Lettre SEMS n°3

Décembre 2020


2 décembre 2020 : Conférence de Elizabeth Turk,  “Native-izing therapies: shamanic healing and the value of homeland connection in Mongolia”

The Cambridge Psychedelic Society and the Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society are teaming up for the first time to host this talk.
Being native to rural homelands carries particular value in contemporary Mongolia. This value is especially salient for shamans, considered proximate and able to ‘speak for’ the natural world, both localized landscape (particular mountains, rivers, etc.), and the nation’s nature writ large.
Join this talk to hear Dr. Elizabeth Turk argue how this dual local/national understanding of the natural world was inadvertently shaped by Soviet-era indigenization policies and discuss the role of local identity in identifiying with the larger socialist ecumene. In particular, she will explain how shamanic healing practices relate to the re-forging of rural homeland connections, revealing indigeneity not as essence, but as a form of positioning in which the body is central. 
Elizabeth Turk is a Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. She earned her doctoral degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2018, and her current research focuses on nature-based medicine in contemporary Mongolia, where she first began research as a Fulbright scholar in 2010. Dr Turk is in the process of preparing her first manuscript which explores the articulation of healing practices with nationalist and social progressivist discourses.
The Cambridge Psychedelic Society was started last year as a platform to encourage discussion and education about psychedelic substances, their use in medicine, as well as their cultural, legal, philosophical, and artistic impacts. Everyone welcome. Advertising or soliciting illegal drugs is strictly prohibited.
The Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS) is the student-led society of the Department of Social Anthropology. CUSAS aims to provide a forum for undergraduates and postgraduates of the University to discuss and debate anthropological issues. As a student-led society, we also function as a platform for students to organise events of interest to the society’s membership. As our membership includes both undergraduates and postgraduates, CUSAS also serves as a hub for different cohorts in the Department to come together, to discuss ideas and to meet socially.


7 décembre 2020 : Conférence de Sheila Blair, “Art as a Source for the History of Mongol Eurasia”

Lundi 7 décembre 2020, de 18:00 UTC+01 à 19:00 UTC+01, conférence organisée par The British Institute of Persian Studies, en ligne.

Register for the Zoom webinar

The Mongols, who amassed the largest contiguous land empire known, have often been seen merely as marauders and barbarians. Art historians, however, have long lauded the artistic achievements of the period, and historians are now revising the traditional view, especially since the 1997 publication of Tom Allsen’s seminal work, Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire. In it, he traced the cultural history of Islamic textiles, notably cloth of gold, and in later publications he expanded his purview to include other topics such as paper making, printing, and most recently pearls. As a historian, he was concerned with how written sources mention these subjects, and his books are usually without illustrations. This presentation takes his arguments one step further and shows how the material production, design, and decoration of these objects enhance—and sometimes confounds—our knowledge of this transcontinental circulation of commodities, ideologies, technologies and peoples across the Mongol domains and beyond to Europe and East Asia, including Japan.

About the speaker
Prof Sheila Blair has retired from the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, positions she shared with her husband and colleague Jonathan Bloom. Together and separately, they have written or edited a score of books and hundreds of articles on all aspects of Islamic art. Her special interests are the uses of writing and the arts of the Mongol period. She is now preparing several articles on the art and architecture of the Mongols, including the chapters for the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Mongols edited by Michael Biran and Hodong Kim and The Mongol World (Routledge Worlds) edited by Timothy May and Michael Hope.


9 décembre 2020 : Séminaire de C. Atwood, “Inner Mongolia: Three words in the wake of a broken strike, Australian Center of China in the world”

For a few weeks in September, Inner Mongolia was in the news. In response to a new school policy, on paper fairly technical, Mongols in Inner Mongolia erupted in a social media storm, defending their mother tongue. The social media storm evolved into a student-teacher strike that rocked the region. The Inner Mongolian authorities had been trying to ease the policy in quietly, even covertly, and at first reacted with confusion and hesitation. Pushed into action by Beijing, they quickly rallied and moved into action, coaxing and corralling the students, teachers, and parents into line. Within a few weeks, at the cost of numerous arrests, firings, and up to eight suicides by Mongols caught between the demands of the power vertical and their sense of community responsibility, the strike was broken and the policy forced through. All is back to normal, at least on the surface. But the arguments that spilled out online remain with the questions the definition: what happened? And what did it mean? This talk will attempt to understand the rhetoric in terms of three contested terms.



11 décembre 2020 : Colloque “The ecology of mobility in the Eurasian steppes”

Zoom webinar – 2020 Tang Conference in Silk Road Sudies

Le colloque est exprès organisé tôt dans la journée en raison du décalage horaire avec l’Europe. Lien Zoom pour s’enregistrer  

Les interventions seront enregistrées.


9 décembre 2020 : Rencontre en ligne avec Serguey et Nikita Zimov, “Le Parc du Pleistocène”

Le 9 décembre 2020, à 10h, l’association « Globus, l’histoire et la géographie de la France et de la Russie » vous invite à la rencontre en ligne avec les chercheurs Serguey et Nikita Zimov. 
Ils parleront de leur vision du futur de l’Arctique et de leur projet “Le Parc du Pleistocène” qu’ils réalisent depuis les années 1990 sur le littoral de l’océan Arctique (village Chersky, Yakoutie). Le projet vise à restaurer l’écosystème de l’Âge de glace dans les steppes sibériennes pour ralentir la fonte du permafrost et rétablir la biodiversité de la région. 
Serguey Zimov est un chercheur affilié au département de l’Extrême-Orient de l’Académie russe des sciences, l’un des chercheurs russes du domaine des sciences de la Terre les plus cités selon le classement de The Times Higher education guide. 
Ce sera la deuxième rencontre en ligne dans le cadre du projet “Le futur de l’Arctique, les efforts conjoints pour sauvegarder les écosystèmes arctiques” initié par l’association avec le soutien du Dialogue de Trianon et du Centre de Russie pour la science et la culture à Paris.

Enregistrement de la première rencontre.

Pour s’inscrire, remplir le formulaire.

Questions : envoyer un message à globusassociation@gmail.com


2021 : Séminaire des Études mongoles & Sibériennes

Organisé par Isabelle Charleux, Grégory Delaplace et Virginie Vaté de janvier à mai 2021, un mercredi sur deux(sauf vacances scolaires), de 14h-16h, en ligne.

 A noter : à partir du 10 mars, le séminaire du Centre d’études mongoles et sibériennes fait également office de séminaire de master EPHE, validable aussi par les étudiants de l’EHESS et de l’INALCO.



2020-2021 : Séminaire du MIASU

Les séminaires du Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit de Cambridge sont accessibles sur demande.


Appel à communications pour le 20 novembre 2020 : The 27th Annual Association of Central Eurasian Students Conference February 26-28, 2021 (online)

The Association of Central Eurasian Students (ACES) at Indiana University is requesting submissions for our annual conference on Central Eurasian studies. They are accepting abstracts for 15-20 minute presentations on topics related to Central Eurasia. They welcome proposals from all disciplinary backgrounds, as well as from any regional or historical focus. Presentations may include, but are not limited to, topics in Iranian (Afghan/Persian), Mongolic, Tibetan, Tungusic, Turkic, and Uralic (Balto-Finnic, Hungarian, etc.) studies. Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars are all invited to apply. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference will be held virtually on Zoom on the weekend of 26-28 February, 2021. We welcome submissions from any part of the globe, so long as presenters are able to participate online. Accepted panelists should be prepared to give their presentation during normal business hours (9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.) in U.S. Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5:00).

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Manduhai Buyandelger as our keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Dr. Buyandelger is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her prize-winning first book, Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Gender, and Memory in Contemporary Mongolia (University of Chicago Press, 2013), looks at the revival of shamanism in Mongolia as a response to the collapse of the socialist state. More recently, her research has focused on gender and politics in postsocialist Mongolia.



Michal Biran, Jonathan Brack, Francesca Fiaschetti  (eds), 2020, Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, Intellectuals (University of California Press)

During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Chinggis Khan and his heirs established the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world, extending from Korea to Hungary and from Iraq, Tibet, and Burma to Siberia. Ruling over roughly two thirds of the Old World, the Mongol Empire enabled people, ideas, and objects to traverse immense geographical and cultural boundaries. Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia reveals the individual stories of three key groups of people—military commanders, merchants, and intellectuals—from across Eurasia. These annotated biographies bring to the fore a compelling picture of the Mongol Empire from a wide range of historical sources in multiple languages, providing important insights into a period unique for its rapid and far-reaching transformations. Read together or separately, they offer the perfect starting point for any discussion of the Mongol Empire’s impact on China, the Muslim world, and the West and illustrate the scale, diversity, and and creativity of the crosscultural exchange along the continental and maritime Silk Roads.


N. Vakhtin et SH. Dudek, 2020, Les enfants des années 1990 dans l’Arctique russe (Université européenne de Saint-Pétersbourg sur les migrations).

Les éditions Penguins vont publier en 2021 une biographie de l’actuel président de Mongolie, H. Battulga, ‘Battulga: Up Close and Personal’.


Base de données Asie Thèses

Créée et maintenue par le GIS Asie, cette base recense les thèses en sciences humaines et sociales sur l’Asie délivrées par un établissement français depuis 1970. L’aire géographique concernée va de l’Asie Centrale à l’Asie Extrême Orientale en passant par le sous-continent indien.