholars and local scholars have proved ineffective in reducing this inequality.[15]

Third, despite the efforts of scholars in the 1990s and early 2000s, Central Eurasian history remains very much a subfield of Russian and Soviet history. This is especially the case in U.S. academia, where, in the absence of a dedicated Central Eurasian historian, a scholar of Russian or Soviet history possessing no training in Central Eurasian history may, with little or no opposition, advise graduate students wishing to specialize in the Central Eurasian field. In doing so, these scholars place themselves in the position of determining what kinds of skills and expertise an historian of Central Eurasia should master. With only one journal dedicated to Central Eurasian studies, young scholars of Central Eurasian history are encouraged to submit their work to Russian history and Russian studies journals, where journal editors who may or may or may not have much knowledge of Central Eurasian history play a significant role in dictating what kinds of scholarship on Central Eurasia are worthy of publication. Finally, in the job market, with few specifically “Central Eurasian” jobs available, historians of Central Eurasia often must compete for positions in mainstream Russian or Soviet history, where their specialization in Russian and Soviet “minorities” and “peripheries” may put them at a disadvantage beside more conventional candidates.

In short, a colonized field is one in which the relational and institutional inequalities between colonizer and colonized persist despite the empire that birthed them having disappeared. It is a field in which scholars of historically colonizing and colonized societies continue to occupy the same educational and publication spaces, where they command unequal power and continue to reproduce, if unwittingly, the old hierarchies of knowledge. By contrast, a “decolonized” field is one in which the scholars / knowledge producers can set their own boundaries and research agendas without subordination to a neighboring field.

Why should we, as historians of Central Eurasia, care about this issue? In brief, because it is a question of ownership of our field. While the situation has greatly improved since the 1990s, we still see expectations and restrictions placed upon our work that do not come from us, are not placed upon other subfields, and do not make sense within our field. We also continue to see a murky understanding of what kinds of research constitutes “Central Eurasian history,” a state of affairs that permits some who are, in fact, scholars of Russian history to position themselves as authorities in Central Eurasian history, regardless of their qualifications. Both these conditions imperil the field’s forward motion.

3.0 The Strategies for Decolonization

I would now propose several strategies for continuing the effort to decolonize the Central Eurasian history field. These strategies build upon the foundation established by Central Eurasianists in the 1990s and early 2000s and seek to push them further by establishing and sustaining a set of relations among historians of Central Eurasian based on community, collaboration, equity, mutual respect, and common purpose. The approaches discussed here are informed by current perspectives on creating a more ethical, inclusive academic sphere that moves beyond entrenched colonial epistemologies, research practices, and scholarly interaction, and, especially, upon those models that have evolved in other fields.[16] The decolonization of an academic field is not only an intellectual exercise, but a praxis, undertaken as one engages with one’s colleagues, students, and informants.[17] Strategies for decolonization must necessarily vary according to the relative power of the person undertaking them. Below, I list some strategies that may be adopted by scholars at any phase in their careers, but are especially targeted to graduate students and junior scholars.

3.1 Strategies for Decolonization

Strategy One: Knowing the genealogy of one’s own field and subfield

One cannot know where one is going if one does not know where one has been. Where does one’s field come from? Under what circumstances did it evolve? Who were the founding scholars in one’s research area? What politics shaped it? What academic theories have been central to it? There is no need to feel beholden to old ways of doing things but escaping unproductive paradigms and limitations within the field is much more difficult if one does not know how they got there to start with.

Strategy Two: Know the relevant local languages and literary traditions for one’s research area

This strategy is straightforward, and many scholars of Central Eurasia already practice it. One must know the languages in which the community in which one is researching spoke, read, and wrote, know the literary genres used in one’s region, and gain the paleographic skills to navigate handwritten documents. A common excuse for reliance on Russian-language sources is that relevant non-Russian-language sources do not exist for many topics. Being able to read, identify, and analyze documents in the non-Russian language(s) of the region in which one researches enables one to circumvent this excuse. This is not to say that some research questions do not demand extensive engagement with Russian-language sources, but even in these cases, knowledge of local languages and literary traditions can fundamentally transform understanding of the extant Russian sources.

At this point in the history of the Central Eurasian field, there is no excuse for studying Turkic-speaking Central Eurasia without knowing a Turkic language. No Russianist would take seriously a scholar of Soviet Russian culture who did not know Russian. Why should Central Eurasia be different? Knowing the relevant local language is not just about developing research tools. It is about displaying basic respect for the communities with which one works.

Strategy Three: Explore a range of historical sources, voices, and topics, and let others do the same

Discussions of the “authenticity,” “representativeness,” and “relevance” of various sources and historical actors have dogged the field of Central Eurasian history for decades now. While these debates can sometimes be energizing to participate in, they are fundamentally destructive to the field because they allow to persist the notion that some parts of Central Eurasian history are worthy of study while others are not. These debates generate hostilities that create anxieties for young scholars seeking their place in the field, put pressure on them to pick sides, if only as a matter of professional survival, and cut them off from potentially fruitful communications across the rigidly drawn battle lines.[18] Meanwhile, one rarely hears Russian historians argue that their colleagues need to stop studying the Bolsheviks because they were either too few or too unrepresentative of what the “real Russians” were thinking. The views that some Central Eurasian historical figures or groups are overstudied, that one study of a given social group is enough, or that some historical actors are not worth one studying at all are ultimately detrimental to the future of the field because they place unnecessary limitations on the kinds of research historians of Central Eurasia do.[19]

The more kinds of people, sources, and historical experiences historians of Central Eurasia has shed light upon, the more we and the scholars that come after us have to work with. The more diverse approaches, theories, and methodologies historians bring to the table, the richer the field will become. Eschewing the study of certain groups, the use kinds of sources, or the application of certain theories robs historians of a holistic picture of the societies they study.

Strategy Four: Seek out cross-field and interdisciplinary relationships

Russian-Soviet history is one context within which we, as historians of Central Eurasia, might understand our research. It is a field with which the current Central Eurasian history field shared a lengthy past and it may feel like the obvious field to reach out to. However, Islamic studies, Ottoman studies, Middle Eastern, and South Asian studies are other fields within which a Central Eurasianist might try to present their work. Postcolonial studies, gender studies, agricultural history, borderlands history, and economic history are still other fields. None of these may be a perfect fit for Central Eurasian research, but neither is the field of Russian studies. Central Eurasian historians need to expand their circle of friends and colleagues. They should get involved in conference panels and journal special issues that allow them to present their research to new audiences. All this will help Central Eurasiansts expand their view of what their research is and what it could be. By contrast, only attending conferences hosted by ASEEES (and even CESS and ESCAS) boxes Central Eurasianists into a narrow set of debates and discourses that are ultimately rooted in a deeply hierarchical relationship between Russia and is borderlands.

4.0  Conclusion

All the strategies I have discussed here aim at increasing the visibility of Central Eurasian history while increasing Central Eurasian historians’ control over standards, practices, and research agendas within their own field and fostering community and mutual support among scholars across international borders. This agenda is in no way a repudiation of the work done by previous generations of scholars starting in the 1990s. On the contrary, we seek to further the development of Central Eurasian history as its own field while dismantling the colonial remnants that continue to generate inequality and conflict among researchers. We welcome all colleagues and allies who are willing to join us in this endeavor.


[1] Deniz Kandiyoti, “Post-Colonialism Compared: Potentials and Limitations in the Middle East and Central Asia,” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 34/2 (2002); David Chioni Moore, “Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique,” In Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 116/1 (2001); Laura Adams, “Can we Apply Postcolonial Theory to Central Eurasia?,” Central Eurasian Studies Review 7/1 (2008); Tamar Koplatadze, “Theorising Russian Postcolonial Studies,” Postcolonial Studies 22/4 2014.

[2] Michael Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire 1500-1800 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002); Geoffrey A. Hosking, Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); Seymour Becker, “Russia and the Concept of Empire,” Ab Imperio 3-4 (2000): 329-42; Andreas Kappeler, The Russian Empire: A Multi-ethnic History, trans. Alfred Clayton (London and New York: Routledge, 2014); Alexander S. Morrison, Russian Rule in Samarkand, 1868-1919: A Comparison with British India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Willard Sunderland, Taming the Wild Field: Colonization and Empire on the Russian Steppe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004); Dominic Lieven, Empire: The Russian Empire and its Rivals (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002).

[3] For examples of the ongoing debates over whether, when, and how Russia and/or the Soviet Union were colonial powers, see Willard Sunderland, “Empire without Imperialism? Ambiguities of Colonization in Tsarist Russia,” Ab Imperio 2 (2003): 101-14; Dittmar Schorkowitz, “Was Russia a Colonial Empire?” In Shifting Forms of Continental Colonialism: Unfinished Struggles and Tensions, ed. Dittmar Schorkowitz, John R. Chávez, and Ingo W. Schröder (Singapore Pte.: Springer, 2019), 117-47; Michael Khodarkovsky, “A Colonial Empire without Colonies: Russia’s State Colonialisms in Comparative Perspective,” Comparativ 30, 3/4 (2020), 285-99; An Empire of Others: Creating Ethnographic Knowledge in Imperial Russia and the USSR, ed. Roland Cvetkovski and Alexis Hofmeister (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2014); Joshua A. Sanborn, Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); Francine Hirsch, Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014); Mark R. Beissinger, “Soviet Empire as ‘Family Resemblance’,” Slavic Review 65-2 (2006): 294-3;

[4] Douglas T. Northrop, Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016); Marianne Kamp, The New Woman in Uzbekistan: Islam, Modernity, and Unveiling under Communism (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006); Paula A. Michaels, Curative Powers: Medicine and Empire in Stalin’s Central Asia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003); Adeeb Khalid, Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR (Ithaca: Cornell, 2015); Tomasz Zarycki, “Debating Soviet Imperialism in Contemporary Poland: On Polish Uses of Postcolonial Theory and their Contexts,” In Empire De/Centered: New Spatial Histories of Russia and the Soviet Union, ed. Sanna Turoma and Maxim Waldstein (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 191-218.

[5] See, for example, Gregory J. Massell, The Surrogate Proletariat: Muslim Women and Revolutionary Strategies in Soviet Central Asia, 1919-1929 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974); Geoffrey Wheeler, The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1975); Serge Zenkovsky, Pan-Turkism and Islam in Russia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960); Alexandre A. Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979); Alexandre A. Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985).

[6] See, for example, Alexandre Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Muslims of the Soviet Empire: A Guide (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1986); Azade-Ayşe Rorlich, The Volga Tatars: A Profile in National Resilience (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1986); Martha Brill Olcott, The Kazakhs (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1986); Edward A. Allworth, The Modern Uzbeks: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present, A Cultural History (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1990); Audrey L. Altstadt, The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity under Russian Rule (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1992).

[7] See for example, Devin DeWeese, Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde: Baba Tükles and Conversion to Islam in Historical and Epic Tradition (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994); Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); Allen J. Frank, Islamic Historiography and ‘Bulghar’ Identity among the Tatars and Bashkirs of Russia (Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 1998); Michael Kemper, Sufis und Gelehrte in Tatarien und Baschkinien, 1789-1889, der islamische Diskurs unter russischer Herrschaft (Berlin: Klaus Schwartz, 1998); Scott C. Levi, The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and Its Trade, 1500-1900 (Leiden: Brill, 2002); Agnès Kefeli, “Constructing an Islamic Identity: The Case of Elyshevo Village in the Nineteenth Century,” In Russia’s Orient: Imperial Borderlands and Peoples, 1700-1917 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1997), 271-91; Muslims in Central Asia: Expressions of Identity and Change, ed. Jo-Ann Gross (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992); Virginia Martin, Law and Custom in the Steppe: The Kazakhs of the Middle Horde and Russian Colonialism in the Nineteenth Century (London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2001); Adrienne Lynn Edgar, Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).

[8] “Central Asian Survey,” Central Eurasian Studies Society (last accessed 4 September 2022); “Central Asian Survey,” Wikipedia (last accessed 4 September 2022); “Central Eurasian Studies Review,” Central Eurasian Studies Society (last accessed 4 September 2022)

[9] “About ESCAS,” ESCAS (last accessed 4 September 2022); “History,” Central Eurasian Studies Society, (last accessed 4 September 2022)

[10] Adeeb Khalid, “Islam in Central Asia 30 years after independence: debates, controversies and the critique of a critique” Central Asian Survey 40-4 (2021): 540-2.

[11] “Lorrilee McGregor, “Conducting Community-Based Research in First Nations Communities,” In Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices, and Relationships, ed. Deborah McGregor, Jean-Paul Restoule (Toronto and Vancouver: Canadian Scholars, 2018), 129-41; Brittany Luby with Rachel Arsenault, Joseph Burke, Michelle Graham, and Toni Valenti, “Treaty #3: A Tool for Empowering Diverse Scholars to Engage in Indigenous Research,” In Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices, and Relationships, 200-81; Madeline Whetung (Nishnaabeg) and Sarah Wakefield, “Colonial Conventions: Institutionalized Research Relationships and Decolonizing Research Ethics,” In Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View, ed. Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Eve Tuck, and K. Wayne Yang (New York and London: Routledge, 2018), 146-58; Irmelin Gram-Hanssen, Nicole Schafenacker, and Julia Bentz, “Decolonizing transformations through ‘right relations,’” Sustainability Science 17 (2022): 673-85.

[12] Silvia Domínguez, Simón E. Weffer, and David G. Embrick, “White Sanctuaries: White Supremacy, Racism, Space, and Fine Arts in Two Metropolitan Museums,” American Behavior Science 64-14 (2020): 2028-43; Greg Dickinson, “Spaces of Remembering and Forgetting: The Reverent Eye/I at the Plains Indian Museum,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 3-1 (2006): 27-47; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “The Rani of Sirmur: An Essay in Reading the Archives,” History and Theory 24-3 (1985): 247-72; Antoinette Burton, “Archive Stories: Gender in the Making of Imperial and Colonial Histories,” In Gender and Empire, ed. Philippa Levine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 281-94; Sofia Villenas, “The Colonizer/Colonized Chicana Ethnographer: Identity, Marginalization, and Co-option in the Field,” Harvard Educational Review 66-4 (1996): 711-32.

[13] David C. Engerman, Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

[14] Ingrid Piller, Jie Zhang, and Jia Li, Peripheral Multilingual Scholars Confronting Epistemic Exclusion in Global Academic Knowledge Production: A Positive Case Study,” Multilingua (2022): 1-24; Ken Hyland, “Academic Publishing and the Myth of Linguistic Injustice,” Journal of Second Language Writing 31 (2016): 58-69; I. B. Korotkina, “Russian Scholarly Publications in Anglophone Academic Discourse: The Clash of Tyrannosaurs,” Integration of Education 22-2 (2018): 311-23.

[15] Aliya Kuzhabekova and Jack T. Lee, “Internationalization and Local Research Capacity Strengthening: Factors Affecting Knowledge Sharing Between International and Local Faculty in Kazakhstan,” European Education 52-4(2020): 297-311.

[16] Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing Company Limited, 2008); Lorgia García Peña, Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2022); Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (London and New York: Zed Books Ltd, 1999); Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing about American Indians, ed. Devon A. Mihesuah (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998); Augie Fleras, Rethinking the Academy: Beyond Eurocentrism in Higher Education (New York: Peter Lang, 2021).

[17] Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird, “Beginning Decolonization,” In For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook, ed. Waziyatawin Angela Wilson and Michael Yellow Bird (Santa Fe: School of American Research, 2005), 2.

[18] For examples of these polarizing debates, see Devin DeWeese, “It was a Dark and Stagnant Night (‘til the Jadids Brought the Light): Clichés, Biases, and False Dichotomies in the Intellectual History of Central Asia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59 (2016) 37-92 and Adeeb Khalid, “Islam in Central Asia 30 years after independence: debates, controversies and the critique of a critique” Central Asian Survey 40-4 (2021): 539-54.

[19] Thomas Welsford, “Becoming Behbudiy,” Journal of Central Asian History 1-1 (2022): 37-99.