Central Asian studies

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Central Asian studies is the discipline of studying the culture, history, and languages of Central Asia. The roots of Central Asian studies as a social science discipline goes to 19th century Anglo-Russian Great Game. During 19th century, Central Asia became a subject of systematical information collection and organization thanks to the numerous travels made by British and Russian agents, soldiers, scholars into the region. The British Royal Geographical Society and Russian Royal Geographical Society published dozens even hundreds of travel books on the region.

Three sets of possible boundaries for the region

Contemporary Central Asian studies have been developed by pioneers such as Denis Sinor, Alexandre Bennigsen, Edward Allworth and Yuri Bregel among others. Several American research universities have programs on Central Asia. The Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University has been the leading research and teaching program. Many scholars involved in Central Asia studies belong to the Central Eurasian Studies Society.

Travelogues of Central Asia[edit]

One of the oldest sources for Central Asia are the memoirs of travelers who passed through Central Asia. Some of the earliest extant examples are were left by Arab geographers who passed through the region. In the 19th centuries numerous European and American published their travelogues of Central Asia. This includes American journalist Anna Louise Strong who passed through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the 1920s.

List of Central Asian studies journals[edit]

  • Central Asian Survey, began publication in 1982 out of the United Kingdom and continues to publish to this day.
  • Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society, began publication in 1914 as the Journal of the Central Asian Society. From 1931 to 1969 it was published under the title of the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society. In 1969 the title was changed to Asian Affairs and the focus of the contents shifted from Central Asia to South Asia and East Asia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mizan: incorporating Central Asian review". OPC4. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  2. ^ Will Myer. Islam and Colonialism: Western Perspective on Soviet Asia. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002. p. 103-4. ISBN 0-7007-1765-X.