John Schoeberlein


Current Positions: Director, Center for Eurasian Regional Studies and Assiociate Professor of Anthropology at Nazarbayaev University, Astana, Kazakhstan

Research Interest: Anthropology of Religion and Secularism; Political Anthropology; Central Asia, Caucasus, Former Soviet Union; Identity, Ethnicity, Nationalism, Conflict; Islam; New Cultural Orientations; Soft Power; Soviet Legacy; Traditions of Knowledge;


1994 PhD in Social Anthropology, Dept. of Anthropology, Harvard University: “Identity in Central Asia: Construction and Contention in the Conceptions of Özbek, Tajik, Muslim, Samarqandi and Other Groups”.
1986 M.A. in Social Anthropology. Dept. of Anthropology, Harvard University.
1982 B.A. in Anthropology, with honors. University of California, Santa Cruz.

Relevant Publications:

  • Under review    Animals, Kinship, and the State: Kyrgyz Chabans Rebuilding Herds and Reorienting Belonging after the Soviet Collapse, (with Baktybek Isakov), in Anthropology of Eastern Europe Review.
  • 2011    Heroes of Theory: Central Asian Islam in Post-War Soviet Ethnography, in Florian Muelfried and Sergei Sokolovskii (Eds.). Soviet Era Anthropology in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Berlin: Lit Verlag.
  • 2009    The Invention of Legitimacy: Struggles in Kyrgyzstan to Craft an Effective Nation-State Ideology, (with Asel Murzakulova), in Europe-Asia Studies, 61(7).
  • 2007    Talas’s Central Asian Cultural Contexts, in Kyrgyzstan: A Photoethnography of Talas, pp. 19-35. Munich: Hirmer Verlag.Other: Field research in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Russia.