Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - October 2014

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October 2014
In this Issue:

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

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

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!
Upcoming ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
Speaker Series
The Speaker Series are formal presentations given by leading academics, experts and community leaders on a wide variety of topics related to Mongolia. Each session has a 30-45 minute formal lecture followed by a 30 minute Q&A session. All presentations are held in the American Corner presentation room of the Natsagdorj Library in Ulaanbaatar. We invite all researchers visiting Mongolia and who are interested in presenting to contact us at their earliest convenience.

October 21st Speaker Series – Joar Nango, "Perspectives on Indigenous Architecture"

Sápmi stretches throughout a landscape of diverse topography and climate. The differences in the Saami building traditions follow these variations, being formed by both the landscape and the local resources. This fact makes it difficult to speak about a unified Saami building tradition as a whole. In a Saami-Norwegian context, there is an over-emphasis placed on the reindeer herders from “indre Finnmark” and their building methods. This building tradition has, along with the other regional building traditions of northern Europe, been changed and influenced from the outside throughout the ages. There appears to be some parallels with Mongolian Reindeer herding traditions, particularly in construction and design styles. This presentation will discuss these potential parallels and the role of indigenous culture in architecture and design.

Joar Nango is a Sami-Norwegian artist and architect. He graduated from NTNU, Norway in 2007. Nango´s work inhabits the frontier between architecture, design and art, exploring native identity issues through contradictions in contemporary architecture and built environment. He is particularly interested in the creative simplicity and the sustainable knowledge that exists within the informal building environments of the north. In 2010 he co-founded the architectural collective FFB specializing in temporary structures and interventions in urban contexts. FFB was nominated by Norsk Form to the young architects of the year prize in 2012.
New Books Acquired for the ACMS Library
  • DeFrancis, John.  In the Footsteps of Genghis Khan. (University of Hawaii Press, 1993).
  • Gansu Qinghai Ningxia Huizu zizhiqu gonglu licheng dituce [Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Road Atlas] Series: Zhongguo gonglu licheng ditu fence xilie (Zhongguo ditu chubanshe, 2011).
  • Jia, Xiru. Dedu Menggu wenhua jianlun [Briefing on Deed Mongol Culture]. Volume 2 in the series: Dedu (Qinghai) Menggu lishi wenhua congshu [Deed Mongol History and Culture Series] (Minzu chubanshe, 2014).
  • Ma, Guiying. Menggu wenhuazhong de ren yu ziran guanxi yanjiu [Studies on the Connection of Man and Nature in Mongolian Culture], Series: Zhongguo Menggu xue wenku (Liaoning minzu chubanshe, 2013).
  • Neimenggu zijiayou dituce [Inner Mongolia Road Atlas for self-driving tours], Series: Zhongguo fensheng zijiayou dituce xilie (Zhongguo ditu chubanshe, 2014).
  • Qing Ge Li, Ed. Dedu Menggu Shiliao Huibian [Collection of Historical Sources on the Deed Mongol] Volume 6 in the series: Dedu (Qinghai) Menggu lishi wenhua congshu [Deed Mongol History and Culture Series] (Minzu chubanshe, 2014).
  • Qing Ge Li, Si Qin Fu, eds. Dedu Menggu lishi kaolun (shang, xia)
    [A study of Deed Mongol History (parts one and two)]. Volume 1 in the series:
    Dedu (Qinghai) Menggu lishi wenhua congshu [Deed Mongol History and Culture Series] (Minzu chubanshe, 2014).
  • Xinjiang weiwu'er zizhiqu ji zhoubian shengqu gonglu licheng dituce: Xin, Gan, Qing, Zang [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and nearby provincial road atlases: Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Tibet], Series: Zhongguo gonglu licheng ditu fence xilie (Zhongguo ditu chubanshe, 2011).
Calls for Papers, Conferences, Workshops
Call for Papers

2015 Annual SOYUZ Symposium “Shifting Territories: Historical Legacies and Social Change,” The Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington. February 28 – March 1 2015. The 2015 Soyuz Symposium seeks to engage scholars in an interdisciplinary debate about contemporary social, cultural, and political transformations in socialist and post-socialist regions world wide. In the previous year, a number of socialist and postsocialist regions have seen significant turmoil, from the anti-government protests in Egypt, Ukraine, and Venezuela to violent internal conflict in Syria and Sudan. We have also seen the creation of new, sometimes fragile, alliances including the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, the emergence of unstable, separatist “states” in Ukraine, and the creation of a new socialist party in South Africa. These major world events challenge contemporary social and political boundaries, re-frame historical narratives, and invoke new constructions of statehood, personhood, and human rights. This year, in cooperation with the Ellison Center at the University of Washington, Soyuz invites papers that address the intersection of historical legacies and contemporary change in socialist and postsocialist regions, such as:

• Separatist regions and de jure states
• Emergent nationalisms or nationalist discourses
• Language policy and linguistic differentiation
• New forms and narratives of sovereignty
• Appeals to and ruptures from historical socialist legacies
• Contemporary economic strategies and (in)equalities
• New social identities and citizenship claims
• The uses and limitations of the politics of nostalgia

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be sent to Jennifer Carroll ( by November 1, 2014.
Please include your full name, affiliation, and paper title. Write “SOYUZ 2015” in the subject line of your email. Papers will be selected and notifications made by December 1, 2014. For any questions, please email Jennifer Carroll, the Soyuz Programming Coordinator,
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.

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: 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.
Recent Publications

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.