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The Family in the History of Central Asia. Understanding Cultural and Demographic Changes.

Symposium | Details | Programme |Abstracts Location


Organizers: Sophie Roche, Said Reza Kazemi, Swetlana Torno from the Junior Research Group "Demographic Turn in the Junction of Cultures"

The symposium takes place from November 26—28, 2014 at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH)

Publication: The Family in Central Asia: New Perspectives

(Russian version soon to be found here)


Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014

Arrival of the participants and informal meeting


Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014

9:00 Opening of the international symposium "The Family in History of Central Asia. Understanding Cultural and Demographic Changes."

Welcome from the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg by Prof. Comba

Welcome and introduction to the symposium by Sophie Roche, University of Heidelberg

9:30 Panel 1: Academic conceptualisations of the family

Sergey Abashin, European University at St. Petersburg: The paradox in Soviet studies of Central Asian family (Russian*)

Chair: Swetlana Torno

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Panel 2: Conceptualising decent

Évelyne Heyer, Paris Diderot University: Interplay between cultural and genetic diversity (English)

Laure Ségurel, Paris Diderot University: Influence of social organization on the genetic structure of men and women (English)

Juliette Cleuziou, University of Paris-Ouest: Toward matrifocal families? Kinship relations under the impacts of male outmigrations (English)

Chair: Aksana Ismailbekova

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 Panel 3: Tracing family relationships across time and space

Ashirbek Muminov, Eurasian National University: Sacral families in Central Asia: Relations between ethnic and religious (Russian)

Michael Brose, University of Wyoming: Network analysis of Qipchaks in Mongol China (English)

Said Reza Kazemi, University of Heidelberg: Relationships and flows in global Afghan families (English)

Chair: Aida Alymbaeva

15:30 Coffee break

16:00 Discussion: Family concepts, practices, imaginations

17:00 Optional tour through the city

19:00 Dinner


Thursday, 27 Nov. 2014

9:00 Panel 4: Imagining and making family

Rano Turaeva-Hoehne, MPI for Social Anthropology Halle: Kelins and bride schools in Uzbekistan (English)

Danuta Penkala-Gawęcka, AMU Poznań: The role of women in health-seeking strategies and practices in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan (English)

Chair: Aida Alymbaeva

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Panel 5: Trust, hope and mechanisms in social relationships

Marianne Kamp, University of Wyoming: Family and Trust: A historical enquiry about orphans in Uzbekistan (English)

Madeleine Reeves, University of Manchester: Keeping the road open: Passports, property and the materiality of hope in Kyrgyz transnational migration (English)

Aksana Ismailbekova, ZMO Berlin, Crossroads Asia: The coping mechanisms: Marriage and migration in the aftermath of conflict in Osh, Kyrgyzstan (English)

Chair: Swetlana Torno

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00 Panel 6: State interventions in family issues

Izzat Aman, RANEPA Moscow: The process of migration of women and families from Tajikistan to Russia (Russian)

Artemy Kalinovsky, University of Amsterdam: Labour, population, and the family: Soviet social scientists and problems of development in Central Asia (English)

Sayed Habibullah Akbari, Cleric, political activist and writer from Afghanistan: The impact of the 1978 communist coup d’état in Afghanistan on Afghan families (Persian)

Chair: Said Reza Kazemi

15:30 Coffee break

16:00 Panel 7: Adaptation to ecological and political conditions

Akira Ueda, University of Tokyo: Population change and migration in the Ferghana region from 1876 to the 1920s (English)

Beate Giehler, Humboldt University Berlin: Family in the Kolkhoz context (English)

Chair: Swetlana Torno

17:00 Film screening

Nurbek Egen: The Empty Home (Pustoi dom, 2012)

19:00 Dinner


Friday, 28 Nov 2014

9:00 Panel 8: Family as result of migration

Delia Rahmonova-Schwarz, Independent Scholar: Children of migration: Evidence from Central Asia (English)

Swetlana Torno, University of Heidelberg: Marriage and migration: The interrelations of labour migration, wedding gifts and the Law on Ritual Regulations in Tajikistan (English)

Chair: Aida Alymbaeva

10:00 Coffee break

10:30 Discussion: New publication options with University of Heidelberg

Andrea Hacker, University of Heidelberg: Introduction by the chief editor to the new publication series. Conceptualising a book as common project (English and Russian)

12:00 Lunch

End of the conference

* Please note that some presentation at the symposium will be given in Russian. The language of the talk is specified next to the title.



Please register with Said Reza Kazemi until November 24, at

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Symposium Poster