Aksana Ismailbekova, PhD
Associate, Department ‘Integration and Conflict‘, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology; A research fellow at Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)
conflict, marriage, patronage, kinship, and everyday politics in rural KyrgyzstanResearch Area(s)
Aksana Ismailbekova conducted her research in rural Kyrgyz communities for her doctoral project completed in 2011 at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI). In her first research project, Aksana Ismailbekova examined the overlapping interlinkages between Kyrgyz kinship and networks of political patronage.
Since 2011 Aksana Ismailbekova is a post-doctoral researcher at the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin, and is a member of the competence network Crossroads Asia project. For her postdoctoral project, Aksana has conducted research in Osh during 2011-2014. During her project on Uzbek communities, her research revealed the importance of marriage among Uzbeks as a coping strategy in the face of community unrest and violence/conflict
Aksana Ismailbekova has published on kinship, marriage, patronage networks, coping strategies, migration, conflict as well as women. Her articles have appeared Central Asian Survey, Focaal, and Nationalities Papers, and etc. Currently, Aksana Ismailbekova is currently turning her dissertation into a book manuscript, which contributes to the ethnography of kinship politics in the region “Poetics of Patronage: Patron and Kinsmen in Rural Kyrgyzstan”.
Aksana Ismailbekova together with Jeanne Féaux de la Croix will publish Special Issue on Futures and Belongings in Kyrgyzstan in the Anthropology of East Europe Review (AEER).
PhD Project I:
The Native Son and Blood Ties: Kinship and Poetics of Patronage in Rural Kyrgyzstan
Postdoc Project II:
Crossroads Asia: Conflict Dynamics, Local Strategies and Translocal Ties in the Fergana Valley
Education and professional career
A research fellow at Zentrum Moderner Orient
Crossroads Asia competence network
Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale).
MS in Social Research of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Open Society Institute/FCO-Chevening/Edinburgh Scholarships
BA in Cultural Anthropology, American University – Central Asia, (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). University Scholarship
Kyrgyz, English, Russian, German (B2)
Field research: 2007-2011 -Kyrgyzstan, 2013 -Russia
Organisation of Workshop
October 2011–May 2012 Organized one year long workshop on ‘Classifications, relations and differences of Economy and Religion in Central Asia What counts as ‘religious’ or ‘economic’ in Crossroads Central Asia?’ Together with Sophie Roche, Jeanne Féaux de la Croix (ZMO) and Manja Stephan (HU)
21 March 2014-Together with Dietrich Reetz, Antía Mato Bouzas, Just Boedeker ‘Crossroads of Transregional Interaction: the shifting meaning of region in South and Central Asia’ at Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin.
Summer semester. 2011. Introduction to Kinship. Marthin Luther University in Halle (Saale) Germany (lang. English)
Winter semester. 2010. Zensus, Statistik, Bürokratie together with Larissa Vetters at Marthin Luther University in Halle (Saale) Germany (lang. English and German)
Summer Semester. 2009-2010. Central Asia Identity Politics at Marthin Luther University in Halle (Saale) Germany (lang. English)
August. 2010. Research Methods and Theories of Identity. Lecture for senior scholars from Central Asia at the CARTI Sumer School program, Izmir, Turkey
2012. Crossroads Asia Lecture Series ‘Coping Strategies: Public Avoidance, and Migration, Marriage in the Aftermath of the Osh Conflict, Fergana Valley in Kyrgyzstan’ at Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF), 28th of March, 2012
2012. Aga Khan University Lecture Series ‘Coping Strategies: Public Avoidance, and Migration, Marriage in the Aftermath of the Osh Conflict, Fergana Valley in Kyrgyzstan’ at the University of Central Asia, Bishkek, 27 July, 2012
2010. The Danish Society for Central Asia Lecture Series ‘Localized Democracy: Change and Future in Kyrgyzstan’. A public talk on at the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 15, 2010 [http://www.centralasien.dk/]
2012. Summer school Inter-ethnic tolerance. Batken 2-13 August, 2012
Funded by Aigine, USA Embassy in Kyrgyzstan
2007-2011 (July). Summer school ‘Building Anthropology in Eurasia’, Issik-Kul, Kyrgyzstan funded by Soros Foundation
2010. Summer school on The Soviet in Everyday Life,” Regional Seminar on Excellence in Teaching, OSI/HESP, 16 July-31 July.
2013 ‘As long as the Capital is far away: multi-scalar regionalisation in Central Asia’ New Geographies of Central and Eastern Europe’. Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography. Leipzig 7-8 October 2013
2013. ‘Invisible borders: Divided Osh city along the ethnic lines’. Crossroads Asia: Tracing Connections – Explorations of Spaces and Places in Asian Multilocalities . Centre for Development Studies (ZELF), Freie Universität Berlin held on 20 – 21 June.
2012. ‘The Role of Women in Building Peace between Kyrgyz and Uzbek Ethnic Groups’. ‘Gender in Central Asia: Contemporary issues in nation-building of former Soviet States’. Venue : Réseau Asie – Pacifique / Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris. 4 June.
2012. ‘Single Mothers in Osh:Well-being and Coping Strategies of Women in the Aftermath of the 2010 Conflict in Kyrgyzstan’. Micro-Level Analysis of Well-Being in Central Asia. German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). Berlin 10 – 11 May.
2011. ‘Migration and patrilineal descent: the role of women in Kyrgyzstan’
Beyond the ‘patriarchal family’: Forms of uxori- /matrilocality and matrifocality in Islamic Societies. Past and Present. Universität Bamberg, Germany 9. -10. December
2009. ‘Performing Democracy: State-Making through Patronage in Kyrgyzstan’ ‘Rethinking the Political in Central Asia’. University of Manchester’. Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change. Manchester, England Sept. 14–16
2013. ‘Transnational Religious Networks in Central Asia: Structure, Travel, and Culture of Kyrgyz Davatchi’. The 2nd Crossroads Asia Conference Mobilizing Religion: Networks and Mobility, July 18-19, 2013, Bonn.
2012. ‘Coping Strategy: Marriage in the Aftermath of the Osh Conflict, Fergana Valley’. The 1st Crossroads Asia Conference Figurations of Mobility. 22-24 November 2012
European Society for Central Asian Studies; The Central Eurasian Studies Society; American Anthropological Association, Social Science and History Association
Selected Honors, Awards and Grants
2010 (January-August) Graduate School Society and Culture in Motion (writing up fellowship),
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)
2010-2011 (Winter Semester) Teaching and Research Assistantships for International PhD Students, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)
2010 (September-December) Grant recipient ‘Regional Competence-Building for Think Tanks in the South Caucasus and Central Asia’, The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Oslo
2005 Pre-Academic Summer School –The Network Scholarship Programs, Bilgi University, Turkey
Published and accepted articles
2014. ‘Performing democracy: State-making through patronage in Kyrgyzstan’. In: Performing politics: Ethnographies of the state in Central Asia. ed. Reeves M, Rasanayagam J, and Beyer B, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp 78-98
2014 (accepted) ‘Migration and patrilineal descent: the role of women in rural Kyrgyzstan’. Central Asian Survey
2014 (accepted) ‘Securing future lives of children through ritualised parenthood in the village of Bulak, Kyrgyzstan’. Special Issue on Futures and Belongings in Kyrgyzstan. Ed. Jeanne Féaux de la Croix and Aksana Ismailbekova The Anthropology of East Europe Review (AEER)
2014 (accepted) ‘Mobility as coping strategy of Osh Uzbeks in the aftermath of conflict’ Special issue Mobility in Asian Contexts in Internationales Asienforum. Ed. Matthias Schmidt, Andreas Benz, and Henryk Alff
2013. ‘Coping Strategies: Migration, Public Avoidance, and Marriage in the Aftermath of the Osh Conflict, Fergana Valley’. Nationalities Papers. 41 ( 1): 109-127
2013. ‘Circle of Trust: functions and mechanism of Patron-Client Relations in the Private Farm’. In Pinar Akçali, Cennet Engin-Demir (ed) Politics, Identity and Education in Central Asia. Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan. pp. 71-98. London and New York: Routledge
2012. ‘Dynamika mejetnichekih brakov posle konflikta v Oshe’. . [Dynamics of inter-ethnic marriages in the aftermath of conflict in Osh] Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie. №6 pp 84-98
2013. Migration and patrilineal descent: the effects of spatial male mobility on social female mobility in rural Kyrgyzstan. In: Crossroads Asia Working Paper Series, No. 12.
2012. ‘Coping Strategies: Public Avoidance, Migration, and Marriage in the Aftermath of the Osh Conflict, Fergana Valley’. In: Crossroads Asia Working Paper Series, No. 4.
2014. Accepted. (Together with Jeanne Féaux de la Croix) ‘Introduction’ Special Issue on Futures and Belongings in Kyrgyzstan.) Edited by Jeanne Féaux de la Croix and Aksana Ismailbekova. The Anthropology of East Europe Review (AEER
2014. Accepted. (Together with Wladimir Sgibnev). ‘As long as the Capital is far away: multi-scalar regionalisation in Central Asia’. In: Ehrlich, Kornelia; Henn, Sebastian; Lang, Thilo; (eds.): “New Geographies of Central and Eastern Europe. Socio-Spatial Polarization and Peripheralization in a Rapidly Changing Region“. Palgrave Macmillan
2012. (Together with Emil Nasridinov) ‘Transnational Social Networks and Trajectories of Religious Practices and Discourses of Kyrgyz Dawatchis’. Transnational Social Review – A Social Work Journal (TSR) . vol. 3 pp. 177-195
2010 (Together with Sophie Roche) ‘Demography and patronage. The dynamics of youth bulge in Kyrgyzstan’. Orient Journal ORIENT IV, pp. 33-43.
Under review articles -2014
‘Single Mothers in Osh: Well-being and coping strategies of women in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan’. Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology
Spatial mobility of women: constructing authority through custom. The case of Bulak, Kyrgyzstan. Special issue on “Gender and Nationalism in Central Asia” ed Lucia Direnberger, Juliette Cleuziou, and Iman Karzabi. Nationalities Papers
Under review manuscript
The Native Son and Blood Ties: Kinship and poetics of patronage in rural Kyrgyzstan. Routledge (Series of Central Asian Studies).
2014. Liu, Morgan, Under Solomon’s Throne. Uzbek Visions of Renewal in Osh. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, xv + 280pp., The Asia-Europe Studies Journal. 66-2: 333-334
2012. Rituals Vs. Reality: What Does Democracy Look Like in Kyrgyzstan? (English, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian languages) http://www.bbc.co.uk/uzbek/institutional/2012/01/120113_cy_blog_my_take_on.shtml
2011. Development of Anthropology in Kyrgyzstan, American University of Central Asia, Magazine, Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, 23. November 2011. Online.
2010. Interview mit Oxana Evdokimova, „Islam in Kyrgyzstan“. Deutsche Welle, 18. Oktober Online erhältlich.
2010. Problesk nadejdy v okrovlennom v Kyrgyzstane. [Hopes of people in violent conflict, Osh, Kyrgyzstan] http://www.ferghana.ru/article.php?id=6687 (in Russian)
2012. The role of NGOs in conflict management and resolution in post-conflict Osh, Kyrgyzstan, Ismailbekova A. Policy Oriented Paper. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) Regional Competence-Building for Think-Tanks in the South Caucasus and Central Asia http://www.nupi.no/