Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - October 2017

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October 2017
In this Issue:

ACMS Announcements 

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
New Books Acquired for the ACMS Library

Position Openings

Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants

Other News and Events

Recent Publications

"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

This publication is supported in part by memberships.  Please consider becoming a member of the ACMS, or renewing your membership by visiting our website at Thank you!
ACMS Announcements

ACMS Welcomes New Executive and Resident Directors to Lead US and UB Offices:

The American Center for Mongolian Studies is pleased to announce the addition of two new key employees who will lead our US and Ulaanbaatar offices. First, on October 1, 2017, Jonathan Addleton, former US Ambassador to Mongolia, assumed the role of ACMS Executive Director overseeing the US office of the ACMS. Amb. Addleton recently retired from a career with the US State Department and US Agency for International Development. He currently serves as an Adjunct in the Department of International and Global Affairs at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, which is providing ACMS with office and other support.

During his 33 years as a Foreign Service Officer, Amb. Addleton twice served in Mongolia, overseeing the USAID office in Ulaanbaatar (2001-2004) before returning as US Ambassador to Mongolia five years later (2009-2012). Amb. Addleton is already familiar with the network of American Overseas Research Centers, having served previously in several countries with research centers including Yemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Cambodia and Mongolia. 

The ACMS is also pleased to announce that Tricia Turbold has accepted the post of Resident Director for the ACMS office in Ulaanbaatar. Ms. Turbold previously served as Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia, where she significantly expanded the membership, program activities and outreach efforts of the organization. She will begin her duties on October 23, 2017, and will oversee the staff and operations of the ACMS in Mongolia.

The ACMS will maintain an active presence at the University of Pennsylvania through David Dettmann, former ACMS US Director, who is now leading administrative oversight for ACMS for an NEH Summer Institute on Mongolia for K-12 educators to be held at the University of Pennsylvania. Former Executive Director Charles Krusekopf is assuming new duties as a member of the ACMS Board of Directors and working with ACMS to develop new programs in Mongolia for students and faculty. Marc Tasse, the current ACMS Resident Director in Mongolia, is moving on to a new position in Ulaanbaatar to work with the international NGO People in Need.

While ACMS is experiencing several staff changes, programs and activities will continue as planned. This includes a number of fellowship opportunities for students and faculty in Mongolia in summer 2018, the continuing programs including the Speaker Series and Cultural Heritage initiatives, an NEH Summer Institute for K-12 educators at University of Pennsylvania in summer 2018, and other conferences and programs over the coming year. Jonathan and Tricia are interested in meeting ACMS members and friends and discussing ways they can build from the strong foundation established by previous ACMS staff and develop new programs and resources with your support. Please welcome both Jonathan and Tricia to their new roles and keep supporting the ACMS with your ideas and contributions!

ACMS Membership renewals

ACMS memberships generally follow our fiscal year of October 1st to September 30th. That means it may again be time to renew your membership. If you are not already a member of the ACMS, please consider becoming a member.

ACMS Members are an important part of the governance of the organization, having voting rights to elect “At-Large” representatives of the Board of Directors for individual and student members and rights to nominate a representative on the Board of Directors for institutional members. The Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization, and it has complete authority over all programs and activities. Members, both individual and institutional, therefore have a direct stake in the future development of the organization.

Membership is open to individuals, corporations, and institutions that support the ACMS's mission of promoting scholarship in Mongolia, and dues go directly towards supporting the programmatic and administrative expenses of the organization. As a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, academic organization, membership dues and other donations paid to the ACMS are tax deductible in the United States.

For more information on member benefits and ways to pay, please see our membership page. If you are unsure if your membership has expired with the ACMS, please contact David Dettmann at
ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
Speaker Series:

Sainbileg Byambadorj - "Changkya Qutuγtu Rol-pa’i-rdo-rje: the Source of Lexical Sage and its influence to Mongolian scriptural translation"

Tuesday, October 17 at 5:30pm, American Corner, Ulaanbaatar public library

This year, 2017 marks the 300th birth anniversary of ChangkyaQutuγtu Rol-pa’i-rdo-rje (1717-1786). This presention honors his memory. Rolpai-dorje was an eminent scholar-monk who standardized Mongolian translation of Buddhist scriptures and was the chief editor of the translation project of the Mongolian Tangyur. In order to implement this translation project Changkya composed a bilingual orthography (guideline)entitled “The Source Lexical Sage” (Dag yig mkhas pa’i ‘byung gnas [Tib],Merged γarqu-yin oron [Mon]).

In this presentation, Sainbileg will discuss two points; firstly, Rolpai-dorje’s title “Changkya Qutuγtu”. Some researchers write Rol-pa’i-rdo-rje was second reincarnation, yet some claim that he was the third reincarnation. He will shed light on whether Rol-pa’i-rdo-rje was the second or the third reincarnation of Changkya Qutuγtu, and what is the underlying meaning of the “title”. Secondly, he will introduce the Dag-Yig and its influence to Mongolian scriptural translation.

Sainbileg Byambadorj is a pioneer of Buddhist Studies in Mongolia. He graduated from the National University of Mongolia in 2000, and then finished a masters in Buddhist Studies from NUM in 2002. In 2009 he enrolled in the doctoral program at the Academy of Korean Studies in South Korea and earned his Ph.D in 2016. His dissertation title was “A philological study on the Dag-yig-mkhas-pa’i-‘byung-gnas”. The Dag-Yig by Changkya Rolpai-dorje brought a reform for Mongolian canonic language, translation methodology, and it is a potential source for a linguistic study of the Late Mongolian language (17th-19th) century. His research interests are in area the of Buddhism, Mongolian religion and scriptures.

Kathleen Kuo - “Mongolia’s Musical Memories and Moving Mementos: Audiovisual Archival Recordings as Cultural Heritage”

5:30 PM, Tuesday October 3rd, 2017, American Corner, Ulaanbaatar public library

In this talk, Kathleen presented an overview of her project from the last six months studying archival and engineering efforts to collect, preserve, and share Mongolian audiovisual recording, drawing on ethnographic case studies from her research and experience working in archives as well as from historical examples. Her talk also included a discussion of the logistical and theoretical challenges to working with and framing audiovisual recordings as cultural heritage. In addition to contributing to public outreach for these resources and ongoing projects at these institutions, her hope is to draw more attention to the importance of preserving these materials and the significance of these experts' work.

Kathleen Kuo is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology minoring in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. In addition to her coursework at Indiana, she also worked at the Archives of Traditional Music for two years as a graduate assistant and conducted a research practicum at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures to catalog musical instruments from Afghanistan. Kathleen has spent the last six months in Mongolia as an ACMS Cultural Heritage Fellow where her research project centered on the role of audiovisual archives in preserving cultural heritage in the form of film and musical recordings. Some of her other research interests include cultural tourism, music education, and the psychology of music; she has past experience working in psychology labs at the University of Chicago and Goldsmiths College, University of London on projects related to congenital amusia and musical earworms (involuntary musical imagery). Kathleen hopes to return to Mongolia next year so that she can finish her dissertation research and continue taking shanz lessons.

Speaker Series events are Co-Sponsored by the American Cultural and Information Center, Ulaanbaatar

NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers 2018: Enduring Legacies of a Global Mongol Empire

ATTENTION US K-12 TEACHERS! The ACMS will again be leading an NEH Summer Institute in summer 2018, this time for K-12 teachers! Co-directors Morris Rossabi and David Dettmann will be running the program at the University of Pennsylvania, from July 16th to August 10, 2018. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $3,300 to come to beautiful University City to study about the Mongol Empire! Application deadline will be March 1st, 2018

See our NEH Summer Institute 2018 website for more information.
New Books Acquired for the ACMS Library
  • Meinert, Carmen. Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia (2013 Brill)
Position Openings
Job Opening: ACMS Cultural Heritage Program Assistant:

The ACMS Cultural Heritage Program is currently accepting applications for the position of Cultural Heritage Program Assistant for its Ulaanbaatar Office.  The position is open to Mongolian citizens with a strong academic and cultural heritage background and English language capibilities.

The ACMS Cultural Heritage Program Assistant is responsible for the day-to-day in-person operations of the ACMS Cultural Heritage Program in Ulaanbaatar.  They will also aid existing staff in the day-to-day operations of ACMS.  The Cultural Heritage Program Assistant will report to the Cultural Heritage Coordinator and the Resident Director, joining a strong team of employees in the ACMS Ulaanbaatar office.

Responsibilities include maintaining and expanding ACMS cultural heritage programs, events and resources; assisting in digital data management activities related to cultural heritage; facilitating research activities by international scholars working in Mongolia; serving as liaison and representing ACMS at cultural heritage related events and organizations; assisting in oral and written translations from Mongolian into English and English into Mongolian for ACMS cultural heritage activities; assisting in the development of new programs and identification of funding sources to support the mission of the ACMS cultural heritage program; and assisting in the operations of the ACMS office in Ulaanbaatar.

Requirements for the position include a Bachelor's degree or higher from a reputable university, preferably in a cultural heritage or related discipline, translation or IT management; strong research, organizational and IT skills; Intermediate or higher spoken and written English; Good Mongolian-English and English-Mongolian translating abilitiy; and demonstrated interpersonal skills.

This is a full time position; however, opportunities exist for cross- or partial- appointments, depending on the circumstances of the candidate. The position reports to the ACMS Resident Director and is part of a staff of 6-7 full-time employees.

In order to apply, please submit the following materials (in English): a cover letter, current resume with contact information, and a list of three references to Baigalmaa Begzsuren, ACMS Office Manager at:  The submission deadline is October 17th, 2017 at 12 noon.

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants
ACMS Field Research Fellowship Program provides awards of up $4000 to US citizen students and/or university faculty to conduct academic field research in Mongolia between May and October. The ACMS Library Fellowship Program provides US citizen advanced graduate students or faculty in library science or related fields with up to $4000 to conduct short-term projects and/or research in Mongolia between May and October. The program helps support the development of the ACMS research library through specific defined projects designed to enhance the collection content and resource availability. Both of these fellowships are 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. Deadline for receipt of complete applications: February 15, 2018. For more information about two fellowship programs, please visit

ACMS Intensive Mongolian Language Fellowship. Students and scholars are invited to enroll in an eight week Intermediate Intensive Mongolian Language Program at the ACMS in Ulaanbaatar, from mid-June to early August 2018. The focus of this program is to provide students 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. For more information visit our Language Program page. Deadline for receipt of applications: March 1, 2018.

Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) NEH Senior Research Fellowship Program - deadline to apply:  January 31st, 2018
. The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) is pleased to announce the National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Research Fellowship Program! This fellowship supports advanced research in the humanities for U.S. postdoctoral scholars, and foreign national postdoctoral scholars who have been residents in the US for three or more years. Scholars must carry out research in a country which hosts a participating American overseas research center. Eligible countries for 2017-2018 are: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Cyprus, Georgia, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sri Lanka or Tunisia. Fellowship stipends are $4,200 per month for a maximum of four months. This program is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) under the Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI). For more information, visit the CAORC fellowship page.

Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Research Fellowship Program  - deadline to apply:  January 31st, 2018. The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Fellowship Program supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their Ph.D. Preference will be given to candidates examining comparative and/or cross-regional research. Applicants are eligible to apply as individuals or in teams. Scholars must carry out research in two or more countries outside the United States, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center (like the ACMS). Approximately nine awards of up to $10,500 each will be given. Funding is provided by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit the CAORC fellowship page.

Other News and Events
XII Annual Mongolia Studies Conference in Washington, DC (February 9-10, 2018)

The Mongolian Cultural Center and The Embassy of Mongolia are pleased to invite interested participants to the XII Annual Mongolian Studies Conference. Research topic presented must be relevant to 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. However, presenters, who are planning on presenting in Mongolian, must submit full English translation of the paper at least one month prior to the conference. Submission deadline for paper abstracts is November 15th, 2017. Abstracts must not exceed 500 words. Prospective presenters will receive an email from the conference organizers by December 1st if their paper is selected. Prerequisite for presenting at the conference is payment of a $50 conference fee. Payment of the conference fee also entitles the presenter to membership in the Mongolian Cultural Center (If the presenter provide the conference fee, to become a member, we will waive the $50 membership fee will be waived). However, membership is optional.  The conference fee covers the 2-day attendance (breakfast, lunch, commemorative pen and folder included).

The conference will be held at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington DC during February 9-10, 2018.  Abstracts should be sent to:

Miami Univerisity in Ohio Accepting Applications for 2018 Earth Expeditions Graduates Courses:
 Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2018 Earth Expeditions graduate courses that offer extraordinary experiences in 16 countries throughout the world, including Mongolia:

Earth Expeditions can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP), a master's degree that combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities so that students can complete the GFP master's part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad. Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University.

Call for Papers, 3rd Conference of Central Asian Language and Linguistics
, March 2-4, 2018, Indiana University-Bloomington - Deadline November 3, 2017

Submissions are now being accepted for 20-minute paper presentations (with 10 minute post-presentation questions and discussion) on topics related to Central Asian languages and linguistics, including both the Altaic and Eastern Indo-European languages spoken in the region (among others), a diverse range of languages such as Azerbaijani, Dari, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Pashto, Persian, Tajiki, Tibetan, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvan, Uyghur, Uzbek, and more. Presenters will have the opportunity to submit to the published proceedings of the conference. Submissions can include, but are not limited to: Formal linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, as well as their interfaces), Acquisition (first and second language acquisition). Language education/pedagogy, as related to Central Asian languages

For more infomration, please visit conference website at

Italian Association of Tibetan, Himalayan and Mongolian Studies (AISTHiM)

The first seminar sponsored by the Italian Association of Tibetan, Himalayan and Mongolian Studies (AISTHiM) convened on the island of Procida at the University of Naples in September 2017. Over thirty Italian scholars participated in the seminar, leading to the establishment of this new association.

The seminar was initiated by Giacomella Orofino, Professor of Tibetan Language and Literature at the University of Naples “L'Orientale”, and was successfully coordinated and organized by Emanuela Garatti (Ph.D. student at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris and at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich), Valentina Punzi (post-doc at the “Orientale” of Naples), Carmen Simioli (lector of Chinese language at the Istituto Statale d'Istruzione Superiore “Leonardo da Vinci” in Naples) and Davide Torri (post-doc at the University of Heidelberg). Themes addressed include research on religious traditions as well as more pressing contemporary questions, covering subjects such as ecology, medicine, art and iconography as well as disciplines such as history, anthropology, philology, linguistics and archaeology. The scholars who participated came not only from Italy but also from France, Germany, Greece, Canada and the United States. However, all participating scholars received the foundations of their education on Asia in the major schools of oriental studies of Italy (Rome, Venice, Turin, Bologna and  Naples).

On September 14 the association held its founding assembly and approved its bylaws. These include the advancement of research on Tibet, Mongolia and the Himalayan regions through the promotion and organization of seminars and other cultural events, the issuance of academic and non-specialist publications, and the dissemination of information on the civilizations of these areas throughcooperation with other national and international associations.

The election of the advisory board of AISTHiM also took place during the first meeting. The board will  serve for three years and comprises five members: a president, a general secretary, a treasurer, and two board members. As per the election results, the first President of AISTHiM is Giacomella Orofino, Professor of Tibetan Language and Literature in the Department of Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean of the University of Naples “L'Orientale”.

The General Secretary is Andrea Drocco, lecturer of Indo-aryan Linguistics in the Department of Studies on Asia and Mediterranean Africa of the University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari”. The treasurer is Carmen Simioli, lecturer of Chinese language at the Istituto Statale d'Istruzione Superiore “Leonardo da Vinci” in Naples. The two board members at large are Chiara Letizia, Professor of Religious Traditions of South Asia in the Department of Religious Sciences of the University of Quebec in Montreal, and Federica Venturi, researcher in the ERC-sponsored TibArmy project at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and visiting research scholar in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. The publication of the proceedings of the seminar is among the first tasks to be undertaken by the advisory board.
Recent Publications

Among Herders of Mongolia by Christel Braae (2017 National Museum of Denmark).  This is a study of a unique collection of INner Mongolian artifacts that are part of the Haslund-Christensen Collection at the National Museum of Denmark.  They are analyzed and visually presented in a ctalogue of more than 800 items, documenting daily life in a pastoral society.

Dark Heavens: Shamans and Hunters in Mongolia by Hamid Sardar (2016 Iranian-born anthropologist Hamid Sardar has been photographing different aspects of rural Mongolia since 2000, immersing himself in daily life and capturig on film the daily rituals, hunting expeditions and spiritual practices of countryside.  Mixing color and black-and-white images, this book showcases Mongolian shamans and hunters, reflecting their relationship with land and animals.  Along with the visual images, this book also includes an informative text that provides additional details and information that will be of special interests to anthropologists and photographers, regardless of whether they have visited Mongolia or not.

Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan by Bettine Birge (2017 Harvard University Press). The Mongol conquest of China in the thirteenth century and Khubilai Khan’s founding of the Yuan dynasty brought together under one government people of different languages, religions, and social customs. Chinese law evolved rapidly to accommodate these changes, as reflected in the great compendium Yuan dianzhang (Statutes and Precedents of the Yuan Dynasty). The records of legal cases contained in this seminal text, Bettine Birge shows, paint a portrait of medieval Chinese family life—and the conflicts that arose from it—that is unmatched by any other historical source. Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan reveals the complex, sometimes contradictory inner workings of the Mongol-Yuan legal system, seen through the prism of marriage disputes in chapter eighteen of the Yuan dianzhang, which has never before been translated into another language. Birge’s meticulously annotated translation clarifies the meaning of terms and passages, some in a hybrid Sino-Mongolian language, for specialists and general readers alike. The text includes court testimony—recorded in the vivid vernacular of people from all social classes—in lawsuits over adultery, divorce, rape, wife-selling, marriages of runaway slaves, and other conflicts. It brings us closer than any other source to the actual Mongolian speech of Khubilai and the great khans who succeeded him as they struggled to reconcile very different Mongol, Muslim, and Chinese legal traditions and confront the challenges of ruling a diverse polyethnic empire.

How Mongolia Matters: War, Law, and Society, edited by Morris Rossabi (2017 Brill). The essays in this volume dispel some of the myths concerning the Mongolians and other Inner Asian peoples. This remarkable volume edited by and dedicated to Morris Rossabi challenges the depictions of these mostly nomadic pastoral groups as barbaric plunderers and killers while not denying the destruction and loss of life they engendered. Several essays pioneer in consulting Mongolian and other Inner Asian rather than exclusively Chinese and Persian sources, offering new and different perspectives. Such research reveals the divisions among the Mongolians, which weakened them and led to the collapse of their Empire. Two essays dispel myths about modern Mongolia and reveal the country’s significance, even in an era of superpowers, two of which surround it. Contributors are: Christopher Atwood, Bettine Birge, Michael Brose, Pamela Crossley, Johan Elverskog, Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Yuki Konagaya, James Millward, David Morgan, and David Robinson.

A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the National Fringes of Qing Rule by Jonathan Schlesinger (2017 Stanford University Press). In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region's most precious resources. In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to "purification;" it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger's resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature.

L’appel du bonheur: Le partage alimentaire mongol [The call for happiness. Mongolian food sharing] by Sandrine Ruhlmann (2015 Centre d’Études Mongoles & Sibériennes Nord-Asie 5). For Mongolian people, sharing food goes far beyond merely feeding. By a set of “opening” and “closing”, for everyday life or for special events, in the family circle or with visitors, the fact of sharing food ensures the good order of social relationships. It ensures also the good order of seasonal rhythm and of human life cycle. It therefore attracts happiness to humans and their herds. Between 2000 and 2015, Sandrine Ruhlmann lived long months in the Mongolian steppe and in the city. She describes and analyses in detail the existing food system. She recognizes in this latter intermingled ideas and values inherited from Shamanism, Buddhism, and from Communist ideology. Through the meat on bone, the fermented milk, the ravioli, or the odd soleshoe-shaped pastries a way of thinking and of living is revealed. (Published in French)

Uyghur Nation: Reform and Revolution on the Russia-China Frontier by David Brophy (Harvard University Press, April 2016). The meeting of the Russian and Qing empires in the nineteenth century had dramatic consequences for Central Asia’s Muslim communities. Along this frontier, a new political space emerged, shaped by competing imperial and spiritual loyalties, cross-border economic and social ties, and the revolutions that engulfed Russia and China in the early twentieth century. David Brophy explores how a community of Central Asian Muslims responded to these historic changes by reinventing themselves as the modern Uyghur nation. As exiles and émigrés, traders and seasonal laborers, a diverse diaspora of Muslims from China’s northwest province of Xinjiang spread to Russian territory, where they became enmeshed in political and intellectual currents among Russia’s Muslims. From the many national and transnational discourses of identity that circulated in this mixed community, the rhetoric of Uyghur nationhood emerged as a rallying point in the tumult of the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War. Working both with and against Soviet policy, a shifting alliance of constituencies invoked the idea of a Uyghur nation to secure a place for itself in Soviet Central Asia and to spread the revolution to Xinjiang. Although its existence was contested in the fractious politics of the 1920s, in the 1930s the Uyghur nation achieved official recognition in the Soviet Union and China. Grounded in a wealth of little-known archives from across Eurasia, Uyghur Nation offers a bottom-up perspective on nation-building in the Soviet Union and China and provides crucial background to the ongoing contest for the history and identity of Xinjiang.

China's Early Mosques by Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt (Edinburgh University Press, Jan. 2016). What happens when a monotheistic, foreign religion needs a space in which to worship in China, a civilisation with a building tradition that has been largely unchanged for several millennia? The story of this extraordinary convergence begins in the 7th century and continues under the Chinese rule of Song and Ming, and the non-Chinese rule of the Mongols and Manchus, each with a different political and religious agenda. The author shows that mosques, and ultimately Islam, have survived in China because the Chinese architectural system, though often unchanging, is adaptable: it can accommodate the religious requirements of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Islam.

The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century by Igor de Rachewiltz. Shorter version edited by John C. Street, University of Wisconsin―Madison. Electronic book freely available as part of Western Washington University’s Contributing to Education through Digital Access to Research (CEDAR) portal at

Governing Post-Imperial Siberia and Mongolia, 1911-1924: Buddhism, Socialism and Nationalism in State and Autonomy Building by Ivan Sablin (February 2016, Routledge). The governance arrangements put in place for Siberia and Mongolia after the collapse of the Qing and Russian Empires were highly unusual, experimental and extremely interesting. The Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic established within the Soviet Union in 1923 and the independent Mongolian People’s Republic established a year later were supposed to represent a new model of transnational, post-national governance, incorporating religious and ethno-national independence, under the leadership of the coming global political party, the Communist International. The model, designed to be suitable for a socialist, decolonised Asia, and for a highly diverse population in a strategic border region, was intended to be globally applicable. This book, based on extensive original research, charts the development of these unusual governance arrangements, discusses how the ideologies of nationalism, socialism and Buddhism were borrowed from, and highlights the relevance of the subject for the present day world, where multiculturality, interconnectedness and interdependency become ever more complicated.

From Birth to Death: Power, Meanings, and Tea Practices in Mongolia by Gaby T. Bamana (February 2016, Academica Press). From Birth to Death is a scholarly monograph based on years of field work in Mongolia as well as original research in Asia, Europe and North America. It is an original and detailed ethnography of tea practices, female power and gendered meaning in Mongolia. It is also a welcome addition to the field by an African scholar of distinction who is one of the few Black African researchers in Central Asia. This work makes two major contributions to the field of Mongolian studies and anthropology. This is a first detailed ethnography of tea practices in Mongolia, a country that does not produce tea and yet is a major tea consumer. The book tells the story of what people do with tea in Mongolia. The second contribution of this work is the description of female power and gendered meanings as the experience connected to tea practices. Female power is the experience of impacting on other people s acts from a gendered position of power. Through tea practices, which are ascribed to women, women construct gendered meanings that are a contribution to the cultural system in Mongolia. For a society that is predominantly described as patriarchal, this work brings to shore the experience of a female world of meanings different from the rest and yet that stands in complementarity with it.