I am a recent PhD graduate of a R1 university situated amidst the “amber waves of grain” (and soy) which characterizes the heartland of America, the great Midwest. This blog will not be a nuanced analysis of the socio-political context I am heading into. Rather, it is an assortment of entries on life and work in a ‘Stan full of accounts of my own social blunderings and “accidents” that seems to plague me whatever continent I happen to be on. And of course, lists. I love lists.
December 2012 update: I guess I still do technically fall into the recent category still (by emerging job market calls for “fresh graduates/recent graduates/newly minted…” etc.). But I have to say, that while academic publishing requires some semblance of coherence, my blog does not. I understand the necessity of publishing coherently to show that you have a research agenda that is focused and at the same time broad enough to extend for the next five years. But I do find the requirements of the game rather restricting. My blog then provides a space to write about and explore things that pique my curiosity. The result? An unapologetic hodge podge of random moments, thoughts about teaching and doing research, life in CA, travelogue, etc. And not as many lists as I thought I would write about when I started this blog, if any. Hm.
Where I am… Central Asia has always been an ethno-linguistically diverse region. It became more so after Stalin engineered a massive population shift from all over the former Soviet Union, including bringing 300,000 Koreans from in and around Vlodovoskov to the Central Asian Turkic countries. The map below provides a small macro glimpse into the ethno-linguistic make up of the region.