Bio

I was educated in Tashkent State University (Faculty of Oriental Studies, Class of '86), Institute of History of Uzbek Academy of Sciences and Leningrad (now St Petersburg) branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1986-89s'. I am a holder of a graduate degree in History and Area Studies (1986) and Ph.D. (1990) in Medieval History (Role, place and social positions of clergy of Maverannahr in 15th century) and a Habilitation/Postdoctoral Studies (1998) in History of Islam in Central Asia (Sufi tariqats in Central Asia of 12th – 15th centuries).I am an expert in the History of Civilization and Culture in Central Asia and the Middle East with numerous research publications in this field. For many years I have collaborated with a wide range of colleagues in numerous parts of the world and have been fortunate enough to have been supported in this work by a series of research grants and fellowship awards that have enabled me to travel widely in Europe and the USA. Over the years I have carried out extensive field research in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and South Kazakhstan. Trips have been made to ‘sacred sites' connected with the main Islamic schools of faith associated with Central Asia - Yasaviya, Kubraviya, Naqshbandiya. My research has involved contacting Khadjas, Ishans and Sayyids (people with recognized claims to Islamic sacred lineages) at the various sacred sites. Another aspect of my work in the past ten years has been based on the materials of a previously unexamined collection of Khans' Yarliq and Waqf documents and Qaziy certificates from Manuscript funds of the Ichan-Kala Museum and in several private collections. Besides their historic value many of these documents constitute artistic masterpieces because of their level of decorative design. Moreover they provide reach material for the research in History, Culture, Geography, Philology, Oriental and Comparative Studies, Politology, Law and many other sciences. French Institute for Central Asian Studies (L'Institut Français d'Etudes sur l'Asie centrale - IFEAC) has published two books of mine written on the base of collection of different state documents from 17th to the beginning of 20th centuries.Latterly my work has acquired a contemporary edge, as during the last two years with anthropologist David Abramson I managed a sponsored project on ‘The History of Freedom of Conscience in Uzbekistan from the 1930s to the 1960s'. The initial idea of this project was based on a collaborative Oral History project I conducted during 2002-03 in Uzbekistan with historian Marianne Kamp from University of Wyoming (Laramie, USA) and anthropologist Russell Zanca from Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, USA).Most recently I have accessed many documents relating to religious policy in Uzbekistan during the time it was part of the Soviet Union. These documents, which may have otherwise been lost, have been brought together in my latest research a collection of documents from the State Archives of Soviet Uzbekistan, 1920s - 1960s'. Further analysis on this material will form the basis of my Fellowship at Woodrow Wilson Center which I hope will throw new light upon the religious policies of the Soviet authorities within the constituent parts of the Union.

Education
Habilitation (1996), Postdoctoral Studies, Uzbek Academy of Sciences. Habilitation Dissertation on Medieval History: Tashkent, 1998: M.A. (1986), Tashkent State University, Diploma of Orientalist-Historian-Iranist; Ph.D. (1990), Graduate School at the Institute of History, Uzbek Academy of Sciences

Experience

  • Academic Employment:
  • Head of Department, Department of Medieval and Ancient History Institute of History, Uzbek Academy of Science, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 1998 – present
  • Senior Research Fellow, 1996-1998
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 1993-1996
  • Researcher, 1990-1993
  • Postgraduate Researcher, 1986-1990

Additional Appointments:

  • Chairman of Uzbek National Society of Young Scientists, 1999-present
  • First Deputy Director, State Depository for Scientific and Technical Information of the Uzbek State Committee on Science and Technology, 1999-2002

Expertise
Middle East and Central Asia Studies; History of Islam and Sufism, Medieval and Contemporary History and Culture; Written Sources, Oral Histories, and Archives Documents

Project Summary

This project looks at Islamic political culture—the extent to which Islamic values and practices legitimize political authority, leadership, and the exercise of power—in Central Asia. My objective is to provide critical historical and cultural context for assessing the future of Islam in its relation to the evolution of notions of governance and citizen participation in Central Asia. My proposal to understand Central Asian Islam in the context of political culture will help fill the gaps that traditional studies overlooked. Additionally, I hope to move scholarship on Islam in Central Asia to a point where the literature no longer echoes the formulations of Soviet and post-Soviet official ideologies, but questions them in informed and complex ways.

Major Publications

The Kubraviya Waqf (17th-19th Centuries): Written Sources on the Late History of the Kubravi Sufi Brotherhood in Central Asia / Tashkent, "Fan" Publishers. 2008, 280 p. [in English, Uzbek and Russian]

Qadhiy Documents and Khan's yarliqs of the Khiva Khanate on 17th - the beginning of 20th centuries / Tashkent, "Fan" Publishers. 2007, 224 p. [in French and Russian]

"Advent of Islam: Extend and Impact" Chapter for "History of Civilizations of Central Asia" / Vol. 4 (Part 2): The Achievements (AD 750 - 15th Century). UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 2000.

Previous Terms

Oct 01, 2007 - Nov 01, 2007: "A Comparative Approach to the Roots of Politicized Islam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan"