Our goal is to contribute to a better knowledge of Central Asia, defined in this context as the area from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan to Western China (Xinjiang, Tibet), and Mongolia, which is a vast and historically, culturally and politically important region.
Our primary aim is to provide a view from the region on issues such as history, politics, religion, culture and migration on the basis of regional expertise and local sources (oral history, archives, local media, literature, statistics, etc.). The platform also focuses on specific themes, such as power and strategies associated with social and political order (foundations, representations and structures of power), cultural security, cultural diplomacy, etc.
The goal of the Central Asian Platform is also to establish cooperation between experts across the different regional and disciplinary fields of expertise. Regions of Central Asia, such as Afghanistan, the states of post-Soviet Central Asia, as well as Western China and Mongolia, are often studied separately and the conceptual and disciplinary boundaries (as well as the state-centered analysis) prevent the sharing of research results and restrict opportunities for establishing broader theoretical debates.
The platform organizes thematic conferences and workshops in cooperation with scholars and experts from Czech research institutes and also universities and research institutions from Europe and other parts of the world. The Central Asian Platform will be represented as well through regular scholarly seminars in Prague on themes relevant to Central Asia (the Central Asian Seminar Series), where invited experts from universities and research institutions from both abroad and the Czech Republic present their most recent research findings from the region.
From a long-term perspective, our goal is to contribute to a consolidation of the tradition of Central Asian studies in Czech universities and research institutions and serve as a Central Asian Platform (the center of high quality research on Central Asia). We also seek to enhance our joint capacity to network with other prestigious research institutions in Central Europe, the wider European context and the regions of Central Asia (acting as partner for experts from abroad who are interested in cooperating on research projects covering this region).
Activities associated with the platform will build on the long-standing commitment to collaboration that already exists between Oriental Institute members and fellows from the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (the Institute of Southern and Central Asia) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (Eurasian Studies) of Charles University, together with Humboldt University, the University of Vienna, the University of Zurich, etc.
Lecture by Olaf Günther, "The Gypsies of Central Asia, a comparison of Mugat groups in former Soviet space and Afghanistan", Roma Studies, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, March 2017
Public Lecture by Věra Exnerová, "Afghánistán mezi islámem a politikou", cyklus Orient zblízka: 2017, Městská knihovna Praha, 15.5. 2017
International Summer School 2017 "Bordering and Othering. How Inner Asian Identities Have Been Shaped", May 29 - June 2, 2017, Palacký University Olomouc, Department of Asian Studies, for more see here.
International Symposium on Cultural Inclusion "Being a Minority in Own Lands. Cultural Security Among Ethnic and Cultural Minorities Across Asia", December 8-9, 2017, Oriental Institute, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, Prague 1.
Workshops and conferences:
International Workshop of the Amdo Research Network - Dynamics of Power: Political, Sociocultural, Religious, and Economic Structures in Past and Present Amdo", Prague, 29.-31.1.2017. nam. Jana Palacha 2.
International Conference "Cultural Diplomacy of China - Role of Non-state actors and regional variations", Prague, Národní 3, 23.-24.1. 2017.
Workshop "Central Asia and Migration through the Perspective of Oral History", 11.11. 2016, Husova 4a, Prague 1 - 9.00-18.00.
Central Asian Seminar Series:
“Tibetan History Outside and Inside of China”, Prof. Elliot Sperling (Indiana University), 11.11. 2016, Celetna 20, Prague 1 – 15.00 (room 118)
„Spiritual Capital and Money Making: A Case Study based on Charlie Monastery of Ngawa County, Eastern Tibet.“, Prof. Yang Minghong (Sichuan University), 22.11., Jindřišská 27, Prague 1
„What factors determine carrying capacity? A case study from pastoral Tibet.“ Prof. Yonten Nyima (Sichuan University), 22.11. Jindřišská 27, Prague 1.