Choreographing pan-Turkic Identity in Post-Soviet Central Asian Music and Dance Productions


Marshall 490
845 N. Park Ave Room 490
Tucson , AZ


Fri, 09/25/2015 - 3:00pm to Fri, 08/12/2022 - 9:05pm

Join the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and CMES for our Fall 2015 Colloquium Series


Jennifer C Post is a Lecturer at the University of Arizona School of Music

This lecture focuses on recent efforts to promote a pan-Turkic identity through music and dance productions, especially among peoples living in Central, East and North Asia. Organizational and nationalist efforts to re-unite, support or control Turkic-speaking peoples impacts urban and rural residents in lands located in the Turkic republics and regions in the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Russian Federation, China, and Mongolia. Cultural promotion by national and international programs under the sponsorship of large organizations, especially those that target local customs such as TURKSOY and the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage, impacts Turkic values and affects both the way Turkic peoples are viewed, and how they promote themselves today. Using a cultural lens to consider identity building provides opportunities to isolate visual, aural, and kinetic elements that mirror historical, social and political events and actions. Encompassing past and present values and practices, carefully choreographed performances at venues from Washington to Astana, show evidence of national and organizational efforts to establish a stronger Turkic identity, yet they also reveal various ways that innovation and opportunity among nomadic and settled peoples in the diverse lands of Eurasia have been adversely affected.

 Jennifer C. Post is an ethnomusicologist with recent research  experience and interest in the music and musical instruments  of  Central Asia and the Turkic world. Her current fieldwork in  Bayan Ölgii, Mongolia focuses on the impact of social, economic  and ecological change on musical production of Mongolian  Kazakh mobile pastoral herders. Other recent fieldwork has  taken her to Central Asia and western China to explore local musical production, especially musical instrument making. Published  and forthcoming articles address music in connection with repatriation, traditional ecological knowledge, cultural and biological sustainability, and musical instrument production and use. She has taught at Middlebury College in Vermont and the New  Zealand School of Music and is currently Lecturer at the School of Music, University of Arizona and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia.