Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - November 2014

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November 2014
In this Issue:

ACMS 2015 Fellowships

Upcoming ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

New Books Acquired for the ACMS Library

Calls for Papers, Conferences and Workshops

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants


Other News and Events

Recent Publications

Happy November! This month there are several events planned at both ACMS offices, Ulaanbaatar and Philadelphia.  See events below for details. 

"This Month in Mongolian Studies" 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

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 2015 Fellowships Announced
ACMS Field Research Fellowship Program
This program provides awards of up to $4,000 to students and/or faculty from US universities to conduct academic field research in Mongolia between May and October 2015. Student applicants can be at an advanced undergraduate, masters, or doctoral level, and all fields of study are eligible. Students graduating in the spring of 2015 are eligible to apply. Faculty applicants can be faculty members from US colleges and universities with plans to conduct short-term field research in Mongolia between May and October 2015. All applicants must be US citizens currently enrolled in or teaching at a college or university in the United States. The program priority is to support faculty from non-research intensive universities and colleges, especially faculty who are helping guide student research projects or who can show how the experience will enhance their teaching. The fellowship is supported with funding from the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a grant by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

ACMS Library Fellowship Program

This fellowship supports US advanced graduate students or faculty members in library science or related fields from US colleges and universities to conduct short-term projects and/or research in Mongolia between May and October 2015. Applicants must be US citizens. The ACMS Library Fellowship program is to help support the development of the ACMS research library through specific defined projects designed to enhance the collection content and resource availability. The Fellow will also offer training and support for local scholars and the public. Fellows will spend up to 12 weeks onsite in Mongolia at the ACMS library; prior experience working in Mongolia is not a requirement. Fellowships will be awarded to fund travel and living expenses of up to $4,000. The fellowship is supported with funding from the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a grant by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

ACMS Intensive Mongolian Language Program
The American Center for Mongolian Studies invites students and scholars to enroll in an eight week Intensive Mongolian Language Program from mid-June to early August (dates TBA), 2015 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The purpose of this summer language program is to provide Intermediate-level students of the Mongolian language with an opportunity to enhance their communicative competence through systematic improvement of reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, in an authentic environment. The Language Program Fellowship covers the cost of tuition.

Deadlines for receipt of complete applications: February 15, 2015.  For more information visit
Upcoming ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
November 4, 6pm at the American Corner - Dr. Tsendpurev Tsegmid
"Stranger’s Identity Explored through Contemporary Art Practice: In-Between Mongolia and the UK"

In this presentation, Dr. Tsendpurev Tsegmid will talk about her practice-based PhD research (2007-2012), starting from its beginning; how a seemingly common personal identity crisis, could be developed into an academic subject and contribute to the field through various methodologies of making art.

November 11, 5:30pm at the American Corner –  Andrew Colwell, Doctoral Candidate, Wesleyan University
"Monolithic Narratives, Culturalism, and a Forgotten River: How a Way of Sounding became a Thing of Musical Culture called Xöömií (a.k.a., Throat-singing)"
Mongol xöömií, or what English speakers label “throat-singing,” has become Mongolia’s most iconic sonic symbol among foreign publics thanks to the cultural activism and innovative performance of key practitioners from Xovd province’s Chandman’ district, starting in the 1950s. As numerous scholarly or popular histories of the vocal practice’s “cultural development” relate, these efforts are primarily responsible for rendering xöömií a socialist “people’s art” and then later a democratic “cultural heritage.” But less acknowledged are the practices of herders elsewhere in Mongolia who have escaped the cultural spotlight due to geographic isolation, intentional neglect, or even government suppression. Relying upon recent critical publications and my own ongoing dissertation research, this lecture traces the implications of their compelling absences and intriguing presences, which persist in archival records, elders’ recollections, and the sounding of a melodious river called Eev.

IN PHILADELPHIA: November 12th –  Christopher M. Free, ACMS summer fellow and PhD student at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
"Illegal fishing for the endangered endemic Hovsgol grayling: conservation problem or subsistence resource"
Location: University of Pennsylvania, Williams Hall room 543, 12pm.

Although fishing and fish consumption are historically uncommon in Mongolian culture, they may be gaining prevalence as new sources of food, income, or recreation. However, knowledge of fishing is largely anecdotal; little is known about the motivations for fishing, the frequency and methods of fishing, and the potential impact of fishing on Mongolian fish species like the endangered endemic Hovsgol grayling (Thymallus nigrescens). The purpose of this study is to: (1) gain a better understanding of the motivations for fishing and the frequency and methods of fishing through interviews with herding families and national park rangers and (2) validate responses from these interviews using surveys for derelict fishing gear as an indirect indicator of illegal fishing activity. Interview responses suggest that gillnet fishing for grayling is widespread in Lake Hovsgol National Park and occurs primarily in river mouths during the spring spawn. Interviewees report decreases in the size and abundance of Hovsgol grayling as a result of fishing. Surveys for derelict fishing gear validate these responses: fishing gear, predominantly gillnet material, was found in every transect along the lakeshore and was concentrated on accessible shorelines near river mouths. The most frequently observed gillnet mesh size in surveys for derelict fishing gear is also the most efficient mesh size at capturing Hovsgol grayling in our long-term monitoring study. The average size of grayling captured in our long-term monitoring has decreased which is consistent with overfishing. These results suggest that illegal gillnet fishing may be having an impact on the endemic Hovsgol grayling population.

November 25, at the American Corner, time TBA – Dr. Tsogtbaatar Byambaa, Simon Fraser University
"The Adoption of Health Impact Assessments in the Mongolian Mining Sector: A Case Study of the Diffusion of Policy Innovation"
Following the 2009 signing of the stability agreement between the Mongolian Government and Canadian mining company Turquoise Hill Resources (formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines), researchers from Simon Fraser University secured funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to conduct applied knowledge translation (KT) research that introduces health impact assessment (HIA) to Mongolia's rapidly emerging resource sector. HIA is a highly regarded informed decision-making tool that helps to identify, assess and mitigate (or promote) potential positive and negative human health impacts of policies, projects and programs. We engaged in a series of knowledge synthesis, KT and dissemination activities with key public and private sector stakeholders as well as community representatives. Our goals were to develop consensus on a socially and culturally appropriate approach to equity-focused HIA, draw on this consensus to develop a contextualized HIA toolkit, build local HIA capacity based on this toolkit, strengthen the HIA regulatory environment and provide evidence-based support for efforts to institutionalize HIA in the resource sector. These efforts have resulted in the inclusion of HIA in the environmental impact assessment law of Mongolia, and the focus has now shifted from KT to further supporting HIA institutionalization and practice.

IN PHILADELPHIA: November 25th Two lectures with Christopher P. Atwood, Associate Professor, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington

"Repackaging Chinggis Khan: Bilingual Histories of the Dynastic Founding in the Yuan Dynasty"
(12:30pm at University of Pennsylvania, Williams Hall room 844)
For modern scholars and informed layfolk, the Secret History of the Mongols is the premier text for understanding the life and times of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan, founder of the Mongol world empire. But during the time of the Mongol empire and the succeeding Mongol Yuan dynasty in China, the Secret History was just that: secret. Written mostly in 1252, in the wake of Möngke Khan’s coup d’etat and purge, the Secret History was a little too explicit about the fratricidal incidents that accompanied the empire’s founding. After Qubilai Khan came to power, he authorized Chinese scholars to begin adding Chinese versions to the already significant body of Mongolian-language biographies, genealogies, and histories of the empire’s founding. For later reigns, Chinese became the language of record for history writing. Yet over the history of Chinggis Khan and the early empire, Qubilai and his successors retained a tight control using bilingual composition to monitor the telling of the story of the dynasty’s founding. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Chinggis Khan’s history was packaged in several different version that have survived in whole or in part. The story of these versions shows how the Mongol Yuan rulers used control of history to assert their ultimate authority over the compliant Chinese literati. 

“Mongolia and China: Politics and Economics of a Difficult Relationship"
, (4:30pm at University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication room 111)
China has always played an outsized role in Mongolian national consciousness, a role based both on tangible factors such as size, economic weight, and political importance as well as intangible factors derived from historical memories, racial images, and presumed cultural incompatibilities. Since the 1990 transition to multi-party democracy, the “Chinese factor” has become one of the dominant, if subterranean and unpredictable, element in Mongolian anxieties about their trajectory. Since 2008, the salience of China in the Mongolian economy has dramatically increased, alongside significant changes in Mongolian foreign policy and on-going sensitivity over cultural flashpoints. This presentation will present the important changes occurring in Mongolia’s political and economic recent relationship with China and how they are interaction with the profoundly fraught nature of the Mongolian-Chinese relationship.  

December 4, Mongolian National Museum of History, time TBA
Documentary film screening  “The Tsaatan -Revival of a Forgotten Culture and Language”

Fearing the demise of Tuvan (Tsaatan in Mongolia) culture, one Tsaatan woman, Oyunbadam, seeks to reverse the trend.  This film records the first year of her efforts after obtaining a grant from Santis Productions and after receiving support from the President of Mongolia and Ministries of Education and of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as from the Tsaatan people themselves. The film reports on the steadfast determination of the few remaining Tuvan personalities in Mongolia to prevent their culture and language from dying altogether. This perseverance resulted in a pilot project among the Tsaatan people to have a summer school program teaching the Tuvan language and customs to the children of the area. 
New Books Acquired for the ACMS Library
  • Akim, Hatagin Gotov. Just one Genghis khan on earth. (Munkhiin Useg Publishing, 2014).
  • Altangerel, B. Trans-continental neighbours Volume 1: A documentary history of Mongolia-UK relations. (University of Cambridge. Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia : Institute of International Studies, M.A.S, 2013).
  • Boldbaatar, Chuntyn. Mongol uls: 100 jil: On daraallyn bichig (1911.12.29--2011.12.29) [The Mongolian State at 100 years: A chronicle (29 Dec 1911 to 29 Dec 2011)] (Nepko Publishing, 2013).
  • Chuluun, Sanpildondov, and Khurts, Oka Hiroki. Chin uls ba Mongolchuud [The Qing dynasty and the Mongols]. (Meirin-sha Co, Center for Northest Asian Studies, Tohoku University, 2012).
  • Decisions of the constitutional court of Mongolia / Монгол Улсын Үндсэн Хуулийн Цэц (The constitutional court of Mongolia / Hanns Seidel Foundation, 2012).
  • Mansan, T., S.Amarbayar, B.Bayartuya, E.Jargalmaa, Yo, Munkhbat, G.Purevdulam, P.Shajinbat.  Mongol u̇ndėstėniĭ bu̇rėn tu̇u̇kh I - II [The Complete History of the Mongol Nations volumes I and II] (Munkhiin Useg Co, 2013).
  • Reading, R., D. Kenny, and Steinhauer Burjkart. Ikh nart Nature reserve nature guide no4. (2011)
Calls for Papers, Conferences, Workshops
Call for Papers

IX Annual Mongolian Studies Conference co-hosted by The Mongolian Cultural Center and The Embassy of Mongolia, Friday-Sunday, May 8-10th, 2015, Washington, D.C.

Requirements for Papers: The research topic must be relevant to all traditional Mongolian Studies subjects such as Mongolian language, history, religion, arts, literature, anthropology and other subjects that contain Mongolian social, economic, and cultural issues. The papers must be original work of the author(s) and can be written and presented in either Mongolian or English. Submission deadline for paper abstracts is February 1, 2015. Abstracts must not exceed 500 words. Please send your abstracts to

If your paper is accepted you will have 15 minutes for presenting and 5 more minutes for discussion. The conference will be held at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, D.C.,
2833 M Street NW, Washington DC, 20007.

for more information, contact the Mongolian Cultural Center (Монгол соёлын төв)
1948 Hileman Road, Falls Church, VA 22043
Phone: (202) 531-3716
Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants
Conservation Leadership Fellow / PhD Position: The Snow Leopard Trust in collaboration with the National University of Mongolia is looking for an exceptionally motivated candidate dedicated to biodiversity research and conservation. The position allows budding conservationists to simultaneously pursue participation and training in biodiversity research and community-based conservation. This is also an opportunity to pursue a PhD on the research project titled “Multi-site Experiments in Rangeland and Grassland Ecosystems (MERGE) ”. Women candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The position is ideally suited for academically motivated candidates who wish to be trained in research while also trying to dedicate time to on-ground conservation. The selected candidate is expected to set-up and conduct experiments to understand the response of changing nutrients, temperature and precipitation on the vegetation community dynamics in Mongolia under the supervision of Dr Charudutt Mishra (Snow leopard Trust, Seattle, US), Dr. Bazartseren Boldgiv (National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) and Dr. Mahesh Sankaran (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India). The candidate will also work closely with conservationists under the supervision of Agvaantseren Bayarjargal (Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation Mongolia). This position is created with the objective of helping create the next generation of conservation leaders capable of conservation, leadership and advanced research from within the snow leopard range countries. The candidates will be working with our senior staff, they will gain invaluable hands-on experience in conservation, together with rigorous field research skills that can be used towards the fulfillment of their degree and prepare them for employment. The candidates should meet the following criteria: 1. Candidate should be an early career national of Mongolia 2. Candidate should be interested in conservation and motivated to take up the cause of conservation in her/his home country 3. An important objective is to improve the representation of women in conservation thus women candidates will be considered preferentially. 4. The candidate should be eligible for a PhD course in Mongolia. Based on the advice from Dr. Charudutt Mishra and Dr. Bazartseren Boldgiv, the candidate will be expected to enroll for such a degree either in Mongolia or elsewhere.5. The candidates will be expected to maintain excellent academic records. Salary is negotiable according to candidate’s qualification. Your application should include a complete CV, publication list (if available), a one page statement of purpose (Sop) indicating research and conservation interests and experience and names and email address of two referee. Please send your application as a single PDF file to Dr. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi ( For clarification please contact The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

Early and Later Career Fellowships: The Davis Center, Harvard University:
The Davis Center's Fellows Program brings together scholars at early and later stages in their careers to consider a common theme spanning the social sciences and humanities. Each year, a team of faculty affiliates coordinates this theme and leads a regular interdisciplinary seminar series in which Fellows participate, with advanced graduate students and invited speakers, in addition to pursuing their own research. The application period for 2015–2016 fellowships runs from October 1, 2014–January 8, 2015. The theme for 2015–2016 is "Mobility, Boundaries, and the Production of Power in Eurasia," and the program will be coordinated by Professors Kelly O'Neill (History) and Timothy Colton (Government). The Fellows Program Committee is interested in applications from scholars currently working on the or equally, those working on unrelated themes, but who are interested in exploring the theme. (Note that scholars whose work does not address the selected theme are encouraged to apply for fellowships at the Davis Center, and their applications will receive full consideration.) The 2015–2016 Fellows Program Application is now available at: Deadline: January 8, 2015.

Dissertation Reviews now includes a section on Inner and Central Asia: http://dissertationrev

Asian Highlands Research Network [AH-RN] is a scholarly discussion group associated with the journal Asian Highlands Perspectives. This group focuses on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions, including the Southeast Asian Massif, Himalayan Massif, the Extended Eastern Himalayas, the Mongolian Plateau, and other contiguous areas. We aim to promote exploration of cross-regional commonalities in history, culture, language, and socio-political context not served by current academic forums. AH-RN will be of interest to Sinologists, Tibetologists, Mongolists, and South and Southeast Asianists. We welcome group members to share information about events and publications related to the study of the Asian Highlands.
Services: timely and exclusive reviews of new books in the field; semi-regular roundup of new open access publications; announcements
of new publications from Asian Highlands Perspectives.
AH-RN is a private group. To join, please contact: Gerald.Roche[at]
For more on Asian Highlands Perspectives: hlandsperspectives

TheDukha Ethnoarchaeological 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: .

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: www.base-

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 2014, 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 Subscriptions.htm.

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 Focus (formerly “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 Dalaibulanii Byambajav, social scientists at the University of British Columbia, this blog mostly follows Mongolian politics and the mining sector. Visit:
Other News and Events
Monthly Biobeers Talk: Urlag Cafe is located  in Central Culture Palace  (back door, against to Tiishin Hotel). (Урлаг кафе нь Соёлын төв өргөөний хойд талаас ордог, Түүшин зочид буудлын өөдөөс харсан хаалга) 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 presentations on topics 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 the Wildlife Conservation Society. At Biobeers the beer is on us! Join the Yahoo! Group Mongolbioweb for announcements.
Recent Publications

The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality: Studies in Anthropological History, by Denise Aigle (Brill, October 2014). In The Mongol Empire between Myth and Reality, Denise Aigle presents the Mongol empire as a moment of contact between political ideologies, religions, cultures and languages, and, in terms of reciprocal representations, between the Far East, the Muslim East, and the Latin West. The first part is devoted to “The memoria of the Mongols in historical and literary sources” in which she examines how the Mongol rulers were perceived by the peoples with whom they were in contact. In “Shamanism and Islam” she studies the perception of shamanism by Muslim authors and their attempts to integrate Genghis Khan and his successors into an Islamic framework. The last sections deal with geopolitical questions involving the Ilkhans, the Mamluks, and the Latin West. Genghis Khan’s successors claimed the protection of “Eternal Heaven” to justify their conquests even after their Islamization.Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590-2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia by Li Narangoa and Robert Cribb (September 2014, Columbia University Press. Cloth, 352 pages, 78 Maps, ISBN: 978-0-231-16070-4). This atlas tracks the political configuration of Northeast Asia in ten-year segments from 1590 to 1890, in five-year segments from 1890 to 1960, and in ten-year segments from 1960 to 2010, delineating the distinct history and importance of the region. The text follows the rise and fall of the Qing dynasty in China, founded by the semi-nomadic Manchus; the Russian colonization of Siberia; the growth of Japanese influence; the movements of peoples, armies, and borders; and political, social, and economic developments—reflecting the turbulence of the land that was once the world’s “cradle of conflict.” Compiled from detailed research in English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Dutch, German, Mongolian, and Russian sources, the Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia incorporates information made public with the fall of the Soviet Union and includes fifty-five specially drawn maps, as well as twenty historical maps contrasting local and outsider perspectives. Four introductory maps survey the region’s diverse topography, climate, vegetation, and ethnicity.

The Baron's Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution, by Willard Sunderland, Cornell University Press (2014). Willard Sunderland tells the epic story of the Russian Empire’s final decades through the arc of the life of Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg (1885–1921), which spanned the vast reaches of Eurasia. Tracking Ungern’s movements, he transits through the Empire’s multinational borderlands, where the country bumped up against three other doomed empires, the Habsburg, Ottoman, and Qing, and where the violence unleashed by war, revolution, and imperial collapse was particularly vicious. In compulsively readable prose that draws on wide-ranging research in multiple languages, Sunderland recreates Ungern’s far-flung life and uses it to tell a compelling and original tale of imperial success and failure in a momentous time. Sunderland visited the many sites that shaped Ungern’s experience, from Austria and Estonia to Mongolia and China, and these travels help give the book its arresting geographical feel. In the early chapters, where direct evidence of Ungern’s activities is sparse, he evokes peoples and places as Ungern would have experienced them, carefully tracing the accumulation of influences that ultimately came together to propel the better documented, more notorious phase of his career. Recurring throughout Sunderland’s magisterial account is a specific artifact: the Baron’s cloak, an essential part of the cross-cultural uniform Ungern chose for himself by the time of his Mongolian campaign: an orangey-gold Mongolian kaftan embroidered in the Khalkha fashion yet outfitted with tsarist-style epaulettes on the shoulders. Like his cloak, Ungern was an imperial product. He lived across the Russian Empire, combined its contrasting cultures, fought its wars, and was molded by its greatest institutions and most volatile frontiers. By the time of his trial and execution mere months before the decree that created the USSR, he had become a profoundly contradictory figure, reflecting both the empire’s potential as a multinational society and its ultimately irresolvable limitations.

Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History (Jonathan Addleton)  Former U.S. ambassador Jonathan Addleton provides a pioneering firsthand look at the remarkable growth of civil society and diplomatic ties between two countries separated by vast distances yet sharing a growing list of strategic interests and values. While maintaining positive ties with Russia and China, its powerful neighbors and still-dominant trading partners, Mongolia has sought "third neighbors" to help provide balance, including Canada, Japan, Korea, European nations, and the United States. For its part, the United States has supported Mongolia as an emerging democracy while fostering development and commercial relations. People-to-people ties have significantly expanded in recent years, as has a security partnership that supports Mongolia's emergence as a provider of military peacekeepers under the U.N. flag in Sierra Leone, Chad, Kosovo, Darfur, South Sudan, and elsewhere. While focusing on diplomatic relations over the last quarter century, Addleton also briefly describes American encounters with Mongolia over the past 150 years. More recently, Mongolia has emerged as a magnet for foreign investment, making it one of the world's fastest growing economies.

Nomadismes d'Asie centrale et septentrionale
[Nomadism in Central and North Asia] by Charles Stépanoff, Carole Ferret, Gaëlle Lacaze, Julien Thorez.  For more information in French about this publication visit the website of the publisher, or find a table of contents pdf here.

Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia
(Manduhai Buyandelger). The collapse of socialism at the end of the twentieth century brought devastating changes to Mongolia. Economic shock therapy—an immediate liberalization of trade and privatization of publicly owned assets—quickly led to impoverishment, especially in rural parts of the country, where Tragic Spirits takes place. Following the travels of the nomadic Buryats, Manduhai Buyandelger tells a story not only of economic devastation but also a remarkable Buryat response to it—the revival of shamanic practices after decades of socialist suppression. Attributing their current misfortunes to returning ancestral spirits who are vengeful over being abandoned under socialism, the Buryats are now at once trying to appease their ancestors and recover the history of their people through shamanic practice. Thoroughly documenting this process, Buyandelger situates it as part of a global phenomenon, comparing the rise of shamanism in liberalized Mongolia to its similar rise in Africa and Indonesia. In doing so, she offers a sophisticated analysis of the way economics, politics, gender, and other factors influence the spirit world and the crucial workings of cultural memory.

In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past), (ZofiaKielan-Jaworowska). In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. ZofiaKielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by thesediscoveries.Between 1963 and 1971, Kielan-Jaworowska organized eight paleontological expeditions to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. These expeditions assembled an impressive collection of dinosaurs and Cretaceous mammals. Her research has focused on the study of the detailed structure of the brain and musculature of early mammals and their evolutionary relationships.

A Monastery in Time: The Making of Mongolian Buddhism, by Caroline Humphrey and Hurelbaatar Ujeed. (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.