Kamoludin Abdullaev

Kamoludin Abdullaev is a historian from Tajikistan. He has more than forty years of experience in the study and teaching of the modern history of Central Asia with focus on Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan. Since 1992, Abdullaev is a policy analyst and independent consultant in international non-governmental research organizations involved in conflict resolution, conflict prevention, peace-building, civil society building, and education in Central Asia.

Since 1994 Abdullaev is an active participant in the international research exchange programs in the field of history and social sciences. His awards include: Fulbright Scholar (1994, the George Washington University and 2005, Allegheny College, PA); Regional Exchange Scholar (1995, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars); the British Academy visiting fellow (SOAS, 1996); Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto (2009); Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in 2010-2011; Visiting Research Fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Crossroads Asia (2014) and others.

Abdullaev taught modern Central Asian subjects from multidisciplinary perspectives at Yale, the Ohio State University from 2001-2013. He authored and edited ten books in English and Russian as well as over 60 articles in English, Russian, Tajik, and translated into French, Farsi, and Japan.

Presented lecture: Central Asian Migrations in the Early Soviet Period from a Perspective of Translocality

Any consideration of peoples’ movement or migration involves posing certain fundamental questions: who migrated and how did they migrate, where from, where to, and why? How many migrated? What impact does mass exodus have in terms of environment, demography, and, most importantly, the socio-political life of society? What are the effects on individuals, in areas of origin, destination, and beyond?

The study of emigration within, across, and beyond Central Asia covers the common history of Central Asia and the neighboring areas of the Middle East, South Asia, and China. This history connects Central Asia with the destinations of its outmigrants, including Afghanistan, China, Iran, and India. Later, during the pre-Second-World-War period, many exiled Central Asians also took refuge in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Germany, and other states, including the Americas and the Far East.

The arrival of Central Asians during the 1920s and 1930s had an important impact on the history of those countries. This migration, if seen from the research perspective of translocality, emerges as a complex phenomenon caused by various transfers and circulations that challenge the state-based static vision of the history that bounds identity to a distinct, unique, and fixed culture, ethnicity and territory that is commonly accepted in Central Asia. This migration provided major actors with more social power and more options, and enhanced their ability to realize various life schemes and societal goals; it did not leave them as helpless refugees and defeated insurgents. People, ideas, localities, symbols, and competencies related to one another in social practice created contexts that transgressed conservative political, ‘civilizational’, national, regional, technical, and other boundaries.

The latest publications:

  • Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan. Third Edition. Lanham-Toronto- Plymouth, UK: The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2018 (forthcoming).
  • Ot Sintsiana do Khorasana. Iz Istorii Sredneaziatskoi Emigratsii 20 veka. (From Xinjiang to Khurasan. From the History of the 20 th Century Central Asian Emigration). Dushanbe: Irfon, 2009.
  • “Emigration within, across and beyond Central Asia in the Early Soviet Period from Prospective of Translocality”, Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas: Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus, edited by Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Philipp Schröder (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2018).