American University of Central Asia - AUCA - MY NAME, MY STORY




CASI is currently overseeing AUCA’s contribution to the ‘To Be Named’ project, a collaborative endeavor jointly conceived by Bard and the Smithsonian to examine the politics and significance of naming in colonial and post-colonial settings. AUCA’s iteration of the project, ‘My Name, My Story,’ involves creating a digital archive of oral history interviews with local communities to explore the meaning of names in contemporary Central Asia and to examine the ways in which they allow individuals to simultaneously reject the past, restore tradition, and imagine alternate futures. CASI hopes to involve local artists in translating the project into digital, photographic, and multimedia works and to have them respond through art and technology to the way the project envisions the meaning of Central Asian names. 

Funded by the Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network (EHCN), the project embodies EHCN goals in creating scholarship on the humanities that is also transformed by technology while also reinforcing CASI’s commitment to mobilizing resources that support humanities research. AUCA faculty Christopher Fort is spearheading the project together with Aijamal Sarabaeva and Daniyar Karabaev, two young scholars at AUCA who are involved in a multiyear project to use oral histories to recover voices from the Stalin era.

The findings of the project on how interviewees related to their names, how they saw the role of the state in naming, how they related to Soviet colonialism and contemporary state nationalism, and how they see their names as endowing everyday life with meaning are hosted by AUCA’s Center for Oral History (website under construction).



American University of Central Asia
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