Crossing Boundaries: Merging Eurasian Insights with the Study of Afghanistan

THE EURASIA PROGRAM of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Central Asia Program at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University are pleased to announce a field development workshop, to be held on the GWU campus November 1-4, 2012.

OVERVIEW

Targeting graduate students and young scholars, this workshop will explore the still relatively unknown political, social, economic, and cultural interactions between Eurasia and Afghanistan. We are particularly interested in examining possible linkages between studies of Afghanistan and the Central Asian regions of Eurasia.

In July of 2012, the international community pledged $16 billion in aid over the next three years to assist with reconstruction and stabilization in Afghanistan. Persistent civil unrest, interethnic hostilities, a collapsed economic system, and corruption raise serious questions concerning Afghan stability and security. Can studies of social, cultural, and political change in Central Asia inform our understanding of the challenges facing Afghanistan over the coming decade? How might an improved understanding of sociopolitical change in Afghanistan contribute to our understanding of Eurasia generally and Central Asia specifically?

“Crossing Boundaries” will convene junior scholars interested in exploring the linkages between Central Asia and Afghanistan for an intensive workshop led by a group of interdisciplinary senior scholars. We hope to welcome a broad variety of work. Projects ranging from direct assessments of border issues and the international drug trade to comparative insights on the ways in which religion influences maternal and child health within and across ethnic groups will be considered. We welcome scholars with a specific research focus on Eurasia who are interested in exploring the broader implications of their research in relation to Afghanistan, and scholars working on themes that cut across Afghanistan and Eurasia. The meeting will provide opportunities to discuss current work, develop ideas for future projects, and solicit feedback from, and network with, fellow scholars interested in merging the study of Eurasia with that of Afghanistan. Professionalization sessions covering data availability, publishing strategies, grant writing, and navigating the job market will also be included.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and currently either within five years of the completion of their dissertation, enrolled in an accredited PhD program, or enrolled in an area studies MA program. Applicants should have an identified and developed research project that relates to the theme and focus of the workshop. Preference will be given to those developing their dissertation.

Full instructions on how to apply can be found on the program’s website: http://www.ssrc.org/programs/pages/eurasia-program/crossing-boundaries-merging-eurasian-insights-with-the-study-of-afghanistan/

Application materials should be submitted electronically to the SSRC Eurasia Program at eurasia@ssrc.org by 5:00 p.m. EDT on October 1, 2012. Travel costs, workshop meals, and accommodation for participants will be covered by the SSRC. Should you have any questions, please contact the Eurasia Program (eurasia@ssrc.org).

Financial support for the workshop is provided through the Title VIII Program, which is administered by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the US Department of State, providing funding for research and language training to American scholars and students for the study of Eastern Europe and Eurasia (Independent States of the Former Soviet Union). Title VIII maintains US expertise in the regions and brings open source, policy-relevant research to the service of the US Government.

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