Columbia University - Harriman Institute

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How Central Asia Became Part of the Developing World

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La Nijinska: Choreographer of the Modern

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How Central Asia Became Part Of The Developing World • Morningside Area Alliance
2022 04 26 Allworth Lecture 4x3 1

How Central Asia Became Part of the Developing World

Please join us for the 5th Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture given by Artemy Kalinovsky, Professor of Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet Studies at Temple University. Moderated by Alexander Cooley (Barnard College).

During the Soviet period, official narratives presented Central Asia as a former colony that had been integrated on equal terms into the USSR while overcoming economic backwardness. This ambiguity was useful for Moscow’s Cold War politics and also shaped how Central Asian actors maneuvered within the Soviet system. In the late Soviet period, this ambiguity was largely abandoned. Some Central Asians began to insist on the region’s colonial status, while economists and sociologists in Moscow argued that Soviet development efforts had failed and that the region was culturally too different to fit into socialist economic schemes.

In this talk, Kalinovsky will trace how different groups within the USSR can the late Soviet period came to reimagine Central Asia as a part of the Third World, discarding the ambiguity of earlier decades. These views also had profound implications for the region’s post-independence transformation: Western development professionals who came to Central Asia after 1991 found the region much more developed than other places they had worked. That also changed over the course of the 1990s, in part because of the continuing influence of Russian scholars, and in part as a result of the development community’s evolving understanding of regional challenges (informed, to a large extent, by local scholars), a change that was solidified with the post 9-11 turn to the Global War on Terror.


Ways to Attend

Register for Zoom Webinar

Watch on YouTube

In-person (CUID Only): Reserve Your Seat (see button below)

Location Note

1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St, 12th floor

This event is in-person for CUID card holders only. In-person attendees must be in compliance with Columbia University’s health protocols for returning to campus. Pre-registration, valid CUID card, and valid green pass are required for admittance. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.


Event Contact Information:
Carly Jackson
(212) 854-6217


Apr 26 2022


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



International Affairs Building (Columbia University)
420 West 118th Street


Columbia University - Harriman Institute