Learning to Become Turkmen examines the ways in which the iconography of everyday lifein dramatically different alphabets, multiple languages, and shifting education policiesreflects the evolution of Turkmen society in Central Asia over the past century. As Victoria Clement shows, the formal structures of the Russian imperial state did not affect Turkmen cultural formations nearly as much as Russian language and Cyrillic script. Their departure was also as transformative to Turkmen politics and society as their arrival. Complemented by extensive fieldwork, Learning to Become Turkmen is the first book in a Western language to draw on Turkmen archives, as it explores how Eurasia has been shaped historically. Revealing particular ways that Central Asians relate to the rest of the world, this study traces how Turkmen consciously used language and pedagogy to position themselves within global communities such as the Russian/Soviet Empire, the Turkic cultural continuum, and the greater Muslim world.
About the Author
Victoria Clement is a regional analyst for Professional Solutions at the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning at Marine Corps University whose research focuses on Central Asia and Turkey, with an emphasis on Turkmenistan. She is a former research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, and former professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Clement is a founding member of the Central Eurasian Studies Society.
Table of Contents
Note on Transliteration xi
Chapter 1 Jadid-Inspired Paths to Modernity, 1914-1917 17
Chapter 2 Partners in Progress: Turkmen Intellectuals in Soviet Space, 1917-1930 37
Chapter 3 From the ABCs to the ABCs of Communism, 1930-1953 68
Chapter 4 Speaking Soviet, 1954-1984 91
Chapter 5 From Happy Socialism to Independence, 1985-1996 112
Chapter 6 Altyn Asyr Nesli: Nyýazow's Golden Generation, 1996-2006 137
Chapter 7 The Era of Might and Happiness, 2007-2014 160