Harvard University unite with Kazakhstani university for conference on Central Asian history

Nazarbayev University (NU) will host the international conference “Empire, Colonies, and Knowledge” in partnership with Harvard University on the 21st and 22nd May. The aim of this conference is to explore the historical role of the relationships between Russia, Central Asia, and the West.

The conference will broach topics such as the Soviet Union and intellectual exchange, cultural exchange, religious exchange, and Orthodox Christianity and Islam relations in Central Asia, and be attended by leading historians, political scientists, and international relations experts from Kazakhstan, the US, Japan, Germany, and Russia.

Mikhail Akulov and Daniel Scarborough, Assistant Professors at NU School of Sciences and Humanities (NU SSH), helped organised and will be speaking at the event.

Prof Scarborough, PhD holder in Russian History from Georgetown University, says, “Russia is becoming increasingly isolated and inaccessible for scholars, so specialist scholars interested in Eurasia are looking for new places to build partnerships and access international exchange. A goal of this event is to make Kazakhstan a haven for that; a place where this intellectual exchange can happen.

“The main takeaway is to bring Kazakhstani scholars into more contact with other scholars from around the world.”

It is hoped that regular collaboration will occur between NU and Harvard, along with a regular exchange of students and faculty members. Prof Akulov, a driving force of this conference as a Harvard alum, says, “I envision this to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Harvard.”