Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - June 2013

This Month in Mongolian Studies – June 2013

This Month in Mongolian Studies – June 2013

This is a monthly listing of selected academic activities and resources 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 and/or the editor, Marissa Smith, at or

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
New Books in the ACMS Library
Call for Papers, Conferences and Workshops
Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants
Position Openings
News and Events
Recent Publications

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

Ancient nomads of Mongolia: Dental health issue

Speaker: Erdene Myagmar, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, National University of Mongolia
Skeletal remains offer a wonderful source of information about who we are as human beings. In particular, our health and quality of life, and our physical activity and lifestyle, leave evidence in our bones. Markers on teeth and bones reveal the consequences of poor diets, physiological stress, and living in impoverished (or wealthy) environments. The study of human remains within their cultural context, i.e. the period of time, geographic area and material culture, aids enormously in the reconstruction and interpretation of the lifestyle, economy and social situation in the ancient societies. In this talk will introduce some results of her research on the health status of ancient nomads of Mongolia from different historical periods, focusing mainly on the distribution of dental diseases. Research results show different pattern of distribution of oral pathologies in populations from different historical periods, suggesting about the differences in the social and cultural environments in the societies, rather than in the subsistence economy and dietary habits of the nomadic populations from the Xiongnu and Mongol empire periods. 

Dr. M Erdene’s research interest is the biological adaptation of Mongolians during different historical periods and modern time, viewed from the perspective of health, nutrition and lifestyle.  A graduate of the National University of Mongolia, she was a 2012 ACMS Visiting Scholar Fellow, working with Dr. Jacqueline Eng at Western Michigan University.

New Books in the ACMS Library

C. Roland, M. Buck (Eds.) 2012. Trends and issues in global tourism 2012. Berlin; New York: Springer Press
J. C. Ingram, F. DeClerck, C. Rumbaitis del Rio (Eds.). 2012. Integrating ecology and poverty reduction. New York: Springer Press
K. Jettmar, A. E. Keep (Trans.) Art of the Steppes. 1967. New York: Crown Publishers
E.C. Bunker, C.B. Chatwin and A.R. Farkas. 1970. Animal style art from East to West. New York: Asia Society
X. Chen, F. Zhao. 2000. Treasures on grassland: Archaeological finds from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region/catalog of an exhibition at Shanghai Museum. Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
E.C. Bunker, J. Watt and Z. Sun. 2002. Nomadic art of the eastern Eurasian steppes : the Eugene V. Thaw and other New York collections/ catalog of an exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Art, Oct.1, 2002 - Jan.5, 2003. New Haven: Yale University Press
w. Hong. 2012. East Asian History : a tripolar approach.  Seoul: Kudara International

Call for Papers, Conferences, Workshops, and other Academic Programs

Call for Reviews:    Asian Highlands Perspectives is seeking book reviews of the following Mongolian studies related books for their annualvolume: Fernandez-Gimenez, M, et al. (eds). Restoring Community Connectionsto the Land: Building Resilience Through Community-Based RangelandManagement in China and Mongolia;Fijn, Natasha. Living With Herds: Human-Animal Co-Existence inMongolia;Hangartner, Judith.The Constitution and Contestation of DarhadShamans' Power in Contemporary Mongolia;Pedersen, Morten Axel.Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds andPolitical Lives in Northern Mongolia;Swancutt, Katherine. Fortune and the Cursed: The Sliding Scale ofTime in Mongolian Divination. Reviews must be received before June 15.See below for more details and contact us if you are interested in submitting See for more about the journal.

Call for Articles: The Journal of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (ACME) is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the anthropological studies of all societies and cultures in the Middle East and Central Eurasia. Its scope is to publish original research by social scientists not only in the area of anthropology but also in sociology, folklore, religion, material culture and related social sciences. It includes all areas of modern and contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China) including topics on minority groups and religious themes. The journal also will review monographic studies, reference works, results of conferences, and international workshops. ACME also publishes review essays, reviews of books and multimedia products (including music, films, and web sites) relevant to the main aims of the journal. All submissions for articles are peer-reviewed. ACME is published with the financial support and collaboration of GroupeSocietes, Religions, Laicites, Centre National de la RechercheScientifique (CNRS), France. For general inquiries and Instructions for Authors, please visit:
Call for Articles: Asian Literature and Translation (ALT) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal established by the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA), Cardiff University. The main objective of the journal is to publish research papers, translations, and reviews in the field of Asian religious literature (construed in the widest sense) in a form that makes them quickly and easily accessible to the international academic community, to professionals in related fields, such as theatre and storytelling, and to the general public.  The scope of the journal covers the cultural, historical, and religious literature of South, Southeast, East and Central Asia in the relevant languages (e.g. Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, et al.). We particularly welcome literary translations, including extracts from longer works in progress, manuscript reports and commentarial material, new adaptations of classic texts, archive stories and debate pieces, and the discussion of new approaches to translation. Book and performance reviews, including visual material, and letters to the editor, including responses to published material, are also solicited.  Contributions are welcome on a wide range of topics in the research area as defined above. For further information see:

Call for Manuscripts: "Central Asia," Education About Asia (EAA) is the peer-reviewed teaching journal of the Association for Asian Studies. Our approximately 1,800 readers include undergraduate instructors as well as high school and middle school teachers. Our articles are intended to provide educators, who are often not specialists, with basic understanding of Asia-related content. Qualified referees evaluate all manuscripts submitted for consideration. Most of our subscribers teach and work in history, the social sciences, or the humanities. We are in the process of developing a special section titled 'Central Asia' for the fall 2013 issue of EAA. In this special section, we invite authors to submit manuscripts that assist instructors and students in secondary school and college/university introductory survey courses in the humanities or social sciences to better understand Central Asian cultures and history. This special section will include articles on a variety of both historical and contemporary topics. Manuscripts on early and modern history, geography, economics, culture, and contemporary geopolitics are especially encouraged. We welcome manuscripts from teachers, scholars, journalists, or others who have expertise in the topic. Prospective authors should be aware that approximately fifty percent of our readers teach at the undergraduate level and the rest are secondary or middle school teachers. Please consult the EAA guidelines, available on the website under my signature before submitting a manuscript for this special section. Pay particular attention to feature and teaching resources manuscript word-count ranges. Prospective authors are also encouraged to share possible manuscript ideas with me via email. The deadline for initial submission of manuscripts is June 10, 2013. Contact the editor, Lucien Ellington at

Call for Papers: Second Mongolian Studies Open Conference, The Mongolia Institute at The Australian National University, Canberra, 4 November 2013. The MOSOC is a multi-disciplinary conference which provides a forum for the presentation of new research on Mongolia and the Mongols, especially for scholars based in Australia. The conference provides an opportunity for scholars with interests in Mongolia to meet, to hear each other's work and to exchange ideas and information. It emphasizes interaction between younger and established scholars and between Mongolists and those with a comparative interest in Mongolian Studies.Papers will be presented in panel sessions of three papers with a discussant. Proposals for papers should include a title and an abstract of150 words as well as a bionote of 100 words. Please send proposals to Professor Li Narangoa ( by30 June 2013.Six grants to a maximum value of $300 each are available to honours and postgraduate students attending the conference from out of town. Selection will be on the basis of the quality of the paper proposal submitted. If you wish to be considered for a grant, please indicate when you submit your proposal.
Call for papers:“Asia in Memory and Imagination,” 51st annual meeting, Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (WCAAS), September 27-28, 2013, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah. We welcome faculty, scholars and students from alldisciplines to submit proposals for papers, panels,roundtables, poster exhibits, or workshops. Proposals in all disciplines are welcome, and we encourage you to organize integrated panels if possible (3 papers per panel, 90 minute panels). Visit: Contact: Greg Lewis, Program Chair, 801-626-6707 or

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) announces a new initiative supporting research and teaching in Buddhist studies. ACLS will offer an articulated set of fellowship and grant competitions that will expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies. These are global competitions. There are no restrictions as to the location of work proposed or the citizenship of applicants.Applications must be submitted through the ACLS Online FellowshipApplication system (OFA). Sample applications and a link to OFA will beavailable in July 2013. Visit:

MPhil/PhD: The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London is pleased to be able to announce a new scholarship opportunity for research applicants whose proposed research topic is on Chinese History with a focus on the intensifying encounter - economic or otherwise -between China and the West during the second half of the nineteenth/early twentieth century.  For applicants classified as Overseas for fee purpose, the total value of the scholarship will be 23,625 per year for up to 3 years subject to satisfactory progress.  For applicants classified as Home/EU for fee purposes, the total value of the scholarship will be 15,345 per year for up to 3 years subject to satisfactory progress. The deadline for applications is 17 June 2013.  Start of the programme: October 2013. Visit:

Fulbright Regional Travel Program.  The East Asia and Pacific Programs Branch at ECA (ECA/A/E/EAP) has established a Regional Travel Program (aka “travel pot”) to support the regional travel of U.S. Fulbright Scholars (not students) in order to offer local institutions, partner governments, posts and commissions the opportunity to benefit from the academic and professional expertise of Fulbrighters based in another EAP country. The travel pot provides a way to increase the impact of the Fulbright program in the region at a modest cost.  The visit itself should be used to enhance and support the joint interests of the visiting U.S. Fulbright scholar and his or her host institution collaborators. Receiving Posts and Commissions may also utilize the Regional Travel Program to invite a scholar to engage key audiences on priority topics. Activities may include lectures, workshops, graduate or faculty seminars, master classes or recitals, curricular advising, public lectures or panel presentations.  As a general rule, programs should last at least three (3) days but not more than two (2) weeks. Funding will be available on a first-come. An individual scholar is not likely to receive more than two grants from the “travel pot” in a given program year, although exceptions may be granted.  While the Fulbright scholar may wish to use some of their free time for research or other independent academic work, such activities should not be the primary purpose of their travel nor should it represent more than a small portion of their time spent in country. Travel pot funds are to be primarily used to cover between country travels. Grantees will be funded for round-trip fare (usually via air) by the most economical route from their site to the travel destination. In the event that the program requires in-country ground travel for the scholar to transit from the arrival city to the city where the activities are taking place, these costs may also be funded by the regional travel program. Cost sharing by receiving-country institutions and/or posts and commissions is highly desirable. Cost sharing is not required in the event the scholar assumes responsibility for hotel/housing and per diem costs.  For more information on the program in Mongolia contact: Ms. UyangaAyur, Cultural Assistant, U.S. Embassy, Mongolia at:  

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries for the 2014-2015 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.This year, there are over 50 awards available for those interested in East Asia and Pacific, and South and Central Asia Region Studies. Included are All Discipline awards, offered in all regions of the world welcome teaching and/or research proposals in any area of study, including interdisciplinary projects.In order to meet the changing needs of academia and develop new options to better accommodate the interests and commitments of today's scholars, the program has introduced several innovations to the 2014-2015 program, including: Fulbright Flex Awards, Fulbright Postdoctoral/Early Career Awards, Salary Stipend Supplements, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language Awards. Interested faculty and professionals are encouraged to learn more about these opportunities, and hundreds of others, by visiting the Catalog of Awards. The application deadline for most awards is August 1, 2013.  U.S. citizenship is required.  For other eligibility requirements and detailed award descriptions visit our website at  or contact us at

Position Openings

Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Department of History at Wheaton College (MA) invites applications for a one-year Andrew W. Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in Asian history, beginning in fall 2013.   Candidates must have PhD in hand by June 30, 2013. The successful candidate may also be eligible for an additional one-year appointment as a visiting assistant professor, budget permitting.  The fellow will teach three courses.Geographic field is open, with preference for China and/or South Asia.Chronological specialization is open, though applicants must be able to offer survey courses on modern China and/or modern India and advanced courses broadly focused on their areas of research. Candidates with research and/or teaching expertise in economic development, gender, and/or diasporic/transnational connections between Asia and elsewhere in the world are encouraged to apply. The fellowship carries a stipend of $50,000 plus benefits, as well as a research and travel fund. Wheaton College only accepts electronic submissions. Please visit to apply.Review of applications will begin as they arrive and proceed until we find a suitable candidate.

Adjunct Position: The Department of History at University of Alabama seeks applications for a one-year non-renewable, non-tenure-earning position in East Asian history at the rank of instructor. Period and specialization open. The successful candidate will be expected to teach four courses per semester, including survey courses in Asian Civilization, as well as upper-level courses in his/her specialty. To apply, go to and complete the online application. Attach a letter of application, vita, and syllabi. Please arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to Kari Frederickson, Chair, East Asian History Search Committee, Department of History, Box 870212, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0212. Please direct any inquiries to Interviews will be conducted via SKYPE. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Non-Tenure Position: The Department of History at the College of William & Mary invites applications for a full-time non-tenure-eligible position in East Asian History to begin August 2013.   Advanced ABDs are welcome to apply.  The requirements for teaching are three courses per semester,including East Asian surveys, and topical lecture courses.  Previousteaching experience is strongly preferred and ability to teach Korean and/or Chinese history is a plus.  To apply, submit your letter of application, curriculum vitae, teaching evaluations, and three letters of recommendation via William & Mary’s online recruitment system at Review of applications will begin on April 20, 2013, and will continue until the position is filled. Contact: Leisa D. Meyer, Chair,

Adjunct Position: Moravian College, a liberal arts college in Bethlehem, PA, invites applications for an adjunct professor with primary specialization in the religions of South and East Asia, to teach one course in the spring semester, 2014 (Jan. through early May), with the strong possibility of being contracted for additional courses over the following year and a half. The successful candidate will be able to teach survey courses on religions of South and East Asia; in addition, specialized courses representing the faculty’s own interests and experience also may be considered. While we prefer someone with a completed PhD, ABD candidates also may apply; the most important criterion is successful teaching in the environment of a small liberal arts college. Please email our department secretary, Ms. Elaine Deitch (, a CV along with a brief letter describing the course(s) you are qualified to teach in the areas designated above, and also indicating evidence of teaching effectiveness and experience. We also would find it helpful to contact at least one reference on your behalf.  Applications will be reviewed beginning May 30, 2013.


We are pleased to announce the new website for the TheDukhaEthnoarchaeological Project.  The primary goal of the DukhaEthnoarchaeological Project is the development of spatial theory of human behavior for application to archaeological problems.  Visit the website at:
We are pleased to announce the new website for Asian Politics and History Association. Asian Politics and History Association is a non-political, non-profit academic society organized by scholars of Asian studies. Established in 2011 in Hong Kong, APHA currently has members from Asian-Pacific, European and North American countries. APHA supports the Journal of Asian Politics &History, an academic journal published twice a year beginning in October 2012.  Visit the website at:

Juniper: Online Database for Mongolian and Siberian Studies. This new French scientific tool is created at the initiative of the Centre for Mongolian and Siberian EPHE. It aims to bring together texts (native), images and multimedia on the peoples of Mongolia and Siberia. Several galleries of images are presented, including collections of old prints and a new series of old photographs of the Tuvan National Museum. Sheets populations gather essential information and links to documents relating to the peoples of Northern Asia.  Subject files (kinship, Personalia, shamanism and soon others) allow you to browse the data according to thematic itineraries.  The bibliography contains references to books and articles, some of which have been digitized and can be downloaded for researchers.  Visit:

Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA).  Recently the University of New Mexico Library officially announced the launch of the new, upgraded Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA). The ornithological community is once again indebted to the UNM library for investing in the open access distribution of our historical ornithological literature. SORA has been moved to a new platform that will allow the resource to grow and expand over time. Many of the SORA journal titles have been updated with additional articles, and a new ornithological title has been added to the site. SORA now offers a number of new features for users and provides tools for journal publishers to update the SORA repository directly, with little or no technical support.  All of these improvements have been needed for some time, and the UNM Libraries SORA team appreciates your collective patience; it has taken over a year to convert the entire SORA article holdings and prepare the new site for production. A number of ongoing improvements are still in the works for 2013, and as with any major system upgrade, there are a countless number of small details that still require attention. The new URL to the site is

The Mongolist is a website dedicated to sharing knowledge about Mongolian politics, business, and society. The website is an ever growing resource built on data and information collected on the Internet and in Mongolia. The aim of this website is to make understanding the complexity of the rapid social and economic change occurring in Mongolia not only accessible but also rewarding.  The underlying principle guiding the development of all content on this website is evidence based investigation. Whenever possible, opinion, conjecture, and pure guesswork are replaced with facts, data, and extrapolation. And, when this is not possible, opinion, conjecture, and pure guesswork are advertised as such.  Visit:

Education About Asia: EAA has become an essential resource for teachers dealing with Asian themes or topics; both in the broad trans-continental and regional contexts.  Conceived as a publication for K-12 faculty, it has in fact proved to be extremely helpful for higher education faculty seeking insights on many subjects. The Asian Studies outreach activities of many colleges and universities have greatly benefited from EAA materials.  Register (for free) to access approximately 900 articles from all thirty-seven back issues from 1996-2008: and subscribe to the Print Edition at

Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center: Indiana University’s IAUNRC has updated its website to include not only its regular newsletters but podcasts, lecture videos, teaching resources and more:

Mongolia Today: “This blog is an attempt by three avid Mongolia watchers to share their observations about current developments in Mongolia.” By Julian Dierkes and DalaibulaniiByambajav, social scientists at the University of British Columbia, this blog mostly follows Mongolian politics and the mining sector. Visit:

News and Events

Monthly Biobeers Talk: First Thursday of the month, Sweet Cafe (located behind the Information and Technological National Park and next to the Admon Printing Company, west of Internom Bookstore Building). People are requested to arrive after 6pm, in time for the talk to start at 6.30. Biobeers is a monthly gathering of government and NGO staff, biologists, researchers, and other professionals interested in conservation. Each month, Biobeers sponsors a half-hour presentation on a topic relevant to Mongolian conservation, followed by an informal gathering to discuss activities and issues of interest. Biobeers is an opportunity to find out what is happening in the field of conservation in Mongolia, talk informally to other researchers and peers in your field, and share information about issues critical to the environment and people of Mongolia. Biobeers is organised by the Zoological Society of London's Steppe Forward Programme and sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Join the Yahoo! Group Mongolbioweb for announcements. 

10th Annual Mongol Children's Festival and Competition, June 2, 2013 at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre in Arlington, VA. This year, we will hold the competition separately on May 18th, 2013 at the Mongolian School of the National Capital Area located in Arlington, VA. The talents of the special prize winners from the Festival-2013 and special guests representing the children from Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Kalmykia, Buryatia, Inner Mongolia and others will be showcased at the event.

Recent Publications

A Monastery in Time: The Making of Mongolian Buddhism, by Caroline Humphrey and HurelbaatarUjeed. (University of Chicago Press). A Monastery in Time is the first book to describe the life of a Mongolian Buddhist monastery—the Mergen Monastery in Inner Mongolia—from inside its walls. From the Qing occupation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the Cultural Revolution, Caroline Humphrey and HürelbaatarUjeed tell a story of religious formation, suppression, and survival over a history that spans three centuries.Often overlooked in Buddhist studies, Mongolian Buddhism is an impressively self-sustaining tradition whose founding lama, the Third MergenGegen, transformed Tibetan Buddhism into an authentic counterpart using the Mongolian language. Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Humphrey and Ujeed show how lamas have struggled to keep MergenGegen’s vision alive through tremendous political upheaval, and how such upheaval has inextricably fastened politics to religion for many of today’s practicing monks. Exploring the various ways Mongolian Buddhists have attempted to link the past, present, and future, Humphrey and Ujeed offer a compelling study of the interplay between the individual and the state, tradition and history.

Fossil Mammals of Asia: Neogene Biostratigraphy and Chronology, by Xiaoming Wang, Lawrence J. Flynn, Mikael Fortelius.(Columbia University Press). Fossil Mammals of Asia, edited by and with contributions from world-renowned scholars, is the first major work devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia. This volume employs cutting-edge biostratigraphic and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence of mammals across the continent. Written by specialists working in a variety of Asian regions, it uses data from many basins with spectacular fossil records to establish a groundbreaking geochronological framework for the evolution of land mammals.Asia's violent tectonic history has resulted in some of the world's most varied topography, and its high mountain ranges and intense monsoon climates have spawned widely diverse environments over time. These geologic conditions profoundly influenced the evolution of Asian mammals and their migration into Europe, Africa, and North America. Focusing on amazing new fossil finds that have redefined Asia's role in mammalian evolution, this volume synthesizes information from a range of field studies on Asian mammals and biostratigraphy, helping to trace the histories and movements of extinct and extant mammals from various major groups and all northern continents, and providing geologists with a richer understanding of a variety of Asian terrains.

LIVE FROM UB: A Documentary on Modern Mongolian Rock, by Lauren Knapp (Fulbright-mtvU Fellow 2012). is in post-production on her documentary film LIVE FROM UB. She spent ten months in Mongolia researching the rock music scene, its history, and how the new generation of musicians is fusing traditional music and themes with modern styles to create something that is unique to both their generation and Mongolia. Lauren was first interested to learn how the first generation of Mongolians to grow up in a democracy was expressing themselves through music. She found that the trajectory of Mongolian rock through, emulates the path Mongolia has taken as a nation over the past three decades. You can read more about the film, her research, and watch exclusive videos on the film website (

Does Everyone Want Democracy? : Insights from Mongolia, by Paula Sabloff. (Left Coast Press). Do all people desire democracy? For at least a century, the idea that democracy is a universal good has been an article of faith for American policy makers. Paula Sabloff challenges this conventional wisdom about who wants democracy and why. Arguing that certain universal human aspirations exist, she shows how local realities are highly particularistic and explains that culture, history, and values are critical to the study of political systems. Her fascinating study of Mongolia—feudal until it became the first country to follow Russia into communism and now struggling with post-socialist democratization—is a model for investigating how everyday people around the world actually think about and implement democracy on their own terms.

A History of Land Use in Mongolia: The Thirteenth Century to the Present, by Elizabeth Endicott (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).  A History of Land Use in Mongolia examines conceptual and practical issues of land use during eight centuries of Mongolian history.  The book analyzes how Mongolia's pastoral nomadic herding population historically has dealt with secular and religious forms of authority in the ongoing struggle for control over pastureland and water resources.  The author's findings derive from a number of field trips to the Mongolian countryside as well as a diverse array of written sources including Russian geographic treatises, historical texts, Mongolian press accounts, and Western economic analyses of the present day herding sector.

A Kazakh Teacher's Story: Surviving the Silent Steppe, by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov.  (Stacey International, 2013).  This book begins where 'The Silent Steppe' left off. It is early 1945, and the author, Mukhamet, still recuperating from serious war injuries, has traveled thousands of kilometers back to his home village in the eastern Kazakh steppe. As he encounters scenes of desperate poverty, he quickly realizes the immense sacrifices made by local people, and particularly women, while the able-bodied men were away fighting. Mukhamet endeavors to pick up the pieces of his pre-war life, working hard to support his extended family, marrying, continuing his education, and eventually embarking on a life in teaching dedicated to giving young people the best education possible. Through his insightful portraits of local party bosses, district officials and bureaucrats, and tales of the vicissitudes of daily life, a broader, more personal picture emerges of life under Stalin, and of his pervading shadow decades on. The author's moral integrity, stoicism and profound respect for the struggles of the common people stand out in this memoir of a life of self-effacing dedication.

Energy Access, Poverty, and Development: The Governance of Small-Scale Renewable Energy in Developing Asia (Ashgate Studies in Environmental Policy and Practice) by Benjamin K. Sovacool and Ira Martina Drupady. (Ashgate Pub Co, 2012).  This book showcases how small-scale renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, cook stoves, biogas digesters, microhydro units, and wind turbines are helping Asia respond to a daunting set of energy governance challenges. Using extensive original research this book offers a compendium of the most interesting renewable energy case studies over the last ten years from one of the most diverse regions in the world. Through an in-depth exploration of case studies in Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka, the authors highlight the applicability of different approaches and technologies and illuminates how household and commercial innovations occur (or fail to occur) within particular energy governance regimes. It also, uniquely, explores successful case studies alongside failures or "worst practice" examples that are often just as revealing as those that met their targets. Based on these successes and failures, the book presents twelve salient lessons for policymakers and practitioners wishing to expand energy access and raise standards of living in some of the world's poorest communities. It also develops an innovative framework consisting of 42 distinct factors that explain why some energy development interventions accomplish all of their goals while others languish to achieve any.

The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors (Complete Illustrated History 1) by ChristophBaumer. (I. B. Tauris, 2012). The epic plains and arid deserts of Central Asia have witnessed some of the greatest migrations, as well as many of the most transformative developments, in the history of civilization. ChristophBaumer's ambitious four-volume treatment of the region charts the 3000-year drama of Scythians and Sarmatians; Soviets and transcontinental Silk Roads; trade routes and the transmission of ideas across the steppes; and the breathless and brutal conquests of Alexander the Great and Chinghis Khan. Masterfully interweaving the stories of individuals and peoples, the author's engaging prose is richly augmented throughout by color photographs taken on his own travels. For all the complexity of the history, Dr. Baumer, a noted authority on Central Asia, never loses sight of the sweeping grandeur of its overall setting. Volume 1 focuses on the geography of the area now occupied by present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, northern Afghanistan, western and central Mongolia and parts of southern Russia and northern China. Discussing the changing climates of the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages, the author explores subjects as diverse as glacial retreat; the invention of the wheel; the legendary Cimmerians and Amazons; Hellenism and Zoroastrianism; and the Oxus Treasure. Future volumes will explore the later historical periods of the region.

The Short Essays of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, by Wang Hong and Zhang Shunsheng.  (Paths International Ltd., 2013).  The late Ming Dynasty (1572-1644) and the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1722) saw the true splendour of short essays in China. No other period in the history of short essays in ancient China can match them in the quality and number of works, literary schools, or the variety of styles. Compared with those written before or after, the short essays in these periods were richer in the choice of topics, and freer in form, focusing not only on real social life, but also on worldly experience and life's little delights. They are a rich and vital part of China's literary and cultural heritage. The 127 short essays in this wonderful book are considered to be the very best examples from an era of China's history that's synonymous with beautifully crafted short essays. 82 essays are from the Ming Dynasty and 45 essays are from the Qing Dynasty, written by more than a hundred different Chinese authors from both dynasties. These are arranged in the order of the authors' birth dates and tenderly translated into English by leading Chinese translators Wang Hong and Zhang Shunsheng, who have faithfully represented the styles and literary achievements made by the featured essayists. It's a wonderful book that will delight fans of classic Chinese short essays, as well as providing the perfect introduction to readers new to the genre.

Mongolia’s Nomads: Life on the Steppe, by Nina Wegner and Taylor Weidman, 2012.  For millennia, pastoral herders have lived on the Mongolian steppe, moving with their livestock according to the seasons. They still live in traditional felt tents, subsisting on the meat and milk of their animals, and living “as free as the country is wide.”  But today, Mongolia is on the fast track for change: desertification and climate change are threatening pastures and herds, while some of the world’s largest reserves in coal, copper, and gold are positioning Mongolia to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Nomads now face a choice that will shape the future of their country: withstand new threats on the steppe, or give up herding in search of new opportunities. The Vanishing Cultures Project traveled to Mongolia in 2012 to document the ancient traditions of nomads and to understand their current struggles. Packed with first-person interviews, perspectives, and anecdotes from herders, Mongolia’s Nomads reveals what ancient nomadic philosophies and traditions are still practiced by herders, where these customs come from, why they are so important, and how they may be altered forever by shifting climates, development, and new ways of life.  Available at:

Reindeer Herders in my Heart: Stories of Healing Journeys to Mongolia, by Sas Carey, 2012. Join Sas Carey as she follows her calling to a remote community of nomadic reindeer herders in the northernmost reaches of Mongolia. Live her experiences and encounter the spirit world, truth, ancient ways of healing, and a strong heart connection. A registered nurse, energy healer, educator, writer, and filmmaker, Sas is the founder and director of Nomadicare, which works to support the healthcare and cultural survival of Mongolia's nomadic herders.  Available at: