Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - February 2021

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In this Issue:

ACMS Announcements 

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

Vacancies and Fellowships

Grants, Scholarships, Calls for Papers

New Resources

Other News and Events

Recent Books

This Month in Mongolian Studies is a monthly listing of selected academic activities, resources and other material related to Mongolia. This list is based on information the ACMS has received and is presented as a service to its members. If you would like to submit information to be included in next month's issue please contact the ACMS at
This publication is supported in part by memberships.  Please consider becoming a member of the ACMS, or renewing your membership by visiting our website at Thank you!

ACMS Announcements, News and Media References


We're announcing the Mongolia Field School 2021 and Online Intensive Mongolian Language Program 2021 soon in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned to our website's Fellowships and Programs section. In addition, we're preparing members-only content and resources on our website that will be available soon.  




One of our new year's new initiatives is a monthly discussion series titled "Соёлын өвийн хэлэлцүүлэг," which has been held for the first time on January 21. Our inaugural discussion was moderated by Ms. Gina Myagmartseren, who traveled to NYC to intern at the Rubin Museum of Art as part of our Cultural Heritage Program grant of Luce Foundation. The discussion featured six panelists: curators of museums and galleries in Mongolia. The event was livestreamed on Facebook, and received positive feedback from our community. This monthly discussion series will be organized in Mongolian, and explore different aspects of Mongolia's cultural heritage with the intent of raising awareness and highlighting experts.

READ MORE (In Mongolian)



One of the innovations recently achieved at the ACMS was to create subtitles for its flagship outreach activtiy of Speaker Series, which are starting to be offered with subtitles in either language. ACMS is pleased to share its best practices of cross-lingual captioning to its members, institutions of Mongolian studies, and the general public. Check out this guide that offers a walkthrough to achieve this using the latest AI tools. Please note that this is part one of a three parter, and a video tutorials in Mongolian (with English subtitles) will soon become available on our website for our members.






The ACMS is pleased to announce the Field Research Fellowship for 2021. The program will provide awards of up to $4,000 for student, post-doctoral, or faculty to conduct short-term field research in Mongolia in 2021 if travel conditions allow. Travel to and from Mongolia remains highly restricted due to COVID-19 regulations, and it is unknown when or if travel to Mongolia will resume in 2021. If travel remains restricted, researchers selected for the Field Research Fellowship will be able to defer their field research projects to 2022.

The program will provide up to $4,000 per individual award (allowable expenses include domestic and international airfare, in country transportation, and a research stipend) or up to $8,000 per joint award. Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding from other sources in addition to the US-Mongolia Field Research Fellowship program to support their work. Deadline for receipt of complete applications: February 15, 2021



Online Mongolian

Learn Mongolian online with a professional tutor!

The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) has been teaching Mongolian to researchers and students of all levels since 2002 and our instructor Dr. Tsermaa has been teaching Mongolian language for 24 years!

Wherever you are located, our online lessons are always within reach. Our veteran instructor will help you improve with a program tailored for your level of Mongolian.

To book your Skype lesson, email us at or call at +976 99170042.


ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events


Please note that our VSS programming is alternating monthly between Mongolian and English as part of our larger plan to create inclusive and accessible discourse. Our February panel is on Artificial Intelligence and is to be held in Mongolian. 

"Tuvan Music"  Virtual Panel with
Sean Quirk, Igor Köshkendey, Dr. Valentina Süzükei, and Robert Beahrs

January 29, 2020 (ULAT) 9:00pm, Zoom + FB Live

VSS Sedentary

We were thrilled to host our very first panel focused on Tuva, particularly on Tuvan music. This panel would not have been possible without Mr. Sean Quirk, who was the guest moderator, presenter, and interpreter of this panel. 

The panel had four presentations by speakers from Tuva and Turkey on the following topics:

1. Valentina Süzükei: "An Overview of Tuvan Musical Genres"
2. Igor Köshkendey: "The Forms, Styles, and Techniques of Tuvan Khöömei"
3. Robert Beahrs: "Fieldwork in the Sayan-Altai Mountain Transboundary Region"
4. Sean Quirk: "Tuvan Music and its Worldwide Connections"

The event was livestreamed on Facebook, the recording of which is available in the link below. We're going to edit and upload an abridged version on our YouTube channel soon. 



"Future of Mongolia's Foreign Policy: Opportunities and Challenges” | Bolor Lkhaajav

January 31, 9:00am ULAT, January 30, 8:00pm EST, 5:00pm PST

VSS Orna

The January Speaker presentation featured Ms. Bolor Lkhaajav, an up-and-coming foreign policy researcher and one of the few Mongolian analysts who regularly publishes on a range of international news/policy analysis outlets.

Bolor Lkhaajav is a researcher focusing on international relations, foreign policy, and contemporary national security issues in the Asia-Pacific. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in Asia-Pacific Studies in 2018. Since 2017, Bolor has been mentoring undergraduate students from the School of International Relations and Public Administration at the National University of Mongolia. She is currently writing a book on Mongolia's foreign policy. Her research work has appeared in a range of publications in multiple languages (English, Mongolian, French, and Russian) including The Diplomat Magazine, International Security Observer, La Stampa (Italy), AsiaRussia (Russia).

The event was livestreamed on Facebook, the recording of which is available below. We're going to edit and upload an abridged version on our YouTube channel soon.



Vacancies and Fellowships


The Department of Central Eurasian Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington seeks a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mongolian Studies focusing on any period from 1200 AD to the present. The appointment for the 2021-22 academic year begins August 1, 2021. Appointment is renewable for the 2022-23 academic year subject to programmatic need, positive instructional evaluations, and availability of funding.

Applicants should be capable of conducting research and teaching on issues relating to contemporary and premodern Mongolian history, religion, and societies, as well as Sino-Mongolian and Russian-Mongolian relations and Mongolia’s connections to the rest of Central Asia. Proficiency in modern and classical Mongolian languages is required. Proficiency in Chinese and/or Russian is desired.

Application materials, include a cover letter, CV, career statement describing research, teaching experiences, and philosophy, letters from three academic references, samples of published, in-press, and forthcoming work, diversity and inclusion statement and teaching materials including course evaluations. Materials should be submitted online at (

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with applications received by February 5, 2021 being guaranteed complete consideration.





The Department of Central Eurasian Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington seeks an Assistant Professor of Tibetan Studies focusing on any period from 1200 AD to the present. The appointment begins August 1, 2021.

Applicants should be capable of conducting research and teaching on issues relating to contemporary and premodern Tibetan history, religion, and society including diasporas as well as Sino-Tibetan and Indo-Tibetan relations and Tibet’s connections to the rest of Central Asia. Proficiency in modern and classical Tibetan languages is required. Proficiency in Chinese is highly desirable.

Candidates must have their PhD degree or be ABD by the starting date of the appointment. Candidates should demonstrate commitment to excellence in research, teaching, public engagement, and program development of Tibetan Studies with Indiana University’s world-class Central Eurasian Studies faculty as well as within the Hamilton Lugar School. Candidates are expected to teach courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels as determined by the department.

Application materials include a cover letter, CV, career statement describing research, teaching experiences, and philosophy, letters from three academic references, samples of published, in-press, and forthcoming work, diversity and inclusion statement, and teaching materials including course evaluations. Materials should be submitted online at: (

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with applications received by February 5, 2021 being guaranteed complete consideration.




Australia Awards scholarships are prestigious international awards offered by the Australian Government to the next generation of global leaders for development. Through study and research, recipients develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and help build enduring people-to-people links with Australia. 

Applicants are assessed on their professional and personal qualities, academic competence and, most importantly, their potential to make a positive impact on development challenges in Mongolia. Applications are strongly encouraged from those living in rural areas, people with disability and other marginalised groups. countries, which will depend on a variety of factors, including the status of COVID-19 in-country. We will share this information with you as soon as it is available.

The priority fields of study are agriculture and environment studies, education, engineering, mining, and construction. 

Australia Awards scholarships are offered for the minimum period necessary for the individual to complete the academic program specified by the Australian education institution, including any preparatory training. Scholarship recipients will receive the following:
• return air travel
• a one-off establishment allowance on arrival
• full tuition fees
• contribution to living expenses
• introductory academic program
• overseas student health cover for the duration of the scholarship
• supplementary academic support, and
• fieldwork allowance for research students and masters by coursework which has a compulsory fieldwork component.



Grants, Scholarships, and Calls for Paper


The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce a call for proposals from political scientists interested in serving as co-leaders for the 2021 APSA Asia Workshop. Due to ongoing uncertainty regarding coronavirus and travel restrictions, the 2021 program will be held virtually in spring/summer 2021.

Proposals should be submitted via the online form no later than Sunday February 21, 2021.

Funded by Henry Luce Foundation, the Asia Pacific Workshops are a multi-year effort to support political science research and networking among early-career scholars across the East and Southeast Asia. Each program is dedicated to a substantive issue in political science, with an intensive schedule of lectures, topical presentations and debates, peer review sessions, and professional development seminars. Throughout the program, fellows
receive critical feedback on their own research and work to refine their manuscripts for publication. The 2021 Workshop will be led by a team of two scholars based at universities in Asia and two scholars based in the U.S. Approximately 12-16 competitively-selected PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers from across East and Southeast Asia will be selected to participate. Workshop co-leaders serve as academic directors of the
program and are responsible for assembling a unique set of resources (readings and/or short video lectures) to guide discussion of the workshop theme, moderating weekly zoom discussion groups, and providing detailed feedback on participants’ research. Co-leaders will receive a $2,500 honorarium and join a growing community of Asian and American scholars who have participated in APSA’s Asia Workshops program.

Workshop proposals should be submitted jointly by the four co-leaders and should include sections on:
I. Workshop Theme and Program (2 pages)
The workshop theme statement should provide a coherent intellectual foundation for the overall program. Prospective co-leaders should specify a thematic focus and outline approximately four relevant sub-themes from which they will build a reading list and set the program schedule. Proposals should address how the theme will incorporate new developments in the field and literature, how it can spotlight research methods suited to
pandemic restrictions (such as utilizing online surveys, digital archives or data sets, social media, GIS, etc.), and how the program can support regional networking and publication. We envision a virtual workshop of 4–6 weeks in duration, with 1–2 group interactions per week, via zoom (see example programs online). The program will incorporate elements of research feedback, thematic discussion, professional development, and mentoring. APSA staff and workshop co-leaders will work together to finalize the specific program schedule
and dates (preferably some-time between May and September) once a team has been selected.
II. Workshop Leaders (2 pages)
Identify the workshop co-leaders and describe the division of labor/expertise among them as it relates to the workshop theme. Describe any previous collaboration among team members, any relevant experience among the team leaders in organizing virtual workshop or events, and how the team will represent diverse communities across East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Include CVs for all co-leaders.
Application Timeline and Information
Proposals should be submitted via the online form no later than Sunday February 21, 2021. Team selection will be announced in early March. Prospective leaders interested in discussing their proposal ideas and/or receiving feedback on a draft proposal are encouraged to contact well before the deadline.



Activists facing “digital sovereignty”: Reactions and new mobilizations in the post-Soviet space: The digital space, initially managed in a global, international and multi-stakeholder way, has in recent years been pushed towards a dynamic of national “digital sovereignties”. States are seeking to extend their sovereignty in and through digital space, to legislate, impose constraints or guarantee freedoms.

In this issue, we aim to explore the reactions to this trend by activist individuals and groups in various post-Soviet countries. These phenomena may include mobilizations for the protection of human rights in the digital age, media activism, forms of action led by technical experts and hackers, or reactions from more traditional activist and political worlds to the proliferation of digital tools and their “sovereignization”. We are also interested in actors’ mobilizations in favor of a sovereign national cyberspace that should meet security and “moral” criteria specific to each nation.

Submission of abstracts (5,000 - 6,000 characters including spaces) detailing the method and empirical materials used should be received by no later than February 28, 2021.



The Berlin Program Summer Workshop 2021 seeks proposals from a diverse array of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on what it means to be “alone together” in historical or contemporary terms. The proposals may take a variety of forms: from case studies, literary analyses, and policy examinations to media matters, cultural comparisons, historical considerations, and aesthetic investigations. The workshop will be an English language online event free of charge.

Application deadline: Submit one PDF file containing a 250-word abstract, a two-page CV, and a 150-word bio by March 17, 2021 to bprogram[at]

New Resources

Digital collections related to Mongolia we discovered in January, 2021:

  • "The Reading Room (84,000)" This digital humanities project is working to crowdsource the Kangur and Tengyur, the seminal Buddhist works said to be quoted from the Buddha himself, into English. Readers can find both Tibetan, Latin transliteration, and English versions to compare, with some versions also having the Chinese version as well.

Selected scholarly articles published in January, 2021:

Other News and Events



Jan 14, 2021




Jan 26, 2020






Interesting Links -- A variety of articles and content related to Mongolia were posted during January 2021. Here are some of the more notable ones:

Recent Books

Sources of Mongolian Buddhism, edited by Vesna Wallace: 544 pages; $150 (Oxford University Press, 2020)


Despite Mongolia's centrality to East Asian history and culture, Mongols themselves have often been seen as passive subjects on the edge of the Qing formation or as obedient followers of so-called "Tibetan Buddhism," peripheral to major literary, religious, and political developments. But in fact Mongolian Buddhists produced multi-lingual and genre-bending scholastic and ritual works that profoundly shaped historical consciousness, community identification, religious knowledge, and practices in Mongolian lands and beyond.

In Sources of Mongolian Buddhism, a team of leading Mongolian scholars and authors have compiled a collection of original Mongolian Buddhist works--including ritual texts, poetic prayers and eulogies, legends, inscriptions, and poems--for the first time in any European language.

Vesna A. Wallace is Professor of South Asian Religions and Inner Asian Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara. She has authored and translated four books on Indian Buddhism. Her most recent book is an edited volume on Mongolian Buddhism titled Buddhism in Mongolian Culture, History, and Society.


A Monastery on the Move: Art and Politics in Later Buddhist Mongolia by Uranchimeg Tsultemin: 304 pages; $72 (University of Hawaii Press, 2020)


Based on little-known works of Mongolian Buddhist art and architecture, A Monastery on the Move presents the intricate and colorful history of Ikh Khüree and of Zanabazar, himself an eminent artist. Author Uranchimeg Tsultemin makes the case for a multifaceted understanding of Mongol agency during the Géluk’s political ascendancy and the Qing appropriation of the Mongol concept of dual rulership (shashin tör) as the nominal “Buddhist Government.” In rich conversation with heretofore unpublished textual, archeological, and archival sources (including ritualized oral histories), Uranchimeg argues that the Qing emperors’ “Buddhist Government” was distinctly different from the Mongol vision of sovereignty, which held Zanabazar and his succeeding Jebtsundampa reincarnates to be Mongolia’s rightful rulers. This vision culminated in their independence from the Qing and the establishment of the Jebtsundampa’s theocractic government in 1911. A groundbreaking work, A Monastery on the Move provides a fascinating, in-depth analysis and interpretation of Mongolian Buddhist art and its role in shaping borders and shifting powers in Inner Asia.

Uranchimeg Tsultemin is Edgar and Dorothy Fehnel Chair of International Studies at the Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI).



Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde: The Mongol Khans Conquer Russia by Diane Wolff: 178 pages; $19.99 (Genghis Productions, 2020)

Batu Khan of the Golden Horde

This is the lost story of Batu Khan, a true nomad prince and the grandson of Chinggis Khan. 

Batu Khan distinguished himself in battle with the greatest strategist of the Mongol Army, the great General Subudei, by his side. Together they were victorious in the Russian Campaign and went on to invade Europe.

Very little is understood about the Mongol conquest of Russia. Because it was the furthest west that the Mongol Army had conquered, Russia became the attack wing of the Empire. 

Yet the Mongol Empire was as much about trade as it was about war. The roads that spanned the continents were opened for the first time since antiquity. Russia was located on the trade routes of the Silk Road and became the hub of trade between China and Europe. 

Batu could have become the ruler, but he had no intention of moving into the civilized world to become Supreme Khan. He liked growing rich from trade on the Silk Road. 

In a brilliant coup d'etat, planned with the most extraordinary woman of her time, the Princess Sorghagtani, Batu did not become the king, but instead became the kingmaker. This changed the course of European history. This is the story of his life and times..

Diane is a Florida born-and-raised author/scholar. In 2010, she published Tibet Unconquered, with an introduction by Robert Thurman, the foremost scholar in the U. S. on Tibetan Buddhism. In February of 2018, Diane did a reading from her book Civilizing the Khan: The Man Who Saved China at the 12th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MONGOLIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE, sponsored by the Mongolian Cultural Center, at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, D. C.


Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia: Generals, Merchants, Intellectuals, by Michal Biran (Ed.), Jonathan Brack (Ed.), Francesca Fiaschetti (Ed.)360 pages; $29.95 (University of California Press, 2020)

Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia

During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Chinggis Khan and his heirs established the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world, extending from Korea to Hungary and from Iraq, Tibet, and Burma to Siberia. Ruling over roughly two thirds of the Old World, the Mongol Empire enabled people, ideas, and objects to traverse immense geographical and cultural boundaries. Along the Silk Roads in Mongol Eurasia reveals the individual stories of three key groups of people—military commanders, merchants, and intellectuals—from across Eurasia. These annotated biographies bring to the fore a compelling picture of the Mongol Empire from a wide range of historical sources in multiple languages, providing important insights into a period unique for its rapid and far-reaching transformations.

Read together or separately, they offer the perfect starting point for any discussion of the Mongol Empire’s impact on China, the Muslim world, and the West and illustrate the scale, diversity, and creativity of the cross-cultural exchange along the continental and maritime Silk Roads.

Michal Biran teaches Inner Asian, Chinese, and Islamic history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Jonathan Brack teaches Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Francesca Fiaschetti teaches Inner and East Asian History at the University of Vienna.


Subjective Lives and Economic Transformations in Mongolia, by Rebecca M. Empson; 178 pages; £20 (UCL Press, 2020)

Subjective Lives and Economic Transformations in Mongolia

Almost 10 years ago the mineral-rich country of Mongolia experienced very rapid economic growth, fuelled by China’s need for coal and copper. New subjects, buildings, and businesses flourished, and future dreams were imagined and hoped for. This period of growth is, however, now over. Mongolia is instead facing high levels of public and private debt, conflicts over land and sovereignty, and a changed political climate that threatens its fragile democratic institutions.

Subjective Lives and Economic Transformations in Mongolia details this complex story through the intimate lives of five women. Building on long-term friendships, which span over 20 years, Rebecca documents their personal journeys in an ever-shifting landscape. She reveals how these women use experiences of living a ‘life in the gap’ to survive the hard reality between desired outcomes and their actual daily lives. In doing so, she offers a completely different picture from that presented by economists and statisticians of what it is like to live in this fluctuating extractive economy.

Rebecca M. Empson is Professor of Anthropology at UCL. Alongside teaching in the Department of Anthropology, her research has focused on personhood, ownership, memory and material culture (Harnessing Fortune, 2011), and forms of temporary possession in the global economy (Cultural Anthropology, 2019).



Politics and Literature in Mongolia (1921-1948), by Simon Wickhamsmith; 360 pages; €115 (Amsterdam University Press, 2020)

Politics and Literature in Mongolia (1921-1948)

This study investigates the relationship between literature and politics during Mongolia's early revolutionary period. Between the 1921 socialist revolution and the first Writers' Congress, held in April 1948, the literary community constituted a key resource in the formation and implementation of policy. At the same time, debates within the party, discontent among the population, and questions of religion and tradition led to personal and ideological conflict among the intelligentsia and, in many cases, to trials and executions. Using primary texts, many of them translated into English for the first time, Simon Wickhamsmith shows the role played by the literary arts - poetry, fiction and drama - in the complex development of the "new society," helping to bring Mongolia's nomadic herding population into the utopia of equality, industrial progress and social well-being promised by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.

Simon Wickhamsmith is a scholar and translator of modern Mongolian literature. He teaches in the Writing Program and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers University.