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Summer School and Academic Exchange at Osh State University in Kyrgyzstan

After flying into Osh our law-professor host collected us and we sped out of the parking lot. We were pulled over by the traffic police with a warning to obey the traffic rules before we had even reached to the main road. At breakneck speed we careened into the city of crowded streets, low buildings and green parks. ‘1000 professors will be there,’ our host promised. What?!!’ Ariell said, ‘Will we be in a stadium??’ ‘Oh, wait, I mean one hundred,’ the professor laughed. There were many calls to Ruslan, the director of international studies at Osh State University, to… Read More »Summer School and Academic Exchange at Osh State University in Kyrgyzstan

2023 Summer School in Kyrgyzstan

Hello, we are Saule Chalbasova and Kanyshai Makeshova – part of University of Central Asia (UCA) team participating in the UCA – Oxford Social Science Research Summer School 2023.  The University in Central Asia and Oxford University hosted an inspiring Research Summer School from 3rd to 9th August that gathered researchers from the UCA’s Graduate School of Development. We spent three days in Bishkek actively learning and discussing about academic writing, starting from research philosophy, academic literature, choosing a research topic and finishing with proper referencing. We had engaging discussions on the use of AI in research and dissemination of… Read More »2023 Summer School in Kyrgyzstan

Research Collaborations in Mongolia

Sitting in a recently renovated Soviet style apartment AirBnB in Almaty, on the way to Kyrgyzstan to organise our second project Summer School for early career scholars, we reflected on our full summer in Mongolia over coffee. The day before we had walked about 20 kilometres around Almaty’s streets to see its attractions, including the Green Market with varieties of horse meat, fresh and dried fruits, spices and dairy products, as well as local style clothes. Munkh-Erdene was delighted to find an old red army felt hat in a market stall, which he put on immediately to shield from the intense… Read More »Research Collaborations in Mongolia

Join Elena Gordillo Fuertes in Mongolia

“Join me in Mongolia!” That is what Dr Ariell Ahearn, very enthusiastically, said on the last day of our Environmental Governance in Central Asia undergraduate course at Oxford. I am still not sure whether she was being nice or she actually meant it (probably both!) but little did she know I was going to take her up on the offer a year later.  After graduating from Oxford, I started my master’s in Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. My research interest lies in the intersection between resource governance, human rights and mobility. I was eager to learn… Read More »Join Elena Gordillo Fuertes in Mongolia

Herders on The Gobi Desert: Reflections from the margins.

I have lived and worked in deserts in Arabia for decades. First in the arid and semi-arid steppe land of Syria and Jordan and then in Oman on the edge of the Empty Quarter. I have worked with  sheep and goat herders in the north of Arabia and with camel (one humped dromedaries) and goat herders in the south of Arabia. So, I thought I knew what to expect when invited to Mongolia and the promise of a trip to visit the herders in the centre of the Gobi Desert. What I did not expect was to see so many of my assumptions… Read More »Herders on The Gobi Desert: Reflections from the margins.

Nomadic Ethics and Intercultural Dialogue Conference

Over the next two days, on the 22nd and 23rd June, the conference on Nomadic Ethics and Intercultural Dialogue will take place at the National University of Mongolia.   The conference aims to explore the intricate relationship between nomadic ethics and intercultural dialogue, delving into the diverse perspectives, challenges, and opportunities that arise at the intersection of these fields.   It has been organised under the auspices of UNESCO, the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, the Mongolian Anthropological Association, the University of Oxford, the University of Winnipeg, the National University of Mongolia, and the Institute of Mongolian Studies. There will be 80 scientists… Read More »Nomadic Ethics and Intercultural Dialogue Conference

International Seminar at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan

Akira Kamimura, a member of our project, organized the PPIA International Seminar “Pastoralism, Spirituality, and Performance: Mongolia and Kenya” at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS). Akira Kamimura, Troy Sternberg, and Chieko Hirota from PPIA, and Surna from Chiba University presented their research. Troy Sternberg’s presentation based on observations of the local landscape revealed the conflict between religious and faith-related development and traditional cultures in Mongolian and Kenyan pastoral societies. Akira Kamimura reported on the unique cultural landscape in contemporary Mongolia, where the steppe and the traditional dances of various ethnic groups are united, as exemplified by a dance… Read More »International Seminar at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Japan

Reflections on the 6th Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference

‘And say you were organising an international conference and something went wrong with the venue booking a few days before, how would you deal with this?’ was the question that I found myself stumbling through during my interview for the Project Coordinator and Research Assistant role I currently hold in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. Fast forward five months to September 2022, and Troy, Ariell and I began conference preparation for the 6th Oxford Interdisciplinary Conference (OIDC).  We organised registrations, visas, accommodation, travel, food, scheduling, and venue room bookings for months (and thankfully my interview… Read More »Reflections on the 6th Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference

Batbuyan Batvaj’s account of the Desert Conference

I am a geographer from Mongolia and recently had a great opportunity to participate in the 6th Interdisciplinary Oxford Desert Conference, which was held in March 2023. This was my second time attending this platform, where I have been able to meet experts on pastoralism in a desert area. The first time it was far away in 2015. It was an unforgettable experience. At that time I first touched on the nomadic culture of the African continent and the Middle East. I met interesting people, and researchers from other areas of study. With some of them, I had the opportunity… Read More »Batbuyan Batvaj’s account of the Desert Conference

PPIA hosts the 6th Oxford International Desert Conference

On March 16-17, 2023 PPIA will host desert and dryland researchers from around the world at the 6th Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference (OIDC). Held at the School of Geography, University of Oxford, the event brings together academics and non-academics who research, work and live across the world’s desert and semi-desert regions for two days of vibrant talks, presentations, panels and networking opportunities. The interdisciplinary event encourages social and physical scientists to exchange views, develop lasting collaborations and work towards a positive global impact. The conference is an excellent opportunity for the PPIA team from four countries to meet, talk and… Read More »PPIA hosts the 6th Oxford International Desert Conference