Keynote Address: Past Identities or Moving Past Identity? Literary Cultures, Bureaucratic Aesthetics, and Forgotten Collectives in Eurasian History

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Dr. James Pickett

The broad rubric of identity is the single most dominant research agenda in academic scholarship, and Eurasian history is no exception. When it comes to questions of ethnic identity, scholars most often focus on groups that can boast some kind of institutional backing - such as a nation-state. Yet, historically, there were many ways that people integrated into collectives - whether or not they were conscious of doing so - that did not lead to a modern nation-state. This keynote address highlights some of the Central Asian groups all but forgotten by history, as well as non-identitarian forms of human integration, such as language, cultures of documentation, and performances of sovereignty.

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